Clearwell Systems Breaks Barrier in Concept Search Usability for E-Discovery

Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search opens traditional “black box” process to deliver interactive, relevant and defensible concept search results

LegalTech New York 2011

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--Clearwell Systems, Inc., a leader in intelligent e-discovery, today announced that the company has extended its hallmark Transparent Search technology to concept search, which is now included as part of the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform. Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search introduces new levels of interactivity, relevance and defensibility into the concept search process. These elements do not exist in today’s standard “black box” concept search technologies, resulting in a lack of precision that has hindered widespread adoption of concept search in e-discovery. To address this industry need, Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search provides users with greater control of the concept search process by enabling them to refine their searches to deliver more relevant results as well as build more comprehensive searches. As a result, enterprises, government agencies and law firms can now leverage Transparent Concept Search for more effective early case assessment, and decrease expenses through more efficient document review.

“Today, concept search is not as widely used as it could and should be, given the benefits it delivers, and this is primarily because of the lack of precision due to its black-box nature,” said Browning Marean, senior counsel, DLA Piper. “Now, with Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search, users can peer inside the black box, and interactively refine their searches to yield more relevant results. This will dramatically increase the adoption of concept search as a must-have feature for effective e-discovery.”

Concept search offers significant and well-recognized value to the e-discovery process. In Disability Rights Council of Greater Wash. v. Wash. Metro. Transit Auth., 242 F.R.D. 139, 148 (D.D.C. 2007), Judge John Facciola suggests that “concept searching, as opposed to keyword searching, is more efficient and likely to produce the most comprehensive results.” However, while concept search delivers benefits through greater recall, it also creates challenges given the technology’s lack of precision. For example, conducting a concept search for “Turkey” to find documents related to the country will also return documents related to the bird, increasing the number of irrelevant documents that must then be analyzed and reviewed at potentially great expense.

By contrast, Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search puts users in control by providing the ability to refine the concept search to exclude documents related to the bird “turkey” rather than the country. The end result is a more relevant concept search that yields both greater recall and greater precision, enabling users to more quickly analyze case facts, rapidly identify key documents that may otherwise have been missed, eliminate irrelevant documents, and prioritize the most relevant documents for review. With this added visibility and control, legal, compliance and IT teams can now fully avail themselves of the benefits of Transparent Concept Search as a regular part of their end-to-end e-discovery process for litigation, regulatory inquiries and internal investigations.

Key capabilities of Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search include:

  • Transparent Concept Search Preview: Allows users to contextually refine the concept search by previewing the most frequently occurring terms and selecting only the relevant ones.
  • Transparent Concept Search Explorer: Provides a visual interface that enables users to dynamically construct searches by exploring terms and linking them together to form more comprehensive and relevant concepts.
  • Transparent Concept Search Report: Automatically documents which terms are included in the Transparent Concept Search, and provides detailed analytics of the search results.

“In the same way that we reinvented traditional keyword search with Transparent Keyword Search, the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform now does the same with Transparent Concept Search,” said Kamal Shah, vice president of products and marketing for Clearwell Systems. “With Clearwell’s Transparent Concept Search, attorneys now have the peace of mind and confidence they need to leverage the power of concept search for enhanced early case assessment capabilities and improved review processes. Benefits of this include identifying related terms in preparation for keyword discussions during meet and confer negotiations, and prioritizing documents for review by conceptual relevance to increase review efficiency.”

Transparent Concept Search is offered as part of the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform at no additional charge, and will be available at the end of the first quarter 2011.

Clearwell Systems will be showcasing Transparent Concept Search at LegalTech (Booth #2600), January 31 – February 2 in New York. To learn more about the new capabilities in the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform, visit or call 1-877-CLEARWELL.

About Clearwell Systems

Clearwell Systems is transforming the way enterprises, government agencies, and law firms perform electronic discovery (e-discovery) in response to litigation, regulatory inquiries, and internal investigations. The Clearwell E-Discovery Platform streamlines end-to-end e-discovery, providing a single product for identification, collection, processing, analysis, review, and production. Leading global organizations such as Clear Channel Communications, Constellation Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, DLA Piper, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, NBC Universal, OfficeMax and Toyota are using Clearwell to streamline collections, accelerate early case assessments, intelligently cull-down data, increase reviewer productivity, and ensure the defensibility of their e–discovery process. Consistently ranked as a leader in independent e-discovery industry surveys and reports, Clearwell Systems is an active participant in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) Project, The Sedona Conference, and the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC). For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter at, or subscribe to the E-Discovery 2.0 blog at–discovery–blog/.


Barokas PR for Clearwell Systems
Tammy Hovey, 206-344-3147


Barokas PR for Clearwell Systems
Tammy Hovey, 206-344-3147