“The parties themselves agreed at oral argument that an individual who, in the course of reviewing discovery documents, undertakes tasks that could otherwise be performed entirely by a machine cannot be said to engage in the practice of law.”
There is a potential of some very far-reaching implications from this ruling. If doc review can be so tightly defined ahead of time that reviewers are not doing legal work, then why pay legal work prices? Why not just use a machine, or hire anyone off the street? It will be interesting to see how the case plays out after being sent back to the court, and whether this ruling becomes widely accepted. It would change things in an industry that doesn’t always change quickly.