September 24, 2008
The Jersey Appeal Court aims to pilot a project before the end of year under which an appeal will be heard without any use of paper. The long-term strategy in Jersey has long included this idea, but practitioners seem to have been taken by surprise when the Bailiff announced the plan in his speech to open the new term on 15 September.
The speech in fact refers only to authorities and submissions, and the passage concludes by saying
If successful, the pilot will be repeated in the Royal Court next year, and that will lead in short order to the ability to file pleadings and other documentation with the Judicial Greffe electronically.
I am not sure that litigation support providers should be racing across the Channel just yet, as I heard someone suggest a few days ago. I would, however, be interested to know how the experiment goes.
September 22, 2008
Corporate birthdays are generally of less significance than human ones, although Anacomp is rightly making much of the fact that it has been in data storage for 40 years. In general, this is a young industry, and few companies can yet claim a decade.
I bring up the subject of Trilantic’s birthday because it seems to have been around forever and yet has just celebrated its third anniversary. MD Nigel Murray, of course, has been around for ever – I misread a press release of his recently as saying that he was a “25 year-old veteran” which seemed unlikely, if only because I have known him in the industry for what seems like most of 25 years. It was in fact “25-year veteran”.
Nigel was host at a party following on from the Legal Week Litigation Forum last week which included a good mix of those who had been at the conference and Trilantic’s own guests.
It is interesting to speculate as to who will still be with us in, say, five years’ time, and what new players will have made their mark. At ILTA in Dallas last month I saw booths bearing names which I had never heard of. One or two will break through in this expanding market; some will fizzle out quickly.
Trilantic is likely to be a stayer.
September 22, 2008
I now have the full programme for the Masters Conference in Washington on 16-17 October.
One session, I see, is led by both John Facciola and Paul Grimm, the two US Magistrate Judges whose Opinions on search have shaken up the US e-disclosure world, with repercussions, I think for us. Former US Magistrate Judge Ron Hedges is with them, one of the joint authors of the eDiscovery Guide for Federal Judges. I want to do a UK equivalent next year.
Other names on the list include Tom Allman, Patrick Oot, and Anne Kershaw, plus our own Nigel Murray of Trilantic.
All I have got to do, as I have observed before, is to get my head round the logistics of attending conferences in Sydney and Washington in the same week.
September 21, 2008
I carried a story recently about Hobs Legal Docs which included a reference to a job which Hobs did in which 7Gb of client data was boiled down by them to a handful of documents for review. I have been given some more information about that case which I will pass on in due course because it is a powerful illustration of the money-saving power of electronic sifting.
Before that, however, there is news of a link-up in the UK between Hobs Legal Docs and Anacomp, the owner of hosted litigation support software CaseLogistix. Read the rest of this entry »
September 21, 2008
Although there is something slightly self-referential in quoting someone else who quotes you, I am pleased to see that something I wrote has been used to help make the the business case for electronic disclosure.
Legal Inc have launched what they call a “highly competitive commoditised solution for routine matters”. Called INClusive, the initiative aims to make it easy and cost-effective for lawyers to turn their lever-arch files of paper into an electronic resource which can be searched and reviewed on-line.
The quotation of mine with which they open their press release is this:
“One of my constant refrains is that technology is a leveller and that a small firm armed with appropriate outsourced technology can run rings round a big one who is not there yet.” Read the rest of this entry »
September 21, 2008
If Ernst & Young Forensic Technology and Discovery Services manage their clients’ work as thoroughly as they manage their party invitations – as I am sure they do – it seems unlikely that they miss much. My Inbox is full of reminders and confirmations of the date, all apparently from department head Sanjay Bhandari – I say “apparently” because I was actually talking to him at the Legal Week Litigation Forum when the last of them arrived the day before the party, and I am damn sure he wasn’t sending e-mails as we spoke.
It is worth a trip down to More London even if you are not favoured with an invitation from Ernst & Young. It lies on the South Bank, just west of Tower Bridge. I found it when I spent a night at the Hilton Tower Bridge earlier in the year – it is even better by night than by day. The river frontage is a wide space with seats and those fountains which bubble gently out of the ground and then shoot up your trouser leg when you get too close. Apart from E&Y’s building, there is Boris’s bee-hive shaped office, Norton Rose, and a Marks & Spencer food store to serve as a backdrop, with HMS Belfast, 30 St Mary Axe (aka the Gherkin) and the Tower of London in front of you. I saw a dinner party taking place on a platform hanging from a crane, with waiters wandering nonchalantly around 60 feet up.
The view gets even better when you get up E&Y’s building, particularly at sunset, with a panorama from Westminster to the Tower. One probably should not choose a professional adviser on the strength of the view from its office, but it might be a tie-breaker when you come down to the last two choices. Read the rest of this entry »
September 21, 2008
Attenex is not the only provider of heavy-duty processing and analysis software for chewing through very large amounts of electronic data, but the name has become a kind of shorthand for that function. As Hoover is to vacuum cleaners, so Attenex is to massive volumes of data in the e-Discovery world – not a bad analogy, in fact, given the aptitude of both for sucking up lots of stuff. Read the rest of this entry »
September 20, 2008
The Commercial Court Long Trials Recommendations inevitably took centre stage in the session entitled Reforming case management at the Legal Week Litigation Forum last week.
I reached it in time to hear Ali Malek QC making it clear at the end of his speech that some of his cases simply would not fit into what he saw as an idealised time-frame. He was talking about the actual trial, and about cases whose factual or technical complexity could not sensibly be conveyed with a short statement of case and a brief opening.
The main act was Anthony Boswood QC, whose starting proposition was that every procedural change in his time had led to an increase in costs. The Commercial Court Recommendations provided no exception. Read the rest of this entry »
September 20, 2008
You will observe a new logo on the roster of sponsors who are supporting the e-Disclosure Information Project of which this blog is the outward and visible sign. I am very pleased to welcome Interwoven iscovery Mining on board.
Recently acquired by content-management giant Interwoven, Discovery Mining has made a good name for itself as a provider of on-demand hosted e-Discovery services. Its strengths include ease of use, predictable costs and scaleability. The aim is to get the data in quickly and make it available for speedy review with the minimum of user learning, and to make it easy to get it out again for export to other systems or for third parties. Read the rest of this entry »
September 19, 2008
It is not often that I devote a whole article merely to the opening remarks of the chairman of a conference, but then it not often that one has a former Lord Chancellor in the chair. Lord Falconer’s speech at the Legal Week Litigation Forum which covered the economic drivers to litigation warranted the space I gave to it. This page covers the session in which I played a part.
I was a panellist in a session called Streamlined litigation: assuring efficiency through applied technology, along with Robert Brown, senior director of First Advantage Litigation Consulting Services and Rachel Coldbreath of Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton LLP. That we never got as far as my prepared notes is by no means a complaint. Quite apart from the fact that I can use them somewhere else, the one hour allotted to us raced by in an unusual amount of audience inter-action. This was explained partly by the fact that this was a litigation audience rather than one narrowly limited to electronic disclosure, and partly by the layout of the room – members of a group facing each other round a square of tables are somehow more inclined to speak out than one in rows of chairs. Read the rest of this entry »
September 19, 2008
Legal Week’s Litigation Forum this week, sponsored by Ernst & Young, was rather different from the (many) others I have been to this year. They have been e-disclosure conferences with litigation practice and procedure as a context. This week’s event was about litigation, with the disclosure element (from me amongst others) merely a component in the wider setting.
The former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, was the chairman and, in the event, the giver of the keynote speech in the absence of Lord Goldsmith who had been billed to deliver it. The quality which made Falconer one of the few likeable members of Blair’s government was a nice line in self-deprecation. When he was a young barrister, he said, much of his work consisted of Peter Goldsmith’s returns; he was glad to see that nothing had changed.
Lehman Brothers had collapsed two days earlier, and the overnight news was that the US Government had bailed out AIG. Lord Falconer emphasised how the week’s events had changed the map for litigators. A year of the credit crunch had had little impact on the levels of commercial litigation, but that was because the large institutions – Bear Sterns and Northern Rock – had not been allowed to go under. A rash of insolvencies must follow the failure of a player the size of Lehmans and the consequential litigation will cover three main areas: Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2008
Details are coming in of the Masters Conference taking place in Washington on 16 and 17 October. This year’s title is Viewing E-Discovery Through the Corporate Veil – see the Masters Conference web site for more details.
The focus is on litigation in the global arena with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as well as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) at the forefront. Topics include:
- Cross Border Investigations and Discovery Management
- Cost Effective Internal Investigations in the FCPA Era
- Litigation Readiness
- Real-life Implications of the FRCP
- The Subprime Mortgage Meltdown
- Corporate E-Discovery Budgets
- New Technologies for Streamlining E-Discovery
- Creating and Implementing the Corporate IT Structure
- Effective Records and Information Management
- Government and Regulatory Compliance Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2008
Litigation solicitors in private practice and in-house lawyers would have done well to be at the Ark Group conference last week. Run over two days within spitting distance of the Tower, it had the title Adopting Practical Guidelines to e-Disclosure Management for the Legal Profession. Practical it was, as well as conveniently located.
Its supplier sponsors included FoxData, Autonomy, CaseLogistix by Anacomp, Guidance Software and LexisNexis, all of whom are also sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project which I run. Part of the Project’s aim is to make connections between suppliers whose service or software offerings are in different parts of the wood – between them, these suppliers and their applications collect data, process it, host it for review, help with analysis and make it available for exchange with others. There is overlap and competition between them, but also a common interest in helping practitioners – and judges – understand what is available to tackle the problems of e-disclosure. Part of my role is to help the would-be buyers see both the wood and the trees. Read the rest of this entry »
September 13, 2008
The US courts are laying increasing stress on the technology and the methodology used to find documents relevant to a case. Even US lawyers are pulling the blanket over their heads at the implications of this, and UK lawyers will do the same if we just leave them to read the US judgments. We have a very different set of aims over here, but the technology and the principles developing to meet the FRCP challenge are exactly what we need, just turned to different purposes. The key term is “transparency”.
I have shied away from writing about the judgments of US courts which are the all-consuming subject of the year in American litigation circles. US v O’Keefe, Equity Analytics v Lundin and Victor Stanley v Creative Pipe all deal with the importance of accurate and reliable searches – embracing both the technology and the skill with which it is used – and between them, in their slightly different ways, appear to raise the level of equipment, qualification and skill needed to engage in the business of giving discovery / disclosure of documents. Serious stuff, in a country where so much of the focus appears, to UK eyes at least, to be on the technology and the methodology at the expense of the search for justice – with the emphasis on the word “expense”. Read the rest of this entry »
September 5, 2008
The next round of conferences begins on 10 and 11 September with Ark Group’s Adopting practical guidelines for E-Disclosure management at which I am again speaking with HHJ Simon Brown QC. Our subject is Preparing Judges to make effective e-Disclosure decisions.
I have five more to do in London in 2008, plus one in Sydney and six regional talks for the Law Society. Next year’s bookings are beginning to come in.
By then, the trial period for the Commercial Court Recommendations will have run its course, the new draft directions order will have been in use for six months or so in the Mercantile Courts and we should be close to having a Technology Questionnaire as a required stage in the case management process. If you do not know what any of these things are, or what effect they will have, it is time to start finding out. Between them, they signal a more rigorous approach to case management, with particular emphasis on electronic disclosure. It will no longer be possible to treat Part 31 CPR and its Practice Direction as optional. Read the rest of this entry »
September 3, 2008
LexisNexis have released Version 8 of CaseMap, the application whose tagline “Case Analysis made easy” is amply justified by its functionality. LexisNexis are, of course, sponsors of my e-Disclosure Information Project, but I am on record as a CaseMap enthusiast since long before the Project existed.
I have not had the chance to look at the new version yet – you can download it easily from here – but the list of new features is enticing. Most attractive, in principle, is the new DocPreviewer review tool which is aimed at helping lawyers handle e-mail disclosure review for small to mid-sized cases. Read the rest of this entry »
September 2, 2008
London-based Hobs Legal Docs has strengthened its relationship with FTI Ringtail and now has five Ringtail Certified Services Technicians – apparently the largest headcount outside the US.
Managing Director Terry Harrison is also enthusiastic about IPRO’s eCapture which Hobs uses for EDD processing – the only user in Europe, it seems. Terry says of one job, which began with 7Gb of data and 370,000 pages, that “the whole process took just a few hours and the law firm, as well as their clients, were delighted at the time and cost saving.” Hobs now provide IPRO’s eReview application either on a hosted basis or for purchase for in-house use.
I mention this really because any lawyer facing 370,000 pages, or anything like it, who does NOT have the data handled electronically in “just a few hours” might like to think about whether the alternative – presumably printing the ages, copying them a few times, and setting some lawyers to reading through them – is consistent with the duty owed to either the client or the court. You might just do it by not recording much of the time spent on it – but that is not really consistent with the duty owed to your other partners.
Judges are starting to want to know about the comparative speed and cost of different ways of skinning the electronic data cat. It would be hard, I think, to show that the “print, copy and read” approach will stand scrutiny.
September 2, 2008
CaseLogistix, Anacomp‘s litigation document review platform, has announced new functionality to handle native documents and other changes. Anacomp are amongst the sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project.
CaseLogistix has always had the ability to handle documents in their native format (150 file types at the last count). The enhancement assigns a unique identifier to each document – as opposed to pages – allowing concept search tools to treat single-page tiff files as a single document.
Other changes include improved management of redacted files, printing of attachments with parent documents and other parent/child enhancements, a combined native/image tab in the document viewer and direct native file ingestion. Read the rest of this entry »
September 2, 2008
A new pricing model announced by Guidance Software allows companies to use its EnCase® eDiscovery on a pay-per-use basis. Hitherto, EnCase® eDiscovery has been available to end-users only by outright purchase. The new structure gives them the option of paying only for what they use, with no up-front licence fees.
The charges are tied to the amount of data searched, collected, processed and put into load files. The monthly invoices break down the usage by matter, which should make it straightforward to recharge the costs internally or to insurers.
Outright purchase of a perpetual licence remains an option for those with the throughput to justify capital budget monies. For those who opt for the new pricing method, the usage rates decrease with higher levels of commitment. Read the rest of this entry »