Discovery Practice Note issued in Australia

January 30, 2009

The Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia yesterday gave effect to the long-awaited Practice Note No 17 – The use of technology in the management of discovery and the conduct of litigation.

Those of us involved in drafting the proposed new Technology Questionnaire and draft Practice Direction in the UK have been keen to keep up with parallel initiatives in the Common Law jurisdictions. and particularly Australia and Canada.

The timing of its final release is good and bad from my point of view – good in that I am due to speak on a panel at LegalTech in New York next week about international initiatives in electronic discovery, and bad in that I have enough to do to be ready for tomorrow’s flight without exciting new developments to read up.

Fortunately, one of my co-speakers on that panel is Jo Sherman who was heavily involved in the drafting of the Practice Note, so I can leave it to her to cover it. I will read it on the plane and cover it in more detail shortly.

My thanks to Geoffrey Lambert of KordaMentha in Melbourne and to Seamus Byrne who each sent me a link to the Practice Note within hours of its promulgation.


Legal Technology Awards 2009

January 30, 2009

I went to the Legal Technology Awards last night at the kind invitation of Nigel Murray of Trilantic. Nigel disappointingly, turned up in black tie and not the lycra cycling gear which we had hoped to see (read Murray to cycle across the Channel if you find this reference obscure).

Trilantic emerged as Highly Commended in the category Electronic Disclosure Support / Service Provider of the year in this, its third year of being short-listed. The category winners were Merrill Legal Solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to Equivio as new Project sponsor

January 27, 2009

I am delighted to welcome Equivio as a new sponsor of the e-Disclosure Information Project. As I wrote in November (see New integration and new web site for Equivio) I met CEO Amir Milo at the Masters Conference in Washington. Equivio’s name was already a familiar one, but that meeting and a subsequent read-through of Equivio’s web site emphasised why Equivio is subliminally omnipresent in the data management world.

If, as I do, you spend your time explaining to lawyers, judges and corporates why technology must be used to reduce vast volumes of data and documents to manageable proportions, you learn three basic propositions – rely on illuminating snapshots not lengthy explanations, focus on the things which equate directly to the user’s own functions, and emphasise the benefits of using technology and not just the risks of not doing so. Equivio’s web site does just that, crisply and clearly. Read the rest of this entry »

OutIndex releases E-Discovery engine

January 27, 2009

OutIndex, the electronic discovery software company has added another string to its bow with the release of three Microsoft .NET components to allow others to build their own e-discovery applications.

Between them, the three components provide the tools for extracting metadata, searching data and printing electronic documents and e-mail messages to .TIFF or .PDF. These are the same primary components as those which OutIndex uses in its main processing system. OutIndex’s increasingly informative web site includes a page on its E-Discovery Engine as well as the rest of its widely-scaled product range, from its flagship application OutIndex E-Discovery down to its desk-top application eDiscoveryXpress for in-house processing. Read the rest of this entry »

Jackson sets out some litigation costs issues

January 26, 2009

A thoughtful article by Simon Davis and Simon James of Clifford Chance has appeared on the Lexology site. A purist might quibble about its title – Jackson’s dilemma – or how to cut the cost of litigation – on the grounds that Lord Justice Jackson faces nothing so simple as a choice between one alternative and another, as the article itself makes clear.

It touches on several of the factors which Jackson will want to cover. On the pure costs side, the “loser pays” principle, costs-shifting, contingency fees and CFAs, and champerty (or “trafficking in litigation” as the article puts it)  will have to be considered. Read the rest of this entry »

Plenty to write about but no time to write

January 26, 2009

I had a patch recently when I had no time to write for a few days. Someone sent me a message, not exactly complaining, but making it clear that my apparent dereliction of duty had been noticed. It is not in fact a duty, or does not feel like one, and there is no shortage of things to write about. There is plenty else going on as well, however, and I cannot simultaneously do things and write about them.

Besides, the subject-matter of the article which sat at the top of the blog for a few days warranted the extra exposure before the next one took its place. It is called Fannie Mae – be careful what you agree to with e-discovery orders and concerned the lawyer in the US Fannie Mae litigation who agreed on behalf of his clients to discovery obligations which cost them $6 million (9% of their turnover). His clients were not even a party to the litigation. The outcome ought to suggest to any lawyer involved in disclosure applications that it might be helpful to scope a project before committing your clients to it. It is a suggestion as useful in the Birmingham Mercantile Court as in Washington D.C. Read the rest of this entry »

Murray to cycle across the Channel

January 23, 2009

We have certain expectations of people based on what we have seen or heard of them in the past. Mention a name and you can picture a context. Take Nigel Murray of Trilantic, for example. What comes to mind? Sitting expansively in a bar with a beer in hand, going outside every so often for a cigarette. That is what he was doing when I saw him last night, anyway, much as he has done for the 15 years or so that I have known him. I did once see him run, but that was across a pavement to a cab in the rain, so barely counts as an exception to the general rule.

Seeing someone out of context is a shock to the system, like finding whisky in your teacup or seeing a judge in a lap-dancing club – possible but unlikely, you would think. How about Nigel Murray cycling 350 miles across Northern France over five days in May?  Sounds barely credible somehow. Read the rest of this entry »


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