A recent article by Marisa Peacock on CMSWire called Equivio makes Early Case Assessment more relevant adds some diagrams to illustrate the statistics which I mentioned in my paper. One shows the increase in the number of relevant documents found by Equivio>Relevance compared with a review team, and the other shows the rate at which the bulk of those responsive documents was found. The point of the latter, if that is not clear, is that if more of the relevant documents are found earlier in the process, the sooner the lawyers get to see the ones which matter. Read the rest of this entry »
My job is promoting the eDiscovery industry and the companies who engage in it, and I do not focus much on promoting me. I cannot resist this, though.
Having an article listed in the Weekly E-Discovery Snapshot which Rob Robinson runs, now for Applied Discovery, is something of an honour, given the mass of interesting and important material which is published each week.
I have never had two listed there before, but my posts Catching up with the new Ontario E-Discovery Rules of Civil Procedure and US Claims Global Power to Access Data Despite EU Data Protection Laws have both made the cut this week, more, I suspect, because of the subject-matter which their titles obviously relate to than anything to do with me.
I do not know if there is a connection, but my monthly page views are up by 30% on the September-November average (5,000 to over 6,500 with January not yet done).
Mysterious messages have been appearing on Twitter all week like “In 85% of data breach cases, payment card information was stolen”. They all lead back to an analysis of data compromise cases over an 18 month period which 7Safe have published in conjunction with the University of Bedfordshire, supported by SOCA (Serious & Organised Crime Agency) and the Metropolitan Police Service. It is called the 2010 UK Securty Breach Invesigations Report.
7Safe’s Alan Phillips has been busy with a blog which now includes, in addition to written comment, some videos and photographs (including one of me, I see, now I look closely). I have not had the chance to look at the videos yet, but I am, as you know, keen to see all kinds of media pressed into service as marketing tools, whether of the wider concepts of edisclosure or for particular suppliers.
Alan Phillips will be at LegalTech along with Jim Kent and Adam Page of 7Safe, not so much on the subject of security breaches, but because of the company’s role as hosting provider of Anacomp’s review platform CaseLogistix.
Information retrieval experts H5 has always come across as a cross between a commercial information consulting business and a research university, talking as much about its people – “with professional expertise in linguistics, statistics, computer science, law, information technology, process engineering, and e-discovery” as the web site puts it – and its involvement in the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) protocols, as about its services.
It has now produced an application called the H5 Edge Classifier, which is designed to sit on top of an organisation’s existing search tools and integrate with them.
I know no more than appears on the page to which I have linked, and I only break my usual rule about merely passing on basic information – which any fool can do – because I learned about this too late before LegalTech to discover more. I hope to do that at LegalTech in New York next week, and will report back after that.
FTI Technology will be out in force at LegalTech, as you would expect from a company whose range of products and services cover the full range of eDiscovery problems and solutions.
They commissioned an IDC survey which was published in 2009 and whose findings included the following:
- Multinational litigation is growing more common. Close to 70% of panelists indicated that their companies are involved in legal matters with multinational requirements.
- Most large matters take more than two years to resolve. 64% of respondents said their largest matter took over two years to resolve, and 35% indicated that their largest matter lasted for more than five years.
- Data collection volumes are growing. The proportion of panelists whose average ESI collection per matter was larger than 2.5TB increased 18 points from 19% of panelists in the 2008 study to 37% of panelists in the 2009 study.
- E-discovery budgets are flat or decreasing. 36% of respondents said their budgets were flat and 42% said their e-discovery budgets were declining.
If none of this is surprising, it is helpful to have it backed by some statistics. Read the rest of this entry »
Anacomp are running a panel in the New York suite at the Hilton on Tuesday 2 February at 10:30 AM. I will not, unfortunately, be there, because I am on another platform at the same time.
The title is What’s next: emerging technology and a defensible process in 2010 and beyond and it is to be moderated by Jeff Friedman of Anacomp with panellists including:
- Chuck Kellner, Vice President Consulting for eDiscovery of Anacomp
- Michael Shannon, CIO of Dechert LLP
- David Baldwin, Litigation Support Manager of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.
The session led by Chuck Kellner at the Masters Conference was one of the most interesting ones there, with its focus very much on practical issues. Anacomp is a consulting business as well as the software company behind the review platform CaseLogistix. With a technology provider, an information officer and a litigation support manager on the panel, we can expect input covering every angle.
I have already mentioned one of the four panels which Stratify is running on Tuesday, 2 February in the Sutton Parlor Center Room at the Hilton in New York. The sessions are as follows:
- 8.30 Can we have our cake and eat it, too? Cooperation vs. zealous advocacy
- 10.15 How much justice can we afford? Rescuing civil justice from the costs of eDiscovery
- 12.45 Is the tail wagging the dog? Winning on the law instead of winning on eDiscovery
- 2.30 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? International judges panel comparing different legal systems and eDiscovery approaches Read the rest of this entry »
Epiq Systems are running three panels on Tuesday, 2 February at LegalTech. They take place in Concourse G at the Hilton New York as follows:
- 9:00 Achieving a Cost Efficient, Defensible Document Review
- 10:00 Best Practices for Successful Multinational E-Discovery
- 11:00 Implementing and Using Joint Repositories
The full list is here.
I am the moderator of the panel Best Practices for Successful Multinational E-Discovery which comprises a mixture of people I know well and those whom I do not know at all. They are:
- Kirby Behre, Partner, Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP
- David Kessler, Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
- Browning Marean, Senior Counsel, DLA Piper US LLP
- Steven Whitaker, Senior Master of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
- Greg Wildisen, International Managing Director, Epiq Systems
I do not anticipate that we will run short of things to say, not least because the decision in AccessData v Alste (see my post about it ) has brought back onto the agenda the continuing conflict between US data collection requirements and EU data protection laws. Since one of our number, Senior Master Whitaker, is responsible for Hague Convention matters for England and Wales, we can expect a lot of interest in this session.
Is the rest of the ediscovery world really ten years behind the US? Perhaps it is Judge Scheindlin’s recent strictures which put the US so far ahead of the rest of us in the proportionate search for justice and truth.
There are those who say that one should never look back, and that the past has no lessons for us. I do not underestimate the value of anticipating what is round the corner but, since my degree was in history, I do not underestimate either the value of understanding the past as a component in anticipating the future.
It is one of the truisms of life – of personal life as well as business life – that one underestimates the rate of progress from this point on. We think each year that we have reached a plateau from which culture, business and technological change will advance only slowly. Those who predict rapid change are assumed either to be cranks or to have something to sell. The fact that this is actually true of many prophets (whether of doom or of beneficial change) does not get us away from the certainty that the rate of change is increasing. Read the rest of this entry »
I was speaking in Singapore when news broke of e.law’s acquisition of CCH Workflow Solutions. It added to my general impression (which I was bold enough to turn into a prediction) that the Asia-Pacific region was the place to watch for 2010.
The months following the merger of two businesses are not the best time to keep in touch with people, and although I have exchanged a few messages with Allison Stanfield and Scott Gillard, both of whom I knew pre-acquisition, I have not really kept up with how things have worked out since the acquisition completed towards the end of November, beyond hearing that the multiple locations which the combined business now has, with offices and service centres throughout Australia and Asia, are very busy (I did pick up someone’s Google search for < Allison Stanfield Antarctica > but when I checked, that was about something which e.law had sponsored, not a new office). Read the rest of this entry »
A series of announcements from Autonomy coincide with what I see as the coming developments in the UK and elsewhere, enabling the lawyers to work collaboratively with clients.
As one would expect, Autonomy has come up with a series of announcements in advance of LegalTech. One of them is about the large number of awards – six in all – which they are to be given by Law Technology News on LegalTech’s opening Monday evening.
The others are about three product launches – DSMail , a self-service archiving solution for email management, governance and ediscovery, iManage ConflictsManager, which enables law firms to streamline the management of their conflicts of interest process, and the Autonomy eDiscovery Appliance which combines early case assessment (ECA) and legal hold capabilities. Read the rest of this entry »
An article by George Rudoy on the Georgetown Law site, which includes some input from me, reawakens the debate about certification of those who work in eDiscovery. Education on this subject was a key recommendation of the recent UK Jackson Report and I am (as you might expect) an enthusiast for it. Why am I against certification?
One of the key topics of 2009 in the US eDiscovery world was the extent to which it is desirable, helpful or necessary to establish a scheme for certification of those engaged in litigation support and eDiscovery. George Rudoy, Director of Global Practice Technology & Information Services at Shearman & Sterling LLP, is well-known for his role in practical education, and has just published an article whose title eDiscovery certification — reality or myth? implies that the subject is not as straightforward as one might hope. Who would argue against education of those engaged in the high-value and risk-fraught business of electronic discovery, or electronic disclosure as it is in the UK? Read the rest of this entry »
Those from the UK who were confined to barracks last year and unable to go to LegalTech may be glad of a reminder that one must now apply in advance under the Visa Waiver Program via ESTA, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
The link above is direct to the official site – there are several sites which look “official” but which offer a service whose value is hard to discern. If you have internet access you can complete the form yourself, and if you do not you won’t see the sites anyway. Read the rest of this entry »
The broad idea about recovery of the costs of litigation is that the so-called “English Rule” allows a successful party to recover his costs from the loser, whereas the costs of US litigation lie where they fall. It is not as simple as that – but this post is not an attempt to unravel the subject.
There is some doubt as to the extent to which a successful party to UK litigation will get back the costs, however reasonably incurred, in using external help to handle disclosure. There is little doubt that he should, it is just that evidence of actual outcomes is hard to find – the question came up at a recent meeting of the London Solicitors Litigation Association where no-one present had experience one way or the other. Read the rest of this entry »
I try to avoid spending too much time at LegalTech looking at applications. I am much more interested in talking and listening to people, and three days is just not long enough to fit everything in. I generally limit my viewing to those whom I know or those who have something particularly new or exciting to offer, particularly if relevant to the UK market. Inevitably, they all think that their latest addition to functionality is both new AND exciting, and all reckon that their new release is just what the UK needs, including some who could not find the UK on an atlas.
I will go and see Nuix 3, however, partly for its own sake and partly to catch up with Nuix CEO Eddie Sheehy whom I met in Sydney at last year’s Ark Group conference there – one of those people who pours out ideas and enthusiasm in a way which, I suspect, would-be buyers find both infectious and persuasive. Read the rest of this entry »
Almost everybody who tweets about eDiscovery offered links to Craig Ball’s article called E-Discovery for Everybody: the Edna Challenge. In it, Craig sought the input of several influential players in the market on behalf of Edna who needed to undertake electronic discovery of a not insignificant collection of documents with only a small budget. The suggested remedies ranged from Nuix (a Craig Ball favourite) down to the suggestion that Edna “blow her budget on alcohol and amphetamines”.
Everyone facing e-Discovery / e-Disclosure on a small budget should read this article, including those in the UK, and I will come back to it in due course.
Another decision of a US court shows the supremacy of the US courts over EU laws, at least as seen from the US. It doubtless plays well in Utah, but is probably bad news for US evidence-collection in the long term.
Before I begin, it would be kind to explain my title for those who are not au fait with recent US cases on data collection in Europe and with the claimed supremacy of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure over EU data protection laws. In ordinary parlance, a “global power” is what the USA sees itself as. Nobody argues with that although, as events unfold before the Chilcot Inquiry into the decision to join America in the Iraq war, we do not share Tony Blair’s view that our relative status requires us to yap support like a sycophantic poodle whenever America condescends to speak to us. Access to data needs no explanation but, curiously, gives rise to much the same feeling in Europe vis à vis the US. By chance, the two most recent cases involving the claimed supremacy of American courts over trifling matters like EU data protection law are called, respectively, In Re Global Power Equipment Group, Inc and AccessData v Alste (see as to the first of these cases a helpful article by Morgan Lewis called French Blocking Statute still gets no respect from US court). Read the rest of this entry »
The UK’s appetite for stories and comment about outsourcing remains undimmed. A a long article in The Times on 15 January carried the title Brief for India’s outsourcing lawyers: keep it cheap. Ron Friedmann of outsourcers Integreon, an astute observer of the international outsourcing market, wonders what prompts this show of UK interest in outsourcing with, he reckons, at least one article a week in the British legal press. I am not the only one to have invoked the traditional attributes of Lemmngs on this subject (see Georgetown Law: to Insource or to Outsource by George Rudoy). A more realistic and less clichéd reaction would be that the subject has grown slowly in importance in the US and arrived fully-formed in the UK. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the best panels at the Masters Conference in Washington last year was the Women Thought Leader Panel: The Art of Negotiating E-Discovery moderated by Caitlin Murphy of CT Summation and including Shawnna Childress of LECG, co-founder of Women in Discovery. I introduced Shawnna to HHJ Simon Brown QC and she pinned a pink W badge to his lapel, thus making him a member of her gang – a role he has pursued zealously ever since back in the UK,
There have been several good consequences and possible outcomes from that, one of which is that IQPC are running an extended streamed session with Women in eDiscovery at their usually well-attended London information retention conference on 18-19 May, which Judge Brown will address. I will come back to all that in due course.
There is a similar session at LegalTech in New York on Tuesday 2 February. Again moderated by Shawnna Childress, the panel will include Honorable Katharine S. Hayden, U.S. District Judge, US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Maura R. Grossman of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Carmen Oveissi Field of Daylight Forensic & Advisory, LLC.
That, alas, overlaps with Stratify’s judicial session, which I will certainly attend because two English judges are taking part, and with a meeting, so I will not be able to attend. If it is as good as the one in Washington, it will be well worth going to.
I missed the new Ontario E-Discovery Rules of Civil Procedure which came into effect on 1 January. By “missed”, I mean that I knew about them but decided that it was a topic important enough to be put on one side until I had time to review them properly. That is not going to be this week, so instead I refer you to the thoughtful and well-hyperlinked commentary Ontario Rules of Civil procedure on e-Discovery come into effect by Ledjit whose Dominic Jaar I hope to see at LegalTech. Read the rest of this entry »
Guidance Software has released EnCase E-Discovery 4, which offers a pre-collection analytics capability as well as the ability to analyse and review ESI throughout the key discovery processes – during a legal hold, during forensic data collection, post- collection, during and after processing and on into first-pass review. This brings all these phases within the reach of an in-house team – and since that seems to be the way the world is going, the release is timely.
Guidance Software is getting good at using alternative forms of media to get information out to the world – I wrote approvingly about a video on EnCase Portable (see Show me more like this) last August because it showed a hands-on guy getting his hands on an application and showing us how to use it. Read the rest of this entry »
The Posse List is running a new series called “Data! Data! Data!” — Cures for a General Counsel’s ESI nightmares. The commentary, as always, is to the point.
Of yet more interest is the series of interviews in which they are building up. At the time of writing, we have interviews with Andy Wilson of Logik and Tim Williams of Index Engines amongst others. We are promised more, including Ron Friedmann of Integreon, Deborah Baron of Autonomy, Nigel Murray of Trilantic, Virginia Henschel and Rob Robinson of Applied Discovery, Mary Mack of Fios, and Adam Cohen of FTI Technology.
Once a decade, we get a large and influential report on Civil Procedure in the Courts of England & Wales. Once a year, the largest and most important e-discovery conference takes place in New York. Did they have to take place within a few days of each other?
In mid-September 1066, Harold Hardraada of Norway pitched up on the Yorkshire coast with an invading army. The English King Harold set off from London with his army and smashed the invading forces at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Three days later, Duke William of Normandy landed at Pevensey on the south coast. King Harold was back in London by 6 October and the Battle of Hastings took place on 14 October. Nineteen days elapsed between these two battles at opposite ends of the country.
That is one day more than the interval between the publication of Lord Justice Jackson’s Final Report on Civil Litigation Costs and the opening of LegalTech. It is better than having to trail your army up and down the A1, but you would not want to be the person who is expected to comment on both, would you?
It is hard to underestimate the interest shown in Jackson in the UK. 3000 people signed up to watch Dominic Regan’s webcast on the afternoon of the launch. I published 2,500 words on it that night (see First thoughts on the eDisclosure implications of the Jackson Report); the second edition of the LexisNexis book on Electronic Evidence, for which I have written a section, was waiting to go to press and had to be updated in a hurry; I have in hand a big paper whose final form must reflect the e-Disclosure sections of the Jackson report; a date in mid-February is fixed for recording a podcast — “this leaves plenty of time to do some prep” says CPDCast optimistically; conference organisers want to fine-tune their agendas; and then the editor of a prestigious legal computer magazine asks for a couple of thousand words on Jackson. This is all good stuff, and I could not be happier than in complying cheerfully with all these requests. Read the rest of this entry »
The latest edition of Charles Christian’s American Legal Technology Insider is now out and can be downloaded from here.
Its author has been laid low by successive waves of flu in various varieties and this edition is slimmer than usual – as perhaps is Charles after his ordeals, which have included having to deal with NHS Direct. This, for those of you whose government did not actively but accidentally encourage its doctors to opt out of out-of-hours medical cover, is a kind of call centre where people keen to learn English-as-a-foreign-language get paid to polish their conversational skills whilst interposing an additional administrative layer between sick people and someone with medical skills. Interestingly, they use Twitter to say things like “Sorry you feel that way Charles. How do you think we can improve?” and “Well, if you’d like to complain, or you have constructive criticism you want to share, do follow the link I sent”, though I am not convinced that they will follow the suggestions which ensued.
The useful content (of this edition of Insider, not NHS Direct’s advice) is enhanced still further by the Dilbert cartoon which appears at the end – a conversation which, I fear, we will see replicated in UK courts as costs management becomes more common.
A reminder that Anacomp, owners of review platform CaseLogistix, have a live webinar today, Wednesday 20 January, called Beyond the Buzz: Measuring and Managing eDiscovery with Early Case Assessment.
Tom O’Connor and Chuck Kellner, along with Chris Smith, Senior Product Manager at Anacomp will discuss:
- What is ECA? Perspectives from Then and Now
- The Goals
- Measurement and Management
- ECA as a Managed Process
- Achieving the Desired Outcome: How ECA Supports the Other eDiscovery Phases.
Anacomp now has a library of litigation support webinars which provide a painless way to absorb useful information from industry experts.
We have seen some high-profile mistakes in the discovery world recently. We should discriminate between incompetence and stupidity or oversight. A mistake is not an ediscovery mistake just because it involved electronic documents.
The mirth generated at the expense of the already much- despised OFSTED over its “stuck in the photocopier” excuse for non-disclosure has been eclipsed in Australia by the discovery that two parties have spent five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting over the wrong document.
The story is found in an article called Farcical End to 5 Year Lawsuit (thanks to Jonathan Maas of DLA Piper for spotting and tweeting about this). The claim involved an allegedly defamatory press release which, on the second day of the trial, was discovered to have been merely a draft. It transpired that the plaintiff had complained about the terms of the draft and that what was actually published was a moderated version. The action had proceeded on the basis that it was the draft which had been published. The defendant, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, had not only admitted in its pleadings that the document had been published but had made an offer to settle the case. Read the rest of this entry »
The speed with which I got reactions to a tweet of Saturday showed the power of this medium. That is great if that is what you want, as I did, less so if that was not the intention. My arm is fine, thanks.
It was a short, pissed-off sort of tweet, which read Charlie Dale has broken his arm falling on the ice – just great for a drummer. Most of my tweets are business-related – they are either about eDiscovery / eDisclosure or are meant for people I know, most of whom are friendly members of the eDiscovery world. I put a measured amount of personal information (that is, information about me as opposed to the market) because a commentator’s comments are more valuable if you learn something about him – what you know about his background, prejudices and cultural hinterland affect the weight you give to his observations. Besides, if all I did was copy and paste press releases, no-one would come and read what I write. Read the rest of this entry »
Good eDiscovery marketing must give would-be clients useful information and help, not just shout “buy me” with a list of functions and benefits. All forms of media must be pressed into service, and value lies more in helpful content than in glossy presentation.
We are suddenly hearing a lot about Applied Discovery, which has been in the electronic discovery market since 1998 and part of LexisNexis since 2003. I will be meeting them at LegalTech in New York at the beginning of February and will find out more about the products and services, not least the introduction of a new Global Alliance Partner Program whose aim is to deliver complex discovery services worldwide to law firms and corporations. The press release is here and there are links from it to pages about the products and services which Applied Discovery offers.
What interests me for present purposes is the pure marketing angle. Here is a company which has been around forever, doing solid business in the e-discovery market, so far as I am aware, but not really attracting attention – my attention, anyway. Suddenly its name is everywhere. Wearing my marketing hat, I have to wonder why. Read the rest of this entry »
The technical difficulties with the New Law Journal’s free Jackson webcast derived, apparently, from the best of reasons – a very large number of people wanted to watch it (that is what happens when the Dale publicity machine gets going on your behalf, as it did for this show).
The delay in going live meant that I could not watch it all – I had my own 2,500 words to get out on the subject yesterday. What I saw was very good, with Professor Dominic Regan able, as usual, to get the best out of his panel on a subject for which he evinces a passion to match his knowledge.
I dropped Dominic a line last night to congratulate him and to see if the webcast would be available for those who missed it yesterday. He tells me that it is – go to New Law Journal and follow the link – and that it will go on YouTube at the weekend.
The very wide interest in Lord Justice Jackson’s Report reflects not merely its importance but the fact that almost no corner of the litigation field is untouched by it. Visits to my blog exceeded my previous record (almost by 2x) before I had even published my own article on Jackson.
The sections relating to disclosure and e-disclosure in the Jackson Report are a call to action for lawyers and judges without waiting for any actual amendment to the Rules. The key element which Jackson identifies is education, and we can get on with that tomorrow.
The 558 pages of Lord Justice Jackson’s Final Report on Litigation Costs have hit my screen with a thump. My focus inevitably is on the sections relating to disclosure and e-disclosure between pages 364 and 374, and on the section on disclosure in the Case Management section beginning on page 275. As with his Preliminary Report, Lord Justice Jackson devotes a section to e-Disclosure separately from the section on disclosure itself, that is, the mechanics are distinguished from the scope of disclosure. Lord Justice Jackson’s concise style means that a great deal is packed into these few pages. It is all good stuff. Read the rest of this entry »
This is now running at http://www.lexisauditorium.com/NLJJackson
Those of you struggling to connect to the New Law Journal’s site to hear the much-hyped webcast with Lord Jackson (much-hyped by me quite apart from the NLJ), may like to know that the rest of us have the same problem.
There seems to be a database connection issue, which existed when I tested it first thing today but righted itself during the morning. Now it has gone again. I do not think this is just because thousands of us are trying – that would not have been the case earlier.
Another use for Twitter emerged during the NLJ’s database connection debâcle – it took seconds to hear from four or five people with the same problem, which at least showed each of us that the problem was not just with our own connections. The final message in the sequence read “Sod the webcast – need some lunch”.
Quite what it will do for those whom we seek to convert to technology that this apparently simple task foundered on connection issues is hard to predict. My screen turned pink at one point and displayed a stream of messages announcing “MySQL server has gone away” – along with the audience, alas.
Let us hope that the NLJ managed to press the “record” button on the tape recorder all right, and that they will offer us all (and not just their subscribers) a chance to catch up with the webcast as a reward for our attempted diligence.
This is the full text of New Law Journal’s latest reminder about today’s webcast at 1.00pm GMT
New Law Journal will host a live panel discussion on the key proposals and practical implications of Lord Justice Jackson’s final report on civil costs litigation on www.newlawjournal.co.uk after the official press conference on 14 January.
To take part, simply go to www.newlawjournal.co.uk on 14 January 2010 before 1pm and click on the link in the featured article about the webcast. There will then be a space for you to enter your name and email address and a link which says ‘view now’ and this will take you to the webcast video.
Viewing tips: To ensure you can view the webcast please test your network at www.lexisauditorium.com/mptest.aspx before the webcast starts. The VoD version will be available immediately after the live event for NLJ subscribers
Professor Dominic Regan, a leading authority on civil procedure and costs, will chair the free webcast.
- His Honour Michael Cook, author of Cook on Costs
- David Greene, president of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, partner at Edwin Coe
- Bob Musgrove, chief executive of the Civil Justice Council
- Nick Bevan, senior counsel, Bond Pearce
The panel will offer immediate, expert analysis on the key points raised by the final Jackson report and predict the potential impact of his recommendations on the world of costs.
Subjects covered will include privacy considerations and EU data protection rules, compliance with them, and the proper response by corporations to US litigation and regulatory matters involving data held in the EU.
These subjects increase in importance each year. US courts and regulators are becoming more demanding whilst, simultaneously, EU countries become more and more protective of data held within their borders. Read the rest of this entry »
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel has published an interview based on a long conversation which I had with them before Christmas. The title is Trainable E-Discovery Software Offers Cost Savings and the subject is Equivio>Relevance.
The main theme of the interview was the extent to which lawyers can rely on modern software applications to help them get quickly to what is important from a large collection of documents. This is not just a matter of having a “defensible” process in the sense of one which can be justified to opponents or to the court. The first person who must be convinced is the lawyer himself. Before any lawyer will delegate any part of the process to a machine (for that is how many of them see it) he must be convinced that the result will be at least as good as would be obtained by manual review. In practice, of course, manual review is neither practicable nor all that it is cracked up to be in terms of its accuracy, even before the comparative costs are brought into account – manual review means lawyer time, and that means expense. The technology discussed in the interview cuts through much of that expense, to say nothing of the elapsed time to a conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »
Those who come here often will know that I was in Singapore in October last year shortly after the introduction of their Practice Direction No 3 on Discovery and Inspection of Electronically Stored Information . I had been invited to speak at and to co-chair the LexisNexis conference there, and Senior Master Whitaker was in Singapore anyway at the invitation of the Singapore courts. My article about it LexisNexis eDiscovery Conference in Singapore made it clear that I expected Singapore to become a source of interesting and positive developments in the e-disclosure / e-discovery market.
Singapore is of particular interest in that, whilst it clings (quite rightly) to the proper term “discovery”, its discovery rules are firmly based on the disclosure rules of England & Wales. It has the luxury of taking the best of developments in other jurisdictions which, whatever they call the process, require the preservation and exchange of documents. Read the rest of this entry »
A new survey relies on the ability to analyse Twitter usage, and Twitter has begun a drive to make money from its data feeds. Both point towards the use of Twitter data as discoverable information.
I wrote an article last week called Tweeting weights and weighing Tweets which described how I use Twitter both as a source of information and as a means of telling readers about my own articles. Amongst the benefits, I said, was the development of ad hoc communities of interest in which formal introductions and agendas were unnecessary to get a discussion going.
I also referred in passing to the inconvenience caused by the UK’s pointless use of the word “disclosure” in place of the term “discovery” used in the rest of the world. That includes amongst its by-products the need to flag tweets and other web content with both terms – to call Twitter’s own search tools “rudimentary” is over-polite.
A strand of correspondence opened up on Twitter in the impromptu way which Twitter encourages. Ron Friedmann @ronfriedmann of Integreon had talked light-heartedly of a “tweet weighter” which, I suggested, could be used to discriminate between a tweeter’s valuable thoughts on e-discovery and his ruminations on his football team, mistress or illnesses. Craig Carpenter @craigrcarpenter of Recommind popped into the correspondence, and I suggested that Recommind ought to run with the idea. I wanted a cut, I said, for “turning Ron’s stroke of genius into a marketable idea and pitching it to a major player in search”. Read the rest of this entry »
Every writer aspires to have his work described as “interesting and funny”, particularly if it is simultaneously accepted as dealing seriously with weighty matters. The aim is to get the ediscovery messages past the hold music and encourage people to listen to them.
One is always grateful, of course, when other commentators pick up on one’s articles and pass them on to a wider audience. I follow up incoming links to my blog posts, mainly to make sure that I can reply if someone expresses disagreement with something I have written.
Following one such link last night, I came upon the following heading on Gabe’s Guide:
Chris Dale Promises to be Twice as Exciting as the Hold Music From Your Cable/Cellphone Company
What have I ever done to Gabe to warrant that? My last reference to him was nice enough, giving him a link on the strength of a mutual interest in the depth of snow on tables. He redeemed himself, fortunately, by his ensuing reference to the post to which he refers:
Interesting and funny post about Anacomp’s renewed focus on e-discovery from Chris Dale: Read the rest of this entry »
I drew attention recently to an article on outsourcing from a law firm perspective, written by George Rudoy on 1 December on the Georgetown Law site and called To Insource or to Outsource. I suggested that it was worth reading, not simply because of George Rudoy’s position (he is Director of Global Practice Technology and Information Services at Sherman and Sterling LLP) but also because of his long-standing role in education on a discovery matters. The article focused on the factors to be weighed in deciding what work to handle in house and what to send out and, more specifically, on the technology, strategy, process and skills needed to handle each new case appropriately.
Now Debra Rozier of Integreon has picked up on the same article, agreeing generally with George Rudoy’s assessment and adding “two more cautionary notes of our own, one around technology, the other around pricing.” Read the rest of this entry »
I am a relatively recent convert to Twitter and am hooked on a number of levels. These are primarily business-driven, in the hard-nosed sense that I acquire information from others and disseminate things of my own – the publication of a new article, for example – in seconds.
As a source of information, it is unbeatable for the pithy summaries which the medium enforces and which, in the hands of a good summariser, can keep you up to date even if you do not read the majority of the articles linked from the tweets. I depend (in no particular order) on Rob Robinson http://twitter.com/complexd, Charles Christian http://twitter.com/ChristianUncut, Integreon http://twitter.com/IntegreonEDD, Ron Friedmann http://twitter.com/ronfriedmann, The PosseList http://twitter.com/PosseList and Craig Carpenter http://twitter.com/craigrcarpenter amongst others to pull in interesting stuff about and beyond their own immediate areas of special interest. Read the rest of this entry »
My apologies to those of delicate sensibilities who might take this amiss. It is, I accept, insensitive of me to do this to you at the beginning of an article. There is no choice, I am afraid – I must return to the Ofsted “stuck in the photocopier” story. Did you think I was referring to my apparently uncouth title? If you visit an Anglo-Saxon site you must expect some Anglo-Saxon language.
My heading made itself, anyway. Craig Ball is the well-known US e-discovery consultant and fearsome commentator, a Special Master and a Forensic Examiner. He and I are allies in the battle on both sides of the Atlantic to increase understanding of the rules, and of the technology available to aid compliance with the rules. Ed Balls is the egregious Children’s Minister whose intemperate dismissal of Sharon Shoesmith, Director of Children’s Services at Haringey Council, gave rise to the proceedings in which the “stuck in the photocopier” excuse was raised. Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, a party (along with Haringey and Ed Balls) to Shoesmith’s application for judicial review of the decision to dismiss her, and the outfit whose capacious photocopier was the alleged hiding place for 2000 missing pages. Balls-up is a kind way of referring to the daily conduct of entities like Ofsted, as well as to the failure of the long-term mission implicit in its name – educational standards have plummeted in the last decade, and Ofsted’s spineless incompetence is partly to blame. Read the rest of this entry »
The friendly rivalry which exists between US and UK e-disclosure experts and commentators goes beyond questions like “Who can produce the most ludicrous excuse for non-compliance with the rules?”
Over the Christmas break, Gabe Acevedo of Gabe’s Guide to the e-Discovery Universe published a photograph of the table outside his window, using the depth of snow on it as an index of the overnight fall. We may not quite have matched that depth last night, but we are catching up:
This morning’s weather is a severe test of resolution for one who likes to work at an open window:
Transport is something of a problem round here just now. If all else fails, these trusty steeds are a couple of minutes away:
Port Meadow is a dusty plain in summer and a lake in winter. Today it is a snowy waste land:
Normal service, in the form of words rather than pictures, will be resumed shortly.
Anacomp has sold its MVS Division to DecisionOne in order to focus on eDiscovery with its document review application CaseLogistix and the services which go with it. 2010 should be the right year to concentrate on eDiscovery
You would probably expect me to be an advocate of specialisation, and of sticking to what you know about. What do you do?, people ask. I am involved in a small sub-set of the procedural requirements for civil litigation, I say. They yawn. There’s more, I say. I know about a specific aspect of the use of technology for information retrieval and review. They look around for someone else to talk to. No, listen, I say, the intersection between these two subjects is really interesting and important. Their head hits the table. There is only a handful of us in the world who just write and talk about it, I add, as I try to shake them awake. Gone.
I exaggerate, a little. That is, however, the way the world is going as life becomes more complicated and information-rich. If you practice law or medicine, manufacture things, teach or join the military, the trend is towards finding something you are good at and which people want to buy, and doing it well. There are exceptions – people or businesses who find skills or niches which complement what they do already or to which they can bring a team and a process which they have developed in their main business. The word consolidation can imply two opposite ideas – adding complementary business areas or bringing your main fire-power to bear on one target. Read the rest of this entry »
There are parallels between the reaction to terror attacks and other threats and the handling of e-disclosure for litigation. Collections of masses of data become not merely a substitute for information but places to lose it, and the real objective is missed. The value of thinking gets lost in the mechanics of data collection.
I am not averse, as you will have noticed, to drawing parallels between those who govern us and are responsible for our security and welfare, and many of those who give disclosure of documents. An often obsessive regard for rule and regulation is unmatched by any great application of thought, and data is collected without considerations of expense or inconvenience or with any regard for how it might best be used as information. The collection of the data can become an alternative to the real objective, and the availability of technology often becomes the driver – since we can now collect so much more data, the collection itself becomes the objective, obscuring the actual reason why the data was required in the first place. Quite quickly, the data becomes not a source of information but a substitute for it or, even worse, the place where it is buried.
In the context of e-disclosure for litigation, I am as keen as anyone (and perhaps keener than most) on both the rules and the use of technology. I take care, however, to emphasise that both are subordinate to the objective of achieving justice. The Civil Procedure Rules begin with the overriding objective, whose function is expressed in its name; it overrides everything else. The fact that we have technology capable of handling vast volumes of data does not mean that we must feed it everything we can find – that does not just cost money (and unnecessary expense is a bar to justice) but actually obscures our purpose by concealing the things which matter. My mantra here is that the most important technology lies between our ears, and that both the obsessive imposition of the rules and an excessive reliance on technology causes disengagement of the brain and the missing of the point. Read the rest of this entry »