It is Friday night as I start writing this. I am in BA’s lounge at Washington Dulles Airport after the two-day Georgetown Advanced eDiscovery Institute. There I took part in an international panel, talked and/or listened to the Who’s Who of US ediscovery including a dozen judges, and heard much that was thoughtful and interesting. Comparisons with the UK were inevitable, both those which were expressed in the sessions and those which crossed my mind as I talked and listened. No one is keeping the score, but I think we ended up about even.
First things first. The week began with a conference in London, the Thomson Reuters 6th Annual eDisclosure Forum co-chaired by Browning Marean of DLA Piper US, George Socha and me. Three of us took part in panels at both conferences – Browning Marean, Laura Kibbe of Epiq Systems and me. As you will see from my report of Georgetown, there is increasing crossover between the US and the UK in relation to electronic disclosure / discovery. This may seem obvious – we are all facing the same problems, and suppliers like Epiq are active in both – but the gap is narrowing as we move from dismissal of each other’s approach to a greater willingness to listen to what is being said on the other side of the Atlantic.
The speakers included Senior Master Whitaker, HHJ Simon Brown QC, Mark Surguy of Pinsent Masons, Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy, Laura Kibbe and Deborah Blaxell of Epiq Systems, Ted O’Neil of EMC Kazeon, Bill Onwusah and Matt Davis of Hogan Lovells, Anne Marie Gibbs of Daegis, Jeremy Marshall of Irwin Mitchell and Simon Clark of Pfizer. The audience included several in-house litigation support managers, some suppliers, and lawyers from firms and government, many of them introduced from in-house sessions which I do around the country. My role is to introduce all these players to each other, and in opening the conference I began by asking the audience members to speak to someone whom they did not know. The resulting hubbub was gratifying, and I will do this again. Read the rest of this entry »