Short eDiscovery updates to 29 September

October 1, 2012

I was at a Washington conference for much of the week ending 22 September and the updates for that week are correspondingly reduced in number. This selection covers two weeks’ of my Google+ updates. Some of them relate to webinars etc which were pending at the time of the G+ notice but whose date has passed by the time the summary is published. In many cases, the link will take you to a recording.

Some of these updates relate to future conferences. There is a list of these on my web site. Read the rest of this entry »


Short eDiscovery Updates to 9 September 2012

September 17, 2012

This adopts my experimental new format which bundles my Google Plus posts for a period (not necessarily a fixed period) and makes their text available here, together with links to the G+ posts, to the source and to some of the names mentioned in the post.

______________________________

In Re: Actos – Does New Federal Litigation Clarify Predictive Coding In eDiscovery?

Article by Matt Nelson of Symantec concludes that the answer to the question posed above is “no” because:

While Actos represents another step in the evolution of predictive coding, the protocol explained in the Order does not provide enough transparency to ensure the overall integrity of the predictive coding process.

Published: 2 September 2012

G+ Post | Link to Source | Clearwell eDiscovery Platform

______________________________ Read the rest of this entry »


Relativity – channelling the enthusiasm at kCura

April 5, 2012

kCura’s growth prompts thoughts about how companies and industries (and empires and whole civilisations come to that) start and grow, and how they must keep moving forward to stay at the top.

The accepted wisdom, promoted by Gartner in its Magic Quadrant for E-Discovery Software of May 2011, is that there will be no new entrants into the eDiscovery / eDisclosure software market. A number of factors appear to support this idea: the cost of entry is too high; corporate counsel and law firms are, in general, looking to reduce the number of providers with whom they work; whilst the technology improves every year, the improvements are refinements of a by now fairly standard set of core technologies, with attention focused on wringing more speed, more accuracy, and greater usability out of them; the trend is towards consolidation, as players merge or acquire each other, and any new players will come in by buying an existing one;  there are not enough skilled people to float a new eDiscovery player; the emphasis is on better ways of meeting clients’ objectives, of becoming more consultative and of improving both the user experience and support rather than on inventing new technology.

Oxford CanalIt would be foolish, of course, to look too far ahead in this as in any technology-driven industry. I live by a canal, for example, which, when it was completed in 1790, was the last word in transport infrastructure, the latest venture in a short and intensive spate of development which had underpinned fast industrial and sociological change, making it possible for the first time to bring food, fuel and raw materials into the cities which grew as a result, and to carry the products of the factories out to new markets. On the other side of my house is the railway, which reached Oxford 50 years later and  made the canal more or less redundant overnight. Over the next 120 years, railway technology barely changed – engines became faster and more reliable, and infrastructure and safety were improved, but the pioneers would have recognised the railways which they invented right down to the point when they were wiped out in their turn by cars, trucks and buses. Other industries show similar patterns.

Much the same happens with companies. New players appear, work hard at developing new ideas and grow, becoming, perhaps, the industrial giants of their time, before either falling apart under their own, by then ponderous, weight, or being overtaken by more agile rivals. The history of the British Empire followed the same pattern, and it seems likely that the supremacy of the whole Western world is going the same way. Furthermore, the wheels are turning faster, and one can go from nothing to domination and back again in a very short space. Longevity lies in constant reinvention and in retaining the ability to keep the freshness of youthful success whilst expanding and prospering.

I have not looked back at my archive, but I suspect that I have written in these terms before about kCura, the makers of the Relativity eDiscovery software for analysis, review and production.  The earliest reference I made to Relativity was in July 2008, when I first met its founder and CEO, Andrew Sieja.  He came to see me in Oxford, and we walked up the canal and by the railway which gave me the parallels which appear above. If I had had any spare money, I think I would have invested in kCura on the strength of his ambition to make it succeed. It was not the technology which would have parted me from my money –  Andrew may have known where that was going, but I certainly did not – but the ambitious yet wholly credible roadmap.  This is what I said at the time: Read the rest of this entry »


Recent eDiscovery Posts on Google Plus

March 16, 2012

Arguments continue as to the value of Google Plus as a FaceBook rival. I don’t much care about that, only about its ability to attract wider audiences. It is working for me (well, something is) and I continue to put short posts on my Google Plus page, cross-linked both from occasional summary posts here and from my web site.

Quite apart from the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) value, this allows me to cover a wide range of subjects and pick up more of the many useful articles which come by without triggering an email to my Blog subscribers with every addition.

Recent additions on Google Plus include the following:

Applied Discovery and Relativity announce strategic partnership

FTI Consulting, Guidance Software and Nuix in the Above the Law Research Corner

“Shit” e-mail drops midwife in the shit

IAAC Guide to Forensic Readiness for Organisations, Security Advisers and Lawyers

InfoRiskAwareness – Mark Surguy of Eversheds on Meaningless Information

Significant changes to Singapore eDiscovery Practice Direction

Taylor Wessing adds Singapore firm RHT to its network

Catalyst summarises Judge Peck’s Computer-Assisted Review primer

Recommind’s Howard Sklar on diminishing marginal returns in document review

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Who explains eDisclosure sources to the lawyers and the court?

December 16, 2011

An article by US lawyer and eDiscovery expert Jon Resnick of Applied Discovery has application in UK proceedings as well as in the US. Who on your side actually understands where the client’s data is and what is involved in collecting it?

I got an e-mail last night from Geoffrey Lambert in Melbourne whose opening line read simply “Stakhanovite!”. That, as many of you will know, is shorthand for “You have produced a lot today” and implicitly compared my published output (in fact the accumulation of several days’ dictation) with the work of Alexey Stakhanov who, on 19 September 1935, was reported as having mined 227 tonnes of coal in a single shift at the Ukraine city the which is now named after him. His accolades for this feat included the Order of Lenin and having his photograph on the cover of Time Magazine. Some said that the output may not have been entirely down to Stakhanov alone, but the feat was taken up by the USSR marketing machine as evidence of its citizens’ commitment to productivity.

I knew of Stakhanov, but looked him up anyway and then turned to the next item on my to-do list, a commentary on an article by Jon Resnick, Worldwide Vice President Field Operations and Marketing for Applied Discovery. Jon too is a man of prodigious output, with regular articles both on Applied Discovery’s blog and on the company’s Weekly Snapshot which, as I said in a recent article, is one of the more useful and comprehensive sources of regular eDiscovery information. An article by him also appeared on the Forbes web site recently. I have no idea if, as was said of Stakhanov, Jon has a team of willing helpers to do the research and proof-reading which is the writer’s equivalent of opening the seams and carrying away the coal – if so, perhaps he could lend me one, since the volume of material to write about at the moment far exceeds the time available to do it, and I don’t have a large marketing operation to run in addition, as Jon does. All in all, Jon Resnick (in the top photograph below) deserves the comparison with Alexey Stakhanov (the lower photograph) more than I do. Read the rest of this entry »


Equivio adds Applied Discovery, LDM Global and others to a growing list

November 22, 2011

It can be quite difficult keeping up with those who sponsor the eDisclosure Information Project, quite apart from the wider eDiscovery/eDisclosure market. Some of them seem to assume that I pick up news by some magical process; others broadcast little because they are just getting on with an increasing flow of work; yet others have so much news that it is hard to keep up with them. In parallel with market news comes an ever-denser flow of information and discussion about rules and cases, plus thoughtful analysis of the directions we should be going in to improve the eDiscovery process. It all gets filtered at this end anyway, not so much by my subjective view of what is important but because I feel I owe you more than merely copying and pasting press releases; that inevitably reduces the number of articles in a week, even without the interruption of six weeks’ near-continuous travel such as I have just completed.

Equivio sends out a regular update and keeps its press releases in good order on its website – perhaps this is what one should expect from a company which specialises in making it easy to find the information you actually want. Equivio also keeps what it calls an Installed Base page – the “growing list” referred to in my title. LDM Global similarly keeps me well informed, and nobody keeps up a better flow of information, both about its own activities and about the wider eDiscovery world, than Applied Discovery.

For today’s purposes, Equivio provides the connection between these very different companies. Equivio’s Relevance product is its contribution to the predictive coding, or Technology Assisted Review, market which is as significant in discussions about rules and procedure as it is in pure market terms. I will not stop here to explain why this technology, in its various forms from a growing number of providers, is exciting debate – I write about it a lot, and an article called Search, Forward by US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck (free registration required) suffices to explain why it is important (type the word “predictive” into the search box opposite for my own heavily hyperlinked articles on the subject).

Equivio was producing the tools to identify and eliminate duplicative and redundant data long before Equivio>Relevance was born, and was already well-known for its near-duplicate and e-mail threading software. These remain critical components in accelerating the review process by grouping together documents with common characteristics so that they can be reviewed together and, where appropriate, tagged en bloc. You do not need great technical knowledge as a lawyer conducting document review to appreciate the value of putting under one hand all documents whose content is very similar or which form part of the same e-mail thread. Read the rest of this entry »


Lawyers replaced by computers for ediscovery search – a retrospective

March 23, 2011

The dust is settling on the debate aroused by the John Markoff article in the New York Times of 4 March headed Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software. We can’t have that, so I thought I would keep the ball in play for a bit with a round-up of some of the comment stirred by the article. The consensus, for those in too much of a hurry to get to the end, is that the skills matter more than technology, as long as those skills include the ability to choose the right technology for the case.

As with all good journalism, the basic premise of the NYT article appears from the heading – technology is advancing at such a rate that the expensive (and profitable) contribution made to electronic discovery / disclosure by lawyers will become unnecessary. Computers, so the argument runs, will perform searches more efficiently, more reliably and at significantly lower cost than lawyers can achieve, so the demand for lawyer hours will decrease significantly with a consequent reduction in employment prospects for lawyers.

To recap, Ralph Losey was the first out of the traps with a contrary view. His article was headed NY Times Discovers eDiscovery, but Gets the Job Report Wrong. New, highly-skilled jobs will appear, he said, and the vast increase in electronic material will counter-balance new ways of increasing productivity; a wider range of cases will need this wider range of new skills. I took much the same line in my article King Ludd and the Lawyers – e-Discovery and the Luddite Fallacy which gave a quick tour of C19th economic history and listed a range of largely non-technical and non-legal skills such as project management. Steven Levy’s article Watson Takes on E-Discovery covered the change–adoption curve and suggested that the mere appearance of such an article in the NYT marked a transition from the innovators to the early adopters. Read the rest of this entry »


Lessons from Applied Discovery Proportionality panel in Toronto

October 31, 2010

It sounds a bit flippant to say that I went to Toronto for breakfast. It certainly would not do as an answer to the immigration official asking the purpose of my visit. Readers with long memories may recall two earlier occasions when I nearly made it to Canada and failed. Since then, I have been back to Australia, and spoken in Singapore and Hong Kong, leaving Canada as a big gap in my close-up view of the common law jurisdictions which require discovery of documents in litigation (the other gap is New Zealand, which I hope to remedy soon). I jumped at the chance when Applied Discovery invited me to a breakfast panel session in Toronto called Understanding Proportionality.

Canadian flag and CN TowerThe moderator was Crystal O’Donnell of Applied Discovery, whose white paper entitled Proportionate Litigation was launched at the event. What you need to know from that, by way of introduction, is the new Rule 1.04 s 1.1 which took effect on 1 January and which says this:

In applying these rules, the court shall make orders and give directions that are proportionate to the importance and complexity of the issues, and to the amount involved, in the proceeding.

If you are tempted to think that this is just a statement of the obvious, you may care to read the 17 pages which Lord Justice Jackson devoted to the subject of proportionality in his Final Report on Litigation Costs starting at page 27. He says this (at paragraph 5.16) à propos his proposed changes to the UK rules:

“The rules should also provide that the fact that costs were necessarily incurred does not make them proportionate. This should be stated explicitly….”.

Once you see a distinction between costs “reasonably incurred” and those which are “proportionate” you see more to proportionality than merely being reasonable.

Crystal O’Donnell had assembled a first-rate panel. Master Calum MacLeod of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice occupies a position as judicial thought-leader equivalent to that of Master Whitaker in the UK. Kelly Friedman of Ogilvy Renault is Chair of Sedona Canada. Susan Nickle is from Wortzman Nickle a specialist ediscovery practice which describes itself as “the go-to law firm in Canada, assisting corporations and their counsel to find practical ways to meet their ediscovery obligations”.

One of the themes running through the session was the need to find the “golden nuggets”. I propose to adopt the same approach to reporting on the session, picking out, without attribution, the passages with the widest general application. Unsurprisingly, they are ones which recur in every relevant jurisdiction. Read the rest of this entry »


A quick eDiscovery trip to Singapore

October 29, 2010

I got back at dawn this morning from the InnoXcell eDiscovery conference in Singapore. I was only there for the two days of the conference and had only just got back from a one day trip to Toronto to attend Applied Discovery’s breakfast seminar on proportionality. My notes about both will follow, together with a catch-up on what else has been happening. The eDiscovery / eDisclosure world is simultaneously expanding and getting smaller.

In discovery as in so many other things, it is often easier to get the hard things right whilst overlooking the easy ones. In the UK Shoesmith case, for example, the documents overlooked by OFSTED lay in a clearly-labelled folder in someone’s My Documents. One of the speakers at Applied Discovery’s session in Toronto last week drew a distinction between things which can be remedied, albeit at some expense, and things which cannot be put right once the critical moment has passed.

I feel much the same about the planning for some of my foreign trips. The hard things involve rounding up panels, preparing slides, organising flights and hotels, and making sure I take all the files and equipment needed to keep working whilst I am away. Inevitably one overlooks something easy – chargers are an obvious example, and I once discovered that a visa was required only when checking in at the airport. Things like this can usually be put right. This is the first time, however, that I have set off without the only thing which is actually irreplaceable – my passport.  What could be easier to remember or to pick up? My son got it to me in time.

Someone once coined a word to describe a place so attractive and accessible that everyone goes there, so making it neither attractive nor accessible. I cannot now remember what the word is, but I have discovered an equivalent concept in preparing to go away – the work needed to pack everything for working on a long flight is so knackering that you fall asleep on the plane and do none of it. I set off with laptop and iPad loaded with sources of articles and draft papers to write, and then slept from Berlin to Burma. There was not much catch-up time on in the 48 hours which separated my arrival in Singapore and my departure. Read the rest of this entry »


Proportionality making you think and making you laugh

October 22, 2010

My own notes on Applied Discovery’s excellent Toronto panel on proportionality are still in draft. Virginia Henschel,  Vice President of E-Discovery Affairs for Applied Discovery, has beaten me to it, and her report is here. It includes some useful links.

A different view on proportionality (or perhaps it is the same view differently expressed) comes from this week’s Case in Point cartoon from CaseCentral.

CaseCentral Case in Point Parking Ticket

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Sedona Conference Commentary on Proportionality in Electronic Discovery

October 15, 2010

As a shortcut to the Sedona Conference Commentary on Proportionality in Electronic Discovery, I refer you to the excellent  K & L Gates Electronic Discovery Law site  which gives a summary of the Sedona Conference’s eagerly awaited commentary on proportionality together with a link to it (login required). I have not yet read it myself, but the K & L Gates summary sets out what may appear to be statements of the obvious, with the general theme being that the costs of any step should be weighed against the likely benefit of taking that step. If they were in fact obvious, then many of us would be out of a job.

You may care to compare the last point “Technologies to reduce cost and burden should be considered in the proportionality analysis” with paragraph 6(2)of the new UK E-disclosure Practice Direction which says “Technology should be used in order to ensure that document management activities are undertaken efficiently and effectively”.

Are we all saying the same thing, then? Of course, but that it is because it is really too obvious to need saying at all. Why would one not use electronic means to handle electronic documents? There are various stages of denial here: at the bottom we have those who think that electronic documents can simply be ignored, dismissing the whole subject with an airy cry of  “it is disproportionate” whilst in fact having not the first clue as to either side – value and cost – of the proportionality equation;  next up are those who accept that electronic documents exist and must be dealt with, but who treat them as if they were paper – by turning them into paper; beyond them are those who embrace the whole subject with gusto but who, in focusing on the wonders of their technology, overlook the clients’ objective which is not, generally, disclosure / discovery for its own sake. There are shades and variations within and between these categories, few of which are guided by any concept of proportionality.

This is a problem common to every jurisdiction which requires disclosure of electronic documents. I have been to all of them, except Canada. Canada is the source of much thought and practical attention to e-discovery, and the link with Sedona is the Sedona Canada E-Discovery Principles. These were released in early 2008 (in both English and French) and were immediately recognised by federal and provincial courts as an authoritative source of guidance for Canadian practitioners. They were explicitly referenced in the Ontario court rules and practice directives that went into effect in January 2010. Applied Discovery has assembled a distinguished panel discussing the subject under the title Understanding Proportionality . The panel include two Ontario judges and is moderated by  Crystal O’Donnell of Applied Discovery. I am very much looking forward to attending this, and will report back in due course.

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Roundup of The Masters Conference 2010

October 11, 2010

“We have been travelling since we saw you last. We have been in America, entertaining the Americans whose need, let’s face it, is greater even than yours. Of course when we’re over there we say that the other way round”

That is how Michael Flanders opened Flanders & Swann’s second selection of comic songs At the Drop of Another Hat in London in 1963. They seem successfully to have crossed the Atlantic divide despite a style which was rooted so firmly in English traditions of education and culture that it more or less excluded the Welsh, Irish and Scotch; the verses to their Song of Patriotic Prejudice – “The English are best” (lyrics and video) would today bring complaints from some humourless official who would investigate it as incitement to racial hatred and arrange a compulsory diversity course. Fashions change in these things – has Hollywood at last given up casting a well-spoken Englishman as the villain in every film? The devolution of powers within the UK, the subservience to Europe which culminated in the Treaty of Lisbon, and Blair’s shameful grovelling to Bush have left us without influence in areas which we used to dominate. Perhaps that is why I am so keen that we should be heard in my own field.

I am just back from Washington, where Master Whitaker and I flew the English and Welsh (but not Scottish or Irish) edisclosure/ediscovery flag at the Masters Conference.  We were joined by an Australian judge, Justice Einstein, of the Commercial List in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.  I am not sure that anyone in the US would have been interested two or three years ago. Before then, as I said in opening my International Judicial Panel, US judges would come to London to tell us, in a rather de haut en bas way, how we should be handling electronic discovery, and English lawyers and judges reacted by disdaining the whole subject. The tide turned with a judicial panel which I organised with Guidance Software in 2008, when we put Judge Grimm and Judge Facciola from the US on a panel with Master Whitaker and HHJ Simon Brown QC from the UK. Since then, we have tapped into and shared not just each other’s thinking, but the developments in other common law jurisdictions; bringing Justice Einstein from Australia to a US platform marked a further step towards pooling judicial thought on this shared problem.

The Masters Conference has grown over the same period to be a very good forum for just this level of thinking. It is big enough to attract a good range of speakers, delegates and sponsors; it is thoughtful without being overbearingly intellectual; the mix of law, technology and practicality is about right; it recognises the importance of local interests without forgetting that there is a wider world out there which is important to US interests both as a market and as a source of ideas.

I give a brief account of the sessions which I attended – I usually do separate posts about individual sessions, but there were thematic links running through them which then would be lost. Read the rest of this entry »


ILTA 2010 wrap

September 3, 2010

This is my third (and last) article about ILTA 2010 Strategic Unity which closed in Las Vegas last week. My first article was a scene-setter, designed to give the flavour of the event and to explain why I thought it important for the UK to know what is going on in the legal technology market. The second article was largely devoted to the two sessions which I attended, on defensibility and on cloud computing. This article is about some of the people, companies and products which I came across.

I am not here solely concerned with my home market, the UK, but that well illustrates the growing need for lawyers to know something about the range of legal technology providers. The cumulative effect of the new practice direction and electronic documents questionnaire and of some recent cases (the ones I characterise as the “incompetence cases”, turning more on sloppiness and ignorance than on fine points of law), is that many UK lawyers will make their first acquaintance with electronic disclosure during the coming year. It is not, of course, that the problems have been invented by the cases or by the changes to the rules; most potentially disclosable documents are electronic, and few cases can be conducted proportionately by printing and reading them all.

If many UK lawyers will make their first call to a provider of litigation software or services for the first time over the next 12 months, their US counterparts will be making similar calls. The US case law continually raises the bar, not because it is binding on other courts, but because it redefines the standard of care expected of lawyers generally; clients expect more for less in the US as in the UK; the technology evolves continually; every player snipes at its rivals’ costs models, but competition keeps overall costs stable at worst; companies merge with and acquire each other, and individuals move from one provider to another. It is hard enough to keep up even if you already have experience of electronic discovery. Read the rest of this entry »


Applied Discovery + EMC + Kazeon offer combined services for collection, ECA and Review

June 28, 2010

It used to be quite easy to explain to lawyers what was the role of each player in the discovery process. It was easiest, of course, in the days when the only application was a photocopier. Many lawyers, I think, got stuck at the next stage when litigation support meant scanning paper and setting teams of people to enter information about each document by hand. The only technical expression around then was “coding” which acquired a mystique disproportionate to what was actually involved.

Then came electronic documents. You will still hear the uninformed saying that handling electronic documents is just like dealing with paper. Fortunately, electronic documents bring much of their own coding with them – I say “fortunately” because their volumes increased at a rate which made manual coding of basic identification information an impossibility. Different specialisations grew up – companies became known for their skill at collecting data, for their capacity to store it, or for their ever more sophisticated applications for analysis and review. The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) became the standard definition of the stages through which documents passed, giving rise to the idea that the process flow moved from information management on the left to presentation in court on the right, with other stages between. The goal of most providers was to embrace the stages which lay to left or right (or both) of their starting point.

It confuses the punter – the putative buyer – no end. Those who have lived with the market as it has developed can have no idea what it looks like to someone who comes at it from scratch. The apparent simplicity of the EDRM goes for nothing once they find that market players who appear to specialise in one area have plausible aspirations to others, and that grey areas develop where it is far from clear whether the ancillary expertise – the review capabilities, say, of a data collection specialist – are fully developed products or merely gestures. Read the rest of this entry »


International eDiscovery Panel at CEIC

May 31, 2010

There is one major difference between the general run of discovery problems and those relating to international and cross-border discovery. The former are soluble – competence and co-operation coupled with judicial management would fix most ediscovery problems tomorrow; the trans-jurisdictional issues involve serious conflicts, not just of laws but of culture. As things stand, these seem irreconcilable, and it sometimes feels that the best we can do is to make people aware of and sensitive to the issues.

The panel assembled to discuss these matters at CEIC was well-qualified. M James Daley of Daley & Fey, LLP is Co-Chair of The Sedona Conference Working Group on International Electronic Information Management, Discovery and Disclosure (WG6) and a member of a delegation which recently met with the Article 29 Working Party in Brussels (see my article Sedona Conference WG6 presentation to Article 29 Working Party in Brussels. Dominic Jaar of Ledjit Consulting Inc., is Chief Executive Officer at Canadian Centre for Court Technology and is a member of The Sedona Conference’s working groups 1 (USA) and 6 (International). George Rudoy of Shearman & Sterling, LLP has more practical experience than almost anyone of managing and doing foreign data collections. Patrick Burke of Guidance Software was the moderator. Read the rest of this entry »


451 Group e-Discovery and e-Disclosure report points up the pain of purchasing decisions

April 25, 2010

The 451 Group, Rob Robinson of Applied Discovery, and I each have different roles in the business of spreading information about e-Discovery and e-Disclosure. The 451 Group is a technology analyst company whose business involves in-depth knowledge of enterprise IT underpinned by research into the industry and its players. Rob Robinson remains, as he has been seemingly for ever, the fastest gun in the West (Austin, Texas in fact) at picking up information, news and views across the industry and serving it up in easily digestible form, not least in a weekly list of articles distributed by e-mail and by widely-read resources such as the Posse List’s Electronic Discovery Reading Room. Mine is the easiest role – I have the luxury of writing, in my own time and without regard to journalistic deadlines, about only those things which interest me and which I hope will interest others.

The ideal model therefore, from my point of view, is that The 451 Group does some research and analysis, Rob Robinson and Applied Discovery tip me off about it, and I write about it, adding such comment as seems appropriate, particularly if there is a UK angle to bring in. Read the rest of this entry »


IQPC Corporate Counsel Exchange in Brussels 18 – 20 April

April 12, 2010

I am off to Brussels at the weekend for IQPC’s Corporate Counsel Exchange. The format for this conference is rather different from the conventional series of panel discussions and platform speeches – there are plenty of these, but the primary purpose of the event, as its name implies, is for the exchange of ideas rather than merely their promulgation. The speeches and panels serve as the catalyst for business meetings and round-table discussions.

This format seems to be appreciated both by corporate counsel on the look-out for ideas and answers and for those who have software and service solutions to offer. Amongst the latter are Epiq Systems, Trilantic, Kroll OnTrack, Applied Discovery, Clearwell, LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer, who should between them cover pretty well all the bases.

I am going to it for various reasons, none of which, for a change, is a speaking commitment. This session which interests me most is a case study led by Greg Wildisen and Mike Brown of Epiq Systems and by Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy. The title is Your company has just been raided and an investigation is under way. Have you an effective strategy to focus your resources on only the most relevant documents? Read the rest of this entry »


eDiscovery April Fools

April 1, 2010

I have already written about Applied Discovery’s Reviewitter.  CaseCentral came up with the first eco-embedded, carbon-neutral, green platform for environmentally efficient eDiscovery. Good stuff, albeit slightly undermined by the fact that so much verbal effluent is tossed out into the ether by the green lobby that it defies parody.

Clearwell, who have form in this area, have managed to take advantage of the near-coincidence of the iPad’s launch and All Fool’s Day to produce a video called Clearwell for the iPad. Funny for itself, it also sends up all those words which I hate in press releases – the words “a magical, fantastic, awesome, earth-shattering, revolutionary device” could have been lifted almost verbatim from some PRs which I have seen which did not have the excuse of inclusion in a parody.

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Applied Discovery launches Reviewitter – a new review tool for e-Discovery

April 1, 2010

Today, 1 April, Applied Discovery announces the launch of a new review tool. Called Reviewitter, it is designed to allow the truncation and review of unstructured data into 140 character reviewable documents. The press release carriers an endorsement from Greg Bufithis of The Posse List, no less, who predicts that these “tweets” should “spur accelerated investment and uptake in similar tools that can help streamline the entire discovery process”.

Applied Discovery have helpfully provided a link which explains the choice of date. As technology advances, it becomes increasingly difficult to discriminate between real applications and those which do not (yet) exist. I have not seen today’s Times, but it has for many years carried advertisements for BMW on April 1st which sometimes take more than one reading to understand. Many years ago, for example, they had one for windscreen wipers which operate automatically when water landed on the windscreen. Ho, ho, we said, clever joke – but it did not take long for the technology actually to exist. Part of the joke, of course, is that Germans do not really understand joking as a social form. Read the rest of this entry »


A proper welcome to Applied Discovery as a new sponsor

March 2, 2010

I promised a proper welcome to Applied Discovery when I put up a short post on 16 February to draw attention to the arrival of their logo. These Welcome posts are generally the only occasion when I invite collaboration on what goes into a post – generally, except where I am unsure of my facts or my authority to mention something, I write what I like. A first post to describe what a company does warrants co-authorship and, with Rob Robinson as their Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing, it seems daft for me to invent my own description. What follows is his:

Founded in 1998, Applied Discovery is a global leader in the delivery and management of electronic discovery services and support.   Part of LexisNexis since 2003 (a member of the Reed Elsevier Group), Applied Discovery leverages an extensive portfolio of resources, relationships, and research to help clients solve today’s and tomorrow’s discovery challenges.  Simply stated, Applied Discovery delivers multinational collection, analytics, processing, review and production services for law firms, corporations, and governmental entities engaged in audits, investigations, and litigation. Read the rest of this entry »


Applied Discovery joins the Project’s sponsors

February 16, 2010

I will do a proper welcome post shortly, and this is just a brief note to welcome Applied Discovery to the ranks of the sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project.

I wrote about the company recently (see Applied Discovery gets new marketing wind behind it) and met up with them in London and at LegalTech in New York. Several things are attractive about them, both as players in the market and as sponsors, but if I were to isolate two, they are their commitment to eDiscovery education and their growing strength in Canada – a country which, like the UK (and Australia and Singapore) has been developing the rules for handling electronic documents.

It will be good to have reason to look more closely at what is happening in Canada – the only one of the countries mentioned above which I did not visit in 2009.

As I say, a fuller post will follow about Applied Discovery shortly. It is good to have them aboard.

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Two entries in one week in the Weekly E-Discovery Snapshot

January 29, 2010

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).

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Posse List interviews with eDiscovery leaders

January 22, 2010

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.

This is a useful supplement to the Posse List’s growing collection of eDiscovery resources and to the flood of press releases which we can expect between now and the opening of LegalTech.

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Applied Discovery gets new marketing wind behind it

January 17, 2010

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 »


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