Proportionality and a choice of technology from Hobs Legal Docs

September 3, 2012

Recent posts by Hobs Legal Docs remind us that the problems raised by e-Disclosure are resolved by adherence to principles like proportionality as well as by the selection of appropriate technology.

You don’t need scientific proof (though it exists, apparently) for the proposition that your brain does one of two things when subjected to too many choices:  after an attempt to assimilate and evaluate all the options, it either abandons analysis and plumps for something by instinct or gives up the selection process entirely and does without whatever it was which was being considered.

Something similar happens with words like “proportionality” which have multiple potential meanings and no certain definition, and subjects like “cross-border eDiscovery” which sounds like something which other people do, and only occasionally. They quickly become unnoticeable, like ambient music in a shop or the chatter of radio announcers – you have a vague idea that they are there but lose focus on content and meaning.

EDiscovery / eDisclosure has all these elements; multiple providers offer similar-looking solutions with terminology picked from a narrow vocabulary which includes polysyllabic words like “proportionality” and expressions  like “cross-border eDiscovery” whose meaning gets lost with every repetition. All these things do in fact have meaning and potentially have daily implications for lawyers.  In practice, proportionality is usually invoked only retrospectively when the lawyers are called upon to justify an alleged under-disclosure, and however important it appears at US eDiscovery conferences, UK lawyers give little thought to the implications of collecting documents and data from other jurisdictions. Read the rest of this entry »


Hobs Legal Docs takes Relativity and makes a senior appointment

May 31, 2012

London-based litigation and document management provider Hobs Legal Docs has made two significant announcements whilst I have been on my travels.

The first was the appointment of Patrick Rowan as Sales Director and as a Board Director of Hobs Legal Docs Ltd. Patrick comes from Ernst & Young whence he brings skills and experience in eDiscovery and eDisclosure as it arises in Competition and Regulatory matters, as well as experience in forensics data analytics. The Hobs press release about Patrick Rowan’s appointment is here.

I have yet to meet up or speak with Patrick since his appointment, as I like to do when appointments are made at this level, and hope to remedy that soon.

The other news from Hobs is that it has been appointed a Relativity Premium Hosting Partner, as you can see from the Hobs press release here and the kCura one here.  I was asked at a seminar this week if I would point the delegates to providers of software and services.  I gave my usual answer which is that the list of logos of those who support the eDisclosure Information Project is a good place to start, whilst adding in the interests of objectivity that there are other players in the market. Providers like Hobs bring a wide range of choices, together with the consultative skills and experience to help point users towards the right solution for their particular needs.

As you can see from Hobs Partners page, there is some overlap between their partners and my sponsors, as Relativity joins Westlaw CaseLogistix, Guidance Software, Clearwell and Equivio amongst others on the list.

It is worth reminding you that Hobs has a Manchester office and that all these applications, together with Hobs’ ability to manage paper disclosure in tandem with electronic disclosure, are available from there. I was in Manchester with Terry Harrison of Hobs in January (see eDisclosure seminar in Manchester with Hobs Legal Docs) and hope to be back there, this time on my own, later in the year. My next trip north is to Leeds on 13 June for MBL Seminars, something I will write about separately.

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Pedigree suggests that Hobs Legal Docs will keep on growing in eDisclosure

December 13, 2011

I have been trying to work out when I first heard of Hobs Legal Docs or came across its managing director, Terry Harrison. I have been in the UK litigation support business since 1993, and can generally recall the context in which its players came to my attention. Hobs and Terry seem to have been there for ever, yet I cannot remember that first introduction. I do not recall, either, that Hobs ever made big splashes at conferences, placed glossy advertisements, or churned out press releases saying how well they were doing. They always seemed too busy with real work to have time for things like that.

Hobs Legal Docs was in fact set up in November 2004 with Terry at its head. It is a separate entity within Hobs Reprographics plc, the largest independent reprographics group in Europe, and was established as a logical extension of Hobs Reprographics’ printing and copying, document management, and scanning and archiving services, with a particular strength in the construction industry. Hobs Reprographics was set up in 1969 in Liverpool by Kieran O’Brien, who joined forces with an Irish reprographics company called J D Hackett to provided drawing and printing services, originally to Liverpool companies but now with 18 branches around the UK. The name Hobs represents the initial letters of Hackett and O’Brien, Liverpool remains the headquarters, and Kieran O’Brien is still very much in charge, as I discovered when I had lunch with him recently.

A company’s history, however successful it may be, is not always relevant to its future development, especially in a market which changes as quickly as does the electronic disclosure business. The key to Hobs’ success, I think, lies in a quotation which Kieran O’Brien gave to the Liverpool Echo in 2006. Talking of Hobs’ organic and self-funded growth, Kieran said:

“We put around 10% of turnover back into the business each year to keep pace with new technology. I have always firmly believed a successful business can stand on its own two feet without recourse to venture capitalists or handouts and that is what we continue to do.” Read the rest of this entry »


Three new sponsors and HP buys Autonomy – all in a week’s work

August 20, 2011

This was never going to be a relaxing week, sandwiched as it was between a conference in Singapore and ILTA 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least I had written all my Singapore articles by the time I landed at Heathrow at dawn on Monday, with their themes of judge-led litigation processes, judicial intolerance of eDiscovery unreadiness and South East Asian business and educational ambitions.

ILTA is a fixed entry in the calendar of anyone interested in litigation technology. On the surface, it is a more relaxed event than most of the others, taking place in high summer, in casual attire rather than suits, in a resort, and spread over five days. A lot happens there, however, quite apart from the fact that Nashville is a long way from Oxford, England or, indeed, from anywhere – the journey time is the same as to Singapore with the added excitement of having to change terminals at JFK.

Like certain other things – conflicts between my sponsors, the revolting coffee on aeroplanes, and the unwanted attentions of legal PRs – these things go with the territory which I have staked out for myself, and are a small price for involvement in a global business which is worth billions, which I am passionate about, and which is occupied by interesting and likeable people. it is also a young industry, with the opportunity which that brings to make the weather and not merely to report on it.

What makes that possible is my involvement with those companies whose logos appear on the right-hand side of this page. Between them, they cover the full range of software and services used for electronic discovery in every jurisdiction in which discovery is a relevant concept. Their sponsorship does more than provide the time to write and the opportunity to go where the action is. It also gives me a direct line to the senior people in the industry, and the ability to get involved with the development of rules and the connections with judicial thinkers, things which do not of themselves create a viable business.

The addition of three new sponsors in one week may be a coincidence; I think in fact that it tells us something about the state of the eDiscovery and information governance market and the direction in which it is going. 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 »


7Safe eDiscovery networking event on 15 April

March 19, 2010

7Safe is holding an eDiscovery networking event on Thursday 15 April at The Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3HU at 6.30pm.

It is to mark the official launch of their hosting of Anacomp’s CaseLogistix, one of the document review tools which was used by Anton Valukas, the examiner responsible for the recent report into the collapse of Lehman Brothers (see my articles about the Lehman Report and about the alliance between 7Safe and Anacomp).

I have a two interests in going, since both 7Safe and Anacomp are sponsors of the eDisclosure Information Project, and a third if you count the fact that I am speaking at the event. I see that the invitation is careful to distinguish between that part of the evening and the “fun” which is to be provided along with the refreshments.

If “fun” slightly overstates the entertainment value to be derived from listening to me talking, these are certainly interesting times, as I hope I will make clear. It may be premature to suggest in March that Senior Master Whitaker’s judgment in Goodale & Ors v The Ministry of Justice & Ors [2009] EWHC B41 (QB) (05 November 2009) is the e-Disclosure judgment of the year, but it certainly puts pressure on those who think that they can simply ignore electronic documents as being too difficult or too expensive to handle. Read the rest of this entry »


Stratify and CaseLogistix manage e-Discovery for the Valukas report on Lehman collapse

March 14, 2010

I am reasonably sure that I will not find time to read the 2,200 page Valukas Report on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Fortunately, Gregory Bufithis of The Posse List has extracted from it the description of the electronic discovery exercise which Anton Valukas, the examiner appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, undertook in the preparation of his report (see The Valukas Report on the Lehman Brothers collapse and e-discovery — Stratify and CaseLogistix win the day .

The chief interest to me, apart from the staggering volumes of documents involved (to say nothing of the 2600 software systems and applications in use at Lehmans) is that two of the e-Disclosure Information Project sponsors, Stratify and Anacomp’s CaseLogistix, emerged as the systems of choice for the investigation. More than 70 contract attorneys, in addition to lawyers from the retained law firms, conducted first first-pass reviews using these two systems. Read the rest of this entry »


7Safe launches UK Security Breach Investigations Report 2010

January 29, 2010

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.

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Anacomp e-Discovery panel at LegalTech – emerging technology and a defensible process

January 29, 2010

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.

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Seeing Nuix at LegalTech

January 25, 2010

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 »


Anacomp ECA Webinar 20 January – measuring and managing eDiscovery

January 20, 2010

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.

The registration page is here.

Anacomp now has a library of litigation support webinars which provide a painless way to absorb useful information from industry experts.

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Getting past the hold music

January 12, 2010

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 »


Anacomp divests to focus on CaseLogistix, eDiscovery and litigation

January 5, 2010

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 »


Strategic alliance allows 7Safe to host Anacomp’s CaseLogistix

November 26, 2009

What is the seating etiquette if you go to a wedding knowing both parties? Do you have to make an invidious choice between one side of the church and the other? Perhaps you sit in the aisle or hang from the rafters.

I was set musing on this by the announcement that two of the sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project, Anacomp and 7Safe, have announced a new strategic alliance. Under the terms of the agreement, 7Safe provide the hosted version of Anacomp’s review application CaseLogistix, and will serve as a preferred provider of data processing and other e-disclosure services in the UK as an Anacomp Connected Partner Program Certified Services Provider. The press releases (7Safe’s here and Anacomp’s here) are necessarily in similar terms. Read the rest of this entry »


The British invade Washington again, this time to talk and learn, not burn

October 25, 2009

To say that electronic discovery is international connotes more than the cross-border ramifications of multi-jurisdictional litigation. There is commonality in the problems, the rules and the solutions, to say nothing of the implications for law firms of new ways of working. The Masters Conference was an opportunity to explore many of them.

My ambition to report on the Masters Conference in Washington before reaching the LexisNexis e-discovery conference in Singapore was defeated by various things – only so many hours in the day for one thing, and no power sockets on the planes. As I begin writing this, it is 4.00am in Singapore a week later and the conference here has been and gone. Read the rest of this entry »


Packed programme for Masters Conference

October 9, 2009

The 2009 Masters Conference takes place in Washington on 12 and 13 October. Its title, Global Corporate Change – Navigating Discovery, Risk and Security covers only a fraction of the subjects covered in two days.

The best part for me last year, and the main reason I went, was a keynote speech by US Magistrate Judge John Facciola which I reported at length (see Leadership in Litigation). This took the debate beyond court rules and litigation technology and up into the importance of the court as a component of society. There is a direct line between competence and the efficient use of technology (on the one hand) and access to justice (on the other). Lawyers, judges, and governments which do not to make the courts accessible to everybody are not just failing their clients, the parties appearing before them or those whom they govern. Judge Facciola has the knack of making these things sound not just worthy sentiments but objectives directly related to our daily work.

What makes this job interesting is the breadth, from the minutiae of data handling to matters of state policy. There is almost no corner of the field which is not touched on in the course of the two day conference. If I pick out just the sessions from the program on the entirely random basis that I know the speakers, that is enough to give you the flavour of it. Read the rest of this entry »


How was ILTA for you?

September 3, 2009

There are two halves to the question “How was ILTA for you?”. One is the personal reaction. Did I learn something and see some interesting technology? Did I meet interesting people? Did I have fun? The answer to all these questions is Yes, as I expected. The more serious question concerns the state of the industry, by which I mean the lawyers who are involved in e-discovery for litigation and regulation and their clients as well as those who provide software and services to them. Let’s take the easy bit first.

Gaylord National

I am luckier than most at ILTA. I have no responsibilities apart from talking to pleasant people about a subject in which I am interested. I have no stands to put up and man; I do not have to do any hard selling or make any buying decisions; such formal meetings as I have are a pleasure rather than a burden; I do not have projects running back in the office and anxious clients to keep contact with; I have no staff to be responsible for nor is anyone responsible for me. My sole “duty” is to see people I know and like, to meet people I do not know, and to write about some of it afterwards.

On that basis, I am easily pleased. The venue was just fine, the organisation impeccable, the sessions and booths interesting, and I was in conversation with agreeable people from arrival to departure except when I chose to sit quietly writing. A lawyer from the US, the UK, or anywhere else where documents are collected for civil proceedings could have informed him or herself at any level – those new to the subject get a gentle immersion which they can take at their own pace, whether in sessions, by going round the stands or by just talking to others; those who want a higher level of learning, technology or discussion can easily find it. Read the rest of this entry »


Show me more like this

August 19, 2009

Guidance Software’s new EnCase Portable is interesting enough for itself. The way in which they are promoting it is even more so. The industry as a whole could make use of YouTube’s ability to point users to related material.

I happened to be with Guidance Software on the day that they announced EnCase Portable the new pocket-sized version of their forensic collection application EnCase, at a meeting of their Strategic Advisory Board at CEIC in Orlando in May. We were given a preview of the extremely neat kit — one USB drive containing EnCase and another to hold the data. The ability to put a forensic collection of data into your pocket looks like a proposition which should sell itself.

A couple of weeks earlier, I had written an article called the Untapped potential of YouTube as a promotional medium . The immediate context was the launch that week of a song called What Really Matters to Me by The Phoenix Fall, whose drummer is my son Charlie (it did very well, thank you for asking, and the second one is due out soon). The more important theme of my article, however, was that YouTube offered an instantly accessible promotional vehicle which went far beyond music videos. I raised, but quickly dismissed, the idea that Sir Rupert Jackson might launch his Preliminary Report (which was due out the next day) via a YouTube broadcast, but omitted to mention that Senior Master Whitaker once did a brief YouTube video about e-disclosure. Read the rest of this entry »


Web demos allow interest without commitment

August 17, 2009

Technology companies make little use of technology to deliver their messages. Web demos may lack the personal touch of a face-to-face show, but you can reach many more people. They offer unparalleled opportunities to show off your products without the mutual commitment which a physical demo offers. The committed people will find you anyway – it is the others you need to reach.

The two web resources I talk about (from Anacomp/CaseLogistix here and Guidance Software in a separate article) are two I fell over (and the fact that I did so is perhaps interesting in its own right, since being found by people who are not looking is an obvious plus). I am sure they are not the only ones – let me know if you own, or have found, a web demonstration which is interesting as an informational medium.

I wrote recently about software demonstrations which I organised for Lord Justice Jackson (Jackson Litigation Costs Review consultation ends). Epiq Systems, Autonomy,  and FTI Technology each sent along their best demonstrators and compressed their shows into 30 minutes each. The result was one of the most illuminating sessions I have ever seen.

You probably need to be a Lord Justice of Appeal with a report to write to command such a luxury. It is difficult for lawyers to organise multiple demonstrations and for suppliers to send their best men to every firm or company which expresses mild interest in their product. Not the least of the problems is that lawyers are fairly wary of expressing even mild interest. Merely putting their head above the parapet will, they fear, lead to a constant barrage of calls from an eager salesman keen to convert that mild interest into a sale, preferably a big one and during the current quarter. That dreadful question “so how soon will you be making a decision?” is the biggest deal-killer there is, and fear of it puts off those who simply know want what is out there or even just to understand the concepts. The supplier, for its part, has finite resources and an obvious wish to focus on the key targets. The salesmen himself (and it usually is a him) has an obvious personal interest in spending his time with those most likely to reach a quick decision. Read the rest of this entry »


How big is the London e-disclosure market?

August 10, 2009

I may have brought you here under false pretences. I have no idea how big the London e-disclosure market is and I do not think that anyone else does either. I occasionally hear confident assertions suggesting that there is either much more or much less e-disclosure going on than people think but, since the starting point for these relative assessments is never specified, it is hard to deduce what “much more” or “much less” actually means. There is much less here than there is in America, but the same is true (for different reasons) of caribou and McDonald’s outlets. It is a statement of the obvious, rather than a valuable piece of market intelligence. Read the rest of this entry »


Anacomp gets unqualified SAS 70 Type II security certification

April 17, 2009

Anacomp, which owns the litigation review platform CaseLogistix, has received a full unqualified SAS Type II certification for its hosting and operations centre at Herndon, Virginia. SAS 70 is an auditing standard established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants which allows service organizations to demonstrate they have adequate controls and processes.

You can read the press release to get the details. I do not, on the whole, concern myself with the infrastructure aspects. This is not because they are unimportant – far from it – but because my focus is on the user end, the business and legal context in which an application is used, and on the people who develop and sell it and who support the users. Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome to Legal Inc as e-Disclosure Information Project sponsor

April 1, 2009

I am delighted to welcome Legal Inc as a sponsor of the e-Disclosure Information Project, joining a group which is increasingly representative of the full range of e-disclosure suppliers and service providers.

Legal Inc was set up by Lisa Burton and Dipak Patel. Lisa is a law graduate and Dipak brought technical expertise, the two elements needed to bring technology to lawyers. Legal Inc describes itself as a “full-service one-stop shop” in the field of litigation support. That means that they can take on the whole or any part of a litigation support, e-disclosure and information management project for law firms or corporate clients, working with specialist partners for those things which they do not do themselves.

I see little point in doing a précis of Legal Inc’s services when their web site does that perfectly well for itself (which is not, I should say, true of all the players in this market). Take the litigation support link and skim the Overview | Challenges | Approaches | Benefits pages for a pretty good idea of what Legal Inc offers. Read the rest of this entry »


The growing importance of metadata preservation in eDiscovery

March 17, 2009

If UK lawyers do not share the US enthusiasm about the preservation, collection and use of metadata, that is in part because they are not clear what it is and how it might be used. A forthcoming webinar will be a painless way to find out.

Guidance Software is hosting a webinar on Tuesday 24 March called The growing importance of metadata preservation in eDiscovery. As the developers of EnCase eDiscovery, whose function is the collection across corporate networks of discoverable documents and data, Guidance has an obvious interest in the metadata – data about data – which lies in and around the documents which may become evidence. Read the rest of this entry »


Parallel views from across the Atlantic

February 11, 2009

The respected e-discovery commentator Tom O’Connor has published his initial report on LegalTech on his blog, with the title The Big Takeaway from LegalTech New York. His patch in the US e-discovery scene roughly parallels mine in the UK. We did a panel together at LegalTech (see How safe is safe harbor?) and we are both involved with e-Disclosure Information Project sponsor Anacomp/CaseLogistix.

Tom’s main theme is the growing realisation of the importance of the clients’ data at the left hand (information management) end of the EDRM diagram, and the links between content management and electronic discovery. His comment is actually about the lack of such realisation by lawyers, despite the fact that clients and suppliers are moving there fast – Autonomy’s pending acquisition of Interwoven is clearly founded in part on this realisation.

Tom rightly ties this assessment of the lawyers’ slowness to grasp the point to Judge Facciola’s speech, which remarked on the stubborn refusal of lawyers to accept that technology must be understood by those who purport to conduct litigation. I will shortly put up my own report of Judge Facciola’s speech.

The key, in the US and in the UK, is education. Clients, courts and justice itself are badly served for as long as lawyers refuse to accept that handling electronic documents requires a modicum of knowledge about the subject.

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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 »


E-Disclosure Information Project first birthday

December 1, 2008

November marks the first anniversary of what became the E-Disclosure Information Project. It did not have that name when I ran a half-day training session for judges in Birmingham last November but it was effectively launched with that event. This Commentary began a year or so earlier.

That first session was made possible by generous support from forensic collections expert FoxData whose Ian Manning has continued to back what I do, by turning out to speak and with useful information and introductions as well as financially. Tyrone Edward, now at Ernst & Young Forensic Technology & Discovery Services, made the suggestion for a business model which has allowed me to spend substantially all my time on spreading information about electronic disclosure. The Project is sponsored by the companies whose logos appear here, but on the basis that it is independent and product-agnostic.

The main outputs from the e-Disclosure Information Project are what I write here and on my website, and conferences. There are 228 posts on this site. None of them are simple regurgitations of press releases – PRs are invaluable sources of hard information, but I am more interested in the context and the implications of a software or services initiative than in the bare words of a press release. Read the rest of this entry »


Catching up with CaseLogistix

November 5, 2008

Products and suppliers have taken a back seat in this blog whilst wider issues and travelling have taken most of my time. Anacomp’s CaseLogistix has been busy, with a new paper on the discovery of audio files. It has a new blog as well

The e-Disclosure Information Project began with a narrow focus both as to subject-matter and as to geography – a handful of UK Civil Procedure Rules and their application in courts in Birmingham and London. It quickly became clear that lack of information about the problems raised by electronic documents, and the solutions available to solve them, was as big a problem as the rules and procedure, which led me to a mission to draw attention to them. That quickly acquired an international dimension, because both problems and solutions are the same everywhere and it made sense to tap into the thinking in other jurisdictions. More recently, recession has brought a darker – and more urgent – tone to what I write and talk about. Within the last few days, we have had the first reported case on the management of electronic disclosure and the announcement of a government-inspired (but judge-led) inquiry into the costs of litigation with its parallel implications for both access to justice and hard economics. Read the rest of this entry »


Anacomp partners with Hobs Legal Docs

September 21, 2008

I carried a story recently about Hobs Legal Docs which included a reference to a job which Hobs did in which 7Gb of client data was boiled down by them to a handful of documents for review. I have been given some more information about that case which I will pass on in due course because it is a powerful illustration of the money-saving power of electronic sifting.

Before that, however, there is news of a link-up in the UK between Hobs Legal Docs and Anacomp, the owner of hosted litigation support software CaseLogistix. Read the rest of this entry »


Practical Guidelines for e-Disclosure Management

September 16, 2008

Litigation solicitors in private practice and in-house lawyers would have done well to be at the Ark Group conference last week. Run over two days within spitting distance of the Tower, it had the title Adopting Practical Guidelines to e-Disclosure Management for the Legal Profession. Practical it was, as well as conveniently located.

Its supplier sponsors included FoxData, Autonomy, CaseLogistix by Anacomp, Guidance Software and LexisNexis, all of whom are also sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project which I run. Part of the Project’s aim is to make connections between suppliers whose service or software offerings are in different parts of the wood – between them, these suppliers and their applications collect data, process it, host it for review, help with analysis and make it available for exchange with others. There is overlap and competition between them, but also a common interest in helping practitioners – and judges – understand what is available to tackle the problems of e-disclosure. Part of my role is to help the would-be buyers see both the wood and the trees. Read the rest of this entry »


Understanding transparent search for UK litigation

September 13, 2008

The US courts are laying increasing stress on the technology and the methodology used to find documents relevant to a case. Even US lawyers are pulling the blanket over their heads at the implications of this, and UK lawyers will do the same if we just leave them to read the US judgments. We have a very different set of aims over here, but the technology and the principles developing to meet the FRCP challenge are exactly what we need, just turned to different purposes. The key term is “transparency”.

I have shied away from writing about the judgments of US courts which are the all-consuming subject of the year in American litigation circles. US v O’Keefe, Equity Analytics v Lundin and Victor Stanley v Creative Pipe all deal with the importance of accurate and reliable searches – embracing both the technology and the skill with which it is used – and between them, in their slightly different ways, appear to raise the level of equipment, qualification and skill needed to engage in the business of giving discovery / disclosure of documents. Serious stuff, in a country where so much of the focus appears, to UK eyes at least, to be on the technology and the methodology at the expense of the search for justice – with the emphasis on the word “expense”. Read the rest of this entry »


CaseLogistix improves native document handling

September 2, 2008

CaseLogistix, Anacomp‘s litigation document review platform, has announced new functionality to handle native documents and other changes. Anacomp are amongst the sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project.

CaseLogistix has always had the ability to handle documents in their native format (150 file types at the last count). The enhancement assigns a unique identifier to each document – as opposed to pages – allowing concept search tools to treat single-page tiff files as a single document.

Other changes include improved management of redacted files, printing of attachments with parent documents and other parent/child enhancements, a combined native/image tab in the document viewer and direct native file ingestion. Read the rest of this entry »


No UK law firms at ILTA 2008

August 30, 2008

After this February’s LegalTech in New York, I wrote a piece called Why no UK lawyers at LegalTech? in which I suggested that UK law firms – partners and/or their senior IT staff – would benefit enormously from a few days in a place where almost every e-disclosure supplier and expert, including a large contingent of experienced UK litigation support managers, gather every year. There they could see demos of every application worth seeing, talk to pretty well everyone with knowledge and experience – and have a good time as well. Read the rest of this entry »


Off to Pasadena and ILTA

August 20, 2008

I am off tomorrow morning to Pasadena, coming back via Dallas where ILTA (the International Litigation Technology Association) is holding its big annual conference.

The draw in Pasadena is Guidance Software who, as I wrote in a recent post, were early sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project which I run, and who have been enthusiastic supporters ever since. This is a welcome opportunity to get to see the senior management, including CEO Victor Limongelli whom I met briefly in London last year.

ILTA is an opportunity to catch up with people with whom I correspond or speak but rarely see. There is an increasing amount of information-trading about developments in electronic discovery between those in the UK and the US, as well as Australia. The problems, and the solutions, are obviously similar. The rules and the practice are perhaps less alike in practical effect than they may appear to be. Superficial impressions of scale are misleading – big cases are big cases in all these jurisdictions, but most US lawyers litigating electronically are in small firms. What is different is the culture in which lawyers, judges, suppliers and clients work towards cost-effective solutions pro rata to all sizes of case, and cultural differences are best identified face to face.

Most of the Project’s sponsors will be there – OutIndex, Guidance Software, LexisNexis, Epiq Systems, Anacomp / CaseLogistix, Autonomy Zantaz and Trilantic – a chance to  meet the US people where generally I deal with the UK end, as well as to see others who may become sponsors. As at LegalTech in New York every February, I go with few pre-booked appointments, confident that the days will be filled with discussions which add value to what I do in the UK.

I should be able to write about it all from there, at least as a technical matter. The practice is likely to be otherwise.

If you are at ILTA and would like to know more about the e-Disclosure Information Project, do come and say Hello or send me an e-mail.

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Delivering knowledge by ear

August 20, 2008

I am always interested in seeking out different ways of delivering information about electronic disclosure – much of what I do in the e-Disclosure Information Project involves digging out news and comment, distilling what seems helpful, and pointing people towards it.

My own preferences are broadly traditional whether as recipient or giver of information. I like the interaction – or at least the potential for interaction – which you get from an old-fashioned lecture format and (as you will gather since you are reading this) by writing about the subjects. The web gives immeasurably greater reach to both these methods – as soon as I save this article, it can immediately be read by anyone with a web connection from Sydney to San Diego. Whether it will be, in August, is a different matter, but it will still be here when everyone gets back from their holidays, giving an unparalleled combination of immediacy and longevity. We have come to take this powerful reach for granted in a very short time. Read the rest of this entry »


Project sponsors ranked by Socha-Gelbmann

August 12, 2008

It is probably a grave dereliction of duty to disappear on holiday just as George Socha and Tom Gelbmann publish their annual Electronic Discovery Survey provider rankings, but that is no reflection on the performance of those of my sponsors whose names appear in it.

Anacomp, Autonomy Zantaz, Epiq Systems, Guidance Software, LexisNexis and Trilantic all appear, some of them more than once, in a survey regarded as the most objective and authoritative report on an industry whose 2007 revenues, at $2.794 billion, were up 46% from 2006. Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome to new Project sponsors

June 6, 2008

You will have noticed two new logos on this blog and my web site. Epiq Systems and Anacomp have agreed to support the e-Disclosure Information Project, and although I put their logos up at once, I have not had time to welcome them properly. Read the rest of this entry »


Guidance on benefits of e-Disclosure Project

May 25, 2008

If it was slightly embarrassing to find myself the principal subject-matter of a speaker session at the IQPC Information Retention and E-Disclosure Management Conference last week, it is even more so to have the task of writing about it afterwards. But in giving over his speaker slot to a description of my e-Disclosure Information Project, Patrick Burke of Guidance Software neatly encapsulated the reasons why it is needed and why it deserves support, and it is perhaps easier to report what he said than to say it for myself.

It is also an opportunity to show that what is discussed at heavy-weight international conferences of e-Disclosure has a close bearing on what happens in UK courts and on what affects everyday litigation here. Read the rest of this entry »


Anacomp captures new sources of information

March 18, 2008

Anacomp announces new alliances which bring hosted capture to its already broad range of services. The trend towards a one-stop shop will appeal to many.

Anacomp, best known until last year for its docHarbor document repository, has taken a further step towards offering a full service solution for data handling. It first came to attention on my patch – litigation and regulatory disclosure – last year with the acquisition of the highly-regarded document review application CaseLogistix. This seemed a sound move, giving an attractive front-end to encourage data into Anacomp’s enormous storage capacity.

Earlier this year, it turned its attention to the other end of the process – getting data in – by an alliance with IPRO which integrated IPRO’s eCapture application into CaseLogistix. The aim was to provide a seamless data acquisition path from first import into IPRO through to display in CaseLogistix. Read the rest of this entry »


Anacomp and IPRO announce strategic alliance

February 13, 2008

Anacomp has announced an alliance with IPRO which will integrate IPRO’s eCapture software application into CaseLogistix.

Anacomp does rather good press releases this days and I cannot better their own description

The integration between IPRO eCapture and CaseLogistix eliminates batch transfers between the applications and the associated human and system overhead. Users will be able to load large sets of unknown documents, files, and materials more rapidly and in a completely native workflow, eliminating the costly and time-consuming process of converting native files to TIFF images and extracting the text files. Read the rest of this entry »


Anacomp introduces hosted CaseLogistix

February 13, 2008

Anacomp, the business process solutions company which acquired CaseLogistix last year, has announced that it is now making CaseLogistix available on-demand via its hosted docHarbor information platform.

CaseLogistix was anyway one of the most interesting litigation support review applications on the market and was a natural choice when Anacomp went looking for a litigation front-end for its vast hosting facilities. It is hard to argue with Anacomp’s own description of CaseLogistix as a powerful and versatile litigation review and integration solution available today, providing a complete system for streamlined electronic document organization, annotation, discovery management and production. Read the rest of this entry »


Service with a snarl undoes technology miracles

February 11, 2008

Good technology must be matched by good people, and it is often the people who let it down. Any technology budget must include a large element for support and training. It is not just the salesmen who need a good client manner.

I was talking at LegalTech to John Turner, Chief Technology Officer at Anacomp who produce and host the on-line review application CaseLogistix. The conversation turned to the cost of delivering e-disclosure solutions. It is not in fact my view that the technology is too expensive – some is over-priced, but the problem it tackles is immense, some of it is near-miraculous in its power, and the alternative – in lawyer hours or abandoned litigation – is hardly cheap.

The main expense, John Turner said, was not the software but the support, adding (with some justification) that CaseLogistix was more user-friendly than most. The support is critical to a successful roll-out and, assuming that the purchase was properly specified in the first place, it is the support which makes for success or failure. It it not just an add-on, but a critical component, without which the technology investment is wasted. Read the rest of this entry »


Anacomp buys CaseLogistix

June 23, 2007

Anacomp Inc, a large US provider of document and business process management solutions, has acquired CaseLogistix, the evidence and litigation management software company from Nashville, Tennessee. Read the rest of this entry »


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