Blog posts on eDiscovery | eDisclosure in January 2013

February 11, 2013

Here is a list of the 58 blog posts published in January 2013 on my Commentary Blog and Updates Blog. They got 9,464 page views between them.

As mentioned in a recent post, the web site has been smartened up a little as part of a general review. Some old material has gone and there will be new sections, not least about the Jackson Reforms, shortly (seeing the final form of the rules would be a a good start).

A spate of post-LegalTech posts is on its way, spread across the next few days. Read the rest of this entry »


Blog posts on eDiscovery | eDisclosure in December 2012

January 8, 2013

Here is a list of my blog posts of December 2012 on eDiscovery / eDisclosure and related matters. After several months of experiments, I have abandoned my Google Plus page for my short eDiscovery posts in favour of a second WordPress blog, called eDisclosure Information Project Updates. This blog has its own email sign-up for those who want to be tipped off about new posts.

Google Plus has really good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and the existing posts will remain there. Google’s clunky interface was one push factor; another was the feeling of being at a party which everyone else had skipped, despite the tiresome G+ focus on “community” and other things which Facebook does much better if you like that sort of thing – great for florists, car mechanics and High Street solicitors, but of no interest to me.

The new WordPress blog started delivering good SEO almost at once. I can extend its features, adjust its appearance and be sure that it will not acquire some tedious new “feature” next week because a hyperactive geek at Google has some syndrome which requires constant change for its own sake.

I have also abandoned the practice of summarising the short posts, giving a list like the one below instead. The SEO value of the summaries and the links from them was not commensurate with the very significant input which they required. I am not remotely interested in all the detailed “campaign” stats which marketing people get so hung up on. One thing matters to me – how many people go to my articles and thus past my sponsors’ logos? The average number of page views last year, weekends and holidays included, was 224 per day.

The list below, and the parallel one on my web site, are part of the web of cross-links (Twitter and LinkedIn provide the rest) which ensure that no-one can do much research on eDisclosure / eDiscovery without finding something by me.

December was a short month – I was away on holiday for a week quite apart from the long Christmas and New Year break. The volume of interesting material now being published by others is such that there is always a queue – that is, a stockpile of subjects, some already written about, which I hold back to avoid swamping the readers. Apart from time-critical things like webinar dates, I don’t think promptness matters too much – if it is important, it will still be important next week. Read the rest of this entry »


Short eDiscovery Updates to end November 2012

December 6, 2012

This post summarises the posts on my Google Plus page during November 2012. I gave up on Google Plus after that for reasons given in my post here, and set up a new updates blog. A different form of index will be provided in due course for posts from 1 December. Read the rest of this entry »


Short eDiscovery updates to 20 October

October 31, 2012

Here is a summary of the (relatively few) eDiscovery updates posted on my Google Plus page between 14 and 20 October.

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Xerox adds streamlined redaction to its upgraded Omnix 5.4 discovery platform

The headline feature in the new release of the Xerox XLS discovery platform Omnix is a redactions tool which allows redactions to be applied automatically, together with reasons for the redaction, to specific terms in documents based on search results and advanced text pattern hits. The new tool also allows reverse redactions, that is, the blanking out of anything in a document which does not meet certain criteria. [More]

Published: 16 October 2012

G+ Post | Link to Source | Xerox Litigation Services

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Going it alone: Millnet comment on Drinker Biddle’s in-house discovery function

I wrote recently about the subsidiary company set up by Chicago firm Drinker Biddle to manage the eDiscovery function for the firm’s litigation clients.  This development was said by the firm to be a reaction to the high costs of involving external providers of eDiscovery services. I described this reaction as a conventional market development, a way of fighting back as others encroach on your traditional territory. [More]

Published: 16 October 2012

G+ Post | Link to Source | Millnet

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A Very Gallant Gentleman – Captain Oates walks out into the snow

The article Going it alone, by Millnet’s Charles Holloway, mentioned below, includes a part of the painting called A Very Gallant Gentleman  painted in 1913 by John Charles Dolman.  It depicts Lawrence Oates, a member of Scott’s ill-fated 1912 Antarctic expedition, going out into the snow to die alone because his ill-health was slowing the others down. His last words, “I am just going outside and may be some time”, are taken as the epitome of self-sacrificing courage, causing Scott to write that Oates “died a very gallant gentleman”. [More]

Published: 16 October 2012

G+ Post | Millnet

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Nuix and RSD partnership aims to bring data in from the cold

eDiscovery and Information Governance software company Nuix has joined forces with Geneva-based RSD to help organisations identify and tag documents and data which lie outside the formal document repositories. Once found, documents can be brought in from the cold, left where they are or deleted according to the policies in force in the company.

The partnership involves the incorporation of the Nuix search and analysis technology into the RSD GLASS 3 platform.

Published: 17 October 2012

G+ Post | Link to Source | Nuix

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Recommind: The ROI of Predictive Coding – Thursday, 18 October

This webinar discusses the cost savings and the quality improvements associated with Predictive Coding. It is obviously good to be able to assess in advance what the return will be on the investment in any technology. Two things are needed to begin – some metrics from past cases in order to see what the typical cost is, and some idea of the percentage reduction which might be achieved using the proposed technology. Given the cost of review, you do not need a very high percentage reduction to pay for the use of the technology. [More]

Published: 17 October 2012

G+ Post | Link to Source | Recommind

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Short eDiscovery updates to 13 October

October 13, 2012

Most of these updates on my Google Plus site are from the week ending 6 October. After that, I was at the Masters Conference in Washington and at an event given by Symantec-Clearwell at Tower Bridge, with no time to write. I am content, in fact, to come late to my summary of these short posts – it gives s second life to subjects which would otherwise sink in the Twitter-stream.

I keep a large stock of things to write about thanks to my favourite software product, Evernote – I dip into it whenever there is a spare moment and pull out something to link to. That is fairly easy; the subsequent linking – via LinkedIn and Twitter at the time of publishing, in these updates, and (in due course) in the master list of articles on my web site, is extremely time-consuming and a major addition to my work-load. The payback comes in the form of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) both of my own articles and of those to which I link.

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New data sources drive innovative eDiscovery forensics at Millnet

September 26, 2012

The appointment of Stuart Clarke to head a new forensics function at Millnet gives me an opportunity to set out here something which I cover in some of my eDisclosure / eDiscovery talks. The general theme there is that, important though it is to collect, in a proper and defensible manner, the multiple gigabytes of e-mail, Microsoft Office files and the other conventional sources of electronic evidence, those who stop there and consider the job done might well be overlooking apparently trivial sources on which cases can turn.

Stuart Clarke has been at Millnet since earlier this year. We met at CEIC in Las Vegas in May, a conference which, thanks to its Guidance Software heritage, brings together the brightest and best in data collection skills. One of my own panels there, delivered in conjunction with Craig Ball, was about social media; my focus was on the potential traps which lie in the data stored by apparently trivial applications which are used every day but which might easily be overlooked when one comes to collect all relevant data.

My context was not so much the formal obligations and the sanctions which may follow from failing to comply with them, but the fact that the evidence which they produce and hold might prove or disprove something critical to the dispute. Some of my own examples were about an application called Evernote, to which I revert below. I discovered from talking to Stuart that he was similarly interested in the implications raised by this particular tool. Read the rest of this entry »


Short eDiscovery updates to 15 September 2012

September 24, 2012

This continues my new practice of summarising posts, mainly about eDiscovery, which have appeared on my Google Plus page recently. There are 26 of them in this summary, which points to a busy week (now two weeks ago) of announcements and stories. Google still can’t be bothered to show the full heading of these pages, or lack the competence to do so. They index well, however.

I omitted last time to break the summary after its introduction, and pushed off to the US leaving a long list at the top of the blog. My apologies to those who came in search of the next article of substance. That follows shortly. 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.

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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

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Short eDiscovery updates to 28 August 2012

September 10, 2012

I am increasingly using Google Plus to supplement the main articles in this blog. This allows me to cover a wider range of topics, mainly links to articles by others, to webinar announcements and to other things which would otherwise go unmentioned. These are quick and dirty posts, distinct from the generally longer posts on the blog itself. Apart from the speed and convenience of G+ for this purpose, every new post on the blog triggers an email alert to many regular readers, who will be driven away if I send them an email with every short post.

These compilations are in a fuller form than previous ones, which have been merely hyperlinked references. This format repeats the G+ articles and gives links to my G+ post, to the source file which is linked from G+, and to some to the names mentioned in the text. The purpose is partly to bundle them conveniently for blog readers who do not pick up these short posts from G+, or from my Twitter and LinkedIn pointers, and partly because of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits of the cross-links.

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FTI webcast – Survey Results: What Does Counsel Really Think About Predictive Coding?

This webcast has now taken place but is available for download

Ari Kaplan, Principal, Ari Kaplan Advisors
Barry Murphy, Principal, Murphy Insights
Joe Looby, Senior Managing Director, FTI Technology

While the promise of predictive coding is alluring, many questions remain for corporations and law firms. Where does the software end and the importance of workflow begin? What can lawyers do to effectively defend its use? Are companies using it successfully? How much money can it save?

FTI Technology commissioned an interdisciplinary survey of law firm leaders and senior corporate counsel to identify key trends and perspectives on the emergence of predictive coding. The interviews covered everything from high-profile court rulings and cost savings estimates to adoption inhibitors.

Attend this webcast to learn the survey findings and hear first-hand perspectives and practical advice for implementing predictive coding software and processes, including:

Fortune 1000 and Am Law 200 predictive coding adoption trends
Best matters on which to use predictive coding
Top areas of concern, including predictive coding as a “black box”

Published: 21 August 2012

G+ Post | Link to Source | FTI Technology Read the rest of this entry »


My Google Plus eDiscovery posts to 14 August

August 19, 2012

A longer list than usual, partly because many interesting things came along and partly because I was called away for over a week before I had the chance to list them.

Law Society Gazette – No replacement yet for £10m High Court IT failure

APT Search white paper on recruitment and eDiscovery

Dangleboris – how to get the world to do your PR for you

Clarification of the DPP’s role in the Twitter Joke Trial

Nuix: Taming information with eDiscovery

Rob Robinson: eDiscovery vendors on Twitter

eDJ Group snaps up Marilyn Gladden for eDiscovery channel media services

Commonwealth Legal becomes a Relativity Consulting Partner

Greg Buckles of eDJ on CVEDR – Monkeys and Magistrates in Monterey

ESIBytes Recording – Carmel Valley E-Discovery Judicial Panel on Predictive Coding

The Irish Times – Internet is debasing our public discourse

The Lawyer: Scotland to compete with Northern Ireland as low-cost law centre

Kevin Nichols on eDJ: The CVeDR – A Different Type of eDiscovery Conference

First Advantage Litigation Consulting integrates audio discovery and conceptual search, and enhances analytics in Global RPM 5.0

Epiq Systems panel debate: judicial attitudes to technology assisted review

Nuix webinar: Deep dive into intelligent investigation with Nuix 4

You may like this Olympic parody…

Thomson Reuters on FTI survey: lawyers see benefits of computer coding, with caveats

kCura at No 15 out of 100 in Forbes’ list of Chicago’s top 100 digital companies

The relationship between keyword search and technology assisted review – Sheila Mackay of Xerox

Video – Proactive Information Governance with Nuix

Blog post re-run: Conor Crowley’s guidance on the Duty of Competence in e-Discovery applies beyond the US

While other politicians struggle to speak comprehensible English, Boris recites an Olympic ode in Latin

Guy Burgess on the NZ Law and technology blog: When will New Zealand get e-filing?

Simon Price of Recommind – Concept over keywords – why search still matters for law firms

Barry Murphy of eDJ in discussion with Mary Ann Benson of Epiq Systems: Tangible Examples of TAR

Epiq Systems Opens Hong Kong Document Review Centre

The Lawyer: First LIBOR action is in the Birmingham Mercantile Court

Howard Sklar of Recommind: Are Seed Sets the New Keyword?

Craig Ball: Train, Don’t Cull, Using keywords

Craig Ball (again), this time on the safe-keeping and recovery of irreplaceable data

Millnet’s Charles Holloway on a devilish problem

Guidance Software E-Discovery Resource Center

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Third Millnet eDisclosure podcast on predictive coding

June 16, 2012

I have just recorded the third in a series of short podcasts with James Moeskops, managing director at London eDiscovery provider Millnet. It is available here, without any registration forms to complete.

The first of these podcasts looked at what predictive coding is and a its potential use in UK civil litigation. The second one included contributions from Eversheds who have successfully used predictive coding on a large matter where a first pass with keyword searching had left them with a high proportion of false positives.

In this third podcast, we consider the future of predictive coding. We must get rid of the unthinking notion that predictive coding is some kind of “black box” technology – when I hear that expression, I know that the speaker has not actually looked at it. We also observe that this technology has application which goes beyond civil litigation, most notably for urgent regulatory investigations.

We will do more of these later in the year, turning to procedural developments in UK civil litigation.

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A post-Hong Kong holding post

June 12, 2012

I spent last week in Hong Kong at the Asia eDiscovery Exchange 2012 organised by InnoXcell.  A lot of good stuff came out of that conference and it will take me a while to turn my draft report into a readable blog post.

I have missed (or, at least, have not been able to pass on) a number of interesting articles which came by whilst I was away.  eDisclosure / eDiscovery continues to generate interesting news and comment, much of which crosses jurisdictional divides. I will try and link to some of it during this week.

Tomorrow, I go to Leeds for another eDisclosure seminar in the series organised by MBL Seminars. These are three-hour sessions whose primary focus is the use of technology in eDisclosure. The first part covers the relevant rules and some of the cases, with the rest showing how a combination of technology and adroit use of the discretionary components in the rules can give you the upper hand at case management conferences.

On Wednesday, I am doing a session in London with Nigel Murray of Huron Legal and HHJ Simon Brown QC. The latter has just published a further article in the New Law Journal about costs management and disclosure. The first one is here. Together they might act as a primer for anyone dealing with even modest amounts of electronic documents in civil litigation.

Also this week, I am doing the third in a series of podcasts about predictive coding recorded with James Moeskops of MillnetThe last one included contributions from Dominic Lacey and Jamie Tanner of Eversheds is about a case in which predictive coding was used. The one coming up this week will attempt to look into the future of predictive coding in the UK context.

Lastly, I am due to record a podcast with Philip Favro of Symantec. The aim is to give a brief explanation of the key differences between US eDiscovery and eDisclosure in the UK. There is the dawning realisation in the US that the rest of the common-law world has rather different views on discovery, going well beyond the stupid 1999 UK decision to give the  subject a new name in the hope thereby of improving it.  it is good to have the opportunity to explain the merits of the approaches taken in non-US jurisdictions.

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Interview with James Moeskops of Millnet on Predictive Coding

April 30, 2012

In the light of Judge Peck’s Da Silva Moore Opinion approving the use of predictive coding in US Federal civil proceedings, I recently interviewed James Moeskops of Millnet about the use of this technology in English courts. The result is a podcast which you can find here.

Anecdotally, the use of such software is increasing in the UK – I say “anecdotally” because such things rarely become the subject of published judgments in the UK, and my information is the aggregate of feedback from providers who, like Millnet, have the software and the skill to provide it.

One of the two cases covered in my article Two predictive coding case studies emphasise time and cost savings involved a UK matter in which Millnet and Eversheds used Equivio’s Relevance product, and I thought it worth following this up now that we have a US opinion on the subject.

The brief recording begins with a short introduction from me describing in simple terms what predictive coding is. I then ask James Moeskops the sort of questions which might be asked by a would-be user – when would Millnet suggest the use of predictive coding, and what questions would James ask to get a feel for the case?  I also ask James to describe the process which Millnet would go through, in conjunction with the lawyers, to apply predictive coding technology to the data.

I conclude by asking James where he sees predictive coding going over the next 12 months, specifically in the UK. Read the rest of this entry »


Judge Peck’s Predictive Coding Opinion – reporting the reaction

March 7, 2012

It needed no great prescience to anticipate a flood of articles about US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck’s opinion in the Da Silva Moore predictive coding case (Monique Da Silva Moore, et al., v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Group, Civ. No. 11-1279 (ALC)(AJP) (S.D.N.Y. February 24, 2012). I made an early election to stand back before writing about it, reckoning that I do you better service by pointing to the best of the early reactions and then taking a broader approach myself, not least in jurisdictional terms.  I may challenge from time to time the idea that the US is in any sense “ahead” of the rest of us in terms of rules and processes, but there is no challenge to the suggestion that new technology gets its most exacting trials in the fire of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and other jurisdictions can observe and learn.

In what is, I think, the only UK article thus far apart from mine, Charles Holloway of Millnet reckons, in an article headed In the jaws of ediscovery, that an English judge would take the same view as a US judge in similar circumstances. There are judges and judges of course, on both sides of the Atlantic, but I think Charles is right. Millnet know whereof they speak in this regard, having been involved in the only UK predictive coding case whose outcome has been written up publicly – see my article Two predictive coding case studies emphasise time and cost savings, which involves a US case involving Epiq Systems well as Millnet’s UK one.

The present article points to some (by no means all) of the commentary which has appeared already, allowing me to go on to take a slightly different approach in my separate article.

The best plots are those which can be summarised in a few words. “Father murdered, uncle bad, Ophelia hot, Hamlet mad, all dead” tells you all you need to know about Shakespeare’s most famous play.  The equivalent in respect of Judge Peck’s opinion came from Warwick Sharp of Equivio who quickly boiled the whole thing down to this: Read the rest of this entry »


You can find eDiscovery parallels everywhere if you look hard enough

December 29, 2011

What is the proper etiquette when someone else devotes half a blog post to writing about you? if they are simply polite, then a brief acknowledgment is all that is is required. It is easy if they are rude or argumentative – I can give as good as I get if that is the game. What, however, if you find yourself part of a pot-pourri which includes buttered parsnips and Norway’s butter shortage, his late Majesty King Richard III and his relatives, those fine English historians Sellar and Yeatman, topless barbers and a brief German lesson, with a couple of eDiscovery references thrown in? If I am occasionally discursive, a pre-Christmas blog post by my old friend Charles Holloway at Millnet makes one think of Chesterton’s poem The Rolling English Road and “the night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy head”.

When I say “old friend”, a double ambiguity is intended – Charles is one of the few people in eDiscovery / eDisclosure who is older than I am. I am not here seeking to suggest that there is a link between age and the apparently random wandering from subject to subject in his post Faire Words Butter Noe Parsnips – Charles is a former litigation partner at a well-known firm of solicitors, and brings much needed legal gravitas (leavened, I should add, with much wit) to a market which risks missing its target through over-emphasis on the alleged magic of technology. The UK eDisclosure industry (and it is no different in the US and elsewhere) very much needs lawyers in it to act as a buffer between those who face the problems caused by technology and those offering the solutions. The Millnet blog, Smart eDiscovery, is a regular and much-needed part of that translating mechanism. A willingness to step outside a bare recital of technology and rules is very much part of the blog’s attraction.

A clubbable man, Charles does himself an injustice by claiming “an air of grumpiness”; he also threatens to trespass on a niche in that regard which Charles Christian of the Orange Rag and I have worked hard to claim as our own – the space for cantankerous cynicism about legal IT is already occupied. Besides, the parsnips post is expressly a pre-holiday, silly season post, not intended to carry the deep thoughts about eDisclosure which are the norm in a Millnet blog post.

Although I baulk at trying to connect them, it falls to me to explain some of the diverse threads in Charles’s piece; indeed, I have been challenged to do so by its author. There is not a lot of eDiscovery in what follows but, then, we have all had enough of that for one year, have we not? Besides, one can dig eDiscovery parallels out of almost anything if one tries hard enough. Read the rest of this entry »


Two predictive coding case studies emphasise time and cost savings

December 16, 2011

I referred a while back to two case studies about the use of the technology known variously as “predictive coding”, “computer-assisted coding” or, more recently, “technology assisted review” or TAR. One of them involved Epiq Systems and the other Millnet. One was a US example involving Baker & McKenzie and the other one came from Eversheds in the UK. I group them together because all four of these names, of service providers and law firms, are familiar ones in the UK. Most of the (by now extensive) literature on the subject of predictive coding involves organisation names which allow non-US lawyers to dismiss the subject as being of no relevance to them. The familiarity of the players in these two case studies may help to dispel this notion, even if one of the cases involves US regulatory proceedings.

The Baker & McKenzie / Epiq IQ Review / Equivio example

I start with an interview in Metropolitan Corporate Counsel with David Laing, a partner in the Washington, DC office of Baker & McKenzie LLP and called Predictive Coding = Great eDiscovery Cost and Time Savings.  The application used was Epiq Systems’ IQ Review which is a combination of Equivio’s Relevance software and Epiq’s own applications, pulled together by Epic’s consultancy services.

David Laing first describes how this technology works. He says:

It uses a limited number of senior attorneys familiar with a matter to review a representative statistical sample of the documents. The predictive coding software then applies the results of that statistical sample to the entire database. Predictive coding provides a way to prioritize documents for review.

His context is very large cases involving both high volumes and tight deadlines as well as an opponent, the Department of Justice, with the motive, the power and the means to be extremely fussy about what they are sent. The DOJ was, Laing says, “completely satisfied with the response and raised no questions about it”. Read the rest of this entry »


Consider document review services as well as technology

August 8, 2011

The recent dominance of predictive coding and other forms of computer-assisted review in these pages and elsewhere reflects as well as reports on the growing interest in this kind of technology. It is also inevitable that the discussion has been led by US thinking on the subject because that is where most of the discussion happens.

I have tried in my own articles to walk a line between giving an uncluttered view of the predictive coding debates and emphasising that this is merely one of several options  which must be considered by those charged with the management of large volumes of electronic data. This type of technology is not for everyone nor for every case and, as Greg Wildisen of Epiq Systems said in my discussion with him (see Strong eDiscovery behind the Q2 numbers at Epiq Systems) there is often a balance to be struck between the time and cost considerations when considering human and technology input.

The UK does not have the vast armies of contract lawyers which are common in the US. Those who have a lot of documents for review, however, ought to be aware that there is a thriving and competitive market offering document review services in the UK to be considered alongside, or more usually in tandem with, a technology solution.

I have already mentioned Epiq Systems’ document review service in the article referred to above. I was in the London offices of Huron Legal recently. When I first went there, for the office opening, the review pods had just been set up. Now there were two teams of reviewers hard at work and I was told that this had been the case since the service was launched. Hobs Legal Docs, one of the few UK providers still with a strong paper-handling division, necessarily provides manual coding to go with it – unlike most electronic data, scanning paper requires manual work for mere identification quite apart from any decision-making implicit in the term “document review”. Read the rest of this entry »


From Clearwell in Cornhill to Millnet on Millbank via Memory Lane

November 10, 2010

I went to Millnet’s 15th birthday party on Friday and, in consequence, wound up with very sore feet. That is not the non-sequitur which it may appear to be. The day began with an e-disclosure talk and ended with an e-disclosure party, but included a long walk and took in some recollections of the past and ruminations on newly-admitted solicitors, Apples (and other fruit and veg), the right to take photographs in public, and other things touching on my wider interests.

The e-disclosure element came with a meeting with Clearwell’s UK team, where my purpose was to bolster their roles as allies in the spread of understanding about electronic disclosure. Relatively few lawyers seem to know the rules, including many of those who rail against the new practice direction and the alleged burden of its questionnaire without apparently having read either of them. There are also many who assert that the technology for handling electronic documents is expensive, without either suggesting alternative methods (just ignoring them does not count) or making a telephone call or two to find out what the cost might actually be. More subtle, and harder to grasp in some ways, is the very close relationship between what the rules require and the range of technology solutions which exist. If the lawyers need to understand this inter-relationship, then so do the solution providers, which is why I am always happy to talk to them.

My broad theme is that there is a higher discretionary element in the rules than people realise, and that there is more to the technology than a bare recital of functions and benefits may suggest. There is a close match between the obligations of transparency and cooperation required by the rules and the ability of he technology to help the lawyers to assess the relationship between value and cost – the components of proportionality. Proper use of the right technology allows the lawyers, for example, to test the effect of adding or removing keywords from the list being discussed with opponents. If the technology can show that the inclusion of a particular keyword will add 50,000 documents to the disclosure set without any obvious benefit in terms of the evidence, then there is money to be saved – an obvious example of technology as a facilitator of informed discussion. Read the rest of this entry »


Another London doorway to Equivio technology

November 2, 2010

Legastat is the latest London-based e-disclosure services provider to offer Equivio’s technology for speeding up the identification of redundant data and enabling early case assessment. It is not the only such provider, and the same technology is available as integrated components of some software solutions.

There are not many providers of electronic document services whose logo includes the words “Established 1953″. It was obviously a good year for those whose involvement in electronic disclosure was necessarily preceded by a long period doing something else. It was the year in which I was born and it is the year in which Legastat was founded, and both of us had to occupy ourselves elsewhere until e-disclosure came along. I was a solicitor and Legastat was a provider of printing and copying services. When I was an articled clerk, I used to go to its premises in Carey Street, at the back of the Royal Courts of Justice, for urgent copies, a service which it still provides from the same premises.

More recently, it has added e-disclosure services to its more traditional offerings, now under the direction of Casian Sala. It crosses my radar now because it has augmented the services offered to its clients by taking Equivio’s technology for identifying near-duplicates and e-mail threads. It joins many of its rivals in the UK litigation services market, Trilantic, Hobs Legal Docs, and Millnet among them, on the list of those who provide Equivio’s technology (I will come on in a moment to those who provide them as part of and in addition to their own software solutions). Read the rest of this entry »


Keeping up with Equivio

June 28, 2010

Equivio illustrates the maxim “less is more” in ways which go beyond the purpose of its software, which is “the management of data redundancy in content-centric business processes” . There is something appropriate in the way that a company whose business  is identifying the fewest possible documents manages to describe itself in the fewest possible words.

Equivio’s technology, in its own words, zooms in on unique data…With products for grouping near-duplicates, capturing email threads and determining document relevance, Equivio powers a broad range of business applications, including e-discovery, data retention, records management, email archiving and intelligence.

Equivio is generally found built into something else, and this unshowy role is matched by marketing which is low-key and much the better for it. Its web site and other promotional materials state in simple terms what the products do without screaming at you. Because other providers build Equivio’s products into their own applications and processes, they have an interest in spreading the word, and even Equivio’s rivals are publicly respectful of it. I use its illustrations in some of my slides, and it has turned up in my articles in side-references (my recent Australian round-up, for example) but other things have been going on there whilst I have been engaged in my recent tour of the world’s airport lounges. Read the rest of this entry »


Millnet offer £10,000 of e-Discovery services for free

February 18, 2010

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes is, as you doubtless know, Latin for “there must be a catch somewhere”. It seems unlikely, of course, that the Greeks are going to be bearing gifts for anybody just now, but Millnet seem to be. They obviously reckoned that the fear of a catch might be your first reaction on learning that they are offering up to £10,000 of e-discovery services for free, because they draw attention to this possibility on the page headed Driving down the cost of e-discovery which promotes their offer Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


Times E-Disclosure article leads with Baby P photocopier excuse

December 17, 2009

The article on E-Disclosure in today’s Times E-disclosure: how good is your filing system? by Grania Langdon-Down leads with the extraordinary “lost in the photocopier” excuse given by Ofsted as they gave late disclosure of 2,000 pages of documents in Sharon Shoesmith’s judicial review case.

I was interviewed for the article some time ago when the lead subject was HHJ Simon Brown QC’s judgment in Earles v Barclays Bank Plc [2009] EWHC 2500 (Mercantile) (08 October 2009). I wrote about the Ofsted shambles on Tuesday (The Baby P case may be the disclosure story of the year) and Grania Langdon-Down rang me 20 minutes later, without having seen my post but having reached the same conclusion as to the significance of the Ofsted story. Read the rest of this entry »


Law Society Seminar – Disclosure – the risks after Hedrich

March 10, 2009

I spoke yesterday at a seminar organised by the Law Society and sponsored by Legal Inc and Millnet. The theme was as foreshadowed in my article Law Society Disclosure Seminar in London and was implicit in the name I gave it: Disclosure – the risks after Hedrich.

The title referred to Disclosure rather than e-Disclosure because the electronic side to this subject is servant to the primary obligation to give disclosure of documents under Part 31 CPR. It referred to Hedrich because although the solicitors in Hedrich v Standard Bank London were found not to have been negligent, and beat off the wasted costs application brought against them, I am not sure I would count it much of a victory to have had to come off the record in mid-trial and then go all the way to the Court of Appeal to fight off the claim that my failure to spot my clients’ disclosure failings had caused loss (and how) to the other party. Read the rest of this entry »


Law Society Disclosure Seminar in London

March 3, 2009

I am presenting a two hour seminar in London next Monday 9 March under the auspices of the Law Society.

Sponsored by Legal Inc and Millnet, both well-known suppliers of electronic disclosure solutions, this is a nuts-and-bolts review of everything from cases to rules, from a survey of the problems to a look at solutions, from points of detail to a review of the wider context. It includes a look at some applications.

The title of the seminar is Disclosure – the risks after Hedrich. Most of it is about electronic disclosure, but that is because most documents now in existence were created electronically, still exist electronically and therefore ought to be disclosed electronically – that is, their electronic existence should be disclosed even if it is not practical or cost-effective to handle or exchange them electronically. Read the rest of this entry »


Plenty to write about but no time to write

January 26, 2009

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

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


Legal Inc and Andrew Haslam to work together

December 19, 2008

Litigation services provider Legal Inc has linked up with e-disclosure consultant Andrew Haslam of Allvision. Andrew Haslam will work on the design and delivery of disclosure services and projects and will provide strategic consultancy and business development advice.

Both are well thought-of in the litigation services market – Legal Inc won the 2008 Electronic Disclosure support/service provider category of the Legal Technology Awards and Andrew Haslam is one of the UK’s most experienced electronic disclosure consultants. The deal makes him available to Legal Inc for one day per week. Read the rest of this entry »


What exactly is it that you do?

November 21, 2008

A career devoted to court rules and electronic documents is not an instant turn-on for dinner party conversation. The subjects are, however, important ones for businesses beyond those which actually work in litigation, and the rate of change is increasing

What exactly is it that you do? Like all of us, I get asked this question from time to time by people who are outside the world of law and technology. It is much easier for those of you who read this. If, whatever your gender, you say you are a litigation solicitor, then doubtless people gaze on you with that same awestruck admiration which was formerly reserved for chaps on leave from the trenches. If you are a supplier and say that you work at the cutting edge of information technology then you are up there with rocket scientists – they do not understand, but they know it matters. Barristers are assumed to have mighty brains and Ciceronian eloquence. If you are a judge, then you are met with equal deference whether you are a part-time Deputy Recorder or sit in the Court of Appeal.

When they ask me, my answer usually elicits a perfectly understandable look of blank incomprehension. “I speak and write about the disclosure of electronic documents for litigation” I say. “Will you excuse me?” they reply. “I’ve got to go and see a man about a dog” or some such transparent excuse to get away. Read the rest of this entry »


Law Society regional e-Disclosure training

April 11, 2008

The Law Society has just published the programme and venue listings for its electronic disclosure training series under the title E-disclosure – the rules, the practice and the benefits. This begins in London on 13 May and goes to Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge, Nottingham, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle and ends in Leeds on 9 July.

This is of significance to me for three reasons – one, it shows the Law Society’s commitment to a subject which can no longer be ignored by solicitors who practice litigation in any court in the UK; two, it is the first serious attempt to carry the message out to those who cannot easily attend the e-disclosure conferences in London; and three, I am the one giving the talks. Read the rest of this entry »


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