May 22, 2010
The three-day IQPC Information Retention and eDisclosure Management Summit is over for another year. It is the biggest and best conference in the London calendar and one which genuinely aspires to do better each year. Everyone I spoke to seemed to think that it had achieved that aspiration.
I have to be careful here. I am on its advisory board and was involved in some of the planning going back to a late-night session in a Brussels hotel bar last October. I also clocked up 8 hours on its platforms this year, so I am perhaps not wholly impartial. It has the greatest concentration of people interested in e-disclosure, from judges to suppliers to lawyers to clients, and is the place to be for someone whose job involves carrying information between these players. My main interest lies in talking to people, which inevitably means that I attend few sessions beyond those in which I am involved. The loss is mine – there was a packed programme of important and interesting subjects and anyone with a stake in electronic disclosure would have benefitted from being there.
Monday was a workshop day. I took part in a three-hour session run by Legal Inc called Ready for the Regulator: the importance of equality of arms. It was led by Vince Neicho of Allen and Overy who, characteristically, had left nothing to chance in our preparation. Bill Sillett, an enforcement officer at the Financial Services Authority, had provided a scenario which was no less plausible for involving almost every aspect of an FSA investigation – what started as an apparently routine matter grew into a multi-jurisdictional one with criminal implications, SEC involvement, and a potential conflict between the company and some of its employees. Antony Montague, Associate General Counsel at McGraw Hill Companies, Matthew Davis, Litigation Support Lawyer at Hogan Lovells, Peter Cladouhos, Practice Support Electronic Discovery Consultant at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, and I brought our respective professional inputs to this scenario, with Vince as an able narrator and an audience which caught the spirit of the thing and joined in. If we ran out of time before we run out of script, that was because the audience was sufficiently involved to take us down useful byways. The main take-away for me was the confirmation that the FSA looks well on those who are both willing and able to co-operate at a data level as well as at a higher factual level. Read the rest of this entry »
May 11, 2010
It is not too late to sign up for the women in e-Discovery session at IQPC’s Information Retention and e-Disclosure Summit on Wednesday 18 May. The conference itself runs from Monday 17 May and the Women in eDiscovery session takes place after lunch on the last day.
The session, which is open only to Women in eDiscovery members and is free of charge, will include talks by English and US judges as well as by solution providers. If you are not a member of Women in eDiscovery, it is not too late to join. Contact Laura Kelly.
It is not too late either to attend the whole conference which, as you can see from the programme, has comprehensive coverage of information management (that is, broadly, the things which clients ought to be doing in anticipation of litigation, regulatory investigations or internal enquiries) and electronic disclosure. My article on the Al-Sweady case gives links to a number of other cases which, taken together, make it clear that no one who purports to give advice on litigation can sensibly remain ignorant both of the obligations as they stand and of pending developments, including the ESI Questionnaire. Read the rest of this entry »
February 26, 2010
A day in London leaves me with a pile of e-mails and a heap of tweets – all signs of a lively market, and to be welcomed despite the time it will take to catch up. Add a crusading podcast, a decent lunch, and an interesting meeting and it all adds up to a useful day. But, as an aside, why do some businesses go out of their way to alienate their customers?
I blame Twitter myself. I used to be able to go out for a day and keep up, more or less, with the e-mails as they came in, so that I had only to file them on getting home. These days, that stream is supplemented by a near-constant flow of tweets, a high proportion of which carry links to interesting articles. Again, I can usually keep up with that flow as it comes by. The problem today was that my three meetings had gaps between them only just long enough to walk from one to the other. An alarmingly high number of urban road accidents are apparently caused by people dealing with their e-mails and tweets whilst walking and, interesting and important as it all was, I was not prepared to be run over in the cause. The journey home from London to Oxford appeared to take about five minutes, so I presumably slept through it and was very lucky not to end up in Hereford.
The result, now I am home – on my left a screen full of interesting tweets; on my right an Inbox full of e-mails. I am not complaining, you understand; there are plenty of businesses at the moment which warrant no tweet-flow and generate no e-mail traffic. Besides, today’s stream has included, in no particular order, the following: positive reactions to suggestions which I have floated about e-Disclosure road-shows; progress on a proposed supplement in The Times on legal efficiency; a message with “massive congratulations on the ease and value” of my blog; a link to a white paper which looked familiar before I realised that I co-wrote it with 7Safe; interest in sponsoring the Project from a big player in search; a further step forward on the Women in eDiscovery initiative which we are running; a product release by one of my sponsors; an article from Australia headed “e-Discovery and Enhanced Judicial Involvement Come of Age” which is extremely timely; a US article which uses a post of mine as the starting point for reflections on EU privacy; and some re-tweets of an article I published before I set off this morning. That is a lot to follow up, but it is all good stuff. It will have to wait until tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »
February 14, 2010
There has been much interest in the draft eDisclosure Practice Direction and the Questionnaire which forms part of it. Lawyers and education providers keep asking for a sight of it. Lord Justice Jackson commended it. Rule-makers in other jurisdictions have been watching out for it. I aborted a Jackson-related podcast last week because we were so close to a decision on it. A lot of initiatives have been on hold waiting for it. Friday was the day of its third appearance on the Rule Committee agenda.
I have had to stockpile the mass of interesting US material which has come my way since LegalTech in order to focus on the domestic front. The very great interest which has been shown in the pending Practice Direction and ESI Questionnaire intensified as the day approached for the Civil Procedure Rule Committee’s third consideration of the documents which Senior Master Whitaker’s drafting group has been working on for nearly two years. I have fended off all requests for copies of it by referring to the rule that documents under consideration by the CPRC are not published until annexed to the minutes of the meeting at which they were discussed. That third meeting was held on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »
January 24, 2010
One of the best panels at the Masters Conference in Washington last year was the Women Thought Leader Panel: The Art of Negotiating E-Discovery moderated by Caitlin Murphy of CT Summation and including Shawnna Childress of LECG, co-founder of Women in Discovery. I introduced Shawnna to HHJ Simon Brown QC and she pinned a pink W badge to his lapel, thus making him a member of her gang – a role he has pursued zealously ever since back in the UK,
There have been several good consequences and possible outcomes from that, one of which is that IQPC are running an extended streamed session with Women in eDiscovery at their usually well-attended London information retention conference on 18-19 May, which Judge Brown will address. I will come back to all that in due course.
There is a similar session at LegalTech in New York on Tuesday 2 February. Again moderated by Shawnna Childress, the panel will include Honorable Katharine S. Hayden, U.S. District Judge, US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Maura R. Grossman of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Carmen Oveissi Field of Daylight Forensic & Advisory, LLC.
That, alas, overlaps with Stratify’s judicial session, which I will certainly attend because two English judges are taking part, and with a meeting, so I will not be able to attend. If it is as good as the one in Washington, it will be well worth going to.