Nuix took the New York Public Library as the venue for its big LegalTech party, a place well suited to the the high intellectual content of the evening. If that makes it sound rather dry, it certainly was not. Nuix assembled as good a team as one could ask for to stimulate thought on eDiscovery and information governance, and managed to combine high intellectual content with good entertainment.
Global CEO Eddie Sheehy opened with a summary of what has been going on in the ever-widening Nuix world in which in the ability to deal quickly with very large volumes of data is a recurring theme. Nuix always manages to give the impression that it enjoys the challenges, something Eddie Sheehy summed up with his closing line – “Thanks for all the difficult things you ask us to do”.
I have to say that I am quite hard to please on these occasions, preferring to separate eating and conversation from speechifying. I quickly lose patience with podium lectures above the clink of cutlery and glasses, and generally resent the interruption of my conversation. Nuix carried it off with this event. We came away better informed and stimulated to think about issues which matter, and enjoyed it.
The centrepiece was The Great Debate with legal luminaries including US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck, US Magistrate Judge James Francis, Jason Baron and Bennett Borden of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Laura Kibbe of Epiq Systems, Conor Crowley of the Crowley Law Office and Nuix’s own Deborah Baron
They debated propositions such as:
To be competent in eDiscovery one must understand how robots think; how the technology and the underlying mathematical algorithms actually work.
The proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are singularly important and desirable despite transformative changes to eDiscovery practice; they are more important than what robots are capable of doing now or in the near future.
The speakers argued for and against these propositions, Jason Baron ensuring that they stayed within their time-slots. Any one of these participants deserves an audience, but to have them throwing short and snappy points at us in sequence delivered good value with no flab. As my photograph below shows, there was much merriment onstage; it was infectious and made for a good-humoured evening.
CTO Stephen Stewart took us into some real-life applications of Nuix technology. Bennett Borden and Barclay Blair told us about the newly-launched Information Governance Initiative (I am writing separately about this). There was a quiz. If I had one regret, it was that the room was full of interesting people to talk to and little opportunity to do so in between the fast-flowing stuff from the platform – that, I stress, is a regret not a complaint.
The same is true of the stage lighting, which was rightly turned down to avoid glare in the speakers’ eyes. Their comfort was my (minor) inconvenience because it made it hard to get decent photographs; the results on this page and in the collection here, are a bit grainy but they do at least capture the spirit of the evening.