Interview: Bill Hamilton of University of Florida Levin College of Law on links with China

At Relativity Fest, I interviewed Bill Hamilton of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and heard from him about a new relationship between his university and Southeast University College School of Law in China. Bill Hamilton was just back from teaching eDiscovery on a special course at Nanjing in China.

The relationship between the two universities’ legal departments goes wider than eDiscovery following discussions between them about common communities of interest. It began as conversations between university deans. Chinese universities have a strong interest in engineering and in artificial intelligence. That led to talks about eDiscovery and thence to the introduction of Bill Hamilton.

Bill Hamilton developed a case study using a model taken from his own practice. It involved computer parts made in China and delivered to the US. The US buyer claimed that they were defective and a US lawsuit followed. The course was about how to respond to the litigation and, specifically, how to deal with discovery, which is not a typical element of Chinese procedure. It also, inevitably, involved cross-border discovery.

The core theme of the course was the understanding of the technologies which enable parsing of the data and a search for the truth using sophisticated data analysis tools. The students needed to do it for themselves, not just talk about it.

Bill Hamilton got in touch with the Relativity Academic Program. Relativity provided a special instance of Relativity in China, giving an environment where Bill Hamilton could give the students hands-on experience.

The Chinese may not have formal litigation discovery, but they still have a strong need to understand what is in their data and, Bill Hamilton said, Relativity is ideal for this.

Bill Hamilton said that their experience reminded him of the early days of US eDiscovery development when a series of judges – Scheindlin, Facciola, Peck – developed the law relating to the different components of discovery.

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About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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