Another success for ILTA and ALM at Legaltech Asia Hong Kong 2016

Legaltech AsiaILTA, the International Legal Technology Association, and ALM, the owners of the Legaltech conference brand, have for some years run a one-day event in Hong Kong called Legaltech Asia. I was there this year, as I have been since the series began

So far as ILTA is concerned, the Hong Kong event is part of a move to bring the benefits of ILTA – and not just its conferences – to an audience beyond North America. ILTA organises a London event every November, called ILTA Insight, and its particular skill is to bring to each jurisdiction a localised version of the very strong educational messages which it has developed over many years in the US. Continue reading

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Xerox Legal Services interview me about the UK Pyrrho predictive coding judgment

XeroxUnsurprisingly, there has been a great deal of interest in the judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors, an interest which is not limited to England and Wales.

Xerox Legal Services are, of course, as concerned with developments in the UK as they are in the US and Asia-Pacific, given their presence in all these locations. Rachel Teisch of Xerox interviewed me about the effect of the Pyrrho judgment and the resulting Q&A is here.

The main points I wanted to convey are, firstly, that however important Pyrrho itself is as a public-facing statement, a judgment of this kind could have been made at any point, at least since 2009. The express references to proportionality in the rules, the terms of CPR Rule 31.5 from 2010, and the Goodale judgment of 2009 are all stages which paved the way for Pyrrho. Continue reading

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Interview: Katie Fitzgerald of Lighthouse in the UK on using Nuix for case strategy and information governance

NuixIn my recent interview with him, Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix, stressed the mission of Nuix to help tell stories from data. Nuix, Eddie said, brings two principal elements to investigations, whether for litigation or anything else: fast processing is one; the other is the analytical tools designed to help lawyers identify quickly what data exists and to extract from it the information needed to tell stories and to devise strategy.

I am taking opportunities when they arise to talk not just to software providers but to those who use their applications. One of these was Katie Fitzgerald, Strategic Consultant at Lighthouse eDiscovery, which has recently set up in the UK. Continue reading

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Navigant boosts its Information Security practice with FBI hire

Navigant_200Navigant has appointed Bob Anderson as a Managing Director leading its Information Security sub-practice. Information Security is now part of Navigant’s global Legal Technology Solution which embraces a very broad range of disputes, forensics, investigations, compliance and legal technology solutions.

Bob Anderson joins Navigant from the FBI where he was Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. This position gave him responsibility for all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, including critical incident response and victim assistance.

The Navigant Legal Technology Solutions team has a broad remit to help clients with data management challenges, working to reduce risk, increase efficiency and control costs. Cybersecurity has not only increased its own significance in the last 18 months, but become a driver for other aspects of data management, investigations and eDiscovery. At one end, potential cybersecurity incidents can be minimised by a prudent focus on information governance; at the other end, an incident gives rise to investigations aimed at minimising future risk and to compliance implications; it often also gives rise to litigation. Continue reading

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Recommind breakfast seminar in London on 15 March: Predictive Coding and life after Pyrrho

RecommindMaster Matthews’ predictive coding judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors has, quite rightly, caused enormous interest, and not just in the UK. I wrote about it here.

While the judgment is an important encouragement for litigation lawyers to consider the use of predictive coding technology in the courts of England and Wales, it is not as simple as simply asserting that the judgment is carte blanche for the use of this or any other technology in any case – Master Matthews himself took pains to emphasise this in the closing paragraph of his judgment. It is necessary to consider a range of factors and to be able to weigh and discuss them with clients, opponents and, ultimately and where necessary, the court. Continue reading

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Huron Legal + Consilio publish Law Department Benchmarking Report

logo_huronlegalplusconsilioAmong the good things which Consilio took on when it acquired Huron Legal was the annual Law Department Benchmarking Report which is now in its sixth year.

Data was taken from 119 companies about how they run their internal operations, what increasing or changing challenges they face and what they are spending.

The areas of particular interest to me include information governance and data privacy / security initiatives. 34% of respondents have enterprise-wide information governance programs in place and 38% are planning one. Cybersecurity and data privacy are driving these initiatives. Continue reading

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Interview: Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix, on using data to tell stories

NuixI caught up with Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix, at Legaltech and asked him what was going to be important for Nuix and its clients in 2016.

Nuix began as a forensics company and moved from there into eDiscovery. Both these subjects, Eddie Sheehy says, are “all about data, the ones and zeros” and how they can be used to tell a story and give it context.

Nuix was sponsor of the IG track at Legaltech and I asked Eddie Sheehy about the development of information governance understanding.

Nuix was one of the first to appreciate the importance of information governance, he said. To begin with, IG attracted little financial sponsorship because clients could not easily see a return on the investment in IT tools and skills. The very rapid increase in cybercrime, and in particular the theft of information from companies, has changed that IG focus. Continue reading

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Ian Campbell talks about forthcoming developments at iCONECT

iCONECTIan Campbell is CEO and President of iCONECT, makers of the iCONECT-XERA eDiscovery review software. I interviewed him at Legaltech. We got through a lot of topics in five minutes – the video interview is below.

Continue reading

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QuisLex awarded US patent for quality management processes in document review

QuisLexQuisLex is a legal services provider which deals with complex document review, contract management and compliance projects for corporations and law firms. Its eDiscovery projects cover litigation, investigations both internal and for regulatory purposes, and compliance.

QuisLex employs more than 1,000 lawyers, mainly at its large and modern facility in Hyderabad, India but also in the US. Their work is backed by a wide range of technology tools. The skill which has led to QuisLex’s recent expansion lies in the project management which ties together many different technologies with the human teams.

QuisLex has recently been awarded a US Patent for “System and Method to Determine Quality of a Document Screening Process” issued in the names of Sirisha Gummaregula, COO, and Sreekanth Dharmakari, VP, Business Process. Continue reading

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Jonathan Marshall of Navigant talks about cross-border discovery after the end of Safe Harbour

Navigant_200Last year, I interviewed Navigant Managing Director Jonathan Marshall about how Navigant dealt with the problems encountered when dealing with cross-border discovery on behalf of clients.

The Schrems decision and the invalidation of Safe Harbour, the pending Data Protection Regulation, the Microsoft Dublin case, and other developments, have had a profound effect on the way companies deal with data transfers in the ordinary course of business. I asked Jonathan Marshall if these developments made any difference to the manner in which cross-border eDiscovery should be managed.  Continue reading

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Reacting to the reactions to the Pyrrho predictive coding judgment

My reaction to the judgment in Pyrrho?

About bloody time too.

There, that’s that done.

Oh. You want more than that. Um..

Because, as you know, I spent my whole life looking at Twitter, I saw Taylor Wessing’s story about the predictive coding judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch) (16 February 2016) as soon it came out. I am not generally much bothered about being the bearer of “Breaking News!!”, but it seemed right to drop everything and push out a quick post passing on the story. I had written it before Edward Spencer at Taylor Wessing (who emerges as the hero of this story, if heroes are what you want) kindly sent me a copy of the judgment and, although I attached it to my post, my article was written without the benefit of reading it properly – there is only so much time you can give, even to a new judgment, when you are sandwiched between two big foreign trips, and I knew anyway that the judgment would launch a deluge of articles from others.

I decided instead to stand back, watch the other reactions rush past, and take a considered view. Continue reading

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Off to Hong Kong for Legaltech Asia in Hong Kong

Legaltech AsiaI did not bother to put my suitcase away after getting back from Legaltech New York because I am heading off this weekend for Legaltech Asia in Hong Kong.

This one-day event has become a welcome fixture in the calendar. ILTA is ALM’s educational partner and, as always, has put together a programme which covers a range of interests. The agenda is here.

Among other sessions, we have Daniel Martin Katz giving a keynote speech with the title Law’s Future from Finance’s Past while Adi Elliott and Sebastian Ko of Epiq with Conor Crowley of UBS are talking about the constructs of technology, data and the regulatory landscape.

I am going to moderate a discussion with Dmitri Hubbard of Xerox Legal Services and Gabriela Kennedy of Mayer Brown JSM on data protection and privacy as it looks (and is developing post-Schrems) in Asia Pac. Continue reading

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Planning ahead for Legaltech – next year

You won’t find here a list of all the software demos I saw at LegalTech, or accounts of all the sessions I went to (though I mention my own), or deep discussion of trends. I have done a bit of that in my post called the The intangible benefits of going to Legaltech, but the flood of articles about Legaltech are like Legaltech itself – an awful lot crammed into a very short period. This post is more travelogue than deep analysis, and you may want to skip it in favour of something more learned.

If this year’s LegalTech was less enjoyable for me than others, that is not ALM’s fault. I set myself up for running from place to place, even on the Monday and Friday, which are usually reserved for R&R. I thought longingly of the time when I would go there with no commitments and spend the days going to sessions and bumping into people to talk to. Then came a period when I would mark the sessions I wanted to go to and cross them off to make room for meetings. Now I don’t bother to eye up any sessions but my own.

The journey 

I kicked off with encounters with WH Smith and G4S before I had even boarded the plane – these are described in a post called Two of the UK’s most hated companies in quick succession at Heathrow. If this has any relevance to eDiscovery, that lies in the end of my other LTNY post where I ask if you like your eDiscovery provider and its employees. If not, why not seek out one you do like? Continue reading

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Judicial approval for the use of predictive coding in UK eDisclosure

A press release from Taylor Wessing reports that Master Matthews has given judicial approval for the use of predictive coding for disclosure in the English High Court.

The press release reports that the parties had agreed the use of predictive coding but thought they ought to obtain judicial approval. This is consistent with the provisions of Rule 31.5 which provides (effectively) that the court is the final arbiter of decisions about scope, method and cost of disclosure.

The press release emphasises that the concern of both court and parties was “to reduce the associated costs whilst still complying with the disclosure obligations”.

The Master “noted that predictive coding is in use in other jurisdictions and evidence suggests that it is no less accurate than a traditional manual review process”. I think it likely that US Magistrate Judge Peck’s opinions in Da Silva Moore and Rio Tinto will have been referred to. I think it likely to say that the judgment will have referred to the Irish case of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd V Quinn – I wrote about Rio Tinto and Quinn in my article here.

The first (and I think hitherto the only) reference to technology of this kind, albeit not by name, came in former Senior Master Whitaker’s judgment in Goodale v The Ministry of Justice. That judgment includes the sentence:

“Indeed, when it comes to review, I am aware of software that will effectively score each document as to its likely relevance and which will enable the prioritisation of categories within the entire document set”.

Why, one wonders, has it taken so long for this to come before the court in the direct way of the present judgment?

Having dictated this much, I now have a copy of the judgment which, on a quick glance, bears out my assumptions above. I will write more about it shortly. I am obliged to Ed Spencer, the Associate at Taylor Wessing who is referred to with particular thanks in the judgment, for letting me see it.

The case is Pyrrho Investments Ltd & Anor v MWB Property Ltd & Ors and a copy of the judgment is attached.

2016.02.16 – Predictive Coding Jugdment (handed down)

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FTI Technology White Paper: Metrics that Matter in eDiscovery

FTI TechnologyHow much do lawyers need to understand about metrics and statistics in order to conduct a proper search? This is a question which is fundamental to the take-up of modern technology, and one which is hard to address.

I saw a tweet last week in which a mathematically-minded hard-liner said that numeracy is as important to the modern lawyer as literacy. To admit that you were poor at maths, the tweeter said, is as bad as admitting to an inability to read.

If I am less of a hard-liner on this subject, it is probably because I am a mathematical dunce. It is also unhelpful to make such assertions when there are many fine litigation lawyers out there who do not take readily to science – that is probably why they followed an arts route at university. We must rise to the marketing issue which arises, not abuse those who find it hard.

metrics-that-matter-5

FTI Technology knows a lot about the statistics of eDiscovery having long been a leader in eDiscovery tools which harness the power of statistics as an aid to discovery. FTI has now come up with a White Paper called Metrics that Matter which is the best example I have seen of an attempt to make the metrics of eDiscovery comprehensible to all. Continue reading

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CYFOR signs up for military obstacle run to raise funds for children’s hospice

CYFORA team from CYFOR’s Manchester office has signed up to participate in the Royal British Legion Major North series to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

The event takes place on Sunday 20 March and apparently involves 10km of military obstacles, muddy bogs, thick woods and river crossings.

CYFOR’s web page about this is here.

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Angela Bunting of Nuix on the benefits of being on top of the data

NuixNewLogo1Angela Bunting is Director of eDiscovery Products and Solutions at Nuix.

When I interviewed her last September, she had just written a paper called Putting perspective back into eDiscovery whose theme was the benefit of getting on top of the data, and thence the facts, at the earliest possible stage in a case or an investigation.

Angela Bunting says that it is no good waiting until the discovery process is over before starting to acquire the facts. It is necessary to make decisions, both strategic and tactical, right at the start, and the lawyer who does have control of the facts is in a better position (obviously) than the one who does not. This involves the use of appropriate technology right at the beginning. Continue reading

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AccessData webinar series: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the FRCP Amendments

AccessDataAccessData is running an eDiscovery webinar series in conjunction with Adam Smith, Esq., with the title The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the FRCP Amendments.

There are three parts to the webinar, to be broadcast on 23 February, 8 March and 22 March from 12:00pm ET.

The three sessions cover the following topics:

  • Session I: Proportionality, Cooperation, and Early Case Assessment
  • Session II: How the amendments change the e-discovery process
  • Session III: The ethical implications of requiring lawyers to be conversant with technology

There is more information here including details of the speakers and a registration form.

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Interview: Bruce Markowitz of Evolver at Relativity Fest

kCura - RelativityBruce Markowitz is the VP for Legal Services at Evolver.

Evolver is a Relativity Premium Hosting Partner, and I had the opportunity to talk to Bruce Markowitz at Relativity Fest.

I asked him first why he goes to Relativity Fest; among other good reasons, he says that he goes to keep up with the “user consensus” on how partners can best use Relativity. His focus was in particular on Relativity’s analytical tools.

I asked Bruce Markowitz also how he uses Relativity for his clients and what feature he values most. In addition to the analytics, he says that the ease of designer workflows made Evolver’s life easier and offered greater flexibility for clients. He gives as a specific example Evolver’s own tool for de-duping Excel spreadsheets and allowing redaction of them.

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ZyLAB and ACEDS webinar on 10 March: Optimising your FOIA request process from start to finish

ZyLABCorporate decisions about introducing eDiscovery software tend to focus on the big events such as major litigation, regulatory investigations and internal investigations.

Like every other investment proposal, eDiscovery specification involves an analysis of cost and benefit, including an attempt to calculate a return on investment. Many initiatives come unstuck because, while it is generally easy to calculate what they would cost, it is rather harder to work out what will be saved by what can be a significant investment.

Something which is often overlooked, even by those trying to sell such applications, are the uses for eDiscovery software which go beyond those major requirements. In the EU, for example, many organisations face Subject Access Requests; in the US, Freedom of Information Act requests impose similar burdens. One of the difficulties here is that the burden in both time and budget tends to fall on departments other than legal and IT – perhaps the HR Department. The expense gets overlooked when calculations are made for return on investment purposes. Continue reading

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Nuix Insider Conference in London on 23 March

NuixThe Nuix Insider Conference will take place in London on 23 March. It is an educational event, aimed at anyone from advanced existing users to those who are new to Nuix.

Some of the sessions are technical ones to do with using the various tools which Nuix has developed. Others are to do with the context in which these tools are used – I took part in an information governance panel last year, for example.

This year I am involved in a panel on compliance, cyber and the law called What can you do in 72 hours? This will be led by Paul Slater, Executive Director EMEA at Nuix.

There is more information about the Nuix Insider Conference here.

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The intangible benefits of going to Legaltech

“What have you seen that’s new here at Legaltech?” is a stock phrase used to open conversations when you have nothing else to say. It is a formality, no more meaningful than that other stock Legaltech conversation about the weather, and it expects the answer “Nothing”. The only thing I found which was new to me this year was a rather good Orange Martini in the bar at the Warwick across the road. Everything else is steady, incremental change, which is how it should be.

This does not mean that these incremental developments can’t be interesting or important and I will cover some of them in future posts. This, and a succeeding post, are my accounts of LegalTech the show, not a portmanteau of regurgitated press releases. I like to add some value to my comments on what the PRs say, and you don’t do that well after a whistle-stop tour of Legaltech’s exhibit halls (nor, frankly, when you get back to a week’s unanswered emails).

If you want some quick points, the words “visualisation”, “cloud” and “getting lawyer eyes on key documents quickly” will summarise the more important (but incremental) developments. Each of these expressions has become debased through imprecise overuse but there is no sense in trying to invent a new vocabulary now. Continue reading

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Another year, another LegalTech

My New Year resolution, in business terms, was to take on things only if a) they had a business benefit for me or b) they benefited one or more of my sponsors and/or c) were interesting. I would cut down on the flying, and write only for me and for my sponsors, declining (nearly) all invitations to write for third parties. I would devote more time to devising means of producing eDisclosure / eDiscovery resources which did not involve the inconvenience and expense of having to travel to deliver them.

Here we are at the end of January. How is it going so far? Well, I have spent days prepping for video webinars for someone to whom I owe no obligations, and I am about to spend the first week of February in the US and the last week in Hong Kong, so the resolutions are not standing the test of time. The webinars, however, had collateral benefits, and the two trips meet all my criteria of benefit and interest.

CPD Videos

The time-consuming videos were for a reputable CPD company. I always said that the one thing I would not do was talk unaccompanied at a video camera for 60 minutes – although I am keen on video as a means of conveying information, that is when either when it comes in small bites or when it involves discussion with other people. To just look at a camera and talk to myself on a dense and fairly technical subject for 60 minutes is no fun at all. Continue reading

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Interview: David Horrigan, Legal Content Director at kCura

At the tail end of last summer, I had the opportunity to talk to David Horrigan, General Counsel and Legal Content Director at kCura.

I asked him first what his plans were for education in his new role. David Horrigan says that he wanted to make eDiscovery accessible, fun even, for those involved in it, including the clients who pay for it. It is not just a necessary evil, but part of everyday life, and part of the purpose of the Relativity Blog is to make people more aware of this. Continue reading

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Bob Tennant of Recommind: it’s about finding the documents that matter

RecommindIt is of course a good thing that the eDiscovery software market offers competing solutions to clients. Competition means choice; it also means that software providers must strive to keep invention up and costs down.

It is equally true that choice can become paralysing. Most of us have stared at shelves full of near-identical consumer products and tried to evaluate their competing claims and price differentials; we have the same difficulty when choosing providers of services, as lawyers, insurance companies and the like try to persuade us, with a finite vocabulary, that their service is the one you should buy. For many of us (and it is certainly true of me) the mind closes down eventually and I end up buying none of them. Continue reading

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Eddie Sheehy of Nuix talks about the need for speed and context in investigations

NuixSpeed is important in eDiscovery whether that is for litigation or for investigations. This is partly because time is money, and anything which reduces time reduces also the cost of the investigation, but there are other reasons why the advantage lies with the party who can get most quickly to the data which matters and turn it into usable information.

It may dictate strategy, such as the decision to fight or not to fight a civil case; it may steer an approach to a regulator which may be a confident assertion that all is well or a timely admission that there are problems to be addressed; in an internal investigation, speedy analysis of the data may bring a swift end to wrongdoing. Continue reading

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Interview: US Magistrate Judge Peck on cross-border discovery after Schrems

JudgePeckShortly after the Schrems judgment was published, I moderated a panel on cross-border discovery at Lawtech Europe Congress in Brussels.

One of the panellists was US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck, and I took the opportunity to interview him about one particular aspect of US court requirements for discovery from the EU or from other jurisdictions which impose data protection and privacy restraints on discovery.

The point I picked on was the quality and timeliness of the information given by lawyers to the US Court about the conflicts caused by EU (and other) data protection and privacy restrictions, and I asked Judge Peck if we were seeing progress on this. The interview appears below. Continue reading

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Tom Palladino of NightOwl Discovery talks about the advantages of working directly for corporations

NightOwlNightOwl Discovery, based in Minneapolis, has been providing discovery services for corporations and law firms for many years.

I had the opportunity to interview its president, Tom Palladino, while at EDI in New Orleans and I asked him about to explain the benefits, both to NightOwl and to the corporations, of working directly for the end client rather than through law firms – it is not, as Tom Palladino makes clear, that NightOwl does not happily work for law firms, but the bulk of its business is directly with clients. Continue reading

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Information Governance webinars from Nuix

NuixNewLogoNuix has bundled together a set of video webinars designed to demystify information governance and, as Nuix puts it, to “move the discourse on IG from theory to action”.

The webinar titles are self-explanatory:

  • The real story of what information governance is and why you should be doing it
  • Breaking information governance down to enable action
  • Building the business case for information governance
  • Operationalising information governance

Each video stands on its own; the set of four is designed to give a rounded explanation of the whole subject. Continue reading

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Forthcoming webinars on the rules and practice directions and on identification and retrieval of documents

I am about to record two video webinars with MBL Seminars covering different aspects of eDisclosure in England and Wales.

One, to be broadcast on 25 February, is called eDisclosure – the Rules and Practice Directions. The regulation of disclosure is not to be found only in Part 31 and its practice directions. The overriding objective in Part 1 CPR and the court’s management powers in Part 3 CPR impose relevant requirements, and there are also provisions relating to costs which inevitably affect the sensible scope of disclosure. There is a crossover between costs and conduct whose ambit is wider than disclosure and which may catch you out if your sole focus is on Part 31.

The other, to be broadcast on 23 March, is called eDisclosure – Identification and Retrieval of Documents. It will have two broad themes. One is the range of sources which exist and which lawyers ought to consider (at least) when preparing to give disclosure. The definition of a “document” in the Rules is very wide, and this part of the webinar will help to ensure that none is overlooked. Continue reading

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Education and cross-border eDiscovery at kCura’s Relativity Fest

RelativityFestYes, I know it has been weeks since kCura’s Relativity Fest in Chicago, but that was the first of a series of events, each of which got in the way of reporting on the last. I gave a brief summary of the Autumn’s activities in my article Not much time at my desk as the Autumn season begins. Now I can go back over some of them to pull out whatever still seems important.

Relativity Fest has outgrown its previous home and moved this year to the larger Hilton Chicago. As always, its agenda included practical workshops for users, legal subjects from judges and practitioners, and sessions on eDiscovery practice; between them these cover the full range of people and skills involved in eDiscovery. As always with kCura, hard work was mixed with fun. Part of kCura’s success has been the way it combines the serious stuff with a feeling of “community” (I hate the word, but it is sometimes useful) in which all the participants have a share – lawyers, developers, partners, users and technical people. Continue reading

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Interview: Jeff Herron, SVP of Client Solutions at Cicayda

cicaydaJeff Herron is Senior Vice President, Client Solutions at eDiscovery software company Cicayda.

In this interview, he describes how Cicayda can help companies even before litigation begins with a view to both improving their position in future or prospective cases and saving costs.

The answer, he says, lies in helping companies to work out where data may be, in the use of advanced analytics in Cicayda’s Reprise software, in the involvement of Cicayda’s project managers, and in Cicayda’s managed document review service. Intelligent and proactive information governance helps clients work out what they should retain and what can be destroyed. Continue reading

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Commonwealth Brunch at LegalTech New York

Independent eDiscovery and privacy consultant Nigel Murray has been organising a Commonwealth Brunch at LegalTech for 10 years now. This year’s takes place on Sunday 31 January at a very civilised 10:30am. It is hoped that the venue will be the Tavern on the Green – the picture below shows last year’s Brunch there.

Commonwealth Brunch 2015

The broad qualification for attending, I think, is that you originate from or largely work in a Commonwealth country. The real distinction, perhaps, is between Americans working in the US and the rest, including Americans who work outside the US. This is not an anti-American point – IDC predicts that by 2019, Europe will be almost 23 percent of the global eDiscovery market and Asia will be over 7 percent, so it is no bad thing for us to stand apart for one meal every year and see who we all are.  Continue reading

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Opening the kimono on legaltech words to be eradicated in 2016

I was one of those asked by Nextpoint to identify a Legaltech buzzword which should the eradicated during 2016. Some of the replies are here.

My own contribution is “kimono” as in the expression “opening the kimono”, or revealing more than others might think might be wise. eDiscovery cooperation is required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as it is in the Civil Procedure Rules of England and Wales. The subject has received fresh coverage the US with the spread of predictive coding and other forms of technology-assisted review as lawyers argue about the extent to which they should show their workings, and in particular whether they should reveal documents which were not disclosed as part of the validation of those which are being produced.

It is not an entirely pointless debate, but it seems to generate more, and more expensive, anguish than it deserves, emphasised by the US hang-up about “work product” – something which barely ruffles the surface of disclosure in the UK. Continue reading

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New version of iCONECT-XERA brings multi-format production capabilities

iconectlogoIt is not that long since I reported a round of newly-developed features for iCONECT-XERA. Yet further steps have been taken with the latest release.

Most of these concern the production capabilities of iCONECT-XERA, including the ability to produce multiple formats in a single step and to manage hardware.

There is a press release about this here.

While on the subject of iCONECT-XERA, you may like this photograph of its interface displayed on an extremely wide screen. Imagine all that space shared between the detailed table shown here and the graphical visualisations for which iCONECT-XERA is well-known. Continue reading

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You will only find deleted or overwritten data if you think to check for it

My article about InterCity Telecom Ltd and Anor v Solanki was headed A failed attempt to overwrite stolen company data and told the story of a senior salesman who stole his employer’s sales data for his own benefit and that of its competitors.

Among the data recovered on discovery was a USB drive which apparently contained only music. Examination by a forensic expert showed the that the drive had been used previously for copies of the stolen data. That which was recovered from the drive formed much of the evidence against the defendant.

That article has, perhaps inevitably, drawn comment from a couple of forensic experts, both of whom seized on the difference between “deleted” and “overwritten” data. Continue reading

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FTI Technology: going beyond the reactive and compliance uses for audio evidence

FTI TechnologyI wrote recently about FTI’s technology for managing social media and audio, drawing attention to the role which technology plays not only in reactive eDiscovery but in compliance, particularly where companies are under a regulatory obligation to keep such data and to make it available on demand.

The points I made are emphasised further in an article from FTI’s Jake Frazier called When the walls have ears: 3 ways to leverage recorded audio evidence which appeared in Corporate Counsel at the end of September.

The article draws attention not only to the eDiscovery and compliance role of audio evidence but to its place in a comprehensive information governance strategy. The priority, as Jake Frazier says, is “addressing reactive issues and ensuring that the expectations of regulators are met” but, that done, companies should move towards “attainable proactive information governance initiatives”. Continue reading

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Victor Limongelli elected chairman of AccessData

AccessDataThe Board of AccessData, long-established provider of digital forensics and eDiscovery software, has elected Victor Limongelli as chairman of the board. Victor Limongelli brings long experience, including seven years as President and CEO of Guidance Software, to the post.

I have known Victor Limongelli for a long time. I met him at a conference in London in 2007, before he became CEO of Guidance Software. He was the first senior executive of a US-based eDiscovery company whom I met, and his session at that event drew me to the conclusion that I must get involved in US discovery if I was to comment on the subject in the UK and elsewhere. I wrote to Victor when I set up the eDisclosure Information Project, and did my first transatlantic webinar a few weeks later. Continue reading

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Guidance Software: catch the Early Bird discounts for Enfuse 2016 – 23-26 May in Las Vegas

guidance-softwareI have already drawn attention to the fact that Guidance Software’s long-running CEIC conference has been renamed Enfuse. It takes place from 23 to 26 May in Las Vegas.

It comes back to my attention for two reasons. One is that I have been invited to take part in a panel under the broad heading of data privacy and cyber risk management. I will tell you more about this as the details are finalised.

The other is that the period for taking advantage of the Early Bird discounts ends on 8 January. The discount is a substantial one – from $1,795 down to $1,095, extremely good value for a conference of this scope and quality.

You can find details here.

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Nuix track at Legaltech: Information Governance Challenges

NuixNewLogo1One of the most enjoyable parts of last year’s LegalTech New York was the information governance track run by Nuix on the closing day. I was a participant in an IG panel led by Julie Colgan of Nuix which, as is Julie’s style, was run with just the right degree of preparation – enough to give it a structure but with enough left open to see where we went with it and what emerged from the (not necessarily identical) positions taken by the panel.

Some photographs of that session are here.

Nuix is running the same track again this year with the theme Information Governance Challenges. Session 1 is called What Happened to the US/EU Safe Harbor? The Tension Between Privacy and Business Efficiency for Multinational Corporations. Robert Brownstone of Fenwick & West is the moderator; I am one of the panellists along with Amie Taal of Deutsche bank, Kenneth Rashbaum of Barton LLP and Rich Vestuto of Deloitte. Continue reading

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A failed attempt to overwrite stolen company data

InterCity Telecom Ltd and Anor v Solanki is a case involving sales-related data stolen from the claimant company by the defendant and used by him for his own purposes and for the purposes of business rivals of his former employer.

It involves, among other things, breach of contract and covenants, theft of data, breaches of orders and undertakings, and an attempt to cover up stolen data with music files. It ended with judgment against the defendant in a substantial sum, together with an order for indemnity costs and a sentence for contempt of court.

How did I miss this when it was published in February 2015? Looking back, I see that I was abroad on the day when the ever-reliable first-with-the-news Gordon Exall published an article about the case in his Civil Litigation Brief. It came back as Gordon’s Civil Case of the Year 2015, which is how I caught up with it.

The case involves a copybook example of data theft by an employee which reads like one of those compendium examination questions designed to bring in every facet of a subject. Delivered by HHJ Simon Brown QC with his usual thorough crispness, its narrative arc from recital of the facts and the law through to its inevitable conclusion is a helpful one, though it makes no new law. It might also serve as a warning to those who do not appreciate how difficult it is to get rid of electronic data. Continue reading

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Interview: Elizabeth Erickson of UBIC talks about lawyer acceptance of eDiscovery technology

UBICElizabeth Erickson is Solutions Architect at UBIC. The word “solutions” implies more than a purely technical achievement – it is only a “solution” if the lawyers see it as addressing a problem which they face.

In this interview, I ask Elizabeth Erickson about lawyer resistance to technology solutions for eDiscovery and specifically about what mechanisms exist to check the work that has been done – undermining the so-called “black box” excuse for doing things the old-fashioned way.

Elizabeth Ericsson points to the value of data analytics to understand, for example, how one reviewer compares to another and to check their coding decisions. The visual nature of the tools makes this easy to understand. Continue reading

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2015 eDiscovery year in review from Recommind

RecommindAdam Kuhn of Recommind has written an eDiscovery review of 2015 by reference largely to Recommind’s own posts during the year. I do not know if he ranked them by order of perceived importance, but I agree with putting the end of Safe Harbour above the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This is not because Schrems makes any difference to the way in which data should be collected in the EU, but because it may make a difference as to how companies, lawyers and courts view their obligations and actually perform them.

The new rules clearly deserve their place, as does the new California ethics opinion on eDiscovery competence. Technology-Assisted Review in the courts and the increase in corporate legal activity and control in eDiscovery are rightly identified as important. Continue reading

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Tom Palladino of NightOwl Discovery talks about the advantages of having a presence in the EU

NightOwlAn increasing number of US eDiscovery providers are setting up operations in the EU and in the Asia-Pacific region. Part of the objective here is to capture new work, but the main motive is usually to give a better and more complete service to new and existing US clients.

NightOwl Discovery has been offered hosting services in Dublin for some time now and, as Tom Palladino, its President, says in this interview, is planning to open one in Düsseldorf shortly.

The main imperative so far as the clients are concerned is the ability to collect, host and review data in the EU in order to comply with EU restrictions on the use and export of personally identifiable information. While the Schrems decision has not in fact made a difference to the tasks of which must be undertaken to manage this data properly, it has heightened awareness of the need to deal with processing and at least first pass review in the EU. Continue reading

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Interview: Roe Frazer, CEO of Cicayda on what makes Cicayda different

In this interview, I ask Roe Frazer, CEO of eDiscovery software company Cicayda, what is different about Cicayda.

Roe Frazer’s answer stresses the technology, and in particular the natural language processing analytics, on which Cicayda is based. That does not just help lawyers find things very quickly, but works out the relationships between people, and between people and the data, so that the facts, the custodians, the names, the dates and the organisations fall into place for the lawyers to work with.

I also ask Roe Frazer what is coming next for Cicayda. He says, as one would expect, that its development schedule is driven by what its users want, and gives some examples. Continue reading

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Interview: Adi Elliott of Epiq Systems talks about eDiscovery managed services

EpiqSystemsIn this video interview I talk to Adi Elliott, Vice President of Market Planning at Epiq Systems, about the role of managed services for eDiscovery.

Adi Elliott came into Epiq with Iris Data Services, which Epiq had acquired a few months earlier. The special feature which made Iris attractive to Epiq was the eDiscovery managed services offering which Iris had developed, including its award winning Arc which gives corporations and law firms their own Relativity environment for a fixed monthly fee.

Adi Elliott points out that companies are happy to commit their key client and financial data to servers and services managed by others. The Iris model brings that broader business trend to eDiscovery, with benefits which include control and cost certainty. Continue reading

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Devices which tell their own eDiscovery story

I mentioned in a recent article the “Frequent Locations” feature in iPhones and iPads. Whatever you think about being tracked in this way, I cannot say that it is very accurate, at least as shown on my iPad (it was switched off, I found, on my iPhone). Accurate or not, it is something to be aware of, whether for your own purposes or for fulfilling eDiscovery responsibilities.

Google Maps, meanwhile, keeps a much more comprehensive record of your travels, if you let it. I do (I wrote about this once before), and the article about Frequent Locations sent me to see what had been captured about my somewhat excessive travels in October, with Chicago, Nashville, Dallas and New Orleans in the US, Brussels, Lille, Ypres and Bruges in Belgium and France, and Cornwall, London and Oxford in the UK. It makes me tired just to look at it.

Google2

Google1You don’t know how to find this information? It turns out that I didn’t either, in the sense that I could not describe it when asked, however often I have seen it. The easiest way is to make a Google search while logged into Google. You see the group of icons shown at right (I am using a desktop computer for these examples).

Take the wheel for options, then History. That takes you to your Web Activity list, that record which betrays would-be poisoners, anarchists and admirers of the female form. You can delete that list, by the way, but don’t bank on that as protection from an investigator armed with EnCase or FTK.

At top left is an Options link. There, among other things, is your Youtube Watch History and Location History. In the latter, you can pick a date range or fine-tune the results to a particular time-and-place combination. Continue reading

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Moving from the tactical to the strategic as Consilio buys Huron Legal

“In small operations, everyone is doing something tactical every day. Now we can think strategically, with account managers focusing on the objectives of corporations and law firms, not just pushing data from the left to the right”

ConsilioThis seemed to me to be the key quotation from a conversation with Pete Feinberg, Senior Vice President, Products and Marketing at Consilio, when I spoke to him about Consilio’s acquisition of Huron Legal. These things are relative – Consilio is a substantial organisation already, and has been making consistent, and consistently strong, strategic moves for some years now, but its latest acquisition will enable a broader role for Consilio in its clients’ strategies, well beyond just solving their discovery problems as they arise – beyond “pushing data from the left to the right” in Pete Feinberg’s nice phrase.

You can find the basic facts about the acquisition from Consilio’s press release, Huron Legal’s press release and Doug Austin’s recent interview with Pete Feinberg. Although the acquisition took most of us by surprise, Pete Feinberg’s explanation as set out in Doug Austin’s interview makes it seem an obvious fit: similar clients but with a small overlap; Consilio’s strong international presence coupled with Huron Legal’s place in the US market; Consilio’s technology and related skills supplemented by the broad range of Huron’s practice areas such as information governance, compliance, law department management and legal analytics; this is one of those acquisitions which looks completely obvious now that it has happened.

It will strike the clients in the same way, both those already in the fold and those considering a change of provider – that is, a completely different kind of provider, not just swapping one set of skills for another. Continue reading

Posted in Consilio, Cross-border eDiscovery, Data privacy, Data Protection, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Huron Legal | Tagged | Leave a comment

The SCL publishes my predictions for 2016

scllogo1Computers and Law, the website of the Society for Computers and Law is publishing the 2016 predictions of those interested in IT law and IT for lawyers. Today it is my turn, and my few words (not so few, as it turned out) appear under an excessively kind heading provided by the editor, Laurence Eastham.

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You can find the post here.

There is a bit about rules, case management and costs, along with something on artificial intelligence and cyber risk. The pen-pushers at the Ministry of Justice get a pasting and, unsurprisingly, there is a section on the effect of Schrems on discovery and its crossover with privacy and data protection. Information governance turns up in the form of the suggestion that if organisations “kept less garbage, and knew where to find the rest, they might reduce their eDiscovery bills. They might even get value out of what they keep”.

One section is called There’s gold in them thar social media hills with a reference to tracking by Google Maps and the metadata stored by an iPhone camera, of which I say that “ ….you do of course have to remember to ask for it”. Continue reading

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iCONECT gets premises to match its technology

iCONECTWith its eDiscovery review tool iCONECT-XERA, iCONECT has emphasised the importance of software which does more than perform a function. iCONECT-XERA looks good as well.

There is more to this than mere aesthetics. Users spend all day working with the review tools, and iCONECT is committed to making that experience as pleasant as possible, not just to please the users but because they work better and more efficiently as a result.

iCONECT has carried that same logic into its redevelopment of premises in London, Ontario, where it has its headquarters, in offices which merge the traditional and the new (in the same way, perhaps, as review software brings new technology to an old process). Continue reading

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Xerox Legal Services adds Relativity Premium Hosting Partnership to its eDiscovery services portfolio

XeroxXerox Legal Services has long offered its clients its proprietary eDiscovery platforms including Viewpoint and OmniX. It has now become a Relativity Premium Hosting Partner which adds significantly to the range which can be offered to new and existing clients.

Xerox Legal Services is already a significant player in the eDiscovery market, with a UK hosting centre and, as I wrote recently, a new hosting centre in Hong Kong to serve the growing Asia-Pacific needs of its clients. The addition of Relativity to its portfolio alongside its existing software will allow significant expansion in its eDiscovery software and services provision around the world.

There is a press release about this here.

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Interview: Stacey Neumann, VP of Client Solutions at Cicayda

cicaydaIn this interview, I ask Stacey Neumann, Vice President of Client Solutions at Cicayda, to describe a typical Cicayda case.

There is no such thing, she says, as a typical case size. Cicayda’s technology will handle very large cases but will be equally beneficial where there are only, say, 1,000 documents. This means the clients do not have to maintain two solutions, one for big cases and another for smaller ones.

What is bringing the clients in, she says, is that Cicayda’s software is easy, intuitive and “not intimidating”, together with a straightforward pricing structure. Continue reading

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ZyLAB webinar on 17 December: reflections on 2015 and looking forward to 2016

ZyLABZyLAB and ACEDS have organised a webinar for 17 December with the title The end of the year webinar – leading eDiscovery experts reflect on 2015 and look forward to 2016.

Craig Ball, George Socha, Bill Speros, Johannes Scholtes and I will do the talking under the always expert moderation of Mary Mack, formerly of ZyLAB and now Executive Director of ACEDS.

Only one thing is certain about the content of this webinar – 60 minutes will not be enough.

There is more information and registration form here.

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Challenges of email archive discovery – and some recent examples

NuixNewLogo1Back in the summer, I wrote an article summarising the lessons from a Nuix webinar on email archivesNuix has now created an infographic called The challenges of email archive discovery which you can find here together with a link to a Nuix information paper called eDiscovery best practices when dealing with email archives.

We have had one or two interesting stories arising from relatively recent emails in the last few days. My favourite ones are those extracted forcibly from the University of Oxford by a Freedom of Information request which flushed out how the University massaged its report on the impact of its hideous flats next to Port Meadow in Oxford.

NightImageOne email shows that a university official told a supposedly independent author of a formal environmental statement to remove a picture of the flats glowing in what had hitherto been darkness – “The night image is not helpful” she said. One can see why she thought this; why she thought it right to suppress it is a different matter.

NightImage

Don’t even ask about the badgers btw. Continue reading

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FTI – managing social media and audio along with emails and the rest

FTI TechnologyIt gets ever harder to describe the functionality of eDiscovery software as data-types multiply and functions expand to manage them. The marketing teams understandably want to give prominence to new features, undiluted by the wider picture, but the result is sometimes a patchwork in which it is difficult for the new reader to see the whole. It is easy enough to blast out a press release about new functionality, less so to weave the new features into existing marketing.

An example arises when functionality is added to deal with a new data type such as voice, chat, social media etc. The press releases inevitably focus on that, and the reader might easily overlook that the primary objective is to fit the new data-type into the mainstream, treating it so far as is possible in the same way as email and the other more conventional sources of data. The reviewer needs data-types from one source to sit alongside data-types from another in chronological or whatever other order is useful to the reviewer. An email turns up next to the photograph taken on the same day, followed by a Facebook post and so on, and a seamless narrative is created.

If I pick on FTI Ringtail as an example, it is not because FTI’s rivals don’t achieve this. It is partly because of a recently-released FTI video which makes the point well (they are good at these), and partly because, released at last from back-to-back events, I have been going through old meeting notes and turned up one of a conversation with FTI’s JR Jenkins at ILTA. Continue reading

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Discriminating between disclosure and discovery – a recap

Some questions come round so often that it is easiest to refer to the last time I answered them, or the time before, or the time before that.

I come across Alison North at information governance events – she is an International consultant on IG and we have done a couple of panels together with Nuix in New York and London.

She was attending a conference of the Information and Records Management Society Public Sector Group today, and someone there asked for an explanation of the difference between eDiscovery and eDisclosure.

Having collected together earlier articles of mine which address this subject to send her, it makes sense to put them here.

The first is from an article I wrote in 2011. Most of it was about other subjects, so I will just give you the relevant extract:

Discovery_Disclosure

Continue reading

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AccessData webinar on 9 December: new product features for FTK 6.0

ACCESS-DATA-logoAs I recently recorded, AccessData has released new versions of both its review application Summation and its forensic application FTK. Both are now at Version 6.0.

On Wednesday 9 December at 12:00pm Mountain Standard Time, AccessData is presenting a webinar in which Mark Stringer of Syntricate will discuss and demonstrate some of the new features, including the Summation-powered FTK Web Viewer which allows reviewers to start looking at data as it is being identified.

The webinar is aimed at anyone involved in investigations, whether for crime detection, security analysis or eDiscovery.

There is more information and a registration form here.

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Interview: Richard Lutkus of Seyfarth Shaw on how his firm uses Relativity

kCura - RelativityIf you judge it only by the awards it wins, Seyfarth Shaw is a leader in lawyer use of technology to work better for clients. Who better to talk to, then, to find out how lawyers can use eDiscovery software – and not just for eDiscovery?

At kCura’s Relativity Fest in Chicago, I met Richard Lutkus, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw, and asked him why he attends Relativity Fest. The answer is perhaps unsurprising – that Relativity Fest offers the opportunity to keep up with what kCura is doing and with the wider aspects of running a strong technology-aware legal practice, including mixing with others who face the same challenges.

Seyfarth Shaw’s role for clients is not limited to the reactive task of managing eDiscovery matters as they arise. It is also heavily involved in advising clients on how to manage their data and in the wide range of functions which fall under the umbrella of information governance. Continue reading

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ILTA Teleforum today – no Safe Harbour: what’s new in the European data protection laws?

ILTAI am taking part in an ILTA teleforum today at 4:00pm GMT / 11:00am EST with the title No safe harbour: what’s new in European data protection laws?

Our focus will inevitably be the consequences of the Schrems Safe Harbour judgment, but we will look more broadly at the implications of transferring data from the EU to the US.

This is a teleforum not a webinar – the difference is that every participant is live and able to ask questions if they choose to.

The other panel members are Carolyn Casey, Christopher Costello of Winston & Strawn and Brian Kimes of Philip Morris International, a deliberately broad range of viewpoints.

There is more information about the event on this page. It includes a link to the registration page for members. It also has a link to related resources, including an interview with Gayle McFarlane of Cordery and Jason Rix of Allen & Overy who were the participants in a Schrems panel which I moderated at ILTA Insight in London a few weeks ago.

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RBS Rights Issue Litigation: considering whether the eDisclosure process had overtaken the purpose

I don’t like these judgments where a good firm of solicitors is seriously mauled by the judge for what are seen retrospectively as project management failures in a vast eDisclosure exercise. It is hard to be kind in cases where a rule has been broken or overlooked, or where solicitors are punished for the aggressive taking of bad points, but one has to sympathise when, in an exercise involving 25 million documents of which 10 million are unique, the judge concludes that “something has gone wrong”. Let those who think they could have done better cast the first stone.

The case is RBS Rights Issue Litigation [2015] EWHC 3433 (Ch) (26 November 2015)
and I am, as so often, obliged to Gordon Exall who not only publishes articles about new cases very promptly in his Civil Litigation Brief, but takes the trouble to draw my attention to those with an eDisclosure element in them.

One’s heart sinks at a judgment beginning “Further to the eighth CMC in this matter…” although (if you can get prompt hearing dates) it makes sense to seek the court’s directions (or indulgence) where there are many issues at stake and much to argue about. Indeed, the ante-penultimate paragraph of the judgment reads: Continue reading

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Computers & Law seeks predictions for 2016

scllogo1Laurence Eastham of Computers & Law Magazine www.scl.org is again inviting predictions from experts in IT law and legal IT for the coming year.

He would especially value contributions from outside SCL’s normal circles – “most obviously but not exclusively from technologists and e-commerce entrepreneurs who say something that IT lawyers would find useful”.

Lawrence Eastham is looking for at least 50 words per person but “if you want to provide more, even lots more, that’s fine”.

The invitation itself, with relevant details, can be found here.

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Hal Marcus of Recommind talks about Recommind’s chat solution

recommindlogo1Hal Marcus is Director of Product Marketing at Recommind. I caught up with him at ILTA in September and asked him about Recommind’s latest release of its eDiscovery application Axcelerate.

One of the additions, Hal Marcus says, is a set of new functions for dealing with Bloomberg chat and other kinds of chat systems.

Chat has become the new email, he says; it is difficult material for discovery purposes because there is “no end to it” and it is full of jargon. There is a section on Recommind’s website about this here.

Recommind has an on-demand webinar called, appropriately, Chat is the new email: complete communications analysis for eDiscovery which covers the same subject. You can access the webinar here. Continue reading

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Lawrie Hall of CYFOR talks about CYFOR’s recent expansion

Lawrie Hall is Head of Civil Investigations and eDisclosure at CYFOR.

In this short interview, he talks about his role in developing business and managing eDiscovery projects at CYFOR.

He also talks about CYFOR’s expansion, with offices now in London, Aylesbury, Edinburgh and most recently Dublin, in addition to the long-established office in Manchester.

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Costs and procedural complexities – appeal struck out for simple disclosure failures

Although Gordon Exall (he of the excellent Civil Litigation Brief) said recently on Twitter that he wished that he covered a subject which “got [him] trips around the world”, that “overrated pastime” (as I described it in reply) has reduced the number of my UK-related posts across the autumn; even Gordon’s prodigious output might have been cut down in the circumstances. Two of my trips, to Leeds and London, were in his company (along with Jonathan Maas of Huron Legal) and I have done other UK events, but the time-eaters have involved abroad, either because I have been away or because of the cross-border implications consequent on the Schrems decision.

It is time that I caught up with some of the cases relating to eDisclosure in the courts of England and Wales. On this, as on anything else relating to civil procedure, the best source is Gordon Exall’s blog which gives us no excuse for missing the disclosure cases.

If Smailes v McNally is the only recent case with significance to match older ones like Earles v Barclays, Goodale v The Ministry of Justice or Digicel v Cable & Wireless, the few eDisclosure cases we have had are nonetheless important. Not all of them derive directly from Part 31 and its practice directions but relate either to costs or to overarching concepts like proportionality or the shadow of Mitchell. I will take them one post at a time over the next few weeks, starting with the most recent. Continue reading

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Ari Kaplan survey with Recommind: Reinventing corporate legal with cloud consolidation

RecommindAri Kaplan has established a reputation for conducting first-hand surveys of those who influence decision-making in eDiscovery and related areas.

He recently teamed up with Recommind to conduct a survey of 25 large corporations for the 2015 Corporate Legal Operations Survey. The questions related to how they worked, what caused them particular difficulties and what their plans were for the future.

The replies focus on cost, the cloud, and the security implications of eDiscovery. These factors do not necessarily pull in opposite directions – one of the conclusions from the survey is that significant savings can be made by consolidating data in the cloud, with one of the interviewees saying:

In a perfect world, the company would deliver raw electronically stored information in SaaS to which outside counsel has access. Continue reading

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Jonathan Maas of Huron Legal talks about helping lawyers identify the scope of eDisclosure

Huron LegalI have recently done a number of events with Jonathan Maas of Huron Legal, talking to barristers and solicitors in Leeds and London, at ILTA Insight and in Brussels.
His consistent theme has been the need for lawyers to identify the scope of the disclosure problem as early as possible – as I put it in this interview “in the very small window between inception and the case management conference”.

While not underestimating the potential difficulties of any eDisclosure exercise, Jonathan Maas emphasises that the initial and urgent task of identifying what data exists is not necessarily a major task if early instructions are given by the lawyers to appropriately-qualified people. Huron, for example, will undertake this first stage at a cost which is proportionate to the objective – to equip the lawyers with the information they need to make early strategic decisions about the case. Continue reading

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Xerox Legal Services opens Hong Kong data centre

XeroxXerox Legal Services, the legal and compliance solutions division of Xerox Corp., has opened a data centre in Hong Kong to provide secure and compliant data discovery and transaction support in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new initiative is driven by the needs of clients, partly for litigation, but also because they face increased anti-corruption and anti-bribery scrutiny; closer regulation of Asian financial services is also a factor.

All these transactions face the difficulties of dealing with data protection and privacy restraints when, as is usually the case, the data is required outside its home jurisdiction, and particularly if it is going to the US. In China particularly, but increasingly elsewhere as well, data must be processed in-country, and often without leaving the client’s premises. Even where it is not intended to export the data, it is increasingly important to keep data in such a way that access is limited to relevant users. Continue reading

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Relativity Fest interview: Hytham Aly of Altep talks about being a Relativity database administrator

kCura - RelativityWhen I was at kCura’s Relativity Fest in Chicago in October, I took the opportunity to speak to some of the people who use Relativity in different capacities.

One was Hytham Aly, a database administrator at Altep, a Relativity Orange Level Best in Service Partner. In this interview, Hytahm Aly describes some of the tasks which he performs for Altep’s clients and talks about Altep’s relationship with kCura, about which he is very complimentary. Continue reading

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Interview: Patrick Burke of Seyfarth Shaw on cross-border data transfers for eDiscovery

It is many years since Patrick Burke and I started talking together about cross-border data transfers for eDiscovery. We had an annual slot at Guidance Software’s CEIC (now Enfuse) events and I recall a slide set from about 2009 which showed a picture of a harbour with the annotation “Neither safe nor a harbour”.

Our point was that if Safe Harbour was the only “protection” given to personally identifiable information exported from Europe then that was no protection at all. Even without looking at the detail of the obligations, the whole point of discovery is that documents pass from your control into the hands of another and thence who knows where, including public access if the document is used in court.

We were annually derided for this point of view. The Schrems judgment invalidated Safe Harbour on other grounds (mainly the NSA’s grapeshot approach to privacy violation), but we were right about its deficiencies even without that. Continue reading

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CGOC Europe 2015: Privacy, Security and Compliance in London on 11 December

CGOC is the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council which brings together more than 3,300 legal, IT, records and information management professionals from corporations and government agencies around the world.

On 11 December, it is running an event in London with the title Privacy, Security and Compliance: a global framework for information governance, sponsored by IBM and FTI Technology.

Session topics include:

  • What’s Next for Data Transfers? The Fallout from the EU-US Safe Harbor Ruling
  • UK Bribery Act and US FCPA – Proactive Monitoring for Compliance
  • Steps to Reduce the Business Cost and Risks of a Breach
  • How to Make Big Data More Manageable and Valuable
  • Challenges in Managing Disparate Forms of Audio and Electronic Communications for the IG Program

I am the moderator for the data transfers panel with Gareth Evans of Gibson Dunn, Monika Tomczak-Gorlikowska, Data Privacy Legal Counsel at Shell, and Dana Post of Freshfields as my very high-powered panel. Continue reading

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Guidance Software webinar on 1 December: 5 Things your board needs to know about security

guidance-softwareGuidance Software is presenting a webinar on 1 December with the title 5 things your board needs to know about security.

The webinar is aimed at those whose job may require them at any moment to explain to the board of directors what cyber risk the company faces – to define what the businesses’s exposure is and to say what are they doing to address it.

The webinar will consider subjects such as:

  • Why the board doesn’t care about your internal metrics
  • How to be realistic about security without scaring them
  • The key to getting funding for critical security initiatives

The presenters are Mike Rothman, President of Securosis, and Patrick Dennis, President and CEO of Guidance Software.

There is more information and a registration form here.

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FTI webinar – Advice from Counsel: the State of Information Governance in Corporations

FTI TechnologyOn 19 November, FTI Technology is presenting a webinar called Advice from Counsel: the State of Information Governance in Corporations.

The label “information governance” embraces a range of disciplines, and addresses multiple issues which face corporations. The most obvious ones or, at least, the ones which are gaining most attention, are data breaches and the costs of reacting to eDiscovery demands. These involve multiple players within a corporation and require pre-emptive policies as well the ability to react when a problem arises.

The bigger the corporation the bigger the problem, and even the largest businesses have to prioritise. Management buy-in derives from tangible return on investment, and it is helpful to understand what has worked for other organisations and what has not. This webinar addresses these questions. Continue reading

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Ian Campbell of iCONECT talks about new developments in iCONECT-XERA

iCONECTAt ILTA in September, I had the opportunity to talk to Ian Campbell, CEO and President of iCONECT

iCONECT has been busy recently. As Ian Campbell tells us in this interview, there are new analytic and visualisation features in iCONECT-XERA, and a new licensing model enables users and iCONECT’s partners to have access to all the features in iCONECT-XERA including its new analytic and visualisation tools (I wrote about all this here).

Not covered in this interview is iCONECT’s move to some very stylish headquarters premises. I will write about that separately. Continue reading

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Craig Ball on the differences between US eDiscovery and UK eDisclosure

Craig Ball was the keynote speaker at IQPC’s eDiscovery and Information Governance Summit in London in May 2015.

His theme in his keynote speech was an important one – the idea that lawyers who understand their documents and who know how to manage them and to abide by the rules, have a distinct advantage over opponents who do not. Along the way, he gave us well-illustrated examples of things which the lawyers ought to know about without necessarily understanding the deep technology behind them.

As one has come to expect from Craig, he had done his research on the English rules relating to eDisclosure and, in this video, he offers some thoughts on the differences between US discovery and UK disclosure. Continue reading

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Reminder: Equinix event – improving regulatory and litigation response – London on 25 November

I wrote recently about an event taking place in London on 25th November with the title Improving regulatory and litigation response.

EquinixThe organiser is Equinix, whose International Business Exchange (IBX) facilities house data centres for more than 6,250 companies worldwide.

The overriding theme in my original post was the identification of the pinch-points in the eDiscovery process – those things which act as a brake when it becomes urgent to collect data, cull the dross, sort the relevant from the irrelevant, and get the important documents under the eyes of a company’s lawyers as quickly as possible. Too often, the impediment is a purely physical one caused by the time taken to move data from disparate sources before the processing power of eDiscovery software is applied to it. Continue reading

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Cross-border discovery, unconventional sources of data and some unexpected artificial intelligence in Brussels

The core of this post is my account of the LawTech Europe Congress in Brussels. If the opening wrap-around stuff about Brussels, Bruges, bureaucrats and a Belgian farm is not to your taste, you can skip straight to the heading The Conference.

Much as I enjoyed its earlier iterations in Prague, there was no doubt that the LawTech Europe Congress deserved a wider stage. This year it moved to Brussels which, if it is not yet the eDiscovery capital of mainland Europe, is closer to it in more ways than one.

It is literally closer because many of us can get to it by train, whether from London or from other parts of mainland Europe. By November, I have had more than enough of bloody aeroplanes and all the inconvenience-by-design which goes with them. My son Will and I took the Eurostar from St Pancras, and were in Brussels in less time than it takes to get from car park to departure gate at Heathrow.

Brussels the bureaucratic 

Brussels also feels closer because it is the source of so much EU regulation and, of course, of all that data protection and privacy stuff which Americans think was designed just to annoy them and get in the way of the eDiscovery process. One of my panels was about that and one was about unconventional sources of data; the third, which was unexpected for reasons which appear below, was about artificial intelligence.

The infestation of Eurocrats is evident everywhere or, at least, anywhere upmarket in which these expensive creatures congregate. Stanley Baldwin spoke of “Hard-faced men who look as if they had done very well out of the war”, and Brussels is full of those who have done very well out of this sprawling, uncontrolled bureaucracy whose own auditors have refused to sign off £100 billion of its own spending. The restaurants are full of smartly-suited and elegantly-dressed women who look as if they have had a hard day regulating the curvature of cucumbers, drafting legislation to impose their personal morality on us, or scratching the back of the lobbyist who bought them lunch last week. Continue reading

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Judge David Harvey on the Internet of things, information governance and IoT eDiscovery implications

Judge David Harvey of the District Court in Auckland, New Zealand, is well-known for his combination of practical technology understanding, judicial firmness and academic rigour.

I have moderated two panels with him this year, one in London and one in Singapore. At both, one of his themes was the increase in data derived from devices of all kinds grouped under the name the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things, Judge Harvey says, has serious implications for corporations and requires control by a comprehensive information governance strategy. So far as eDiscovery is concerned, this data, on its own or aggregated with other data, is potentially discoverable and it has become essential to devise ways of managing it in a proportionate manner for litigation or other disputes.

That in turn means that lawyers and judges must have some understanding of what is involved.

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Video: Matthew Davis of Consilio talks about his move from a law firm to Consilio

ConsilioMatthew Davis has long been that rare thing, a litigation support lawyer in a law firm. Hogan Lovells has had the benefit of his expertise in this area for many years, but now he has moved out of private practice and to become Senior Director eDiscovery provider Consilio.

In this interview, Matthew Davis talks about the reasons why he was ready to make the change. Consilio has its own software solution, Global RPM, which is undergoing major changes aimed at easing the whole eDisclosure / eDiscovery process, not least in its interface with the lawyers at the review stage.

Consilio is not just a software provider, however. It has a strong consulting function in the UK, the US, mainland Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and it is this which attracted Matthew Davis. Continue reading

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AccessData webinar on 10 November: eDiscovery, mobile devices and ESI – what every firm needs to know

AccessDataAccessData is presenting a webinar on 10 November at 2.00pm ET with the title eDiscovery, mobile devices and ESI: what every firm needs to know.

The reference to “firm” in the title implies that the target audience for the webinar is law firms. This is a good audience to aim at, because rather too many litigating lawyers seem quite unaware of the volume and potential value of data which sits on mobile devices in every pocket.

It is not just tablets and smartphones – Fitbits and other examples from the Internet of Things are busily collecting data which may not merely be discoverable in the formal sense but actually be the source of evidence which matters. Continue reading

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iCONECT focuses on data visualisation

iCONECTI wrote recently about the new release of iCONECT-XERA which, among other enhancements, has enhanced iCONECT-XERA’s already impressive data visualisation tools.

There are two events coming up at which iCONECT will expand on the value of data visualisation. One is a webinar presented by Mike Fedorowski
of iCONECT on 18 November with the title Getting the Most Out of XERA’s Enhanced Visualization Tools. Registration information is here.

The other comes at the East Coast eDiscovery and IG retreat to be held in Cape Cod from 8 to 9 November. There, iCONECT’s President and CEO, Ian Campbell, takes part in a panel discussion called Understanding the Data Visualization Trend In Legal which, as the panel description puts it, allows lawyers “to see trends, patterns and outliers represented as easy-to-understand charts, graphs pictograms and infographics”. Continue reading

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Big data analytics and function creep applied to surveillance data

Paul Bernal is Lecturer in information technology, intellectual property and media law at the University of East Anglia Law School. His blog and tweets bring us interesting and often trenchant material on privacy, human rights and the Internet.

His article today is called A few words on ‘Internet connection records’, and looks at some of the implications of the UK government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill known to many, to the fury of its promoter, Home Secretary Theresa May, as the Snoopers’ Charter (“Do you want their names?” asks the policeman in Morten Morland’s cartoon in the Times, which you will find, among others, here.

The Bill raises serious concerns about the proposed requirement that communications providers must store, as Bernal puts it, “a rolling record of a year of everyone’s browsing history” at least at the top level of websites.

There are eDiscovery and cybersecurity implications here which are relevant to my audience. Continue reading

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eDiscovery conference in Dublin on 13 November

I spoke last year at an eDiscovery conference organised by LaTouche Training at Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin. The event was a success, and is being repeated this year, on Friday 13 November at the same venue. Its website is here with a link to the agenda.

Ireland has been an interesting place in eDiscovery terms in the last year.
Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd v Sean Quinn & Ors brought us the first considered judgment on the use of technology-assisted review on this side of the Atlantic (I wrote about it in an article called TAR-red with the same brush in the US and Ireland); this event brings Karyn Harty of McCann FitzGerald to talk about the use of TAR in practice, and since Karyn Harty was the solicitor who brought the successful arguments to the Irish Bank case, she is worth listening to on the subject. Continue reading

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Come to ILTA Insight in London on 12 November

ILTA Insight 2015ILTA Insight takes place in London on 12th November at the attractive 155 Bishopsgate.

ILTA Insight’s title this year is Subject Matters, and the key themes include business and strategy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, knowledge management and eDisclosure. The event is free for those working in law firms or legal departments and it is open to all, not just ILTA members. You can walk up and register on the day.

I am participating in two panels. One is called The continuing continuum of eDisclosure – past, present and future which I am doing with Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy, Jonathan Maas of Huron Legal and Jack Bond of Quislex. Continue reading

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Nuix Proof Finder adds functionality and operating systems as it passes the $250,000 mark

NuixNewLogo1In 2011, Nuix launched a version of its digital discovery and investigations software called Proof Finder, priced at $100 per year. It was not just the price which was remarkable: all the receipts went to a charity called Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation which focuses on literacy and gender equality in education across Asia and Africa.

Proof Finder has now raised $250,000, money which, as Nuix CEO Eddie Sheehy says, has gone “to help primary school children develop literacy skills, and support girls to succeed in school and beyond.”

Nuix has celebrated the $250,000 milestone by expanding Proof Finder’s functionality and adding versions for Mac OS and Linux. The new release includes enhanced email threading, text summarisation, automated search and tag operations, a map view, configuration profiles and the ability to include or exclude files from processing by file type. Continue reading

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Equinix Roundtable on 25 November: Improving regulatory and litigation response

EquinixOn 25 November, I am one of the speakers at a round table organised by Equinix with the title Improving regulatory and litigation response. The other speakers are Jeremy Hopkins of Clerkingwell Consulting and Ollie Imoru of Equinix UK.

The broad subject of the event is how businesses and law firms manage growing volumes of digital information when courts and regulators require it quickly, and where courts, at least, also expect it to be delivered cost effectively. We aim to address how eDiscovery and information governance technologies can play their part in removing bottlenecks and increasing the efficient flow of information, and the right information, from client to lawyer to court or regulator.

I will focus on the process and formal procedural aspects of this while Jeremy Hopkins, well-known for his views on how lawyers should structure their businesses to give the best service to clients, will talk about that aspect. Continue reading

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Not much time at my desk as the autumn season begins

You may have noticed that my written output has declined over the last few weeks – at least somebody has noticed, because I have had a slightly hurt enquiry as to whether I intend to cover a particular topic.

There are are various reasons for this, none of which is idleness or lack of interest. The first was the two-week holiday which we usually take in mid-September. Why then? North Cornwall, our usual destination, is inevitably overrun in the summer with families with school-age children. The prices go up, and every lane and beach is jam-packed with the vehicles and accents of London and the Home Counties. A poem on the wall of the house which we rent, a parody of a well-known Betjeman poem, ends with this line:

Sounds of Sloane Square on the air
And black retrievers everywhere.

SaxonCornwallOur own black dog, Saxon the 15-year-old Labrador, nearly didn’t make it down there. Just before we went away, the decreptitude of old age took an apparent lurch downwards, and we booked an appointment at the vet which seemed likely to be a one-way trip. I said my goodbyes and went off to give a talk in Manchester, almost certain that I would never see him again. He likes going to the vet and perked up almost immediately, bounding into the surgery and seeking out the liver treats whose location he knows well. “I don’t think he’s quite ready to go” said the vet, and we agreed thankfully. Continue reading

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The Chronicle of eDiscovery for Financial Services

A new resource called the Chronicle of eDiscovery for Financial Services has begun publication with the ambition to bring together experts in the fields of eDiscovery, data forensics and information management and governance with a particular focus on financial services.

ConsilioIts founding sponsor is Consilio, whose eDiscovery and investigations skills are relevant to all businesses but which have a particular focus on financial services in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and elsewhere. The most recent development in this area is the tools for managing Bloomberg Chat, which I wrote about here. Continue reading

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FTI on the collection of mobile device data for eDiscovery and investigations

FTI TechnologyThis is my second post of today about the need to collect data from mobile devices for eDiscovery and investigations which gives some idea how important the subject is becoming.

FTI has a new page about mobile device data with the subheading No longer tomorrow’s problem. The reality is that it has been a potential problem for a long time – one of my predictions for 2015 was that a lawyer somewhere would lose a case or face a negligence claim for failure even to think about the subject. Continue reading

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Integrated analytics, predictive review, customisation and visualisation for iCONECT-XERA

iCONECTI turn my back for a week to go abroad and iCONECT makes not one but two big announcements about developments to iCONECT-XERA

The first is a significant licensing change which means that all new XERA licenses will include XERA’s analytic tools including predictive coding, workflow, iCONECT’s XMPLAR, near-duplication, conceptual search, email threading and iVIEW cluster visualization.

This does more than bring these existing tools to all users. A key requirement for end-clients, and for iCONECT’s Hosting partners, is predictability, not least of cost. It is not always possible to say at the outset of a project which tools will be required to manage data whose scope is as yet unclear. With all the analytic tools included in the licensing cost, it becomes possible to decide on the fly which tools are to be used at any stage without having to buy new licences. Continue reading

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AccessData launches Summation 6.0 and FTK 6.0 simultaneously

AccessDataSummation is AccessData’s long-standing eDiscovery tool combining predictive coding, advanced analytics, data processing, early case assessment, case management, final review and transcript management. FTK is its Forensic Toolkit, well known for many years as an industry-standard tool for collecting data quickly and defensibly for forensic and eDiscovery purposes.

The two products share a back-end database which, as Nadine Weiskopf, VP of Product Management at AccessData says, means that “customers’ data doesn’t actually move from one place to another when it transitions out of the investigations and collections phase into the processing and review phase.” Continue reading

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Nuix product demos webinar series

NuixNuix is now delivering weekly 30 minute webinars about the features in its latest products.

The webinars are presented by Nuix engineers and subject-matter experts, and aim to address commonly-asked technical questions on product features.

The webinars can be found here, along with links to fact sheets about Nuix Director, Nuix Web Review and Analytics, Nuix Sensitive Data Finder and the Nuix Collector Suite. The next product demo, about Nuix Collector Suite, is on 29 October.

If you are unable to attend at the time of broadcast, Nuix will send you a recording when it is available.

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Guidance Software webinar on 4 November: Integrating GPS data into digital investigations

Guidance SoftwareI took part in a panel at the EDI Leadership Summit in New Orleans last week which was called From the Black Box to GPS: employee monitoring in the age of big data. It fell to me to open the session with some illustrations of types of data which we all create and capture, often without knowing it, much of it from the devices we carry around with us. The panel then explored the implications of this data for eDiscovery and investigations purposes.

As it happens, Guidance Software is presenting a webinar on this very subject on 4 November. It is called Integrating GPS data into digital investigations, and covers the location information found in smart phones and pictures which can be used to uncover evidence and generate maps showing locations of relevant parties at particular times. Continue reading

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Recommind webinar on 20 October: No Safe Harbor – 5 strategies for cross-border eDiscovery

RecommindRecommind is presenting a webinar on 20 October (that is, TODAY) with the name No Safe Harbor – 5 strategies for cross-border eDiscovery.

The subject, of course, is the transfer of data from the EU to the US following the Schrems judgment of the EU Court of Justice. This webinar concentrates on the “creativity and informed strategy” which will be required to do the job properly. Speakers will be drawn from Recommind’s EU and US offices.

There is more information and a registration form here. In addition, Recommind’s Adam Kuhn has written a post to complement the webinar called Navigating compliance.

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Guidance Software EnCase Forensic earns five-star rating

Guidance SoftwareThe digital forensics review run by SC Magazine has given a five star rating to Guidance Software’s EnCase Forensic 7.10.

The review says this:

“Regardless of what other tools you are using, this one really needs to be in your arsenal…The long-time reputation, quality and comprehensive reporting functions make this an important tool no matter what else is in your lab.”

There is more information about this here.

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APT Search is looking for an eDiscovery manager in London

APT SearchA global international eDiscovery consulting company with offices in London is looking for a senior project manager for their eDiscovery department.

The role requires the project manager to give practice support services to clients, sharing expertise and helping with clients’ project management.

The post is advertised by APT Search who specialise in eDiscovery recruitment.

There is more information about it here.

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Speaking about Schrems and EU data privacy in Nashville with Cicayda

cicaydaTomorrow I am speaking at the offices of Butler Snow in Nashville at the invitation of Cicayda.

I was already booked to speak about cross-border discovery before the timely arrival of the Schrems decision. That will certainly feature prominently in my talk, but I will take the opportunity to talk more widely about the issues which arise when US courts and regulators want to bring EU data into the US. None of that has changed so far as I am concerned, since safe harbour, at least in an eDiscovery context, was no protection for those who had not done the data collection and culling job properly before the data left the EU.

There is some information here from the Vanderbilt Law School, and Cicayda’s registration page for the event is here.

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More on Schrems as panic gives way to constructive thought

As anticipated, there has been a lot of comment on the implications for safe harbour and for data transfers to the US following this week’s decision in Schrems.

I wrote briefly about it here, deliberately avoiding substantive comment, and there are links to several other articles on my Rebelmouse news page.

I linked to two particular sources in my article, and I mention their updates now:

Hogan Lovells was very quick off the mark with a webinar. There is a summary of what was said here together with a link to the slide deck used on the webinar.

Cordery has been busy. Here you will find a link to a podcast by Jonathan Armstrong together with links to Cordery’s related previous posts.

Both of these offer constructive ideas for dealing with the potential problems.

The subject will come up at various imminent events in which I am involved (although not necessarily in the Schrems aspects). As I have said before, I will be speaking about it at Relativity Fest and at an event next week in Nashville organised by Cicayda.

Further off, Lawtech Europe Congress in Brussels on 26-27 October, ILTA Insight in London on 12 November, and eDiscovery 2015 in Dublin on 13 November will all have sections covering trends and the wider data transfer context in which it belongs.

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Silence from me for now on Schrems and Safe Harbour

If you have any interest in cross-border discovery or any form of data transfer to the US, you will be aware that the EU Court of Justice has delivered a judgment in Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner the effect of which is to invalidate the EU Safe Harbour regime. The court press release about the judgment can be found here and the full judgment is here.

The judgment was not unexpected, and a blizzard of commentary fell upon us almost immediately. By about next Monday, people who wouldn’t know a safe harbour from a Tawny port will have given us the benefit of their views.

I do not intend to join in and add immediately to the mountain of written commentary. This is partly because I see no point when everyone else has done so, and partly because I prefer to think first and write afterwards, but mainly because I will be expected to talk about Schrems at two events next week and would rather focus on preparing for them.

The first event is kCura’s Relativity Fest in Chicago where, by happy chance, I am taking part in a panel on cross-border discovery with David Horrigan of kCura and Patrick Burke of Seyfarth Shaw. Continue reading

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FTK and Summation: AccessData US and international world tour

AccessDataLogo_200AccessData’s Chief Evangelist, Tim Leehealey, is undertaking a tour of cities in the US and around the world to bring users and prospective users up to date with developments in FTK and Summation 6.0.

The sessions will cover the state of the industry and AccessData’s strategic position, together with updates on AccessData’s product portfolio, the new Summation release and the short- and long-term roadmap.

Details of the world tour, which has already begun, can be found here. The US tour begins on 6 October in Los Angeles; dates and places can be found here.

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