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Posts Tagged ‘Legal Tech’

Legal Tech 2013 Sessions: Symantec explores eDiscovery beyond the EDRM

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Having previously predicted the ‘happenings-to-be’ as well as recommended the ‘what not to do’ at LegalTech New York, the veteran LTNY team here at Symantec has decided to build anticipation for the 2013 event via a video series starring the LTNY un-baptized associate.  Get introduced to our eDiscovery-challenged protagonist in the first of our videos (above).

As for this year’s show we’re pleased to expand our presence and are very excited to introduce eDiscovery without limits, along with a LegalTech that promises sessions, social events and opportunities for attendees in the same vein.   In regards to the first aspect – the sessions – the team of Symantec eDiscovery counsels will moderate panelist sessions on topics ranging across and beyond the EDRM.  Joined by distinguished industry representatives they’ll push the discussion deeper in 5 sessions with a potential 6 hours of CLE credits offered to the attendees.

Matt Nelson, resident author of Predictive Coding for Dummies will moderate “How good is your predictive coding poker face?” where panelists tackle the recently controversial subjects of disclosing the use of Predictive Coding technology, statistical sampling and the production of training sets to the opposition.

Allison Walton will moderate, “eDiscovery in 3D: The New Generation of Early Case Assessment Techniques” where panelists will enlighten the crowd on taking ECA upstream into the information creation and retention stages and implementing an executable information governance workflow.  Allison will also moderate “You’re Doing it Wrong!!! How To Avoid Discovery Sanctions Due to a Flawed Legal Hold Process” where panelists recommend best practices towards a defensible legal hold process in light of potential changes in the FRCP and increased judicial scrutiny of preservation efforts.

Phil Favro will moderate “Protecting Your ESI Blindside: Why a “Defensible Deletion” Offense is the Best eDiscovery Defense” where panelists debate the viability of defensible deletion in the enterprise, the related court decisions to consider and quantifying the ROI to support a deletion strategy.

Chris Talbott will moderate a session on “Bringing eDiscovery back to Basics with the Clearwell eDiscovery Platform”, where engineer Anna Simpson will demonstrate Clearwell technology in the context of our panelist’s everyday use on cases ranging from FCPA inquires to IP litigation.

Please browse our microsite for complete supersession descriptions and a look at Symantec’s LTNY 2013 presence.  We hope you stay tuned to eDiscovery 2.0 throughout January to hear what Symantec has planned for the plenary session, our special event, contest giveaways and product announcements.

LTNY Wrap-Up – What Did We Learn About eDiscovery?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Now that that dust has settled, the folks who attended LegalTech New York 2012 can try to get to the mountain of emails that accumulated during the event that was LegalTech. Fortunately, there was no ice storm this year, and for the most part, people seemed to heed my “what not to do at LTNY” list. I even found the Starbucks across the street more crowded than the one in the hotel. There was some alcohol-induced hooliganism at a vendor’s party, but most of the other social mixers seemed uniformly tame.

Part of Dan Patrick’s syndicated radio show features a “What Did We Learn Today?” segment, and that inquiry seems fitting for this year’s LegalTech.

  • First of all, the prognostications about buzzwords were spot on, with no shortage of cycles spent on predictive coding (aka Technology Assisted Review). The general session on Monday, hosted by Symantec, had close to a thousand attendees on the edge of their seats to hear Judge Peck, Maura Grossman and Ralph Losey wax eloquently about the ongoing man versus machine debate. Judge Peck uttered a number of quotable sound bites, including the quote of the day: “Keyword searching is absolutely terrible, in terms of statistical responsiveness.” Stay tuned for a longer post with more comments from the General session.
  • Ralph Losey went one step further when commenting on keyword search, stating: “It doesn’t work,… I hope it’s been discredited.” A few have commented that this lambasting may have gone too far, and I’d tend to agree.  It’s not that keyword search is horrific per se. It’s just that its efficacy is limited and the hubris of the average user, who thinks eDiscovery search is like Google search, is where the real trouble lies. It’s important to keep in mind that all these eDiscovery applications are just like tools in the practitioners’ toolbox and they need to be deployed for the right task. Otherwise, the old saw (pun intended) that “when you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail” will inevitably come true.
  • This year’s show also finally put a nail in the coffin of the human review process as the eDiscovery gold standard. That doesn’t mean that attorneys everywhere will abandon the linear review process any time soon, but hopefully it’s becoming increasingly clear that the “evil we know” isn’t very accurate (on top of being very expensive). If that deadly combination doesn’t get folks experimenting with technology assisted review, I don’t know what will.
  • Information governance was also a hot topic, only paling in comparison to Predictive Coding. A survey Symantec conducted at the show indicated that this topic is gaining momentum, but still has a ways to go in terms of action. While 73% of respondents believe an integrated information governance strategy is critical to reducing information risk, only 19% have implemented a system to help them with the problem. This gap presumably indicates a ton of upside for vendors who have a good, attainable information governance solution set.
  • The Hilton still leaves much to be desired as a host location. As they say, familiarity breeds contempt, and for those who’ve notched more than a handful of LegalTech shows, the venue can feel a bit like the movie Groundhog Day, but without Bill Murray. Speculation continues to run rampant about a move to the Javits Center, but the show would likely need to expand pretty significantly before ALM would make the move. And, if there ever was a change, people would assuredly think back with nostalgia on the good old days at the Hilton.
  • Despite the bright lights and elevator advertisement trauma, the mood seemed pretty ebullient, with tons of partnerships, product announcements and consolidation. This positive vibe was a nice change after the last two years when there was still a dark cloud looming over the industry and economy in general.
  • Finally, this year’s show also seemed to embrace social media in a way that it hadn’t done so in years past. Yes, all the social media vehicles were around in years past, but this year many of the vendors’ campaigns seemed to be much more integrated. It was funny to see even the most technically resistant lawyers log in to Twitter (for the first time) to post comments about the show as a way to win premium vendor swag. Next year, I’m sure we’ll see an even more pervasive social media influence, which is a bit ironic given the eDiscovery challenges associated with collecting and reviewing social media content.

The Top Ten “What NOT to Do” List for LegalTech New York 2012

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

As we approach LegalTech New York next week, oft referred to as the Super Bowl of legal technology events, there are any number of helpful blogs and articles telling new attendees what to expect, where to go, what to say, what to do. Undoubtedly, there’s some utility to this approach, but since we’ll be in New York, I think it’s appropriate to take a more skeptical approach and proffer a list of what *NOT* to do at LTNY.

  1. DON’T get caught up in Buzzword Bingo. There are already dozens of sources attempting to prognosticate what the most popular buzzwords will be at this year’s show.  Leading candidates include “predictive coding,” “technology assisted review,” “information governance,” “big data” and even the pedestrian sounding “sampling.” And, while these terms will undoubtedly be on booths and broadcast repeatedly from the Hilton elevator, it doesn’t mean an attendee should merely parrot these without a deeper dive.  Here, the key is go behind the green curtain to see what vendors, panelists and tweet-ers actually mean by these buzzwords, since it’s often surprising to see how the devil really is in the details.
  2. DON’T get a coffee at the Hilton Starbucks. Yes, we all love our morning coffee, but there’s no need to wait in the Justin Bieber-esque line queue at the in-hotel Starbucks. There are approximately 49 locations in a ½ mile radius, including one right across the street. There’s also the vendor giving out free coffee on the second floor, so save yourself 30 minutes of needless line waiting.
  3. DON’T ride the Hilton elevator. For those staying or taking meetings at the Hilton, the elevator lines can be excessively long.  Once you finally get on, you’ll wish they’d been even longer as you then find yourself subjected to the brainwashing of vendor announcements while you make multiple stops on your way to your desired floor. Either take the stairs or, if that’s not possible, try to minimize the trips to keep your sanity. Or, plan B – bring your iPod.
  4. DON’T talk to booth models. It’s tempting to gravitate to the most attractive person at a given vendor’s booth, but they’re often hired professionals designed to get you in for the all-important “badge scan.” Instead, focus on  the person who looks like they’ve been in the same company-branded oxford for 48 hours, because they probably have. While perhaps less aesthetically pleasing, they’ll certainly know more about the product and that’s why you’re there after all, isn’t it?
  5. DON’T pass out your resume on the show floor. While certainly a great networking opportunity, LTNY isn’t the place to blatantly tout your professional wares, at least if you want to keep your nascent job search on the down low. And, if you want to have more private meetings, you’ll need to do better than “hiding out” at the Warwick across the street. For more clandestine purposes, think about the Bronx.
  6. DON’T take tchotchkes without hearing the spiel. There are certain tchotchke hounds out there who roam around LTNY collecting “gifts” for the kids back at home. While I won’t frown on this behavior per se, it’s only courteous to actually listen to the pitch (as a quid pro quo) before you ask for the swag. Anything less is uncivilized.
  7. DON’T get over-served at the B-Discovery Party. After a long day on the show floor you’re probably ready to let loose with some of the eDiscovery practitioners you haven’t seen in a year.  But, in this era of flip cams and instant tweeting, letting your hair down too much can be career limiting. If you haven’t done Jägermeister shots since college, LTNY probably isn’t a good time to resume that dubious practice.
  8. DON’T forget to take your badge off (please!). Yes, it’s cool to let everyone know you’re attending the premier legal technology event of the year, but once you leave the show floor random New Yorkers will heckle you for sporting your badge after hours – particularly the baristas at Starbucks. Plus, if you’ve broken any of the other admonitions above, at least you’ll be more anonymous.
  9. DON’T forget to bring a heavy coat, mittens and scarf. Last year there was the infamous ice storm that stranded folks for days (me included). Even if the weather isn’t that severe this year, anyone from warmer climates will need to bundle up, particularly because it’s easy to unintentionally get caught outside for extended amounts of time – waiting for a cab in the Hilton queue, eating at Symantec’s free food cart, walking to a meeting at a “nearby” hotel that’s “just a block or so away.” Keep in mind those cross town blocks are longer than they appear on a map.
  10. DON’T forget to learn something. Without hyperbole, LTNY has the world’s greatest collection of legal/technology minds in one place for 3 days.  Most folks, even the vaunted panelists, judges and industry luminaries are actually quite accessible. So, at a minimum, attend sessions, ask questions and interact with your peers. Try to ignore the bright lights and signs on the floor and make sure to take some useful information back to your firm, company or governmental agency. You’ll undoubtedly have fun (and maybe a Jagermeister shot, too) along the way.

Meet The E-Discovery 2.0 Team At LegalTech For Drinks On Monday Evening (We’re Buying!)

Friday, January 30th, 2009

If you have been to LegalTech before, you know that – by the end of the day – you could use a nice stiff drink to recover. So why not do it with some company? We (Aaref, Dean, Kurt, and Will) will be at the Bridges Bar at the Hilton at 7pm, and we are happy to buy drinks for the first 50 E-Discovery 2.0 readers who join us (we will have a big E-Discovery 2.0 sign on our table, so feel free to just stop by and introduce yourself). It’s a great way to meet us, suggest ideas for what we should cover on the blog, and get warmed up before going to the B-Discovery event later that evening.

Come early though. We mentioned the idea to Brandon, who runs the E-Discovery 2.0 group on LinkedIn, and he invited his group to arrive shortly after, so the seats (and the drinks!) may go fast.

What’s on Deck for LegalTech NY 2009

Friday, January 16th, 2009

It’s a new year in legal technology, and the visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads quickly give way to visions of LegalTech 2009. After all, who can help but dream about another opportunity to brave the icy streets of New York City in February? Fond memories of attempting to wolf down a stale croissant and cold cup of coffee while jostling for an uptown cab outside the New York Hilton can set even the most jaded litigation support manager’s heart aflutter.

The weather and the Manhattan traffic may remain the same, but, as we’re all painfully aware, this year’s show takes place in the context of a dramatic global recession that is having a huge impact on the legal industry’s use of technology, particularly electronic discovery. It’s in challenging times that innovation often thrives the most, so this year’s LegalTech may actually yield a surprising number of new ideas and technologies.

Innovation aside, this year’s LegalTech will likely have a bit of a different “look and feel” from last year:

LegalTech 2008 LegalTech 2009
Dining hot spot Le Cirque Le Hot Dog Cart
Evening activity Attending swanky club parties hosted by eager and generous vendors Watching Law and Order in your hotel room while eating Chinese take-out
Cheap giveaway Demo CDs Devalued CDOs
Hilton elevator waiting time 20 minutes 20 minutes
Top discussion topic while waiting for the elevator Managing the costs and risks of electronic discovery Managing the costs and risks of electronic discovery

Some things, of course, never change. Fortunately, the team at Incisive Media has been working overtime to put together a stellar lineup of practitioners, legal experts, and judges to provide insight into some of the key issues of legal technology. While electronic discovery is top-of-mind for many, there’s a lot of more than that on tap. Key sessions include:

  • Patrick Oot, Director of Electronic Discovery and senior litigation Counsel at Verizon will lead the first-ever LegalTech Town Hall meeting, to be featured on YouTube. The Town Hall will be an interactive discussion where participants will be able to submit questions in real-time to a panel of experts for immediate feedback and insight on the topics that are of top concern.
  • John W. Woods, a partner at Hunton and Williams, will deliver a keynote on “How eDiscovery is Changing the Relationship Between Law Firms and their Corporate Clients”. Clearly there’s a sea change going on here, which seems to be being accelerating by the economy, and it will be very interesting to hear what John has to say.
  • Finally, LegalTech would not be complete without a contribution from a leading light of the bench. And this year, none other than United States Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of Peskoff v. Faber and United States v. O’Keefe will be presiding. Ralph Losey said he’s “just about my favorite judge of all time” and it’s sure to be a fantastic session to get up to speed on the cutting edge of electronic discovery law.

The fantastic speaker lineup, of course, just scratches the surface. LegalTech is also an incredible networking opportunity to meet with fellow practitioners and vendors. However, it can be a little overwhelming, particularly to first-time attendees. So, we thought we’d close with a video that Monica Bay put together last year that provides a quick “how-to” guide for making the most of your time at LegalTech.

As a final note, I’ll be attending the E-Discovery 2.0 LinkedIn Happy Hour before B-Discovery’s LegalTech event.  It’s at the Hilton’s Bridges Bar from 8:00 – 9:00pm on Monday February 2nd.  Come by and say hello.  If you are not a member of the E-Discovery 2.0 LinkedIn group, sign up here.  See you at the show!

Live from LegalTech West: The E-Discovery Tug of War

Friday, June 27th, 2008

tug_of_war_2.jpgHello from Los Angeles, where the weather’s fine and summer’s in full swing! Accordingly, a few of us in the legal technology community spent the night before LegalTech enjoying a Dodger’s game hosted by LTN editor-in-chief and rabid Yankees fan Monica Bay (outfitted in full Yankee regalia for the occasion). So as to not incur Monica’s wrath, I left my Red Sox cap at home.

At the game, I happened to sit next to a colleague from another vendor who mentioned that her firm is about to celebrate twenty years in e-discovery.

Twenty years! What a remarkable milestone for any company. It got me wondering about how much technology has evolved over that time period, and raised an interesting question to noodle over between innings: With all of the investment and innovation in the e-discovery space, who’s actually winning the electronic data discovery tug of war, twenty years in?

What is the e-discovery tug of war, you ask? Let’s start with the scene in 1988.

On one side, the documents: They stared at you from across the mud puddle — hundreds or even thousands of boxes stacked one of top of another, hauled out from a warehouse where they’d spent their days, against their will, in windowless solitude, ready for battle. They were ticked.

And on the other side, you: With your new IBM PS/2 Model 80 (the best money could buy: 640×480 VGA color screen, 16mhz 386 processor, 80MB hard drive), flatbed scanner, and some new DOS-based database program called “Concordance.” To add insult to injury, Starbucks hadn’t even really gone national yet, so you were probably stuck with a jar of instant coffee to try to stay awake.

You didn’t stand a chance.

From then until now, two different dynamics have played against each other, pulling the flag back and forth over the dividing line:

  1. On one side, the explosive growth of electronic documents has been truly mind-boggling. From a baseline of close to zero in 1988 (WordPerfect 5.1 wasn’t introduced until 1989), today essentially every single business document is created, transmitted, and stored electronically.
  2. On the other side, technology innovators in the e-discovery space have used creativity and a large dose of Moore’s Law to store, process, and search electronic documents with ever-increasing speed and efficiency.

During the seventh inning stretch, with the Dodgers holding a commanding lead over the White Sox, I thought: Maybe technology is about to win.

Here’s the argument: Assuming that the creation of document content will still largely be human-driven, now that most every legally significant class of communication is being created and managed on-line, growth of e-discovery-relevant data volumes may quickly move from being exponential (when everything was “going digital”) to a rate driven more by productivity improvements and economic growth. Improvements in processing, search, and analysis of documents, however, will continue to improve at a Moore’s Law pace for the foreseeable future, presumably making it fairly trivial for advanced e-discovery technologies to outmuscle their longtime adversary.

Google shows some evidence of this victory of technology over data. Remember that just a few years back, search engines frequently trumpeted how much of the Internet they were able to index – and it was far from the whole thing. Today, that’s largely a solved problem. It’s simply amazing how quickly Google’s index ingests new data, often in what seems like a matter of minutes. In fact, I dare say that by the time you read this post, you’ll be able to perform a Google search on some of its content and have it come up front-and-center in your search results. Amazing.

What does this mean for electronic data discovery? The best e-discovery technologies will change to solve challenges that are far more strategic in nature. Instead of focusing on how fast and effectively they can process documents, or how quickly they can allow attorneys to review them, they’ll provide powerful capabilities for addressing some of the most important e-discovery problems that inside and outside counsel face, such as:

  • How do I craft robust, defensible search strategies for my cases while minimizing e-discovery costs?
  • How can I standardize a repeatable, high-quality discovery process that’s executed consistently across my organization?
  • How can my organization become more proactive in identifying potential legal risks and liabilities based on our company’s “legal history”?

I’m sure you can come up with a number of others. What do you think – is the war against documents over, and electronic data discovery ready to move to a new phase? Or are there still many more battles to be fought?