Conferences / Symposia, Technology

The Rundown: This Week in Legal Technology – 10.15.10

This week, in between eating as many burgers with extra onions as I could at Rogue States, and lobbying heavily for my law school to be more like Harvard and hide their GPAs (in my case, I was really hoping they could implement that retroactively), I managed to collect lots of good material for this week’s Rundown.

Among other things, the Rundown features a major merger, more on predictive coding, another Masters Conference write-up, several surveys, a cartoon caption contest, how technology is helping those in pro bono — and, oh, a bit of litigation that could last a long, long time….

* Thank you, deceptive lenders! It seems that this foreclosure crisis will keep lawyers and document management companies busy for quite some time into the future. Apparently all 50 states are jumping on the foreclosure bandwagon.

* There were two company marriages this week in the legal technology space. The most notable: IBM is joining forces with the e-discovery vendor PSS Systems. This acquisition now has IBM vying with Google and Microsoft for content management supremacy, with EMC Corp. not far behind.

* The other legal tech merger of note occurred when litigation vendor D4 teamed up with the Canadian e-discovery vendor Commonwealth Legal. Their nuptials should give both companies a more global presence.

* Speaking of IBM, the company released a “tech trends” survey of IT professionals. A notable finding:

55 percent — expect mobile software application development for devices such as iPhone and Android, and even tablet PCs like iPad and PlayBook will surpass application development on all other traditional computing platforms by 2015.

* Another survey predicted that the e-discovery market will reach $1.2 billion in sales in 2014! Wait, isn’t that less than the $2.8 billion that another survey said e-discovery was supposed to reach in 2009? Well, at least that’s more than the $1.2 billion that another survey said it was going to reach earlier this year.

* Still on the subject of surveys, Fulbright & Jaworski released its own annual litigation trends survey. And wouldn’t you know it, the respondents think that litigation will continue to increase! But they don’t want to deal with the high costs of electronic discovery work at the same time.

* CaseCentral wants you to come up with a caption for the cartoon below, to celebrate the second anniversary of their Case in Point series. You can submit your entry — the deadline is today at 5 p.m. — over here. The winner will get a prize.

* Sales for the review tool Relativity seem to be growing faster than any other on the market. I noticed it was the one tool that e-discovery attorney Ralph Losey discussed when I was at the EMC Writers Summit in September. Now, it seems Relativity has partnered with the up-and-coming Ignited Discovery.

* In my write-up of the Masters Conference last week, I mentioned Chris Dale, who has his own blog post on the conference that goes into far more detail, for anyone interested.

* Perhaps the day is coming when the robots will take over. Sharon Nelson, on Ride The Lighting, gives further insight into a development I mentioned in a previous Rundown: predictive coding.

* I don’t mean to make any headlines here, but judges seem to be terrified of the Internet and love to ban people they sentence to probation or supervised release from using it. Who cares if that goes against statutory requirements?

* If you’re in Washington, DC next week, consider attending MyLegal.com’s one-day conference, The Case for Social Media. Speakers will include Carolyn Elefant and Niki Black, authors of the new ABA book, Social Media for Lawyers. Also, this guy will be presenting on developing business through social media as well. Be sure to shoot me an email if you plan to attend.

* Speaking of social media, the NFL is just in love with Brett Favre and the Jets.

* Lastly, I want to congratulate the folks at ProBono.net on winning the 2010 InnovAction Award. The legal technology I normally discuss here in the Rundown relates mainly to Biglaw, but ProBono.net’s software/website has truly made a difference in peoples’ lives. With its online document assembly, LawHelp Initiative, ProBono.net has managed to complete nearly 150,000 civil court forms covering such critical areas as child support, protection orders, and domestic violence, to name a few. The company was definitely very deserving of this award.

Disclosure: I am a member of MyLegal.com’s Advisory Board. I want to be clear that I was paid millions of dollars nothing to add this item to the post. I only mention it as I would any other organization or upcoming conference, as I have in the past with LegalTech, the ABA Techshow, and – most recently – the Masters Conference.

Gabe Acevedo is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and the owner of the e-discovery blog, Gabe’s Guide to the e-Discovery Universe. He also writes on legal technology and discovery issues for Above The Law. He can be reached at gabe@abovethelaw.com.

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