This week, when I wasn’t thinking about how to crack down on lunch thieves and trying to recoup the money I paid former Judge Porteous over the last few years (which put me in a bit of a financial bind, but I’ll be fine because I’m on the short list for a job at Skadden’s San Francisco office), I found time to piece together another Rundown of legal technology for the week.

In this edition, we go back to the future to discuss “2001: A Space Odyssey.” There is also a free download addressing European privacy and e-discovery, as well as other related content.

In addition, the most famous plaintiff in e-discovery will be speaking in Boston. And have you ever wondered what the legal industry will look like in ten years?

* “Greetings, attorney 61432. Your security access has been confirmed. What type of documents would you like me to search and code for you today?”

Eric Lipman over at Legal Blog Watch brought to my attention a post from Counsel On Call’s blog Lawdable, by Barry Willms:

The headline — “What Would Hal 9000 (WWH9D) Do for E-Discovery?” — hooked me despite the misplaced parenthetical. Having been there in the trenches, reviewing and re-reviewing thousands upon thousands of .tiff files for days and weeks on end, I would have killed for a mystical system that took over for me after an hour or two.

By the way, Hal 9000 is from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out in 1968. It’s funny how science fiction writers tend to think we will develop technology like the Hal 9000 much sooner than we actually do. That said, I thought this was an important point for an attorney or any other legal professional to follow.

But as the year nears its close, realize that change is constantly in the air these days. Change with it. Expand your skill set. Don’t get stuck where you are. Learn something new about technology this year. Read. Experiment. Become better at what you do.


* I try to avoid mentioning press releases generally; however, there is one that I want to highlight this week. FTI Technology announced a very interesting report that it commissioned from RAND Europe concerning privacy and data protection as these relate to e-discovery and legal governance. The report, which you can download for free, is a must-read for anyone working on complex litigation cases with European ties, considering how important those issues have become in recent years.

Chris Dale

* For those who want another interesting look at US e-discovery/UK e-disclosure, Chris Dale describes his time at the Georgetown Advanced e-Discovery Institute in a fairly lengthy post on his blog. The Georgetown e-Discovery Institute is quickly establishing itself not just as an annual conference, but also as a cutting-edge think tank on the subject.

* Speaking of free things to download, I thought I would pass along the following email I received this week from the eDiscovery Institute (gavel bang: Dan Regard of Intelligent Discovery Solutions):

Dear Friends,

The eDiscovery Institute is proud to announce the release of the Judges’ Guide to Cost-Effective E-Discovery by Anne Kershaw and Joe Howie with a foreword by Hon. James C. Francis IV. The Guide offers a detailed look at processes and technologies proven to reduce the cost of processing electronic discovery and will be distributed in print form to all magistrate judges in federal district courts. A copy of the table of contents is provided below for your convenience. You can download your personal electronic copy here.

Laura Zubulake

* For lawyers and law students in the Northeast, the Boston eDiscovery Summit will be featuring Laura Zubulake as one of its speakers on December 16 at the OMNI Parker House. As the press materials note, Zubulake is “the most famous plaintiff in the history of electronic discovery,” stemming from the Zubulake v. UBS Warburg case. Ms. Zubulake is also quite an interesting person outside of e-discovery. In addition to being a published author on convertible securities, she has a photography collection available through National Geographic.

* Speaking of summits and conferences, have you ever wondered what the legal industry will look like in the year 2020? LegalTech has announced that its third-day keynote speaker for the February 2011 New York City conference will be Michael Rogers, an author and “futurist” for The New York Times and MSNBC. Rogers will give his thoughts on what he expects to see in the legal field ten years from now. His imagined scenario is well worth a look.

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Gabe Acevedo is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and the publisher of the e-discovery blog GabesGuide.com. His articles on legal technology and discovery issues appear weekly on Above The Law. He can be reached at gabe@abovethelaw.com.


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