Conferences / Symposia, Courtney Love, Outsourcing, Technology

The Rundown: This Week in Legal Technology – 01.14.11
(And a note about ATL’s LegalTech coverage.)

This week, The Rundown is going international. LegalTech is just around the corner, and there will be a solid contingent of lawyers from the United Kingdom in attendance.

Speaking of LegalTech, I’m going to be covering the conference for Above the Law. If you are interested in communicating with someone from ATL about LegalTech coverage, please contact me at gabe@abovethelaw.com. Thanks.

In this week’s Rundown, we will touch on the LegalTech conference. We’ll also link to a quick interview with the General Counsel of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, who recently discussed the UK Bribery act and its connection to e-discovery.

Staying in foreign territory, why has there been a recent boom in cases requiring foreign languages? I also highlight two articles of interest on outsourcing…

* LegalTech New York is a little more than two weeks away, and I’m looking forward to attending. The schedule is packed with nine tracks going at once this year (nine tracks!), so I expect there to be a large crowd. This conference is the largest legal technology conference in the world, and has been growing steadily since the economy collapsed in the latter half of 2008. This year’s turnout will speak volumes on how the legal industry is rebounding overall. I will write more about this in the next few posts.

* Speaking of LegalTech, UK lawyer Chris Dale posts about the many lawyers from across the pond who will be in attendance. I counted at least ten lawyers from the UK who will be speaking on panels this year. Their participation is a reflection of how closely related the British term “e-disclosure” is to what we call “e-discovery.” I probably would not even have heard of e-disclosure had it not been for Chris Dale, which may be why he has become such a draw at conferences like these.

* Staying with the United Kingdom, Project Counsel posted an interview with Vivian Robinson, QC (Queen’s Counsel), who is the General Counsel of the UK Serious Fraud Office. Robinson gives a nice overview of the UK Bribery Act passed in April 2010, and how it relates to e-discovery. It’s also interesting to note how that Act compares to our own Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and why the UK bribery laws needed to be updated to comport with changes taking place in other countries.

Two articles on outsourcing

The slope is getting more slippery. I’m not-so surprised an article like this one from Jason Mark Alderman hasn’t been written sooner. Now that outsourcing is a rapidly expanding segment of the legal industry, Alderman, a former in-house counsel, tries to make the case NOT to outsource his counsel brethren. Instead, he argues that the counsel position needs to be “transformed into business enablers who are plugged into the overall strategy to enhance corporate profits.” I wonder how our own in-house counsel columnist, Mark Herrmann, feels about this.

* This next article — “The Future of US Outsourcing May Be Near at Hand,” by Pranay Mittal — doesn’t focus so much on the legal world as on the outsourcing industry itself. I bring it up because it talks about something I mentioned on this blog a while back: Is it possible that it may be better to actually outsource ourselves back to the United States? Mittal makes that exact argument, referring to this practice as “domestic outsourcing,” and outlines how it may be the next logical step for outsourcing itself.

* Foreign language reviews have been picking up serious steam lately, and the editors of The Posse List think they know why. On the basis of their research, they conclude the following:

[F]our other factors have fueled demand for attorney reviewers fluent in languages other than English.: (1) an uptick in cross-border IP litigation, (2) an uptick in banking/financial crisis cases that involve numerous foreign banks and financial entities, (3) the move by other countries to enforce laws similar to the FCPA, and (4) an uptick in cross-border M&A activity.

Their post has links to some good sources on the FCPA and discusses IP and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) cases as well.

* Finally, I want to give a shout-out to a guy who I always follow, Rob Robinson of Orange Legal Technologies, who has just released his latest set of links on legal technology. My favorite one comes from Legal Blog Watch, on how Courtney Love has managed to “tweet” herself into a lawsuit.

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 regularly on Above The Law. He can be reached at gabe@abovethelaw.com.

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