A wise man once said: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
I think of this whenever there are claims of attorneys royally screwing up e-discovery. It’s easy to indulge in some schadenfreude and say, “What suckers!” But truthfully, many firms — even the big, prestigious ones — are more vulnerable than they’d like to admit.
This month, McDermott Will & Emery ended up in the bright, unpleasant spotlight, because a former client sued the firm for malpractice.
Why, you might ask? The firm allegedly botched a client’s e-discovery.
Keep reading to see how the Am Law 100 firm became the e-discovery dunce du jour….
The current lack of uniformity in state legislation dealing with a company’s obligations in the event of data breaches affecting personal data has made it more burdensome and more expensive for companies to meet their compliance requirements.
Ms. Ayiotis’s panel at the Summit will explore the events which trigger data breach response obligations under current law, as well as what those obligations are. The panel will demonstrate the value of end-to-end information management that incorporates compliance requirements throughout the lifecycle of relevant information, with particular attention to proactive security architecture that contemplates both global data flows, as well as the consumerization of IT.
Part of the Summit’s mission is to not only examine existing law (and the IT landscape), but to consider what changes ought to be made so that the law and policy can keep pace with ever-changing technological capabilities, challenges, and innovations, as well as changing employee behavior.
The Summit will take place on September 6 – 8, in Amelia Island, Florida. If you are interested in attending the Summit, please sign up here to join us. You can also take a look at the full agenda for the event here.
If you were aware of pending litigation, would you destroy backup tapes if you had no reason to believe that they contained data relevant to case? Would you need to retain such tapes in order to meet your litigation-related preservation obligations as an attorney?
During the Legal Technology Leadership Summit, a mock hearing will be held where a blue-ribbon panel will examine whether sanctions would be appropriate in a case like the one described above. Participants in the mock hearing will play the roles of plaintiffs and defense counsel as well as plaintiffs’ expert. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV (S.D.N.Y.) will preside over the mock hearing.
At the conclusion of the hearing, panel members and the audience will vote via cell phone text messages on how they would have decided the case and why. Results will be shown live on screen as a prelude to what is sure to be a spirited discussion of how to meet a company’s preservation obligations without going broke or getting sanctioned in the interim.
The panel is part of an overall theme of the Summit of examining the true costs and risks of over-preservation and considering what the options are for resolving those issues.
The Summit will take place on September 6 – 8, in Amelia Island, Florida. If you are interested in being a part of the mock hearing, please sign up to attend the conference. You can also take a look at the full agenda for the event here.
Did you know that giving your computer to charity can run afoul of your ethical requirements as an attorney? Did you know you had an ethical duty to be technologically competent enough to handle all of the technological aspects of a basic discovery request?
These are the kinds of questions we’ll be answering at the Legal Technology Leadership Summit. You can sign up to attend the conference here. One of the panels will feature a dedicated discussion of ethics when it comes to electronic discovery and social media.
The panel will explore these specific situations:
A lawyer “friends” an opposing party or a witness in a pending trial.
A judge “friends” a lawyer.
Lawyers fail to consolidate duplicate electronic records and perform unneeded reviews of duplicate records.
Lawyers place client data on unsecured drives.
A lawyer’s PC has unencrypted client data and is stolen at a restaurant or in an airport.
Dickie Scruggs was at one time a preeminent plaintiffs tort lawyer, with major wins in tobacco, asbestos and insurance litigation. His reign ended with his conviction for the attempted bribery of a Lafayette County Mississippi Circuit Court Judge. Former U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson was heavily involved in the Scruggs investigation and prosecution. He and political blogger Alan Lange of YallPolitics.com detailed Scruggs’ dealings in their recent book, Kings of Tort.
In their keynote address, Dawson and Lange will provide an inside look at Scruggs’ modus operandi – complicity in the theft of corporate information (paper and electronic) by a company’s employees who are later paid consulting fees; providing those records to state attorneys general for their potential use in civil and criminal proceedings; striking contingent-fee arrangements with government agencies; the well-orchestrated political and public relations campaigns that accompanied the litigation; and the funneling of political contributions to state officials.
The authors will also provide an inside view of the eight-month undercover investigation and four months of litigation that followed resulting in the conviction and prison sentences of Scruggs, and four other defendants, three of whom were also tort lawyers, including Scruggs’s son and a former State Auditor.
The normally tepid e-discovery world felt a little extra heat of competition yesterday. Recommind, one of the larger e-discovery vendors, announced Wednesday that it was issued a patent on predictive coding (which Gabe Acevedo, writing in these pages, named the Big Legal Technology Buzzword of 2011).
In a nutshell, predictive coding is a relatively new technology that allows large chunks of document review to be automated, a.k.a. done mostly by computers, with less need for human management.
Some of Recommind’s competitors were not happy about the news. See how they responded (grumpily), and check out what Recommind’s General Counsel had to say about what this means for everyone who uses e-discovery products….
Today we’re happy to announce a new sponsor: Applied Discovery. We’ve also added some great speakers to the panels, including David King of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry), John Reilly of Lorillard Tobacco, Erika Santiago of ASDFED, and Mark Herrmann of Aon (and author of Inside Straight, our in-house counsel column).
You can learn more about the summit here, and you can register to attend here. We hope to see you there.
If you read a lot of e-discovery articles — and I know y’all do — you know that judges are quickly losing any patience for attorneys who don’t have their act together during e-discovery (or even regular old discovery).
I know that nothing about the process is simple or easy. I know e-discovery is expensive and time-consuming and involves complex computer programs that most people don’t understand. But seriously, everyone needs to hurry up and figure this stuff out.
Otherwise you might end up like the attorneys for the city of Washington, D.C., who got benchslapped so hard on Monday that they won’t be able to see straight for a week.
Read on to learn about what Chief Judge Royce Lamberth (D.D.C.) described as a discovery abuse “so extreme as to be literally unheard of”….
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.