E-Discovery

One of the primary themes of the Legal Technology Leadership Summit is to identify the enormous costs associated with the over-preservation of electronic data by corporations and other organizations and to suggest rules, legislation, or other processes or technologies to reduce those costs and risks. One of the many serious risks associated with the unnecessary over-retention of data is the risk that the data will be hacked or stolen.

Keynote speakers Tom Dawson, a former U.S. prosecutor, and Alan Lange, a political blogger, will address such issues as they relate to the Dickie Scruggs scandal. Dawson was personally involved in the six-month investigation and the three-month trial of Dickie Scruggs and other prominent plaintiffs tort lawyers. Scruggs collaborated with corporate employees in their unauthorized disclosure of paper and electronic records of their employer, a claims processing company that was involved in evaluating and processing Katrina insurance claims.

The data security issues that are central to the Scruggs saga dovetail with one of the recurring themes of the Summit. The presentation by Dawson and Lange is sure to trigger a lively discussion on what, if anything, could have been done to prevent or detect the theft of sensitive information.

The Summit will take place on September 6 – 8, in Amelia Island, Florida. If you are interested attending the Summit, please sign up here to join us. You can also take a look at the full agenda for the event here.

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “McDermott Will & Emery Wins E-discovery Blunder of the Week”

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.

Christina Ayiotis, an e-discovery and data privacy expert who is heading the Data Breaches and Cybersecurity Panel at the Legal Technology Leadership Summit, stated that: “Corporate America would be much better served with a national approach defining when data breach obligations are triggered and setting forth what those obligations are.”

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.

Here’s the agenda for the full conference.

Let your clients be the ones who can’t handle Facebook ethically. Join us from September 6 – 8 and learn how to avoid the ethical pitfalls of the modern age.

Exciting developments continue to unfold as we prepare for the Legal Technology Leadership Summit, presented by Above the Law in partnership with the Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI) and the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery (ASDFED). Today we are pleased to announce the speakers who will present the keynote address, which will kick off an informative two-day agenda featuring over 50 leading in-house legal experts:

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.

This will certainly be a keynote address to remember. We hope to see you at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, on September 6 through 8. You can attend the Legal Technology Leadership Summit by registering here.

Earlier: For Legal Technology, Above the Law Needs An Entire Summit

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Predictive Coding Patented, E-Discovery World Gets Jealous”

Preparations continue for the Legal Technology Leadership Summit, presented by Above the Law in partnership with the Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI) and the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery (ASDFED). We are pleased to announce three new sponsors:

And two new speakers, who will be joining us at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, on September 6 through 8:

You can attend this event by registering here. CLE will be offered (details to follow), and there will be a special rate for groups. We hope to see you there.

Legal Technology Leadership Summit

Earlier: For Legal Technology, Above the Law Needs An Entire Summit

As we’ve previously mentioned, we are hosting the Legal Technology Leadership Summit, in partnership with the Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI) and the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery (ASDFED). Today we are able to let you know about some new sponsors for the event, as well as new speakers who will be joining us at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, on September 6 through 8.

First, a big thank you to our new sponsors:

1. Nextpoint
2. Pangea3, a Thomson Reuters Company
3. Datacert

And now our new guest speakers:

1. Mark E. Lowes, Vice President Litigation, KBR
2. Robert Miller, Discovery Counsel, BP
3. Douglas I. D. McLean, Litigation, Arbitration & ADR, TransCanada PipeLines Limited

Wouldn’t you want to hear what these panelists have to say?

You can attend this event by registering here. CLE will be offered (details to follow), and there will be a special rate for groups.

Above the Law, cutting-edge tech, and sunny Florida. What’s not to like?

Legal Technology Leadership Summit

Earlier: For Legal Technology, Above the Law Needs An Entire Summit

As we’ve previously mentioned, we are pleased to be hosting the Legal Technology Leadership Summit, in partnership with the Electronic Discovery Institute and the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery (ASDFED).

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.

Legal Technology Leadership Summit

Earlier: For Legal Technology, Above the Law Needs An Entire Summit

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