Information Governance begins at home

Stripped of its refinements, information governance is the management of information, including the policies and governance rules which dictate what is kept and how it is stored and tagged, and what is destroyed. The aim is to be able to find what you need without having to plough through everything you have ever created or received.

It would be fair to say that my late mother’s approach to domestic IG was to keep everything. Where an organisation would buy another server, my ma would get another piece of furniture to store her papers in, moving existing furniture along the wall to make room for the new shelves or cabinet. The council tax demands for 2007, and all the self-exculpatory waste paper which councils send out with their demands, lie side by side with potentially important documents about planning permissions. Grocery receipts share a box with documents which ought to be kept. The shredder has run hot, but I can’t just drop whole files into it for fear of losing something of value or interest.

I am in no position to criticise her for this, nor do I. I have boxes of paper, much of which was pretty dull when I filed it 20 or 30 years ago. I have vast stores of scanned images – all carefully indexed but nevertheless needing more than bulk deletion. Most of my 21 terabytes of storage consists of photographs and work videos and their backups, but the hard part is the fraction of that volume which represents the equivalent of paper – emails, Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations – the stuff of any discovery exercise. Continue reading

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Ricoh and Venio Systems webinar on 19 March: how self-service is redefining eDiscovery

On Tuesday 19 March, Ricoh and Venio Systems are presenting a joint webinar called How self-service is redefining eDiscovery.

The subject is the value which the VenioOne OnDemand self-service interface has brought to the Ricoh team, and the major benefit it has brought to their clients.

The speakers are David Greetham of Ricoh and Chris Jurkiewicz of Venio Systems. There is more information and a registration form here.

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Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Ricoh, Ricoh eDiscovery, Ricoh USA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A brief hiatus….

Last week was meant to be one of high output. Most of the videos from earlier events are completed and published, and my son Will is filling my Inbox with drafts of the Legaltech videos. There are pending events to promote (like the Nuix one which I have just written about) and a new disclosure judgment in England and Wales (Serco v MoD, which I have also just written about).

One interruption last week was a scheduled one – to hospital going under anaesthetic so that a camera could be winched down my throat (all clear, thank you). The open road to a publication stream lay before me.

That night, however, my mother died down in Suffolk. This was not truly unexpected – she was 89, and we were told she was dying last June, so she had a pretty good run after that. I mentioned this briefly on Twitter and was quite overwhelmed with the reaction, from people I actually know, people I know only on Twitter, and people I don’t know at all. It was an uplifting experience. Continue reading

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A broad agenda at the Nuix Insider Conference in London on 4 April

The Nuix Insider Conference is a one-day event in London covering all aspects of working with data, including forensic investigations, eDiscovery, incident response, and governance. This year it takes place on 4 April at County Hall by Westminster Bridge.

The aim, in Nuix’s words, is to show how you can achieve ‘Total Data Intelligence’.

The agenda supports that ambition with a broad mixture of subjects. One of the points I made in my enthusiastic review of last year’s Nuix Insider Conference was that it is designed to encourage conversation – “talking to people with the problems and with the solutions” as I put it. Continue reading

Posted in Cyber security, Data Security, Defensible deletion, Digital investigations, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Nuix, Nuix Insider Conference | Leave a comment

The MoD on the disclosure naughty step again: indemnity costs where disclosure conduct falls outside the norm

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has, unfortunately for it, become the reverse poster child for disclosure by UK government departments. Its most recent reverse comes in a judgment by Mr Justice Fraser in Serco Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence [2019] EWHC 515 (TCC) (28 February 2019).

My thanks to Litigation Futures for spotting this and for its helpful summary.

I have more sympathy for the MoD over the 2010 Al-Sweady judgment than I did when I first wrote about it (see Al-Sweady v Secretary of State for Defence: blame for e-Disclosure failures gets personal – and public.

This is partly because of what we now know about the origin of those proceedings, and partly because of other factors, including lack of investment in IT systems, the nature of military operations, and the need for military secrecy. The judgment’s continuing value as a source of instruction lies in its lessons about the importance of explaining properly and timeously what the problems are, and for the fact that a named army officer was criticised personally for his work by the Court of Appeal. I wrote this, quoting the Court of Appeal:

Accordingly, if [insert your own name here] continues to be put forward as a principal or even a significant witness in judicial review proceedings or if he is in any way responsible for disclosure, it is our view that any court seized of those proceedings should approach his evidence with the greatest caution.

The words in brackets which stand substitute for the officer’s actual name are mine. I added that “I would work quite hard to ensure that the name in that sentence was not mine”. Continue reading

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Interview: Roland von Borstel of Ricoh on the increasing take-up of technology-assisted review

Roland von Borstel is Director, Discovery Solutions, at Ricoh in Canada. I spoke to him at Relativity Fest in Chicago and asked him about the take-up of discovery analytics in Canada.

Roland von Borstel said that Canada is embracing analytics. Analytics is helping to deal with increasing volumes, making sense out of documents, and putting them into context with other documents. The clients really like it. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Ricoh, Ricoh eDiscovery, Ricoh USA | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interview: Paul Mankoo of Inventus – the race to the top for talent

While in New York for Legaltech, I interviewed Paul Mankoo, CEO of Inventus, on a range of eDiscovery subjects. I first met Paul Mankoo about 20 years ago, and his present position as CEO of a global eDiscovery company gives him a range and depth of experience which I was keen to tap.

The resulting interview has been broken into a series of short snippets, each on a discrete subject. The broad question in this one was about changes in the industry. Paul Mankoo’s answer was not, as you might expect, about new technology, but about people as a differentiator between providers.

Continue reading

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Disclosure difficulties in UK criminal cases – especially mobile phone evidence

Two articles in Counsel Magazine cover the growing concerns about disclosure in criminal proceedings. They emphasise the pressures, mainly on defendants but also on the Crown Prosecution Service and the police, caused by increasing volumes of data, by the technical complexity of multiple data types and sources, and by the lack of resources available to manage them.

The first of these articles is called R v E and the great disclosure debate – Measured working guide in an imperfect world, and is by senior defence barrister Jerry Hayes. He was the prosecutor who brought to an end the 2018 trial of Liam Allen because of multiple disclosure failures. His focus is on the guidance given by the Court of Appeal in R v E [2018] EWCA Crim 2426 which, in addition to the helpful practical guidance which it gives, is:

…a useful talisman against that new breed of young, aggressive, careerist judges who are obsessed with the minutiae of process, clock watching and just want ‘to get on with it’, who are slithering onto the circuit bench. Continue reading

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eDiscovery training at the White House from ACEDS, Ricoh and FTI

Behind the headlines and the high politics, the White House is a government department whose Executive Office must deal with information governance, records management and IT like any other department.

ACEDS (the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists) recently took a team into the White House to deliver an on-site training session to 26 employees responsible for these things.

Mary Mack, Executive Director of ACEDS, was joined by Shannon Bales of FTI Consulting, David Greetham of Ricoh USA, and ACEDS VP of engagement Kaylee Walstad. Continue reading

Posted in ACEDS, Discovery, eDiscovery, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology, Ricoh eDiscovery, Ricoh USA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

DLA Piper – Data Protection Laws of the World 2019

Several years have passed since DLA Piper first launched its comprehensive handbook reviewing data protection laws of the world. The 2019 edition has now been published.

It came to my attention thanks to a LinkedIn post from former US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck who, freed from the proper restraints of his judicial position, and now a senior counsel at DLA Piper, has turned out to be an adept user of LinkedIn, and the source of much good information.

DLA Piper’s blog post about the Data Protection Handbook emphasises that 2018 was a significant year for privacy and data protection laws; the subject will, they say, “continue to be one of the most dynamic and fast-developing areas over the course of the next year.”

The handbook opens with a helpful map showing countries as having heavy, robust, moderate or limited regulation and enforcement in this area, and allowing comparison between two jurisdictions.

Continue reading

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Interview: Grant Whiteley of KordaMentha on the take-up of technology-assisted review in Australia

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Grant Whiteley of Australian advisory and forensics provider KordaMentha. Shortly after that interview, Relativity and KordaMentha announced that KordaMentha had become Australia’s first RelativityOne certified partner.

My interview was not about that yet-to-be-announced partnership but about the take-up of analytics, and specifically of technology-assisted review, in Australia. Grant Whiteley said that KordaMentha had used technology-assisted review for years. For a long time, it was hard to get clients interested, but now they are expecting it and the costs savings which it brings. They are also asking about yet more advanced technology, including artificial intelligence. Continue reading

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Interview: Thomas Sely of FTI Consulting on the growing need for FTI’s eDiscovery services in France

Thomas Sely is Senior Director – eDiscovery and Forensic Technologies at FTI Consulting in Paris. I interviewed him in London recently, interested to know more about the demand for forensic technology in France, where FTI has been expanding its technology practice.

Thomas Sely said that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the uncertainty around Brexit had made it important for FTI to have a team in continental Europe. This is not new territory for FTI – it set up an office 10 years ago in Paris, and was enthusiastic about expanding its investigation and litigation support team. Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border eDiscovery, Data privacy, Data Protection, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Parallels between the informed patient and the informed client

An article called The informed patient by Dr Helen Salisbury in the British Medical Journal interested me not merely because I am an occasional patient at Dr Salisbury’s practice, but because what she says in the article is similar to a change in ideas in the relationship between professional advisers (lawyers and eDiscovery providers in my world) and their clients.

The central part of Dr Salisbury’s article is about patients who feel apologetic – guilty, even – about having researched their symptoms before approaching the doctor:

the apology I find the most surprising is when patients “admit” to having informed themselves about their symptoms or illness. “I’m sorry doctor, I know I shouldn’t . . .” they start, apologising for what’s surely the most obvious response to an unfamiliar symptom—looking it up online

Patients seem to fear being “disrespectful” at apparently “casting aspersions” at the doctor’s expertise. They are expecting this reaction:

Dr Salisbury says that what she is looking for is “a meeting between equals, working together to solve a problem”. Continue reading

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Interview: Andrew Peck of DLA Piper on cross-border discovery and technology-assisted review

I have been interviewing former Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck for several years now, and doing panels with him for even longer. Now retired from the bench, he is senior counsel with DLA Piper. I took the opportunity to interview him at Relativity Fest, where he was one of the participants in the judicial panel.

Andrew Peck’s role now is mainly advising lawyers at DLA Piper on discovery matters (not just “eDiscovery”, as he carefully points out). He advises also on litigation strategy, and on what will or won’t be persuasive to a judge. He is also there to do mediation, arbitration and, if a judge so decides, to act as a special master, especially on discovery matters. He is, I was pleased to hear, to continue on the speaker circuit which he has graced eloquently for so long.

Andrew Peck said that it was good to continue the work of Browning Marean – the “Pied Piper for discovery” as he called him. And, one might add, for DLA Piper, whose flag Browning flew around the world. Continue reading

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Interview: Danny Chan of Ricoh on a case study involving Relativity Analytics

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Danny Chan of Ricoh to ask him about a matter he had worked on involving the use of Relativity Analytics.

Danny Chan said that the client was already out of time in dealing with vast volumes of data. Four lawyers, including a partner, were working on the review but it was clear that they could not possibly get through the work quickly enough. Continue reading

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This is a test – change of URL and request to email recipients

For 12 years or so, this blog has had the address www.chrisdale.wordpress.com. We have now changed it to www.chrisdaleoxford.com.

This is neater and ties in with the name I use for email, Twitter and Skype. The blog itself has stayed in the same place, with redirects handling old links.

We have had a report from one organisation to the effect that clicking on links in the  email notifications can result in unattractive formatting. That link was necessarily made from an old email notification (because there have been no new ones since the change of URL yesterday) and we don’t know whether the formatting results from the redirect, from that user’s browser, or from some other cause.

The only way to send out new email notifications is to publish a blog post, and this is it. Can I please ask those who receive notification emails to click on the link in the email and let me know whether you see the blog post and, if so, if it is properly formatted.

It would be helpful to have both positive and negative feedback, together with the identity of the browser used.

It would be extra helpful, if you do get a failure, if you were to go on to paste the URL directly into the browser and see if that works properly. This will help narrow the field for enquiry.

Many thanks for your help.

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Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure | 2 Comments

Privacy panels, video venues and more at my 13th Legaltech

I am back from my 13th Legaltech in New York, and facing the annual challenge of trying to summarise it. I do not deliberately wait to see the summaries of others before writing mine, but some people are so fast off the blocks that their reports are out before I have taken my boots off.

The indefatigable Doug Austin of CloudNine has collected the reactions of others in two posts, here and here. His invitation to contribute to it and his rigorous deadline had passed before my jetlag had worn off. A thoughtful post by Bob Ambrogi, and a reply by David Horrigan of Relativity, raise interesting questions about (I paraphrase) an event where the elite address the elite, leaving 90% of lawyers (and, as Bob Ambrogi emphasises, the clients) unheard. More on that below.

Let me start by saying that I love Legaltech. This is not for the high quality of its panels (I went only to the two which I moderated). I do not go for the demonstrations offered by providers of software and services, though that is a major attraction for potential buyers, who can see everything in a few busy days. I loathe the noisy parties in dark venues which others seem to appreciate, preferring quiet dinners with interesting people (thank you Ricoh and ACEDS). I go because it is the greatest concentration in the year of the people who make eDiscovery tick; I go for the panels which people kindly invite me to moderate, always with top-class panel members; I go to record video interviews with interesting people; and, more than anything, I go to bump into people, some of whom I see only once a year. Continue reading

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Data exchange protocol from the UK ILTA Litigation Support Special Interest Group

ILTAThe disclosure pilot set out in Practice Direction 51U, now in force in many UK civil courts, requires completion of a Disclosure Review Document. Among other things, the DRD requires parties to agree how they will transfer information between them in the disclosure process.

The matters to be agreed are set out in Section 3 of Appendix 2 to the Practice Direction, and specifically in paragraphs 6 (7) – (11). Those without the relevant skills will observe the footnote to the “Appropriate methodology” section:

The onus is on the parties to ensure they engage appropriate IT forensic expertise to assist with this process if they or their legal advisers do not have such expertise in house.

A working party from the UK ILTA Litigation Support Special Interest Group has spent the past few months working with UK eDisclosure suppliers to draft a best practice protocol, along with guidelines for its use. You can see the results, along with the suppliers and law firms associated with this initiative, here. Continue reading

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Interview: Joy Murao of Practice Aligned Resources, winner of Relativity’s Stellar Women in eDiscovery Award

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, Relativity gave a series of awards to individuals for their contribution to eDiscovery and its related subjects. One of those awards was the Relativity Stellar Woman in eDiscovery award. The winner was Joy Murao of Practice Online Resources. I interviewed her shortly after the awards ceremony.

Practice Aligned Resources, Joy Murao’s own company, offers eDiscovery litigation support solutions, including consulting and advisory services, case planning and implementation, along with vendor and software selection, staffing and training. Joy Murao set up Practice Aligned Resources after a long career building and leading teams, mainly in law firms, supporting litigators and handling litigation matters around the world. I asked her why the award mattered to her. Continue reading

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Sedona Conference cross-border and data protection programme in Hong Kong in June 2019

The 11th Annual Sedona Conference International Programme on cross-border transfers and data protection laws will take place in Hong Kong between Monday 17 June and Thursday 22 June, with the main programme on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In addition to the main program, there will be half-day meetings of Working Group 6 and Working Group 11, and a meeting of corporate counsel.

The Sedona Conference will shortly be inviting applications to the programme, as well as publishing more information about it.

The announcement is here:

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Interview: Chris Hatfield of FTI Consulting on changing trends in forensic data collections

Christopher Hatfield is an expert in digital forensics, cyber and eDiscovery at FTI Consulting in London. I spoke to him recently about changing trends in forensic data collections.

 

Chris Hatfield said that Google and Microsoft now have discovery interfaces and clients have skilled staff who are able to operate these, and therefore make more use of these internal resources. Continue reading

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The interviewer interviewed: me on the use of video to promote businesses and ideas

Well, this is a bit different. I do a lot of video interviews. I am usually the one quietly asking polite questions while someone else sits in the limelight talking about their business or about some subject of interest. Now Project Counsel and Greg Bufithis have turned the tables and interviewed me.

The blog post published this week comes under the heading “The ones to watch”: a video chat with Chris Dale. It is the third in a series of interviews (the others were Ron Friedmann and Rob Robinson) in which people are asked about what we do and what path we followed to get there.

Much of their video, consistent with the theme of Greg Bufithis’s series, is about how I first got into eDiscovery and into commentary on discovery and its satellite subjects. Much of it, however, is about the value of video as a means of spreading ideas and promoting products, services, ideas and people. Continue reading

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Interview: Tessa Jacob of Husch Blackwell, Relativity Attorney Tech Evangelist of the Year

At Relativity’s big annual event, Relativity Fest, Relativity gave awards to various people whose contribution is making a difference to the take-up and use of technology in law. The award for Attorney Tech Evangelist of the Year went to Tessa Jacob, attorney and Discovery Solutions Leader at Husch Blackwell. I interviewed her after the award ceremony.

Continue reading

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Interview: Nicola Harrison of Nuix on the benefits of Nuix’s Ringtail acquisition plus forthcoming Nuix webinars

The video interview has become my preferred form of output, giving the opportunity to learn at first hand from people engaged in different parts of the eDiscovery world. We do a lot of them, and it is great when, as here, someone else does the technical and production stuff.

While I was at the Nuix User Exchange at Huntington Beach, Nuix got me to interview a range of people. One of them was advisory account manager Nicola Harrison who had just joined Nuix from EY – Nuix’s acquisition of Ringtail took place a few days before the event. It was a good opportunity to ask her about the benefits for clients of the combination of Nuix and Ringtail.

Continue reading

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Interview: Xavier Diokno of Consilio talks about helping clients with the use of analytics in eDiscovery

ConsilioIt is still true to say that many lawyers do not understand the value of analytics nor the value which an external consultant can bring to their use.

Xavier Diokno is Senior Director, Data Analytics at Consilio. In this interview, he explains some of the difficulties which stand in the way of a clear understanding of analytics, and explains how Consilio’s analytics team can help.

 

There is a growing awareness of the purposes and value of analytical tools which support and extend the lawyer input into document review.

Consilio increasingly meets lawyers who have been to a seminar or read an article and develop a fear of falling behind their rivals. Some have ideas of their own as to how analytics can improve their practice; some have merely heard some buzzwords and want to know what they mean; some are extremely well-educated on the subject. They come to Consilio looking for advice. Continue reading

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Brunch in Central Park on Sunday 27th January before Legaltech

For many years, the late Nigel Murray organised a brunch on the Sunday before Legaltech in New York.

ConsilioNuix and APT Search are continuing the tradition. The brunch will take place at the Tavern on the Green (Nigel Murray’s usual venue) on Sunday 27 January from 11:00am to 13:00pm.

To apply for a place, send an email to events@consilio.com. I understand that there are still some spaces left.

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Back from holiday and ready for Legaltech

You may have noticed that my blog has fallen more or less silent since before Christmas. It seems rather odd, perhaps, particularly to American eyes, that I take my main annual holiday immediately after the inordinately long Christmas and New Year break. I never publish much over the Christmas period anyway, partly because there are few people around to read the posts, and partly out of deference to UK readers who quite like to forget about work things at that time of year.

Instead, we worked on preparing videos for production – as I have mentioned before, I recorded many interviews in the autumn, and the actual recording is the trivial bit – editing them, seeking approvals, writing the blog posts, and doing the video tagging and credits takes very much longer. We have a stock in hand to publish over the next few weeks.

January is actually quite a good time to go away. The eDiscovery / eDisclosure providers who are the source of most of my material are hunkered down preparing for Legaltech, and there are few new initiatives to write about. From a personal point of view, it is a relatively cheap time to rent houses by the sea, and our children – the two who are self-employed and the one who is constrained by university terms – are more likely to be able to join us. I keep up with the emails but lay off the writing in an attempt to reboot before the rigours of Legaltech in New York at the end of January. Continue reading

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Interview: Paul Rome of NightOwl Discovery on keeping clients updated about their matters

NightOwlPaul Rome is Director of Technology Development at NightOwl Discovery. I spoke to him at Relativity Fest in Chicago about NightOwl’s development of applications designed to keep corporate clients informed about the progress of their matters.

 

Paul Rome said that NightOwl is increasing its ability to enable clients to review activity, not just for single matters but across all their matters in parallel. There are a lot of stages from ingestion through to billing, and corporate clients want an overview of what is going on, what stages have been reached and, of course, what it is costing. Continue reading

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Interview: Bill Hamilton of University of Florida Levin College of Law on links with China

At Relativity Fest, I interviewed Bill Hamilton of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and heard from him about a new relationship between his university and Southeast University College School of Law in China. Bill Hamilton was just back from teaching eDiscovery on a special course at Nanjing in China.

The relationship between the two universities’ legal departments goes wider than eDiscovery following discussions between them about common communities of interest. It began as conversations between university deans. Chinese universities have a strong interest in engineering and in artificial intelligence. That led to talks about eDiscovery and thence to the introduction of Bill Hamilton. Continue reading

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Interview: Brian Stuart of FTI Consulting on the opportunities to add value and new services with Relativity

It is noticeable that eDiscovery and the subjects which are grouped around it are becoming more interesting to those who work in it. I don’t mean merely that there is more work around, but that the participants are finding it more interesting and enjoyable as it becomes more diverse and more challenging.

I have done a lot of interviews recently (about 50 since September) and the roster of interview subjects has included some younger people who might be expected to find everything interesting. Brian Stuart of FTI Consulting is one of the elder statesmen of eDiscovery, and yet the excitement he gets from his work appears palpably from this interview.

My interview with Brian Stuart took place at Relativity Fest in Chicago, shortly after Brian joined FTI Consulting in London. As he says at the beginning of the interview, he has had various roles over the years, in law firms and latterly at EY, and has worked with Relativity for more than 11 years. Continue reading

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Webinar: OpenText corporate legal ops survey with Ari Kaplan

Ari Kaplan’s reputation lies principally in the surveys which he conducts among corporate legal professionals. These are not tick-box affairs but extensive interviews from which comprehensive results are extracted, with a real value to those interested in the business of corporate legal affairs.

This is the third year in which OpenText has joined forces with Ari Kaplan to undertake a survey which they summarise thus:

….ediscovery, information governance and technology questions. What metrics are you tracking? How is your caseload changing? What new security precautions are you taking? How have your responsibilities changed? Are robots taking your job?

OpenText and ILTA have produced a webinar called Third Annual OpenText Corporate Legal Ops Survey Results which covers the survey and its results. The speakers are: Continue reading

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Relativity webinar today: 2018 Data Discovery Legal Year in Review

Relativity is presenting a webinar today, 13 December, with the title 2018 Data Discovery Legal Year in Review.

2018 has been an interesting year. The webinar will cover major cases like United States v. Microsoft and Carpenter v. United States. statutory factors like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and important decisions in e-discovery law.

The speakers are U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia D. Barksdale and retired U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis IV. The moderator is David Horrigan of Relativity. Continue reading

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Interviews: Vince Neicho of Integreon on outsourcing document review

Earlier this year I interviewed Vince Neicho, old friend and companion in disclosure rules development, long time litigation support manager at Allen & Overy, and now VP – Legal Services at Integreon in London.

Quite often, the interviews we do are grabbed during a break at an event. That encourages succinctness, but it good sometimes to be able to cover subjects in more depth. Vince Neicho set aside a day to come and see me, allowing us the luxury of covering a number of related subjects in one session.

The result was three separate interviews published in August and September which were good enough to warrant repeating. Our broad subject was Integreon’s specialist field of outsourced document review, in which technology, people and project management are brought together to reduce the time and cost of review. As the interviews make clear, this is not just for litigation or regulatory disclosure / discovery, and not just for the very big players. Continue reading

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Drone drugs gang film themselves and deliver the results to the police

I wrote recently about the recovery of data from drones, using an example found on the AccessData website.

AccessDataThat article, as you would expect from a leading forensics company, focused on the use of AccessData’s technology to recover and analyse data recovered from a drone. One of the examples given in the article was the use of drones to deliver drugs and other contraband to prisons.

Sometimes, however, you need nothing so sophisticated. In a case reported in The Scotsman on 3 October, a Scottish gang was imprisoned on the strength of their own drone’s film of them packaging drugs. Among other things, the film showed distinctive tattoos, a house number and the gang’s car.

Unfortunately for them, the drone crashed and the police recovered the data from its camera.

Expect to see examples of Internet of Things devices, as well as mobile data, being used to adduce, confirm or contradict evidence, in civil and employment cases as well as criminal ones.

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Significant locations in IOS and the spying potential of domestic smart meters

US lawyer and forensic investigator Craig Ball turns up in these pages quite often because he and I have a common interest in the easy availability of evidence from the devices which most of us carry and which, with or without our knowledge, record every step of our lives. I interviewed Craig Ball recently and wrote up the interview here.

In his most recent article on the subject, Loving Location Histories, Craig Ball takes up this “every step of our lives” point literally, explaining in detail how an iPhone and Google Maps allow the recording of our every move.

I was not aware of the “significant locations” feature of IOS location services and, as it turns out, mine is turned off (although higher level location services are on). My life is sadly devoid of secrets and I tweet about it anyway; the advertising shysters like Facebook and Google know all that there is to know about me and, judging by the irrelevance of the advertisements thrown at me, their expensively crap algorithms could do with some more help to send me things I might actually be interested in. Others may have good reason to be worried about what their phone is storing about them. Continue reading

Posted in Data privacy, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Evidence, Forensic data collections, Internet of Things | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interview: Jordan Domash of Relativity on Relativity Trace

I wrote recently about Relativity Trace, an application built on Relativity whose purpose is to help organisations facing (as who does not) compliance and security risks.

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Jordan Domash who has been largely responsible for the development of Relativity Trace. Its purpose, he said, is to help large corporations like banks and pharmaceutical companies to set a watch for bribery, market abuse and similar internal issues, partly because they are obliged to by regulators, and partly because they need to know what is going on.

Relativity Trace began as a demonstration, shown to a few of Relativity’s partners and potential clients to see if it was of interest to them. It was indeed of interest, and Relativity built the application in conjunction with four of its partners. Continue reading

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Interview: Adi Elliott of NightOwl Discovery on the importance of hiring people who work well together

NightOwlIn among the rules, the technology, and the stories of forensics or cyber security which dominate eDiscovery (and therefore this blog), are the many people who make it all work. They are employed in law firms, in service providers and in software companies, and their ability to do their jobs well is at least as important as the technology in their hands.

In that context, it was interesting to see the appointment of Adi Elliott as Chief Talent and Marketing Officer at NightOwl Discovery. I have known Adi Elliott a long time and in roles (at Relativity and then at Epiq) which made good use of his undoubted marketing skills. I was interested to see not merely that his new role at NightOwl involves the management of talent, but that these words appear first in his job description. I spoke to him about this at Relativity Fest in Chicago.

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UK ILTA eDisclosure Special Interest Group seeks feedback on draft data exchange protocol

This is a guest post, written by Andrew Haslam of the UK ILTA’s Special Interest Group for eDisclosure, seeking feedback on a draft data exchange protocol developed by UK ILTA. It seeks views by 19 January 2019.

ILTAThe overall objective of ILTA (the International Legal Technology Association) is to enable members to share knowledge and best practice on legal IT. One of the ways it achieves this is by setting up Special Interest Groups so that people with a similar interest can work together. Early in 2018, the UK ILTA’s Special Interest Group for eDisclosure wanted to identify the area where they could provide the most benefit for practitioners, whether they were ILTA members or not. It was decided that the place where the SIG could have most impact was at the point of data exchange.

There are a number of eDisclosure exchange protocols around; most law firms and third-party suppliers have their own variants, all of which are quite similar to each other. The SIG decided that they could consolidate the different versions of these protocols into a single ILTA version, with supporting guidance notes, to explain what the significance of the different options are, and provide a “best practice” approach to the process. Continue reading

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Consilio webinar on 6 December: Riskcovery: Early investigation and ECA insights

ConsilioConsilio is producing a webinar tomorrow, 6 December, in conjunction with DiscoverReady which it recently acquired (I wrote about that here).

The webinar is called Riskcovery: Early investigation and ECA insights. It is about effective investigations and compliance workflows with early, cost-effective identification of risk. Riskcovery is proprietary technology which uses advanced analytics to act as an early warning risk smoke detector, alerting those responsible for corporate governance with fact-based insight to proactively identify and respond to risk in advance of litigation. Continue reading

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Hardwicke on the Disclosure Pilot: time to get ready

The Disclosure Pilot takes effect in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales from 1 January 2019. Michael Wheater and Charles Raffin of Hardwicke, the authors of Electronic Disclosure Law and Practice (which I reviewed in complimentary terms here) have published an article called The Disclosure Pilot: time to get ready,  picking out the salient points which require attention in time for the first case management conferences after 1 January. In practical terms (and their article, like their book, is very practical), this means getting ready for it now.

My understanding is that much assiduous work has gone into making sure that judges are ready to play their (much expanded) part in operating the rules. The final headline in the article Prepare yourselves: it is later than you think, is a salutary one.

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ACEDS webinar with Ricoh today: Activating Active Learning

There is a webinar today, 5 December, at 1:00pm to 2:00pm ET given by ACEDS in conjunction with Ricoh and with the title Activating Active Learning.

The speakers are Roland von Borstel, Danny Chan and Vincent Liu, all from Ricoh. The theme from these Relativity Certified Experts is how technology like Active Learning can bring more timely, cost-effective and streamlined document reviews.

There is more information and a link to the registration form here.

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Interview: Bryon Bratcher of Gravity Stack on the strategy and vision behind Gravity Stack

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Bryon Bratcher, Managing Director of Gravity Stack. The tagline on Gravity Stack’s website is “Delivering collective intelligence in law”; I knew there were connections with Reed Smith and with Relativity, but I knew little beyond that.

Bryon Bratcher said that Gravity Stack is a data company born out of Reed Smith. It is a solutions company that “builds things round data”. Reed Smith is its biggest, but not its only, customer. Continue reading

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Interview: Nina Bryant of FTI Consulting on privacy developments after the GDPR implementation date

I recently interviewed Nina Bryant of FTI Consulting to ask her what she was seeing six months after the implementation of the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation). It had been the cause of much nervous anticipation, and I was interested to hear how it was bedding down for FTI’s clients.

Nina Bryant said that despite the regulation now being in force, many organisations are still working their way along the roadmap to compliance. However, more mature organisations are progressing to asking how they can embed privacy at the heart of their business rather than merely treating it as an add-on. Continue reading

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Interview: Charlie Connor of Heretik on contract review and uncovering value in data beyond ediscovery

One of the most successful recent uses of technology is contract review software. At Relativity Fest I spoke to Charlie Connor of Heretik. Heretik makes contract review software based on Relativity, a good example of eDiscovery skills and tools finding new roles beyond conventional eDiscovery.

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Interview: Karyn Harty of McCann FitzGerald on the positive aspects of the GDPR and the use of eDiscovery tools in compliance

Karyn Harty is a partner at McCann FitzGerald in Dublin. I spoke to her at Relativity Fest in Chicago about the benefits of the GDPR, about the perception of privacy beyond the EU, and about the extension of eDiscovery skills and tools into other areas of legal practice.

Before it took effect, the perception of the GDPR was largely one of doom and gloom, with a focus on its burdens and specifically on fines. I asked Karyn Harty what it looked like now from an Irish perspective.

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Interview: Dr Donald Macfarlane of Hanzo talks about collecting dynamic web content

A wide range of developers and others bring their own skills and technology to the Relativity ecosystem in addition to Relativity’s free-standing use. Relativity is also good at giving me the opportunity to interview people from these organisations, giving me the chance to hear at first hand what they are doing.

This interview with Dr Donald Macfarlane of Hanzo was actually recorded in 2017. Although Hanzo has substantially enhanced its products since then, the core purposes and capabilities described in Don Macfarlane’s interview remain the same.

Hanzo’s primary function is the collection and review of dynamic data, that is, social, collaborative and web-based data of the kind which does not stand still in the way that paper and email do. The resulting data, and particularly conversation data, is generally intended to be ephemeral and is as far from the old idea of a record as you can get. The most usual sources are Facebook, Twitter, Confluence, and Slack as well as websites. Continue reading

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More examples of official acceptance of technology-assisted review

I occasionally put up examples where courts or regulators have given their blessing to the use of technology-assisted review. Two more have come to my attention. Neither involves litigation.

The first lies in an order of 17 October of the Canadian Competition Tribunal on an application in The Commissioner of Competition v Live Nation Entertainment, Inc et al. The Commissioner had made several complaints about the respondents’ search for documents. The respondents’ position is recorded thus:

[8] The Respondents have explained away the various deficiencies on the basis that they conducted searches in a more modern manner using computer assisted technology aided by a litigation support company – the technology assisted review (“TAR”). The result was the identification of 2.5 million documents which were then vetted through the TAR and lawyers trained in the TAR system and who trained the TAR system, and ultimately approximately 55,000 relevant documents were identified. All of this was accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Continue reading

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Interview: Craig Ball on how mobile data increases lawyers’ ability to uncover the truth

I wrote recently about an article by Craig Ball called Mobile to the Mainstream, part of Craig’s mission to make lawyers more aware of the prevalence and value of mobile data.

At Relativity Fest, I had the opportunity to interview him. Many people, I said, are negative about the mass of evidence which is now available to us, seeing it purely in terms of the work and expense involved in getting through it. By contrast, Craig Ball sees this as a virtue – the data is there, is retrievable and is usable, and it should be seen as an asset not a burden.

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Interview: Geoffrey Sherman of RVM Enterprises on RVM developments which add value to Relativity

RVM Enterprises has been a partner with Relativity for about 10 years, one of the longest-serving Relativity partners. At Relativity Fest, I spoke to Geoffrey Sherman, Chief Technology Officer of RVM, and asked him how RVM adds value to Relativity.

Geoffrey Sherman said that RVM has long been adding strategic solutions on top of Relativity, such as dashboards and work product re-use applications. Most recently, it had worked on how to show images and enable easy review of them.

The resulting application is called Snapshot. It arose, Geoffrey Sherman said, from the particular need of a client who had to comb through large amounts of images. Snapshot enables the identification of irrelevant images and facilitates a focus on what is actually relevant. Snapshot will, for example, allow the user to identify duplicates and allow them to be bulk-coded in one shot.

It is proving interesting to clients and RVM is considering making it a standard offering.

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Practical compliance with Relativity Trace

Five years or so it began to be obvious that eDiscovery tools and skills would be applied to wider purposes. There were several reasons for this.

The ability to handle ever-larger volumes of data and to present it usefully in graphical form was becoming too good to be used mainly for retrospective analysis of past documents. Vastly increased processing power in the cloud allowed activities hitherto ruled out by speed deficiencies. Privacy-related laws such as the GDPR required the identification of certain categories of data both proactively and in response to demands. Both cyber threats and compliance pressures made it necessary for organisations to bring forward the identification and analysis as close to real time as possible. The need to anticipate difficulties became more urgent and important than the historic need to trace historic activity. Taking all these things together, eDiscovery became just one of many reasons why it was necessary to be on top of the data. Continue reading

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AI and more at ILTA Insight in London on 14 November

ILTA, the International Legal Technology Association, is best known for its big annual event in the US. For many years, it has also put on a one-day event in London called ILTA Insight. That takes place this year on 14 November.

The themes this year include innovation and transformation, the use of technology to solve business problems, and security and risk relating to data governance.

Some of these subjects allow room for debate and difference of views. Many (I am one) dislike the word “innovation” anyway, but find it hard to think of a replacement. Artificial Intelligence is a term which arouses everything from high excitement to cool assessment (Alex Smith of Reed Smith tweeted this morning that “Most of it is data and stats”), while others (whether they use it in a broad or a narrow sense) see it as the future; I am pretty excited myself, while alert to the readiness of some to slap the AI label on almost anything. The word “blockchain” arouses derision, mainly from those who wouldn’t know blockchain from lavatory chain. As always, I don’t much care what you call these things as long as you a) go and have a look and b) keep your trap shut if you have made no attempt to understand them. Continue reading

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Interview: Sam Farley of FTI Consulting on the changing eDisclosure expectations of corporate clients

Sam Farley is a Senior Consultant at FTI Consulting in London. I went to see him to find out how corporate clients are approaching the use of electronic disclosure tools and skills.

The traditional model was that clients instructed lawyers in a discrete matter – a litigation case or a regulatory intervention, perhaps – and the lawyers then instructed consultants like FTI as necessary to deal with the management of electronic data.

That, Sam Farley says, is changing – it is not just litigation any more and the instructions are no longer coming only from lawyers. Organisations are gaining greater control over the process as a whole and coming to FTI for longer-term organisational and pre-emptive advice and not just for a specific case or matter. Continue reading

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The growing need for barristers to become data-aware

An article on the Legal Futures site is headed Barristers becoming as vulnerable to cyber attacks as solicitors. Its opening picks up a warning from the Bar Standards Board reporting that solicitors had already fallen victim to IT threats and cyber attacks and observing that chambers generally lack relevant resources and expertise.

The nature of lawyers’ work often involves the gathering of their clients’ “best” documents – litigation discovery documents, information about sensitive corporate transactions such as a proposed merger or acquisition, or information about the private affairs of personal clients (where the only difference between a celebrity and the rest of us is that the celebrity offers more motivation to the intruder).  The attack may not necessarily involve data at all – recently, large US firm Foley & Lardner reported an intrusion which seems to have been cryptojacking or something similar rather than the exfiltration of data (registration required to read the article). Continue reading

Posted in Cyber security, Data privacy, Data Security, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic courts, Electronic disclosure, GDPR | Leave a comment

AccessData: retrieving data from drones

AccessDataAn article by Sam Holt on the AccessData website is headed Drone attacks. How can we fight back? Its context is the growing threat of drones being used for criminal purposes – the transport of drugs, sending material into prisons and unauthorised surveillance for example – with the potential for using them for terrorist purposes.

What seems eccentric one year has become the norm by the next, and the ability to extract drone data may become relevant beyond law enforcement and anti-terrorist groups. Breaches of privacy, damage to property, or personal injury caused by crashing drones are among the possible reasons why drones may become the subject of civil claims. Continue reading

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From Prague to Piccadilly Circus: drawing conclusions about a photograph without the help of metadata

This is a Friday afternoon post which, though it is relevant to discovery, is more about using observation and investigation to draw conclusions about photographs. Evidence does not always come in neat electronic packages or from the mouth of an unimpeachable witness.

The picture of Prague at left is taken from the article which made me think about the subject, which I discuss below. In that case, the ambition was to try and work out roughly when it was taken.

On that same theme, here is a picture of Piccadilly Circus and Shaftesbury Avenue in London, widely available via Google with the description “London 1930s”. I will come back to it at the end, after looking at the Prague article.

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Consilio’s search for differentiated solutions takes it to DiscoverReady

ConsilioA little over half a year has passed since Consilio acquired Advanced Discovery. Now it has acquired DiscoverReady, bringing its presence to more than 70 offices, review centres and data centres in 11 countries.

In the Consilio press release, Consilio CEO Andy Macdonald refers to Consilio’s “strategy to invest in differentiated solutions that result in a superior and consistent client experience.” Andy Macdonald is too shrewd an operator to use words like “differentiated solutions” without purpose, and I spoke to him to find out what he meant by that. What, I asked, did DiscoverReady brings to Consilio’s already large stable beyond more offices, employees and clients?

One differentiator goes right back to DiscoverReady’s foundation when it elected to focus on managed review from the beginning, and to do so only for corporate clients rather than law firms. It was, Andy Macdonald said, the first company to have a successful implementation of per-document pricing, creating workflows which would make that model work for them and for their clients. Its analytics were baked in from the beginning, aimed at speed, quality and accuracy, including the ability to limit the downside to itself by getting its numbers right. Continue reading

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Interview: Stephen Stewart of Nuix talking about Ringtail, and a Ringtail demo

I have recorded around 50 interviews recently, and only now get the opportunity to go back through them. One advantage of the interviews which I did with Nuix is that Nuix did the filming and editing. Chatting to interesting people is the easy bit of doing these interviews; the production side is more onerous, so I am glad that at least some of the 50 were not produced by us.

These interviews do not generally have a journalistic intent. The aim is to provide something of lasting value rather than instant comment.

The delay allows us to see that Nuix’s acquisition of Ringtail from FTI Consulting was one of the most significant eDiscovery stories of the year. It was announced just before the Nuix User Exchange in California in September and, as I noted in my report of that event, Ringtail was the big discussion point there.

While there, I talked to Nuix CTO Stephen Stewart and asked him about the reaction of customers and others to the Ringtail acquisition. Continue reading

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Interview: Matthew Field of FTI Consulting on the growing use of technology-assisted review in the UK

Matthew Field is a Director at FTI Consulting in London. I interviewed him recently about the increase in the use of the technology which is known variously as technology-assisted review and predictive coding (and which I will call “TAR” for the purposes of this post).

At the time of the interview, FTI Consulting owned the Ringtail eDiscovery platform, one of the best-known eDiscovery tools including TAR, which FTI has since sold to Nuix. FTI has a three-year agreement with Nuix for consultancy and knowledge transfer in relation to Ringtail. What Matthew Field says about Ringtail here emphasises that FTI’s primary role is a consultative one.

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Discovery messages for participants and for investigators in an alleged murder plot

I had no sooner finished reading Craig Ball’s article Mobile to the Mainstream (I wrote about that here), when the Times published the report [£] of the trial of participants in an alleged murder attempt last year. The trial continues, so read everything below as if the word “alleged” recurs throughout.

The reported facts seem peculiar enough. Mrs Weatherall, her lover Mr Pollard, and Pollard’s daughter Heather (“who calls herself Arthur”), plot to kill Mr Weatherall, but he survives when a bullet passed through his right cheek and out through the other side of his face.

Texts were exchanged. Mrs Weatherall sent Mr Pollard a message saying “They didn’t do a very good job did they? He’s still here.” A few days earlier, the daughter had texted her father saying “Not sure I can get through all brambles, will try another route but maybe think of another option.”. She also carried out web searches including “techniques of silent killing”, “creative ways to kill someone”, “insulin shock”, “sepsis”, “cyanide poisoning” and “how to kill someone via a wound.” A rifle was found at Pollard’s house. Continue reading

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Interview: Paul Rome of NightOwl Discovery on helping with eDiscovery decision-making

NightOwlPaul Rome is Director of Technology Development at NightOwl Discovery, responsible for the development of NightOwl’s own technology for supporting client needs. At the time of our interview (at Relativity Fest in 2017) NightOwl’s product DecisionCenter was a contender for a Relativity Innovations Award.

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Mobile to the mainstream – Craig Ball on proportionate retrieval of mobile data

US forensics expert and trial lawyer Craig Ball has two attributes which are valuable – he knows what he is talking about, and he writes about it clearly and persuasively. In addition, much of what he says applies in jurisdictions beyond his own.

His recent article Mobile to the Mainstream looks at the availability of data of various kinds on mobile devices, at the apparent reluctance of lawyers to even consider it, and at encouraging a consensus about what mobile content should be routinely collected and reviewed in eDiscovery.

He gives some statistics about the usage of mobile devices, including the fact that two-thirds of emails are sent and received using phones. This, when added to all the other data captured (consciously or unconsciously so far as the user is concerned) all day and every day, makes smartphones “everyday tools that must be made part of everyday mainstream eDiscovery”. Continue reading

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Interview: Owen Bourke of Clayton Utz on growing awareness of legal technology in Australia

Owen Bourke is Director, Forensics & Technology at Clayton Utz, one of Australia’s largest law firms. My interview with him took place more than a year ago, at Relativity Fest 2017, but the points which he makes in it are as pertinent now as they were then.

One of Owen Bourke’s subjects in this interview is the specialist forensic practice group which Clayton Utz has set up; the other is the growth of acceptance and understanding of technology in support of legal practice in Australia.

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AccessData announces AD eDiscovery for Relativity

AccessData has announced the launch of AD eDiscovery for Relativity, integrating AD’s data collection, preservation and forensic tools with Relativity’s review capabilities.

The integration involves a new direct export option. AccessData users can manage collection, search, preservation, legal hold and early data assessment in AD eDiscovery and then pass the data to Relativity for review.

AD eDiscovery is available in the Relativity App Hub, which includes applications and integrations built by Relativity developer partners.

AccessData’s press release about the integration is here.

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Ricoh eDiscovery webinar on 30 October: Best practices to secure your data and protect your organisation

I am one of the participants in a webinar organised jointly by Ricoh and ACEDS on 30 October called Best practices to secure your data and protect your organisation.

My co-presenter is Ricoh’s VP of Information Security, David Levine, and our theme is security as it relates to privacy protection.

With a title like VP of Information Security, David Levine will obviously focus on the technical side. My own attention will be on the intersection of law and technology, particularly having regard to the obligations in the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. The aim is to encourage a security-driven culture both in anticipating and preparing for risks and for dealing with the aftermath of an adverse incident.

There is more information and a link to a registration form here.

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FTI Consulting expands its technology capabilities in the Middle East, UK and India

FTI Consulting has significantly expanded its services in forensic technology, data and analytics by appointing five senior managing directors in the Middle East, the UK and India.

The five (pictured below) are Paul Walker, Amit Jaju, Andrew Pimlott, Muthmainur Rahman and Brian Stuart, each of whom has long experience in leading large, complex cross-border matters including compliance, remediation, regulatory, disputes and financial crime matters. Continue reading

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Ricoh eDiscovery webinar on 18 October: Activating Active Learning

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, Ricoh eDiscovery ran a session called Activating Active Learning in which they showed how the incorporation of technology like Active Learning can help lawyers perform more timely, cost-effective and streamlined document reviews.

The session was well received and Ricoh eDiscovery is now running it again as a webinar on Thursday 18 October from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST.

The overarching themes of the webinar are the changes in Ricoh eDiscovery’s Intelligent Review since the incorporation of active learning into their processes, with an emphasis on practical tips. Continue reading

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Rushing from pillar to post interrupts the writing of blog posts

Those who see only my blog output and do not follow me on Twitter may be forgiven for thinking that I have taken a few weeks off. The truth, sadly for me, is otherwise.

Instead, I have spent 18 of the last 30 days either at events or travelling to or from them. One of those days, it is true, was a day out in Chicago, and my wife and I had a couple of days in Rome. If I cared very much about the difference between a weekday and a weekend day, then these “days off” just about balance the weekend days spent at airports or on aeroplanes.

That is all to the good, of course, at least now it most of it is over. It will not be exactly relaxing over the next little while – I recorded more than forty video interviews at the first two events and they must each be written up, in addition to more routine things. The travel is an investment in future content. It has its own pleasures, of course, at least once I reach the event. Continue reading

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Farewell to Nigel Murray

It is never the right time to write about newly-dead friends, but it seems fitting that I should be writing my appreciation of Nigel Murray on a flight back from an eDiscovery conference in the US. Nigel was the first of us to find that US discovery audiences wanted to hear about UK and EU discovery from Brits, and preferably from one whose spoken English resembled the Queen’s, whose cuff-links and laced black shoes implied certain standards, and who was as charming to waiters as he was to potential clients.

Here’s a photograph of Nigel Murray at Legaltech in New York in February 2007:

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Links to articles on technology-assisted review and on court acceptance of technology

Conference season is here, and by mid-October I will have spent 15 out 30 days at, or travelling to and from, foreign conferences. That inevitably reduces the number of articles I can write.

It may be helpful, however, if I provide links to some of the resources which have come my way recently which cover the use of technology-assisted review, the reasons offered for not adopting it, and signs of court acceptance of it. These things are obviously linked – if courts are focusing on the use of technology, then perhaps the lawyers might take a look at it. In the interests of time (yours as well as mine) I give their links with little commentary from me.

[The picture, incidentally, is meant to convey simultaneously the flying I have been doing and the accelerated jump through the clouds to blue skies if you use technology properly]

Attorney algorithm aversion and infatuation from Maura Grossman

Maura Grossman is a contributor to a series of short talks produced by Georgetown Law CLE and Exterro, one set of which is here. Her talk, called Attorney algorithm aversion and infatuation, considers lawyer resistance to algorithms that have been shown to be effective and efficient, and over-reliance on algorithms that are unproven and dangerous.

There are two other talks in the same webcast, one from Ralph Losey on proportional document review and the art of cost estimation, and one from Jeffrey Klingporn on technology and trust. Continue reading

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Coming up at the IBA in Rome: artificial intelligence and alternative facts in family law

I am taking part in one of the sessions of the AI day at the IBA 2018 programme in Rome. My invitation comes from Marcus Dearle, a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in Hong Kong and Vice Chair of the IBA’s Family Law Committee.

The program description reads as follows:

This session will examine the opportunities for using technology and/or artificial intelligence (AI) in family cases. Expanding the boundaries: can technology be used to increase efficiency and reduce costs in the drafting of prenuptial agreements? Can predictive coding algorithms be used in cases involving millions of disclosure documents in financial remedy cases?

My focus will inevitably be on the last sentence, about using predictive coding algorithms to sift large volumes of disclosure documents. The specific context, financial remedy cases, is not much different (in this respect) from all those other cases in jurisdictions around the world (and specifically in common law jurisdictions) where the evidence lies in documents too voluminous to read. Continue reading

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Ringtail and much more at the Nuix User Exchange 2018

If the Nuix User Exchange at Huntington Beach in California last week was dominated by Nuix’s acquisition of Ringtail (I wrote about that here), that is hardly surprising. It was not, I think, the original plan – there was plenty else on the agenda – but this acquisition has generated more interest and excitement than any I have seen.

The opening keynote by Global CEO Rod Vawdrey took care to cover the many other things which Nuix does. Nuix, he said, had listened to its partners and customers over a range of activities and had responded.

Nuix Global CEO Rod Vawdrey

Users wanted Nuix to be more in the cloud. They wanted more automation and closer orchestration of all Nuix products in a seamless environment. They wanted a more complete solution “from endpoint to courtroom”, and wanted to get their eyes quickly onto the documents which mattered. New problems arose and old ones expanded – he referred in particular to the proliferation of different types of data and the complexity of dealing with social media. Clients wanted to be able to “ask any question of the data”, for discovery, forensics, incident response and compliance, with the GDPR as an obvious example of an imperative. Users needed to get closer to the point of an event with near real-time response, closing the gap between an incident and the reaction to it. Continue reading

Posted in Cyber security, Data privacy, Data Protection, Data Security, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Information Governance, Internet of Things, Nuix, Nuix User Exchange, RingTail | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Interview: Vince Neicho of Integreon on satisfying regulators and on the rise of social media discovery

I have already published two interviews with Vince Neicho of Integreon in which he explains the benefits of outsourcing document review, whether for litigation, regulation or other purposes. You will find the earlier interviews here and here.

In this third interview, Vince Neicho talks about the particular issues which arise when seeking to satisfy regulators as to the completeness of review, and about the rise of social media discovery.

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Nuix buys Ringtail eDiscovery software from FTI Consulting

“Consolidation” is the term used in the eDiscovery industry to refer to the series of acquisitions and mergers seen over the past few years. The usual reaction when one is announced is instant surprise (“I didn’t see that one coming”), followed quickly by recognition of the thinking behind the exercise. Some of these deals have significant implications, not just for the parties involved, but for their partners, users and staff. They can also have significant implications for competitors.

It was announced this week that Nuix has bought FTI’s Ringtail eDiscovery software, paying $55 million for the software, related assets and transitional support services. FTI Consulting has entered into a three-year preferred partner licensing agreement with Nuix for the Nuix Ringtail review platform. FTI’s press release is here. Continue reading

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James MacGregor joins Consilio as managing director in charge of the UK sales team

ConsilioThe now-completed merger between Consilio and Advanced Discovery makes the London office of the combined business a very significant player in the eDiscovery / eDisclosure market.

Consilio has appointed James MacGregor as managing director in charge of its sales team in the UK. James MacGregor will be responsible for expanding Consilio’s UK presence, and expanding into new regions with new and existing clients. There is a press release about the appointment here.

I first came across James when he was VP of European eDisclosure Services at FRONTEO USA. His experiences on both sides of the Atlantic will help Consilio develop cross-border business (which has always been one of its strengths) well as business within distinct jurisdictions. He is also (and this matters in developing client relationships) a nice chap. Continue reading

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Coming down to earth at the Masters Conference in London

As we sat on the 32nd floor of Broadgate Tower for the Masters Conference last week, a series of people came past the window. Was there a metaphor here, I wondered, for lawyers’ adoption of technology? These people were brave; many of them were plainly nervous; they relied entirely on technology which they neither understood nor controlled; it was a hell of a long way to the bottom; the risks of failure were high. Yet on they went. Fortune favours the brave. The main difference, I decided, was that the abseilers had volunteered – they had a choice whether to take part or not. I don’t think the lawyers do.

The Masters Conference was set up in the US by Robert Childress many years ago, and I took part in several Washington events. More recently, Robert has brought it to London with an approach which is rather different to others, and very appealing. This year, like last year, the hosts were Reed Smith, a firm with better credentials than most for their use of technology and, in particular, for their aspirations to be at the front of developments.

Although the Masters Conference is structured like most such events, with pre-chosen panel members talking on advertised topics, it has more flexibility than most, not least in its ability to co-opt people at the last minute to talk about the things they know about. I am not against the preparation which goes into most events – far from it – but I also relish the spontaneity which comes from calling in at the last minute someone who happens to be around with expertise in the subject. Continue reading

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ACEDS London event on 20 September: Bringing eDiscovery in-house

The UK chapter of ACEDS (Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists) has organised some of the best eDiscovery-related events in London in the last couple of years. I moderated early ones on technology-assisted review and on the GDPR; the last one I attended was an extremely good discussion about the pending new eDisclosure rule which I wrote about here.

The next one is on 20 September and is called Bringing eDiscovery in-house. The moderator is Vince Neicho of Integreon and the panel members are:

Gearoid O’Laoithe – eDiscovery Case Manager – Royal Bank of Scotland
Richard Day – Lawyer – Serious Fraud Office
Emily Wyllie-Ballard – eDiscovery Manager – Reynolds Porter Chamberlain Continue reading

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New career opportunities where technology meets legal practice

You may have noticed an increasing focus in this blog on career opportunities in electronic discovery / disclosure and the wider world where technology meets legal practice.

I have no intention of becoming a kind of jobs board, but my eye falls occasionally on things which might serve to encourage people into this area. I have written recently, for example, about job roles at Consilio and about international opportunities for Relativity, in both cases because they might help people understand the very wide range of opportunities which are out there. If the main focus is on encouraging young people to join in, there are opportunities also for people with skills acquired elsewhere to move sideways into a business which shows no sign of contracting.

These opportunities are not exclusively within providers of technology services, and not only about dipsutes. The most interesting one came up a few days ago from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for a number of associates in its Legal Solutions Hub in its Manchester-based Global Centre. The job is described here. Continue reading

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Vince Neicho of Integreon on outsourcing for smaller firms and for barristers

It is perhaps not surprising that when discovery stories are told, the focus is on the bigger cases. Talking to Vince Neicho of Integreon, I asked him if there was a role for outsourcing review in smaller matters and for teams beyond the major firms.

 

Vince Neicho was forthright in emphasising that outsourcing eDiscovery functions, and in particular document review, is as helpful for smaller firms as it is for large ones – and perhaps more so in some cases. One of the overlooked points is the ability to scale resources quickly to meet a particular challenge – what happens when that job finishes, particularly if it finishes unexpectedly early? The ability to outsource people-heavy functions becomes a major benefit to smaller firms. Continue reading

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ILTACON 2018 – how the press became the story and looking to the future

The ILTA Conference, #ILTACON18, is well under way, and all the tweets and other messages suggest that it is going as well as ever with, apparently, 4,100 people attending. It may seem otiose to come back to my post Going to ILTACON? For the first time in 10 years, I won’t see you there, but I would like to round off the discussion following Caroline Hill’s article whose title includes the words “… a real chance for change”.

Like Caroline Hill, I have had an “in-depth and constructive conversation… with likeable ILTA board member Kate Cain and VP of Marketing and Comms Patti Moran”. I give full credit to them for making contact with those of us who expressed strong views about the new press policy and about the accommodation offered to us.

There has been some constructive learning on both sides. ILTA has acknowledged that the press policy should have had some fine-tuning and discussion before arbitrarily excluding people who have been stalwart friends of ILTA for years. They conceded also that they might have made a better job of explaining why the press had been relegated to an hotel away from the main event – the fundamental problem is shortage of space but they had managed to convey the idea that the press was not really welcome on site. Continue reading

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Nuix User Exchange preview from the organisers

The 2018 Nuix User Exchange runs from 16-18 September in Huntington Beach, California. A recorded discussion between the organisers gives us an idea of what to expect and what is involved in meeting that expectation.

Those of us who go regularly to eDiscovery events and conferences might easily underestimate how much work goes into them. We take a lot of things for granted – not just that the educational and technical content will interest and inform us, but that food and accommodation will be organised and that there will be things to see and do beyond the formal sessions.

We can be pretty sure of that at the Nuix User Exchange, taking place at Huntington Beach in California from 16 to 18 September. Previous events have been packed with learning and ideas, and have also run on rails so far as the speakers and delegates are concerned. Continue reading

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Interview: Vince Neicho of Integreon on the benefits of outsourcing the disclosure process

Vince Neicho is VP – Legal Services at Integreon, based in London. Before that, he was at Allen & Overy for 42 years. For much of that time he was responsible for A&O’s eDisclosure and litigation support function. I interviewed him recently and asked him to explain why he moved to Integreon at this stage in his career, and how his former and present roles complemented each other.

Vince said that he wanted to something new before hanging up his boots. Apart from the subject-matter overlap, Integreon has the same ethos of high client service as Allen & Overy. He is subject-matter expert at Integreon for disclosure / discovery and document management, and is involved also in other service lines of Integreon. Continue reading

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Going to ILTACON? For the first time in 10 years, I won’t see you there

Tom O’Connor has been working in eDiscovery since before eDiscovery became a thing. He has written two articles this week, both eloquent and both sad in tone. One was about the late Browning Marean who, four years after his death, is still remembered fondly by many of us. Tom has kindly quoted my thoughts on Browning and I will not add to them here (there is a picture of Browning at an ILTA event, along with a couple of other pictures, at the end of this article).

Tom O’Connor’s other article is about the recent (and not so recent) developments at ILTA, the International Legal Technology Association. “ILTA” is a year-round organisation, but its four letters are synonymous with its big annual event, despite the rebranding as “ILTACON” to differentiate the event from the organisation.

Tom’s article tells how ILTA has become more “corporate”, managing in the process to lose the affection of many from its core base who valued its peer to peer knowledge-sharing ethos. The new “corporate” structure involved the appointment of a CEO and, in due course (just before ILTACON 2017), the departure of the Director of Programmes and Strategic Relationships, Peggy Wechsler. As Tom puts it, Peggy “…was the primary organiser and well-known and widely admired public face of the annual conference”. Continue reading

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Positions available at Relativity in support of its international expansion

While I have no plans to become a general advertising board for eDiscovery recruitment, I do think it helpful from time to time to show what types of positions are available, whether for those already involved in eDiscovery or for those thinking of transferring from other business areas.

Relativity has been steadily increasing its geographical footprint and, although most of its open posts are based in Chicago, there are others in Kraków (including General Manager – Poland) and remotely-based openings for Hong Kong and Australia. Continue reading

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Commonwealth Legal is now Ricoh eDiscovery

Long-established Canadian eDiscovery provider Commonwealth Legal was acquired by Ricoh Canada in June 2014. The Commonwealth Legal brand has been maintained in the four years since then, with the company expanding and diversifying with Ricoh’s support.

Now Commonwealth Legal has been renamed Ricoh eDiscovery to align itself more clearly with Ricoh eDiscovery in the US as the latter widens its global offering. A post by Jennifer Johnson called Announcing Ricoh eDiscovery in Canada sets out the reasons for the renaming and summarises the opportunities which face the combined companies and the clients.

The website is now at www.ricohediscovery.com. Other means of keeping in touch with Ricoh eDiscovery can be found at the foot of Jennifer Johnson’s post.

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Getting ready for the fifth Nuix User Exchange at Huntington Beach

The fifth annual Nuix User Exchange takes place at Huntington Beach, California, from 16 to 18 September. I will be there, as usual, and will be previewing some of the sessions which catch my eye as the agenda nears completion.

The Nuix User Exchange features a broad mixture of hands-on labs and sessions about the context in which the technology is used worldwide. My own panel will discuss the GDPR and the growing trend worldwide towards a similar focus on individual privacy. This movement crosses the divide between law and regulation on the one hand and technical solutions on the other. I will say more about this in due course. Continue reading

Posted in Cyber security, Data privacy, Data Protection, Data Security, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, GDPR, Nuix | Leave a comment

Brexit, Y2K and the GDPR – the hit and miss of parallels between them

Expertise is out of fashion at the moment, drowned out by charlatans, shysters and the volubly ignorant. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Brexit afford ample opportunity for all of them. It is perhaps no coincidence that nuisance telephone calling is on the rise again – if there are suckers out there prepared to accept that a “No deal” Brexit is a good idea, or that the GDPR obliges you to write to all your customers, then why not try and sell them so-called “Green Deal” window replacements over the phone?

There are plenty of good people offering useful help with the GDPR – lawyers who understand the law, first-rate privacy consultants who had expertise in this area before the letters “GDPR” were ever strung together, and data management companies who offer tools and consultancy aimed at discrete GDPR obligations such as identifying private information. Continue reading

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The portability of eDiscovery skills – from lawyer to regulator via a career in technology

The career of my friend Patrick Burke illustrates the range of opportunities open to those with legal and technology skills.

One of the themes which recurs as I speak and write about eDiscovery and its related disciplines is that skills developed for one purpose may be relevant in another, and that eDiscovery and all the subjects which surround it have a voracious need for experience.

As new fields open up, it is obvious that that experience is going to have to be ported over from somewhere else. Some of these things are developments of older things – the law has long had a concept of privacy, for example, but it is only relatively recently that computerisation, data analytics, the Internet, and mass communication have made it a field which dominates other discussions. Security breaches used to be limited by the physical reach of the aggressor. Until very recently we had not heard of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

It is the job of government simultaneously to encourage development in new areas while regulating it. Heavy-handed regulation stifles innovation; untrammelled technological development put businesses and consumers at risk. Facebook is the obvious example of a project which began with modest social ambitions and turned into a monster, threatening global politics and economics as well as personal privacy. Continue reading

Posted in Blockchain, Cyber security, Data privacy, Data Protection, Data Security, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, GDPR | Tagged | Leave a comment

Brainspace integrates with RelativityOne

Cyxtera’s augmented intelligence platform, Brainspace, is now fully compatible with RelativityOne, the cloud version of Relativity’s widely-used eDiscovery platform.

Brainspace uses analytics and visualisations to help users make faster and more informed data decisions. Integrating Brainspace with RelativityOne brings the power of those analytics to the ever-larger volumes of data on RelativityOne.

Drew Deitch, senior manager of strategic partnerships at Relativity, took the opportunity to emphasise Relativity’s commitment to “a vibrant ecosystem of applications and integrations on the Relativity platform and in RelativityOne”. Continue reading

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Not just fines – GDPR data breach damages and reputational hits (not that the Home Office cares about its reputation)

Before the General Data Protection Regulation took effect, much of the commentary focused on the level of fines which might be levied for GDPR breaches. That there are other implications of GDPR breaches appears from an interesting article by Cordery called UK appeal court ruling on spreadsheet data breach damages case.

The article reminds us first that individuals affected by a data breach can bring claims for compensation or damages against the organisation responsible for the breach. Second, it reminds us that spreadsheets (historically a problem in electronic discovery anyway) are frequently the source of inadvertent disclosure by data breach.

There is a third point, which Cordery is too tactful to mention. I have no such inhibitions. The offending organisation was the UK Home Office, an organisation which combines incompetence and a singular degree of unpleasantness dating back (at least) to the time when Theresa May was Home Secretary, keen to create a “hostile environment” for anyone whose race, skin colour, or religion did not meet the approval of the far right wing of the Conservative party. By the time of the appeal judgment discussed by Cordery, May’s successor Amber Rudd had been forced to resign because of the Home Office’s handling of the Windrush generation. Yesterday, the Court of Appeal found that the Home Office “materially misled” a High Court judge and displayed “a serious breach of duty of candour and cooperation” in relation to the handling of child refugees from Calais. This was not a data breach case, though spreadsheets and personal data were again involved, but lack of candour towards the court is a recurring theme in matters of disclosure. Continue reading

Posted in Data privacy, Data Protection, Data Security, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, GDPR | Leave a comment

Disclosure: CPRC approval of pilot scheme for Business and Property Courts – the drafts

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website, has published the documents relating to the pilot scheme for disclosure, initially in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales. The documents are those approved by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee and comprise a press announcement, the draft Practice Direction, the draft Disclosure Review Document, the draft Certificate of Compliance, and the draft Disclosure Certificate.

As a reminder, these are the post-consultation drafts of what will eventually be a new disclosure rule replacing the present Part 31, its practice directions, and the present Electronic Documents Questionnaire.

I was one of those who helped draft the present Practice Direction 31B and the EDQ, and have a particular interest in the proposed replacements. That interest does not translate into an immediate review of these documents which were published only yesterday.

You might like to look at them for yourself. I will come back to them shortly.

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How to use Continuous Active Learning for disclosure – a UK user view

Ed Spencer is a Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing. It was his affidavit which provided much of the technical information used by Master Matthews in giving his blessing to the solution agreed between the parties in Pyrrho.

Ed Spencer and Lizzie Hancock, also of Taylor Wessing, have written an article on the firm’s website called eDiscovery innovations: Continuous Active Learning. It is not too often that we see such articles by an actual user, still less by a user based in the UK.

The article gives a brief description of what Continuous Active Learning is. More significantly, perhaps, it has a section called How to use continuous active learning – size doesn’t matter, which sets out some of the factors to consider when using Continuous Active Learning including, crucially, discussions aimed at “explaining and justifying strategy to the other side”. Continue reading

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Consilio: what do eDiscovery experts actually do?

ConsilioThe merger between Consilio and Advanced Discovery is now completed (see announcement here) and the combined company is now the second largest provider of information governance, risk management, eDiscovery, and document and contract review services in the world.

One of the points made by CEO Andy Macdonald when I interviewed him at the time of the merger was that large and obviously successful companies attract the most talented people who see personal opportunities in the scale and complexity of the client engagements, and in the company’s ability to invest in new technology and processes.

What, though, do these people actually do? Consilio has a webpage called Get to know a day in the life of the Consilio expert. People with various roles in the company talk about what happens in their day, what skills they need and what interests them. Continue reading

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Ricoh and ACEDS webinar on 7 August: School’s out – let’s stay connected – the Internet of Things

David Greetham is VP, eDiscovery Sales and Operations at Ricoh USA, Inc. Ricoh is a supporter of ACEDS (Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists), who are running a series of webinars throughout the summer.

David Greetham is the presenter of one on 7 August called Schools out – let’s stay connected – the Internet of Things.

The webinar will look at the challenges of collecting and processing electronically stored information from connected devices (loosely pulled together under the label “the Internet of Things”), and at how traditional methods of collection are inadequate for the task. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Forensic data collections, Internet of Things, Ricoh, Ricoh USA | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nuix webinar on 23 July: evolving intelligence-driven digital investigations

Nuix is presenting a webinar on 23 July with the title Scaling for the future: evolving your intelligent-driven digital investigations. The presenter is Stuart Clarke, Global Head of Security and Intelligence.

The theme is that there is ever more data in ever-multiplying data sources and data types. It is not enough simply to collect them all (often hard enough by itself); one must also expose relationships between the people, objects, locations and events either hidden in the data or spread so widely that humans cannot trace the links without inordinate time and cost. The technology is an accelerator of digital investigations, not a substitute for human input.

Stuart Clarke is good at this. There is more information and a registration form here.

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Free 30 day trial of Quin-C from AccessData

AccessDataEarlier this year, AccessData launched Quin-C, its new solution for data access, processing, and analysis, designed to enable investigators of every skill level to conduct more accurate and advanced investigations in shorter timescales.

One of its strengths is its ability to customise configurations to suit the needs of the investigation.

AccessData is offering a free 30-day trial of Quin-C, a no-obligation opportunity to find out about it for yourself.. There is more information and a request form here. Continue reading

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Consilio recorded webinar: investigation and litigation in China – eDiscovery challenges

ConsilioCross-border discovery, and collection in foreign jurisdictions is rarely easy. Those who think it is difficult to collect data in the EU, where privacy restraints conflict with US discovery requirements, may care to think how much harder it is to achieve the same objectives in China.

The difficulties range from state restraints (a “state secret” is widely defined or, rather, it is often not defined at all until you stumble over it) and there are technical difficulties of language to deal with as well. Locally-created email systems and chat networks similarly create problems, both of corporate control and to do with the technical methods of collection.

Consilio gave a webinar in March called Investigation and litigation in China – eDiscovery challenges. It is available for download here.

As well as describing some the difficulties, the webinar makes positive suggestions for dealing with the problems raised by eDiscovery in China. Continue reading

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Interview: Sarah Brown of Epiq on the components of a successful eDiscovery plan

Sarah Brown is Senior Manager, Communications, at Epiq. I interviewed her at Legaltech in New York about the importance of communication in formulating and executing a discovery plan.

Sarah Brown said that communication is an under-appreciated component of an eDiscovery roll-out. People get caught up in the technical aspects of the software or the ins and outs of the case itself and overlook the importance of communication. Continue reading

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Topics of interest at UK and EU eDiscovery / eDisclosure events so far in 2018

As the world pushes off for the summer, it is perhaps worth summarising the subjects which have proved of interest to those attending eDiscovery events so far this year. The attention in this article is on those I have attended, and on the UK and mainland Europe rather than the US. The focus is on the topics themselves rather than on any attempt to summarise what was said.

This article ends with the hope that we will see more of the next generation willing to speak at events, for their benefit and the benefit of their employees, as well as for the audiences.

Relativity Fest London

Relativity Fest is now the biggest event in the UK (and EU) conference calendar, both by the number of participants and by delegates. I spent much of it recording video interviews, unwilling to miss the opportunity to capture so many people with interesting things to say, and my observation of the events was therefore limited. Many of those videos have been published in this blog. Continue reading

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