Too much EDD about EDD

…and too many ESIs about ESI. Those of us who watch the discovery and compliance industry have the same problem as the lawyers have with their clients’ documents – getting at the stuff which matters.

I have started reading the Information Governance Engagement Area, after it linked to a post of mine. It is a Blog which (to use its own description) “has been established with the goal of aggregating key compliance and electronic discovery news for further review, study, and consideration by legal and corporate professionals”.

Its aim, in other words, is to collate any electronic sources its author can find which may be of value to anyone working in compliance and electronic discovery – electronic disclosure in the UK. I stress the “of value” bit – a mass of stuff has been added just in the two days since I came across it and nearly all of it is interesting, useful or both. If there is that amount of good stuff out there to read, how much more is there which is dross? And that is just the summaries – each post links to a source article. You could spend a day – and a useful day in my terms – following up a day’s postings.

In one of them, the CIO of a large US law firm is quoted as saying of its document management (that is, its clients’ documents for review) that “You cannot hire enough people to read this stuff”. Their solution was to use the concept search tools in MindServer Legal from Recommind. “There is simply too much volume and too much nuance in the documents themselves.”, the CIO said.

Reading this (that is, reading the post about the article about the solution) I realised that what is true about the problems raised by clients’ documents in big compliance or litigation cases is now equally true about the articles about the solutions to those problems. (You, of course, are one step yet further removed – reading my post about their post about an article about the solution). The article itself is here incidentally (and no, I haven’t read it all yet – but I can see a few links at the bottom which look interesting).

This is a dragon chasing its tail. We started with data, then metadata. Now we have data about handling metadata, and metadata which tracks the metadata of metadata. You begin to understand what the CIO meant by saying “You cannot hire enough people to read this stuff”.

There is a mass of electronic data to discover about electronic data discovery, hundreds of electronic sources of information about electronic sources of information. Much of this is about things which are remote from the needs of most UK law firms. My self-imposed brief is to stick to subjects which:

  • are directly relevant to the people I work for or might work for or
  • throw light on the near future of the English CPR
  • concern a person, firm or company whom I know.

For those who want to read more there are links from this site’s home page to some relevant sites. Between them, these sites will tell you, or lead you to, all you could want to know about electronic discovery.

Those who do not want to read more, but just want to get on with it, please contact me.


About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Court Rules, CPR, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Legal Technology, Litigation Support. Bookmark the permalink.

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