I have yet to write up the tremendous speech made by US Magistrate Judge John Facciola at LegalTech in New York last week. My excuse, if such be needed, is that it contained so much of importance to anyone practising in any common law civil jurisdiction that it will take some time to capture what he said. For some unaccountable reason, the organisers failed to record it, making it the more important to write it up.
The influence of a judicial perspective on any aspect of case management is not to be under-rated, and this applies more to electronic discovery than to anything else. One of the issues we have in the UK, for example, is one of consistency of outcome – parties do not know what to expect from the judge and so cannot negotiate about the scope of disclosure within a known framework.
US judges are more willing to discuss publicly what they expect from parties, probabaly because they are taught about it and have more exposure to it than UK judges. Kazeon, who provide software and services for corporations, legal services providers and law firms to search for, retrieve and analyse data, has a webinar coming up at which the speakers include two judges.
They are District Judge James M Rosenbaum and Magistrate Judge Franklin L Noel. The webinar is fixed for Thursday 19 February at 10.00am PST / 1.00pm EST / 6.00pm GMT. US judges are adopting an approach which is similar to that which our rules require – I do not say that they are copying us in any sense, but they are arriving at the same views, for example as to the need for co-operation between parties.
See Kazeon’s events registration page for further details.
I came across Kazeon – or, more accurately, Kazeon came across me – in part because their UK representative, Mark Rollins, lives in Oxford not far from me and came to see me on the strength of my blog. Like every other commentator in this area, I am focusing increasingly on the information management and data collection aspects of handling electronic documents – the “move to the left” of the EDRM diagram which dominated discussion at LegalTech last week. That is Kazeon’s territory, and one which judges, as well as practitioners, will need to get their minds round.