As you may recall, I was not able to go to a meeting in Toronto at the beginning of April, when Senior Master Whitaker and I had hoped to see Justice Campbell and others to talk about common ground between Canada and the UK on the case management of civil litigation. I am also not going to Montreal next week for the LegalIT 3.0 conference on 20 and 21 April for the prosaic reason that I have only just found out about it.
Jo Sherman of eDiscovery Tools and the Australian Future Courts Programme is coming here at the week-end so that we can talk about the new Australian Federal Practice Note 17 on the use of technology in the management of discovery and the conduct of litigation which she masterminded and which is relevant to our planned Technology Questionnaire and e-Disclosure Practice Direction. She mentioned that she was en route to a panel presentation in Montreal – the first I had heard of it.
By random chance, I was electronically introduced on the same day to Dominic Jaar, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Centre for Court Technology and CEO also of LegalIT 3.0. The random link there is that Dominic is on a panel at CEIC 2009 in Orlando with Patrick Burke of Guidance Software which starts just as my own panel with Patrick finishes – agenda here – and we are both members of Guidance’s Strategic Advisory Board.
If all these links and relationships sound like the Bloomsbury Set with added carbon miles but without the sex and high-flown literary pretension, there is a serious purpose behind them. The panel which Jo Sherman is doing in Montreal is called Technology Serving Procedure and is described thus:
Around the world and across Canada, more and more jurisdictions are migrating towards electronic systems for filing and providing access to court documents. However, the migration has an impact on our relationship to the law and requires relearning at both the technological and the legal levels. Since technology is not neutral, we have to examine the impact of this technological turn on our behaviour as legal professionals.
Another panel on the same day is called Technology Serving Administration and Presentation of Evidence and a third has the title Information Technologies and the Judiciary which asks What are the impacts of technologies on the way judges work and consequences of their adoption on the judicial process?
Dominic Jaar is on two panels on Day 2 which I ought to be at. One is called International Issues in eDiscovery at which one of his fellow-speakers is George Rudoy of Shearman & Sterling – George and I did a panel together at LegalTech on Safe Harbor, and he is authoritative as one can get on international issues. The other is called Emerging e-Discovery issues in Quebec and Common Law Canada whose description is as follows:
By way of introduction, this panel will dispel common misconceptions about what constitutes e-Discovery. Then, drawing on the law, the Sedona Canada Principles and their extensive experience in the area, the panel will discuss emerging issues in Quebec and Common Law Canada regarding preservation and production, how to ensure preservation obligations are met by properly constructing and implementing legal holds, how to prepare for and strategically manage meet and confer sessions, and how to collect, process, review and produce in a streamlined and cost-effective manner.
I will also miss Craig Ball and George Rudoy in a session entitled Ten Nerdy Things You Need to Know about E-Discovery. Although my mission in life is to de-nerdify the process, these two heavyweight but lightly entertaining speakers ought to make a title like that into a more interesting closing act than you get at most conferences.
I will be sorry not to go to Montreal. If you can get there, the registration fee for the two days looks extremely good value at $666.66. I hope someone will tell me what happens.
Montreal is also, of course, the home town of indie band The Arcade Fire. I know of them because one of my boys sings their Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) and if, as we do, you have a grand piano in your not over-large kitchen, you either absorb popular music or leave home. No particular e-discovery connection here except that the lines
then I’ll dig a tunnel
from my window to yours,
yeah a tunnel from my window to yours.
You climb out the chimney
and meet me in the middle,
the middle of the town.
And since there’s no one else around,
we let our hair grow long
and forget all we used to know,
…may refer to a particularly difficult meet and confer.
I offer it to you anyway as a counterpoint to my earlier post about Susan Boyle