It is very flattering when people write in to ask if I am all right because they have noted that the number of blog posts is down in a particular week, suggesting as it does that people do not merely read what I write, but look out for it. It would, no doubt, be a very pleasant life if I could just sit in my office writing carefully-honed articles but, if that was all I did, I would soon run out of things to say. Furthermore, blog posts are not the only written output, and writing is not the only way of meeting my objective of spreading the word about e-Disclosure.
To allay the suspicions of those who may think that I have taken a week off, it is worth quickly summarising what has been going on. It is useful, periodically, to give some idea of the range of activities which promote the subject, because it shows how much activity there is in the market.
As my article Peer-to-peer networking at the IQPC Corporate Counsel Exchange in Brussels tells, I was away until Monday night at a conference of some significance to those who include the EU and corporate counsel amongst their interests (Brussels has other interesting aspects, as my picture shows) . Having left my laptop charger at home, I was unable to write about it until I got back, and that plus the inevitable catch-up when you miss a week-end’s work, took another day.
Yesterday, I had an extended lunch with a litigation partner in one of those firms which I see as having the potential to change the way this aspect of litigation is managed, to challenge other firms for new work in the way which I have predicted in several articles, and to open up new markets for suppliers of litigation software and services. You can pontificate to eternity about what lawyers need, but you need to get out and talk to a few of them occasionally.
There has been much correspondence this week about a visit to Australia in June. Master Whitaker and I are due to speak at the Chilli IQ Information Management & E-Discovery Summit in Sydney on 8 and 9 June and we are keen to maximise our time on the other side of the world with additional sessions. I will say more about this when the details become clearer, but the logistics of trips like this do not organise themselves. The value of such visits lies in an exchange of ideas which is more than nominal – we really need to know, for example, how the Electronic Discovery Practice Note CM6, in force in Australia for over a year now, actually works in practice, because that informs our own thinking.
There is also a conference coming up in Hong Kong in July, the InnoXcell eDiscovery and Forensics event where, again, I am working to maximise the value which we can both take and get from the visit. Hong Kong was last week the venue for a major conference on judicial reform attended by the Master of the Rolls and Lord Justice Jackson – and Hong Kong is another place where things are stirring on the e-Discovery front.
The home front is not being neglected amidst all this planned activity abroad. Coming up soon is the first of the events which Professor Dominic Regan and I plan to do around the country. The first of these, called Electronic Disclosure for Litigators, takes place at Ely Place Chambers on 12 May. This will be a comprehensive review of the law relating to eDisclosure and the technology available to deal with it proportionately. Contact the Clerk, Chris Drury, for details.
This morning, I recorded a podcast in support of the IQPC Information Retention and e-Disclosure Management Summit due to take place in London on 17th to 19th May. It takes quite a lot of preparation to talk on a live broadcast for 40 minutes in a reasonably fluent manner.
The biggest single task of the week is a paper whose deadline is tomorrow and which ties in with the IQPC London conference. It is not the only one which I must write, and they require a degree of concentration inconsistent with the normal interruptions of everyday work, including the writing of blog posts (except this one explaining why I have not written many blog posts).
Last but not least, Master Whitaker and I are doing a session at ILTA Insight at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London next Tuesday. There is so much going on at the moment that I have no fears about filling our allotted time with interesting and informed comment from Master Whitaker – the man of the hour in eDisclosure terms, following his judgment in Goodale v The Ministry of Justice – but a certain amount of preparation from me as moderator is nevertheless required.
Twitter gives me glimpses of interesting and important stuff flying by. I capture anything which looks interesting (thank you iCyte, which is one of the most useful web-based applications there is) and I will catch up with the most important of them, together with other things which sit on my to-do list, shortly, including a couple of things which have been there a while waiting for a suitable gap. The mere existence of so much material should serve as encouragement to anyone with an interest in electronic discovery / disclosure.