Barrister Clive Freedman of 3 Verulam Buildings gave a webinar on e-disclosure last week. Clive is a member, as I am, of Senior Master Whitaker’s working party which produced the draft e-disclosure practice direction and ESI questionnaire which were commended in his Final Report by Lord Justice Jackson. Those of us in the working party gratefully acknowledge that the brunt of the actual drafting fell on Clive. He has form in this area, having been heavily involved in the work of LiST, the Litigation Support Technology Group, in its draft PD and e-disclosure protocols.
I was in Las Vegas when the webinar was delivered – that itself is not a bar to attending (or delivering) a webinar, one of the joys of the format, though I could not in fact do so on this occasion. Mike Taylor of I-Lit did listen to it, however, and sent me this report:
On 27th May 2010 I attended my first “Webinar”. Clive Freedman’s presentation entitled “E-disclosure in Litigation: Avoid the Pitfalls”. I attended the webinar whilst sitting in my office with a cup of coffee and enjoyed every part of it.
Initially I was impressed by the excellent cloud software called “Brighttalk” which allowed me to listen to the talk and view the slides with great ease as well as allowing voting and the asking of questions (via the keyboard) it was so simple to use I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t done it before.
I have long been a follower of Clive Freedman and find his website http://www.edisclosure.uk.com an invaluable source of up to date information on all matters relating to electronic disclosure. I have however never managed to hear him talk or, indeed, meet him. My experience of electronic disclosure presentations is wide and includes giving and listening to presentations at all levels of venue from international conferences to lunchtime training talks at law firms. It is without doubt that I can say yesterday’s webinar was the most succinct and relevant I have ever heard. Lasting just 40 minutes Mr Freedman’s broadcast covered;
· UK case law
· Part 31 of the CPR and the Practice Direction to it
· Preservation Duties and Litigation Readiness
· Lord Justice Jackson’s proposed menu disclosure system
· Proportionality and Reasonableness
· The Disclosure Statement
· Discussions between parties (and the consequences of failing to have discussions)
· The new ESI Questionnaire and the proposed new Practice Direction
· Keyword Searching and Metadata
· Document exchange
· The consequences of failing to give proper disclosure.
Obviously the discussion of each part was necessarily brief, but all of the major elements in each section were covered and when necessary explained clearly and concisely. With useful tips and insights into the future it seemed to me that newcomers to e-disclosure would walk away from the webinar with a good grounding in the subject and that old hands would benefit from such a clear refresher which gave great summaries of the current case law, the menu system and the new questionnaire.
I think that it will in some way be possible to “listen again” (to borrow a phrase from the BBC) to the presentation at the Brightalk website but failing that anyone with a need to update themselves or learn about e-disclosure would do well to search out Mr Freedman’s next speaking engagement and make sure that they are there.
The answer to Mike’s last point is that the Brighttalk webinars are available from their website.