I don’t need to promote Technology in Practice 2017, due to start on Thursday in Toronto, because it has already sold out. I am moderating three panels at it, and preparation for them has taken a good chunk of the time since I last got back from North America, less than a fortnight ago. This is my last trip of the year and, much as I enjoy them, I will be glad to getting back to writing the articles and editing the videos which have not had much of a look in recently.
My three panels represent different areas of my interests. My first is called A judge’s perspective on critical eDiscovery issues in which Justice Fred Myers of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck of Southern District of New York, and I, will talk about eDiscovery rules and practice, principally in Canada and the US, but also around the rest of the world. One of my recurring themes is the extent to which jurisdictions are increasingly borrowing ideas from each other or, at least, arriving at similar conclusions about the way forward. A panel like this is a good way of disseminating ideas.
My second panel is called TAR Trends around the World. Judge Peck (again), Maura Grossman of University of Waterloo, and Constantine Pappas of Relativity will aim to help the Canadian audience jump over some of the things which have been impediments to progress in other jurisdictions but have now been removed. We will sweep up legal and technical points as well as lessons and ideas from other places.
My last panel, closing the show on Friday, is very different. Called How technology is calling for a more human lawyer, it aims to address the objection, made by some lawyers and by those who instruct them, that technology has the potential to diminish the human element of practice as a lawyer. What, for example, is the value proposition, for those doing the work and those commissioning it, when technology is taking over an increasing amount of what used to be time-consuming (and therefore expensive) work?
The panel members for the session are Fernando Garcia of Nissan and Infiniti Canada, Mary Mack of ACEDS, and David Kinnear of High Performance Counsel. Our brief in constructing the panel was more abstract than most of those which I do – no rules, cases or precedents, no hard edged technology or processes to describe – but we have assembled relevant subjects which inspired different ways of thinking about the problems and their solutions.
The rest of the agenda, run in four tracks (eDiscovery and Beyond, Connecting to the Future, In the Trenches, and Technology Showcase) offer a serious problem of choice for those of us who are interested in all these subjects. Commonwealth Legal and Ricoh have done a fine job in putting all this together, and I am looking forward to being there.