Julia Helmer is eDiscovery Director, Discovery Solutions at Consilio. I spoke to her at Relativity Fest in Chicago and asked her what developments she was seeing in the discovery of mobile data.
Julia Helmer said that Consilio has been doing a great deal of work on mobile data recently. It was, she said, similar to email in the 1990s, meaning that it is created in ever-increasing volumes while the lawyers and the technologies try to keep up.
Mobile data, Julia Helmer said, lives in a “tiny database in our pocket”, and it is vital to know how to get it out and reviewed in the same way as we review email and more conventional documents. We need to be able to send it out complete with metadata as we do everything else.
I asked Julia Helmer if lawyers were aware of the existence of this kind of data. Many of them like to pretend that they are not, she said, perhaps arriving at those quiet and unspoken deals with opponents that one won’t ask for mobile data if the other one doesn’t (just as we saw with email in the 1990s).
Many lawyers, she said, are not aware of the complications which exist around mobile data while as individuals they are creating as much as anyone. This used to be mainly texts; most of it now is application data of one kind or another.
I quoted Craig Ball’s aphorism that “there has never been a better time to be a trial lawyer” in terms of the contemporaneous evidence which now exists. That is true, Julia Helmer said, but only a few of them capture it in a usable form.