I will pick one point from Corey Tomlinson’s report. What is the purpose of discovery or, as he puts it:
Why is it important to make connections between phone numbers, email addresses, and the people who use them? What does it mean to help speed legal discovery with technology like continuous active learning? Is there a reason to be so fixated on processing so many terabytes in a given hour, day, or longer?
All this obviously applies to conventional discovery requirements, to meeting the demands of regulators, and to investigating the actions of bad actors, whether they come from outside an organisation or from within.
There is a wider purpose, however, to do with journalistic and other work with a public interest as well as a private and corporate one. The Panama Papers is the most obvious example.
Corey Tomlinson refers to the time, three years ago, when the Panama Papers news broke – I was at the Nuix User Exchange, as moderator of the discussion with Gerard Ryall, Director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, at which he told us how the Panama Papers was effectively a global eDiscovery project. A large multi-national, multi-lingual, and multi-skilled team was assembled, using a mixture of old-fashioned journalism and modern technology to flush out and then flesh out a story whose impact continues to reverberate today. I wrote about it here.
Since then, eDiscovery technology like Nuix, now supplemented by Nuix Discover (following the purchase of Ringtail from FTI) has spread into many areas which go far beyond conventional ideas of discovery. Human rights and equality came up as subjects at the Nuix User Exchange, with child abduction, trafficking, and exploitation as everyday problems to be tackled.
It all seems far from discovery seen merely as compliance with the rules of court procedure. It needs the same skills, however, and the same tools.