The end of February may seem a little late to point you to Relativity’s predictions webinar for Q1 2023, but there are extenuating circumstances.
You can find the webinar itself here, advertised as The Seventh Annual Recap of the Year’s Predictions by Leaders in e-Discovery, Artificial Intelligence, and Related Data Law Fields. It was kind of David Horrigan of Relativity to ask for my input, in writing in advance rather than by broadcast attendance.
First, however, the extenuating circumstances which justify my coming late to this.
We became grandparents in January. More than that, we invited our new grandson, Bo, and his parents, to come and move in with us – Bo’s arrival coincided with a bitterly cold spell and sharing the heating, as well as the labour, was an easy and obvious way to help.
I have a limited skill set when it comes to dealing with infants. My role is the non-culinary aspects of housekeeping – mainly doing the washing and keeping the house clean. It has proved a fairly full-time occupation, which is why I am late in reporting on the 2023 predictions.
I will not attempt a summary of everything that was said in the webinar, but I won’t pass up the opportunity to draw attention to my own contribution. There are some very big subjects out there at the moment, not least crypto, AI, and security breaches. There is always a danger at these times of overlooking the basics, and I like to remember the more everyday things. My contribution read:
My prediction for 2023 is that we will see more lawyers on the wrong end of negligence claims and professional embarrassment over failure to identify and pursue the evidence in electronic devices.
“At the end of 2022, false accusations were uncovered thanks to a painstaking examination of a person’s devices and data. As the line blurs between technology used for business and for personal use, so will we see discovery techniques developed for commercial disputes increasingly applied to personal activities. That in turn should make lawyers aware that every case requires enough technical knowledge at least to consider a wider range of data sources than hitherto, and to seek help if necessary.”
Missing data, and the steps taken (or not taken) to remedy defects, or at least to explain them, was a recurring theme of 2022, something I wrote about in my recent post Revisiting useful old judgments: deleted messages and adverse inferences.
By chance, yesterday brought us a Twitter thread from Sanjay Bhandari, formerly the head of a well-known forensic IT business, on how difficult it is to erase electronic documents beyond forensic retrieval. My comment, in passing this on, was that it was a useful thread “for those (including courts) who meekly accept the excuse that “the emails were deleted”.
There are, as I have said, bigger and more significant developments across the broad field covered by the Relativity webinar. As well as listening to that (it is only 30 minutes long), you might like an article by David Horrigan and Emma Shamini of Relativity called The top trends dominating eDisclosure in 2023. All of the subjects covered – AI, workflow automation, early case assessment, the use of cloud-based technologies, and the rest – are subjects in constant development. They are all, however, underpinned by an understanding of basic obligations which have been around for years.
30 minute webinars like this Relativity one are a painless way to keep up with what is going on.