Looking at the lies of the land: Fake Law, political lying and activist lawyers

The Secret Barrister’s second book Fake Law has as its subtitle “The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies“. Publication was held over from the spring, and the book arrives at a time of public dishonesty such as we have never seen before. There is a tenuous connection with eDiscovery (the primary subject of this blog) in that the tricks and tools of public dishonesty include those which are familiar (or should be) to anyone engaged in civil or criminal discovery.

This is not a review of the book because I must wait like everyone else for publication on 3 September when it will be available from e.g. Daunt Books for £20 or for slightly less from Amazon. I depend to some extent on the Secret Barrister’s article in The Guardian last week called Against the law: why judges are under attack, but my point is not so much to preview the book as to talk slightly discursively about the age of lies.

Along the way, we might ask why people lie, cheat and deceive. Motive and opportunity are factors to be considered when looking at criminal behaviour and in anticipating security risks, as well as in public dishonesty. For Boris Johnson, lying seems to be a personal characteristic almost divorced from anything he might achieve by it. Smaller fish like Health Minister Matt Hancock tell lies partly to alter the record in anticipation of the inevitable public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, but also because lying seems to be a qualification for serving in Boris Johnson’s government. Wearing my eDiscovery hat, I am looking forward to that inquiry.

But why do they keep going? Johnson has an 80 seat majority and has got the Brexit he lied so assiduously to get. Adding to the lie pile now just emphasises the fact that he only reached his position by dishonest means, and reinforces the perception that everything he says is untrue. Continue reading

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ILTA>ON – a virtual event for the global digital technology community 24-28 August

For many years, ILTA’s big annual event took me to one of those vast resorts in the US, often in Las Vegas. I participated in and attended sessions, did interviews, and took the opportunity to set up formal meetings. Mainly, though, I had impromptu conversations with people, many of whom I saw only once or twice a year. An extremely efficient organising team somehow created a relaxed atmosphere in those unpromising surroundings, in parallel with the production of a very businesslike agenda.

I have missed the last couple of years for different reasons but would have been there this year. Big physically-attended events are not happening, however, and we are all focussed on replacing – and even improving on – the experience to which we had become accustomed.

ILTA has risen to the challenge of lockdown by rebranding itself as ILTA>ON and offering a full week’s program of sessions which preserve the formal side of the event while delivering it to a potentially much wider audience – not everyone could get to Las Vegas in August but a virtual event is open to all. Continue reading

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ACEDS webinar on 9 September – arbitrations and UK eDiscovery

The ACEDS UK Chapter has a record of producing interesting and timely webinars. I moderated one for them earlier this year and we got a good audience for a discussion about the implications of Covid for the future of eDiscovery.

The next ACEDS UK webinar is on 9th September, and is called Arbitrations are on the rise: what does this mean for e-discovery in the UK? The subjects to be discussed include:

  • Why are we seeing a growing rise in international arbitrations?
  • Should arbitration be used instead of litigation?
  • How does the London market stand to capture the increasing volume of international arbitrations?
  • How does the management of discovery differ for arbitrations?
  • What are the challenges?
  • How can these be overcome?
  • How might Data Analytics be used to mitigate a lot of the data management & production issues?
  • What does the future hold?

Continue reading

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Self-collection of discovery / disclosure documents on both sides of the Atlantic

My headline illustrates one of the difficulties of writing about the same subject as it relates to both the Civil Procedure Rules of England and Wales and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Thanks to a pointless rule change in 1999, we can’t even use the same terminology as the rest of the world to refer to what is essentially the same function, and I have to keep writing “discovery / disclosure”.

To that is added the gritted teeth through which I refer to the “UK rules” because I really can’t be taking up half a blog post explaining not only that we use different terminology but that “England and Wales” is a single and discrete jurisdiction, that there are no “UK” or “British” rules, and that Scotland is a separate jurisdiction and Ireland a different country.

There we are – 138 words so far and I haven’t even started on my actual topic.

There are as many differences as similarities between the US and E&W rules. Occasionally, the same subject surfaces at the same time and it is one of those – self-collection of documents – which is my topic for today. “Self-collection”, in this context, means that a litigant, whether an individual or an organisation, gathers discovery documents themselves, with the usual implication that they set the criteria for collection. After all, so the argument runs, they know their own data. Continue reading

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Recording and reviewing online meetings – a webinar by Panoram, Nuix and Integreon

I wrote recently about something easily overlooked in the rush to hold meetings by Zoom or its rival video platforms – how do you decide what to capture for posterity? “Posterity” in this case means either that the recording has a value for an organisation’s business purposes (by, for example, recording a discussion about a pending contract), or for HR purposes (e.g. a recruitment or disciplinary interview), or for some compliance purpose (e.g. because a regulator requires it). “Posterity” may also, of course, involve a possible future discovery / disclosure obligation, including the need to comply with a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR).

My article, called Zooming from video meetings to discovery requests about video meetings, was based on an article by Martin Bonney of Panoram and Vince Neicho of Integreon, which explored many of the implications, some obvious and some less so, of the fast-growing use of video for discussions, both formal and informal. Martin Bonney and Vince Neicho are teaming up again, along with Neil Thomas of Nuix, to produce a webinar on 18 August called Recording and Reviewing Online Meetings for eDiscovery Professionals. Continue reading

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NightOwl Global merger with HaystackID

My summer staycation involved dismantling my office for decoration, so I have not got much work done in the last few days.

The main eDiscovery event during my absence was the merger between HaystackID and NightOwl Global to produce what they not unreasonably describe as “a comprehensive and complete set of data and legal discovery services for legal departments and law firms across the globe”. Continue reading

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Staycation – decluttering, destruction and decoration

The word “staycation” is much abused. It is a portmanteau word invented by travel journalists which has no real place in English (we have holidays, not vacations, so the apparent premise that you are stay[ing at home for your va]cation sounds unattractive anyway). Since we are stuck with the word, let’s use it properly. It is not a holiday within your own national borders (that’s just a holiday) but a period in which you stay at home and do things other than work, which may include day trips elsewhere.

Many, it seems, are so desperate to go abroad that they will risk anything – the indifferent contempt of airports and airlines, the selfish refusal of others to wear masks or observe distancing rules, the vague incompetence of government – to get to a beach in some foreign country. Others fight for beds in UK resorts despite the hostility of the natives, despite the eye-watering prices being charged by hotels and landlords understandably desperate to recoup some of their lockdown losses, and despite the possibility that Prime Minister Bungling Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Maundering Mutt Halfcock will suddenly impose some new internal travel restriction.

I love August in a typical year. There is little point in writing anything when there are so few around to read it. We stay at home while everyone else goes away. The streets fall quiet. It’s all a bit like lockdown with better weather. This August, however, things are different. Continue reading

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Interview: Jamie Berry of Integreon on encouraging lawyers to use technology

This is the second of my interviews with Jamie Berry, Executive Vice President, Litigation Services at Integreon, which we recorded at Relativity Fest 2019 in Chicago. The first one is here.

The theme of this interview is the question how you encourage lawyers to use technology in their practices. As I say in opening, lawyers are not thought of as being particularly receptive to new ideas. I asked Jamie Berry how you encourage them to use software tools like Relativity. Continue reading

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All change as Relativity Fest 2020 goes virtual and as video becomes the norm

Relativity’s big annual event usually takes place in Chicago in the autumn. Thousands of people with shared interests gather for a few days of talks and panel sessions, training and certification, meetings with developers and customers, parties and drinks. It is useful and it is fun.

This year, Relativity Fest will be a virtual event, online from 21 to 23 September 2020. Its purpose will be the same as always – it is “designed to educate and connect the e-discovery community. It’s the place for legal and tech professionals to talk shop, connect with your peers, and learn from each other.”. There will be break-out sessions, panel discussions, hands-on exercises and more. Knowing Relativity, I expect it all to work as a technical matter, and to inform and entertain as aways. It also has the potential to reach literally thousands of people who have never been able to travel to Chicago for the physical event.

The events will be transmitted by two things, one of which we don’t notice any more – the internet – and one of which is about to achieve the same status – video and video conferencing. These two things make up the themes of this article. Continue reading

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Zooming from video meetings to discovery requests about video meetings

An article by Vince Neicho of Integreon and Martin Bonney of Panoram draws attention to the sudden potential demand for retrieval and review of video data, not least the business, legal, regulatory, and privacy implications of video meetings.

In retrospect, the transition from paper discovery to email discovery was relatively painless, though it did not seem so at the time. It was not just that the medium changed; communication by email became both easy and immediate and, in the marketing jargon of the time, volumes were said to have “skyrocketed”. The focus was on ease of creation, as Microsoft and others gave us simple ways of generating and exchanging more documents. Tools appeared for archiving, collecting, and searching all this stuff, and they improved at a great rate. The existence of these tools meant that the standards expected of discovery lawyers rose with them, each advance quickly becoming the norm, at least for those with the wit to see it.

New and yet faster tools arose for creating and exchanging written information. Email seemed informal until texts came along. Almost without noticing it, we moved to near-instant means of communication, increasingly on platforms belonging to other people. If the transition seemed quick at the time, it was perhaps because we were not concentrating. Continue reading

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Interview: Jamie Berry of Integreon on how Relativity supports large document reviews

At Relativity Fest 2019 in Chicago, I interviewed Jamie Berry, Executive Vice President, Litigation Services at Integreon. Jamie Berry has been in eDiscovery for a long time, and had so much to say that was interesting that I have split the interview into three parts. This is the first.

I asked Jamie Berry how Relativity supports its users. He worked at DLA Piper when it became a very early adopter of Relativity and, he said, DLA Piper was able to influence earlier versions of Relativity right from the beginning, getting many of the features it wanted thanks to Relativity’s willingness to listen to its users.

That continues, Jamie Berry said. Relativity uses shows like Relativity Fest for several purposes, and one of them is to get user feedback. Continue reading

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Disclosure obligations and self-selection of disclosure documents – the Square Global case

An article called A timely reminder for clients not to “self-select” disclosable documents by Rhys Novak of Charles Russell Speechlys draws attention to the judgment in Square Global Ltd v Leonard [2020] EWHC 1008 (QB) (28 April 2020). It is an employment case, about alleged constructive dismissal, but what is said about disclosure applies to any civil case. The relevant part is in a Postscript beginning at Paragraph 195.

The point at issue was whether Mr Leonard had been “remiss in complying diligently with his disclosure duties”. The arguments (on which the parties submitted brief written submissions) involved a conflict between the idea that a party is best-placed to know what documents exist, and the duty of solicitors to control what is selected. Square Global “were not suggesting that there was a breach of any professional obligation by Mr Leonard’s solicitors, as opposed to underscoring what they submitted was evidence of lack of candour on the part of Mr. Leonard himself.”

Leonard similarly complained about Square’s disclosure. Continue reading

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Interview: Gráinne Bryan of FTI Consulting on the use of technology in Irish dispute resolution and compliance monitoring

I recently interviewed Gráinne Bryan of FTI Consulting in Ireland about FTI’s technology role in helping law firms, financial institutions and other businesses with anything to do with the use of data in business.

In the second part of our discussion, we talked about the growing acceptance in Ireland that technology must be used to manage data in dispute resolution and compliance monitoring. Ireland has a strict discovery regime, and until the 2016 discovery judgment in IBRC v Quinn, it had not been considered appropriate to use technology to identify discoverable documents. The Quinn judgment changed that and, Gráinne Bryan said, the use of tools like technology-assisted review is now general. Continue reading

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Depp gets through to the last reel with relief from sanctions over disclosure failures

Johnny Depp’s most famous character, Captain Jack Sparrow, is used to situations where all seems lost but something happens in the nick of time to effect a rescue. We left Depp’s latest storyline with our hero struck out for alleged failure to comply with an ‘unless’ order for disclosure.

On the defendant’s case, Depp’s case was struck out automatically on his failure to comply with Mr Justice Nicol’s order of 10 March. The hearing reported in my most recent article ended with a cliff-hanger – the judge declined to make an order for strike-out on the basis that Depp’s lawyers made a very prompt application for relief from sanctions.

That has now happened, and Depp lives to fight another day. The judgment is here (my thanks to Gordon Exall and his Civil Litigation Brief, as so often, for prompt access to things like this and for his usual brisk summary of the key points of the judgment). Continue reading

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Recorded ACEDS webinar: a better way of doing webinars about better ways of doing discovery

At the beginning of May, I moderated a webinar for the ACEDS UK Chapter called Will the COVID Crisis Cure Outdated Approaches to eDiscovery? Although it was UK-based, the ground we covered is relevant everywhere where discovery is required. We got a good turnout for it, and pleasing comments afterwards, and I thought it might be helpful to publish the recording for those who missed it. It is at the end of this post.

It was the first one I have done using video rather than merely audio. Would we have thought to ask for a video production before COVID? I don’t think we would have considered it, and I mean that literally – it would not have crossed our minds. Right at the beginning of the crisis, I took part in a conventional webinar with EDRM about working from home. At that stage, relatively few people had spent much time working from home, and we covered some of the basic points. By the beginning of May, everyone was their own expert in WFH, and Zoom had become a natural way to communicate – not always a welcome way for everyone, but better than nothing. It was time to move on from day-to-day things and to start looking ahead to a post-COVID eDiscovery world.

I was determined that we should be both positive and optimistic about it. We chose speakers who, whatever their prior experience at remote working, had had to throw themselves and their teams at just getting the job done. The result seemed to be a leap forward – the crisis had helped to encourage a new way of thinking and a new balance between the elements of a job. Continue reading

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The whitey stuff meets the White Book – Depp struck out for non-compliance with a disclosure order

In Depp v News Group Newspapers Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 1689 (QB) (29 June 2020) the defendants’ counsel submitted that Johnny Depp’s mentions in texts to “whitey stuff” were references to cocaine. The Civil Procedure Rules of England and Wales are set out in The White Book. The White Book’s rules and the ‘whitey stuff’ texts collided in a hearing before Mr Justice Nicol last week. The White Book won, and Depp’s case was struck out, subject to an application for relief from sanctions which, the judge said, must be made PDQ because the trial was listed for 7 July.

The main point at issue was whether, on the face of the pleaded cases, the apparent drug use brought certain texts within Rule 31.6. It mattered also that the disclosure was proportionate.


Johnny Depp last appeared in this blog in February, when I commented (cautiously) on a report in the Guardian that his “previous legal team accidentally shared an archive of 70,000 messages with the Sun’s lawyers.” He turns up now because his libel action against his former wife, Amber Heard, fell to be struck out for failure to comply with an order for disclosure made in March. If there is no successful application for relief from sanctions, the striking out will presumably take effect from the expiry of the order referred to below. Continue reading

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Taking care about time and place data in eDiscovery – things may not be as simple as they seem

Electronic communication makes discovery all so easy, doesn’t it? After all, no less a person than Neil Gorsuch, a justice of the US Supreme Court, was recently mentioned in a Legaltech News article here in these terms:

“And it can’t be burdensome,” Gorsuch said, according to the Supreme Court’s transcript. “I heard [burden], was your third, but in an age where everything’s online and can be handed over on a disk or a thumb drive, that—that—that much pretty much disappears too.”

This is why one UK judge, himself familiar with both the rules and the technology, said at a conference last year that we must keep disclosure disputes away from the Court of Appeal. That absolute certainty which comes of rising to the top of the legal tree might lead one of our senior judges to say something equally daft, burdening the rest of us with the consequences forever.

Time and place are two key components for establishing the truth about a document. It is helpful to understand, if you understand nothing else, that neither is as easy as may appear, at least when something vital turns on getting it right. I recall a story from the very early days of computer forensics where law enforcement kicked down the door of some East Coast premises, confident that the timestamps on a document had taken them to the right door. In fact the server had been bought second-hand from a West Coast company and no-one had changed the clock to reflect the new time zone. Continue reading

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A new website and a different way of working – new opportunities for us and our clients

The eDisclosure Information Project has a new website. It introduces a new way of offering our video and other services to a wider range of clients in a way which makes opportunities, for them and for us, out of the apparent gloom of a locked-down world.

One change was always due to happen anyway, and that is the ending of the sponsorship relationships which have served me well since 2007. Long before the coronavirus hit, I gave notice that sponsorships would end by 31 March 2020 and that I would spend April developing a new model. There were several reasons for this. It limited the range of potential clients in a consolidating market which was in the hands of ever fewer players. Sponsorship became a hard concept to sell – the idea that sponsors could have whatever they wanted for their annual fee seems harder to fit into budgets than a defined set of tasks for a fixed fee, even though the sponsorship fee represented very good value for those who took full advantage of it. It came to give poor value to me, not least because adding videos to the existing offerings meant I had to do much more for the same money, and pay the fees and travel expenses of my techie sons who did the videos.

All these factors – the problem of marketing an undefined deliverable to a smaller class of potential clients while earning a diminishing return for more work – could be met by ending the sponsorships and moving to a model under which I offer a service for a fee, do the work and send in a bill.

The website sets out what those services are – video interviews, webinars, podcasts, panel moderation and writing. They are offered to all comers, not just those who sign up for a year’s sponsorship, and while eDiscovery / eDisclosure remains the main focus, the skills and tools can be turned to any subject. Continue reading

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Boris Johnson and his friends remind us of the link between political dishonesty and eDiscovery

When an investigation was announced into the grant made to Boris Johnson’s friend Jennifer Arcuri, I rather assumed that we would shortly hear of missing documents. And so we did. As everyone mocked the elaborate stories told by Boris Johnson’s consigliere Dominic Cummings about his drive to Durham, I recalled another story involving the tracking of a Land Rover Discovery. That journey involved one person being killed with a crossbow; we will never find out how many people the virus-infected Cummings killed with his trip. In both cases, politics and discovery overlapped.

We are short of amusement in these difficult times, but we got some light relief recently when a story resurfaced from last year. Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserted in November 2019 that he had never told a lie in his political career. His life, political and otherwise, has in fact been defined by dishonest assertions, from his days as a journalist in Brussels (when he invented so many of the EU stories which led the less thoughtful of the Telegraph readers to vote Leave), via the Vote Leave campaign itself, on through the lockdown press conferences, and right through to Prime Minister’s Questions last week.

Discovery comes into it, or will do so, in both specific cases and generally. In the wider field, there will in due course be public inquiries into (among other things) the Garden Bridge, the whole conduct of Vote Leave (and specifically into the report on Russian influence in the referendum), the Jennifer Arcuri affair, and the conduct of the Covid-19 reaction. All it needs is for Johnson’s party to turn on him – this will be about a week after the coronavirus dies down so that they can blame him for it without having to handle the problem themselves. The inquiries will flush out some interesting documents which will be used to test Johnson’s assertions, both those made contemporaneously with the events in question and those made in the inquiries. I may book front row seats Continue reading

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Interview: Gráinne Bryan on FTI Consulting’s technology role in Ireland

Gráinne Bryan has recently been appointed as Managing Director, Technology, at FTI Consulting in Ireland. I know her from her previous role as CEO, Legal Technology Solutions at leading law firm McCann FitzGerald, where she promoted the use of technology across a range of disciplines, not least data investigations. I asked her about her new role at FTI.

In this interview, we first discuss FTI Consulting’s role in Dublin and the addition of FTI’s technology segment to FTI’s growing Irish establishment. This, as Gráinne Bryan observes, is part of a wider organisation which brings together technology skills in Madrid, France, Germany and South Africa. Continue reading

Posted in Digital investigations, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology, Relativity | Tagged | Leave a comment

Relativity Fest London – eDisclosure and global eDiscovery panel today

 Relativity Fest London reaches its third and final day today. The usual one-day event has been spread across three part-days, a format which allows people from different time zones to join in.

At 13:00 BST today, David Horrigan of Relativity will moderate a panel whose title is Judicial & Practitioner Perspectives: e-Disclosure, the Pilot Scheme, & Global e-Discovery. The speakers are Master McCloud, Erica Albertson, Head of eDiscovery Solutions at Simmons & Simmons, Ed Crosse, Partner at Simmons & Simmons, and Kushal Gandhi, Partner at CMS.

David Horrigan talked about this panel in my interview with him which I wrote about here. Continue reading

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Vince Neicho of Integreon: managing the cyclical nature of litigation

Vince Neicho is Vice President, Legal Services at Integreon. Before that he was for many years responsible for litigation support and eDisclosure at Allen & Overy. He has written a timely article on the Integreon blog called Law firms and the cyclical nature of litigation, investigations, and dispute resolution.

His opening proposition is that the economic aftermath of major events like COVID-19 brings work for disputes lawyers just as their law firms are forced to make cuts. Litigation and renewed regulatory intervention creates opportunities at a time when budgets and staff are being cut across the firm. How can firms be ready to profit from this work when their resources are being reduced?

His answer, which seems obvious once expressed, is that law firms can outsource those parts of the work which cannot be performed efficiently and economically within the firm. The most extreme example of work which is simultaneously important and resource-intensive is document review, and the engagement of an alternative legal service provider (like Integreon) allows firms to manage the peaks and troughs, profiting from the wave of new work without challenging the firm’s restricted budgets. Continue reading

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Interview: David Horrigan of Relativity on the virtual Relativity Fest London 2020

This year’s Relativity Fest London runs from 12-14 May. Inevitably, it is a virtual event, but that does at least enable many more people to attend. The Agenda and other details can be found here.

My interviews have also gone virtual as you can see from this discussion with Relativity’s David Horrigan in which he briefly describes some of the events, including one dedicated to disclosure and related topics in England and Wales.

Continue reading

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Moderating an ACEDS UK webinar on 7 May: Will the COVID Crisis Cure Outdated Approaches to eDiscovery?

I am the moderator of a webinar to be run by the ACEDS UK Chapter on 7 May at 12:00 BST. Its title is Will the COVID Crisis Cure Outdated Approaches to eDiscovery?

When the lockdown was new, webinars (including one I did with EDRM) and articles concentrated on the practicalities of working from home. The working world adapted pretty quickly to the new normal, and people were soon able to pick up more or less where they left off when they tumbled out of their offices for the last time. Many found it harder, either because their work really did require physical attendance or because their domestic arrangements simply did not accommodate working from home for reasons ranging from lack to space to unreliable broadband. There was little time to plan or to devise systems which suited the employer, the staff member and, where relevant, the end client.

Time has gone by. The big debate at a political level involves a trade between reviving the economy and keeping people alive. At a business level, companies have had to consider first how to keep servicing the clients safely. It is time to look beyond getting through the crisis and on to its medium and long-term effects on the business.

In the ediscovery market, there are challenges at three levels – the technical and security points which arise when the workforce is distributed away from the centre, the wishes of the clients, and the relationship with the people who actually do the work. Continue reading

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Behrens v Arconic: US proceedings, the Grenfell fire and the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad

There is a short version and a longer story to be told about the Grenfell Tower litigation in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a case called Behrens v Arconic.

The short version is that Judge Baylson, a judge who knows his stuff when it comes to discovery across jurisdictional borders, has ordered that “Plaintiffs must first utilize the Hague Convention processes to obtain the …. documents they seek”. The Order itself
puts it like this:

it is hereby ORDERED that the Recommendation of the Expert and Master is approved and Plaintiffs shall utilize the procedures of the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters to obtain the documents that Arconic asserts are protected by the French Blocking Statute.

That’s it, really. All you need to do is remember where to find it when some US lawyer starts arguing that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are the sole source of authority on US discovery matters, that some kind of US discovery exceptionalism entitles US parties and courts to ignore the laws of other countries, and that the Hague Convention machinery is too slow for the purpose of getting discovery. Judge Baylson sets out with comprehensive care the factors which must be considered and which, in this case, supported the use of the Hague Convention.

To understand the significance of this, we need to go back a bit. Perhaps we no longer have to fight old battles but, having seen this aspect at least of US discovery exceptionalism laid in its coffin, I would like to go round with a hammer and some nails and make sure it stays there. Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border eDiscovery, Data privacy, Data Protection, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, GDPR | Leave a comment

Interview: Siobhan Reilly of FRONTEO on AI in eDiscovery and message review in RelativityOne

FRONTEO is an AI tech company with software and service offerings for law for lawyers. At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Siobhan Reilly of FRONTEO about FRONTEO’s legal software and specifically about its use of RelativityOne.

The main legal function of FRONTEO’s technology is to bring its analytics into review – it was an analytics company first and turned to the legal market which offered good use cases for FRONTEO’s technology. Continue reading

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Interview: Jordan Domash of Relativity on developments in Relativity Trace

At Relativity Fest 2018, I interviewed Relativity’s Jordan Domash about the then-nascent product Relativity Trace. Twelve months later, I interviewed him again at Relativity Fest 2019, asking him what had changed since we last met.

Jordan Domash said that much had happened in three areas: one was about customers; another was about the progress on the product; the third was to do with the team responsible for Relativity Trace. Continue reading

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Interview: Megan Rowland of Legility on the attributes of project managers, clients and eDiscovery industry recruits

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Megan Rowland of Inventus. Since the interview, Legility and Inventus have come together under the name Legility. Megan Rowland is Team Lead, Project Management at Legility.

I asked her what makes a good project manager. You take it for granted that they are knowledgeable, but they must also have good communication skills, be flexible, approachable and personable. It seemed worth asking the reciprocal question – what makes a good client? Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Inventus, Legility, Litigation Support, Relativity, Relativity Fest, Technology Assisted Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

EDRM webinar on 18 March: G2K Remote working hacks from the pros

Since it was taken over by Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad last year, EDRM has become a really useful source of information and guidance on a range of subjects.

Most of those are necessarily about the subject implied by EDRM’s name – the Electronic Discovery Reference Model. One coming up next week, however, is about a yet more topical subject – remote working. Suddenly, everyone is being told to work from home, raising issues for some which extend well beyond the mechanics of getting the actual work done.

I am one of the speakers, presumably because I have been working from home since the days of faxes and ISDN (that dates me, and perhaps dates you if you don’t know what ‘ISDN’ was). The other speakers are Eric P. Mandel of Driven, Inc., Debbie Reynolds of DR Consulting, Jonathan Hiroshi Rossi of The CJK Group, Saya University, together with Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad of EDRM.

My tips will include conventional ones like being at your desk for much the same hours as you would in the office, and involving those you live with instead of shouting at them to be quiet, as well as others with a technology implication. Continue reading

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Nuix articles on the use of photographs as evidence

I write and speak quite often about photographs as evidence. This is perhaps partly because I take a lot of pictures and use their EXIF data (Exchangeable Image File Format – a specific type of extended metadata) to find and categorise them. It is partly because pictures are inherently more interesting than Word files or spreadsheets, so that their hidden data makes for better stories. It is partly, perhaps mainly, because very many people take a lot of photographs every day, unconsciously pinning their devices (and therefore generally themselves) to identifiable places.

They also pin themselves to other people, that is, can inadvertently show that two or more people were in the same place at the same time if the EXIF data from two cameras are matched thanks to pictures taken at the time. The individuals don’t need pictures of each other if they both took pictures of the same view at the same moment, and an investigator who has both pictures, and perhaps the devices which were used to take them, might get a starting-point in showing a conspiracy or some kind of joint endeavour. Continue reading

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Bringing technology to communication in a narrowing world – finding positives in a pandemic

It is 27 years since I started working from home. It is hard now to remember how isolating that felt before advances in technology like email and broadband brought the world to my desk. It has become respectable since then, and coronavirus is making it almost obligatory. Do I still have reasons to go out? What about the video interviews which form so much of my output?

Although much of my output is written, here on this blog, the highest-value and most interesting parts (to me, anyway) are those which are delivered in person or by video. For many years, I have happily travelled to anywhere in the world with an audience, to moderate or participate in panels and to interview people involved in eDiscovery. For the interviews, I have taken one or two of my sons, Will and Charlie, together with a pile of cameras, lights, tripods and audio equipment.

The aim was to maintain the output quality wherever we went, buying and carrying ever better (and usually heavier) equipment. It has been harder in the last couple of years thanks to my failing hip joint, which made travel tiresome, but that is now fixed and will be as good as new in a month or so.

Other things, however, have developed which prompt a fresh look at how we do these videos, with their current premise that I travel to distant lands with equipment and technicians. The most recent is the coronavirus, which is emptying planes and prompting interesting (and sometimes positive) discussions about ways of working which don’t involve everyone converging on the same place. Continue reading

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Interview: Stephanie Clerkin of Korein Tillery on winning the Stellar Women in eDiscovery Award at Relativity Fest

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Stephanie Clerkin of Korein Tillery who had just won the Stellar Women in eDiscovery award. Stephanie Clerkin was particularly pleased that the award was based on the votes of the eDiscovery community and not just a committee.

I asked Stephanie Clerkin how she had become involved in eDiscovery. She said that she had worked in finance accounting consulting. There was a logic, she said, in moving from the expert side into legal. Continue reading

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Depp court text disclosure said to be “accidental”. Let’s wait and see before rushing to criticise

It’s been a good week for those of us who like to see discovery / disclosure stories in the mainstream media. Less so, perhaps, for the chap convicted of murder thanks to technology (my article is here) and for Johnny Depp’s former lawyers in his libel case against the Sun.

I have only a Guardian story to go on. Behind the headline ‘Let’s burn Amber’: texts allegedly sent by Johnny Depp about ex read in court is this:

Depp’s previous legal team accidentally shared an archive of 70,000 messages with the Sun’s lawyers.

I don’t know who the lawyers were, and I don’t know what lies behind the journalist’s choice of the word “accidentally”. Depp’s text messages must have been thought to have some bearing on the issues to have been collected at all. The story now said to be libellous is about an alleged assault by Depp on his former wife, so their content as reported (“Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!”) is not wholly irrelevant to the allegation. It is hard to see what privilege would attach to them if they were otherwise disclosable. I have no idea whether they should have been disclosed or not (and you can’t overdo the words “alleged” and “allegation” in stories like this). Continue reading

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A crossbow murder and car insurance fraud – technology is quietly filing the evidence. What about your next case?

A decent bloke with no known enemies dies after being shot with a crossbow. How did technology lead to the killer? And what else might that technology be used for?

I wrote last year about a motor insurance case called Wise v Hegarty & Alpha Insurance under the headline When the car sneaks on you and your social media betrays you.

It was about an alleged motor accident which had caused insurers to investigate the telematics data in one of the cars. Telematics embraces vehicle movements and telecommunications and it lies behind the “black box” devices which insurers use primarily to evaluate the driving skills of insured drivers. It can do much more than that, however, including keeping records of the times of engines starting and stopping, the opening and closing of doors, and the history of speeds and locations. It doesn’t just record these things, but transmits them for immediate analysis. In the car accident case, the telematics data showed no relevant activity of time, place and movement. Once the court accepted that the equipment was capable of making such records and had done so, that sufficed to damn both the vehicle owners.

Similar equipment and deductions have now helped convict a man for shooting another man with a crossbow. When I say “helped” I mean that without it, the police would have had a problem converting their initial lead into hard evidence.

I think that few of my readers are likely to come across car insurance fraud or crossbow murders. My purpose in pointing you to the stories is the increasing prevalence of electronic data quietly reporting on your every move. And by “your”, I mean every move made by clients, their opponents, the witnesses, and every other participant in a crime or civil dispute. Continue reading

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Nuix on cybersecurity breaches – the fines are just the beginning of the costs consequences

It is worth mentioning, again, that fines from regulators are not the only cost consequence of a cybersecurity breach.

The point is well made in an article on the Nuix blog called Insider threat: not just a cybersecurity issue. Its unspoken context is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It barely mentions fines, focussing instead on the many other expenses which may follow from a cybersecurity breach, especially if the breach goes unnoticed for weeks or months.

Although both the incidence and level of fines seems to be increasing, the knock-on consequences can cost more. The Nuix article concentrates largely on the time and expense of enabling recovery and moving on to the steps needed to prevent a recurrence. The most benevolent regulator is unlikely to forgive a second incident which might have been prevented by remedying the causes of a first breach. Continue reading

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Interview: Tony Chan of iCourts on winning Best Innovation Provider Award at Relativity Fest

At Relativity Fest every year, I get the opportunity to interview the winners of the Relativity Innovation Awards, whose purpose is to “recognize organizations and individuals who build innovative solutions, break down barriers for technology in the practice of law, move e-discovery forward, and take Relativity to the next level.”

Among the 2019 Innovation Award winners was Tony Chan, Director, Development Solutions at iCourts in Sydney. His role at iCourts involves talking to clients to identify their pain points and develop solutions to fix them. I asked him about the award – what it was for and what it meant to him and to iCourts.

Continue reading

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NightOwl Global and the business value of being likeable

As a customer or client, does it matter if you like the companies you work with? If they get the job done and the price is right, do you care very much if you like the people? Looked at from the point of view of that company, do you care if your customers like your business and its people as long as they send the work along and pay the bills? It is not much of a spoiler to say that I think it does matter.

The subject comes up because of a profile in Modern Counsel about NightOwl Global and its CEO Andrea Wallack. Called NightOwl Global Is Dedicated to Discovery, it describes NightOwl’s business and the principles which drive its approach to getting the work done for clients.

Much of that is common to any successful provider of eDiscovery services – skills in industry-leading platforms, the ability to develop proprietary software to improve workflows, a clear business offering which solves real problems, and a global presence, are all required components for success as an eDiscovery provider. You need more than that, however, in an industry where clients are particularly demanding (a GC facing a powerful regulator, for example, is always a demanding client), and where consolidation has lined up some very big players as competitors. You have to be more than just good at the job to be thriving after 30 years in discovery. Continue reading

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Interview: Andrew Szwez of FTI Consulting on the value of using RelativityOne

I recall being invited to a meeting at a US conference, I suppose about three years ago. In the room were senior marketing people from Relativity and FTI Consulting. As always on these occasions, I tried to guess what announcement might be coming. I didn’t anticipate a partnership between FTI and Relativity.

Three years on, it seems obvious that FTI and Relativity would make a successful partnership around the use of RelativityOne. One reason why this seemed less obvious then was that no-one then anticipated the success of RelativityOne and the opportunities it would open up for consulting businesses like FTI.

At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I interviewed Andrew Szwez, Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting about FTI’s use of RelativityOne over the time since that announcement.

Continue reading

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The Disclosure Pilot: narrow focus of disclosure issues and not using the disclosure pilot as an offensive weapon

I recently saw a police tweet which expressed almost admiration for the speed with which some car thieves had stripped down a couple of cars, neatly packaging the components for re-use elsewhere.

Gordon Exall, author of the Civil Litigation Brief, does much the same with judgments. Have a judgment delivered on, say, 14 February, and Gordon will have stripped it down to its essentials by 16 February, ready for re-use in your pleadings, submissions or (in my case) articles, by 17 February.

That’s what he has done with the judgment of Sir Geoffrey Vos in McParland & Partners Ltd & Anor v Whitehead [2020] EWHC 298 (Ch) (14 February 2020) in a blog post called The Disclosure Pilot: guidance given as to how it should work: not a stick with which to beat your opponent. The post also covers another judgment, on second applications for disclosure, but I am going to leave that on one side for the moment.

Neither the McParland judgment nor Gordon’s summary of it is very long. My purpose is to pick out a couple of points, provide links to their source in the Practice Direction, and hammer them, leaving you to read more if you want to. Continue reading

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Interview: Marc Zamsky of Compliance on the benefits of RelativityOne

At RelativityFest in Chicago, I interviewed Marc Zamsky of Compliance Discovery Solutions. I asked him why Compliance had moved to RelativityOne and about the benefits which RelativityOne brings to Compliance and its clients.

Marc Zamsky said that Relativity’s future lay with RelativityOne and that the future of eDiscovery lay in the cloud. The ability to run multiple processes at the click of a button was important on its own, even before looking at the processes themselves. It altered the whole approach to discovery, moving it towards the point where one can get quickly to looking at data and drawing conclusions from it.

For the clients, the main attraction was the security given by Azure in the cloud. It also helps them to build truly end-to-end processes, particularly with the arrival of Relativity Collect. Continue reading

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Story Development for legal teams from FTI Technology

The assembly of detail needed for a complex film scene is similar to that required for running litigation. FTI Technology has Story Development services to help get all the elements into place.

I recently watched the film 1917, notable for the fact that it was shot in as few takes as possible. Characters moved from point to point, followed, preceded or accompanied by one or more cameras which were passed from hand to truck to wire and back to hand to match what the actors were doing or seeing. Technology undoubtedly played a big part in the success of this approach – high-quality cameras are light and portable for one thing – but technology alone is no substitute for the success of the continuous narrative which unfolds.

Think how much scripting, planning and rehearsal went into those continuous shots, with no chance to stop or to consider a different angle, and with the normal infrastructure of filming – lighting, sound, people – out of sight from every usable angle. Thousands of elements, animate and inanimate, seen and unseen, all come together to create a credible narrative.

Managing litigation has similar components. People, facts, words, and pictures all contribute to the story which must impress an opponent and the court. Some matter more than others. Some may have significance greater than first appears. Some, whether supportive or unhelpful, may slip by unnoticed until too late. A competent assembly of the story in advance is a prerequisite for delivering the case, in the same way that pre-assembly of a complex film scene is essential to its smooth delivery when the director shouts “Action”. Continue reading

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What does it cost and what does it look like? Relativity improves its UI and pricing

Many factors influence software buying decisions. You hear of organisations buying a particular product for the sake of one feature which it considers important. People buy software after long and detailed comparison or on the strength of what someone said in the pub. They buy because everyone else is, or because they want to be different. They buy because they like the person doing the selling, or because they didn’t take to the rival demonstrator. They buy because they understand the technology or because they don’t want to have to understand it.

Two factors are always relevant to a software purchasing decision. What does it look like? And what does it cost? These factors may influence different constituencies – the person who sits looking at the interface all day may have a different view from the one who signs the purchase order, but the one doing the authorisation will be influenced if the user interface will increase productivity and reduce errors.

Relativity has addressed both these things recently, with the launch of a new pricing model on top of its recent publicity for its new Aero UI. Both are covered in this article by Relativity’s chief product officer, Chris Brown. The context is both what Chris Brown calls “empowerment” (a theme at last year’s Relativity Fest), and the more mundane-sounding (but important) ambition to “make it easier for everyone to use” RelativityOne. Continue reading

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Interview: Craig Carpenter of X1 on the X1 partnership with Relativity

I have known Craig Carpenter, CEO of data collection company X1, for almost as long as I have been in eDiscovery. At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I at last had the opportunity to interview him. The context was a newly-announced partnership between X1 and Relativity. Why, I asked, should users be excited about this?

Craig Carpenter said that the most obvious benefit lies in the ease with which users can now get data into RelativityOne. The workflow is now seamless. RelativityOne already collects data from e.g. OneDrive and O365, making use of its cloud presence to make these collections from anywhere. X1 adds the ability to collect from sources which RelativityOne does not handle natively, including social media and the ever-widening range of tools by which users communicate with each other. Continue reading

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Discovering the value of rest

In which I belatedly (after 42 years of work) consider the value of just switching off occasionally and, as a side-note, observe that while you won’t necessarily get opportunities by being there, you certainly won’t get them if you are not. These two things may conflict with each other.

I have always rather under-estimated the value of rest. It is not the same as relaxation. A hearty walk, or mountaineering, or digging the garden, may be relaxing, depending on your personal taste, in that they take your mind and body away from the business of working, but they are not restful.

I realise, a few decades late, that I have conflated the two things. I have also seen rest as an army commander might see it on a route march – just enough to get soldiers back on their feet for the next stage (or, in my case, enough to keep my eyes open while I write the next article).

The subject comes up because I am (as most of you know by now) stuck at home with a new hip when I should be at Legalweek in New York. I am not sure I would have been up to the rigours of Legalweek this year on the old hip, but the prospect of an imminent operation date was enough on its own to keep me at home. I was offered a date last week on three days notice, and I am glad I stayed at home for it. Continue reading

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EDRM webinar on 29 January: What to do at Legalweek

EDRM is hosting a webinar tomorrow, 29 January, at 12:00pm CT / 6:00pm GMT called What to do at Legalweek. The speakers are Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad of EDRM, Ian Campbell of iCONECT and me.

Although I will not be there this year, I have been going to Legaltech since 2007. Ian Campbell has been going for 25 years. The webinar’s advertised subjects are “What to do, what to see, what’s hot and what’s not”.

That “hot and what’s not” expression is meant to refer to the topics of the moment, but it also literally identifies one very practical point – the streets are very cold, the Hilton is very hot, and the coat-check queues are often long. If you are not staying at the Hilton, you have to decide whether to freeze without a coat on the way there, boil in your coat while you are there, or join the queue. One year, crampons and waders would have been helpful, as piles of snow alternated with deep pools of murky water in the gutters. Continue reading

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Sunday Brunch at Legalweek with Consilio, Nuix and APT Search

As you may have seen in my recent article, I am not going to Legalweek in New York this year, missing it for the first time since 2007.

One of the many things I will most regret is the brunch jointly organised by Consilio, Nuix and APT Search, taking place on Sunday at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park between 11:00am and 1:00pm.

The brunch was founded by the late Nigel Murray. The photograph below, taken at the 2008 Brunch, shows a fairly small gathering. Nigel Murray is in the red pullover. My son Will, attending his first Legalweek, is in the dark top at front right. Continue reading

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Interview: Antonia Karlan of Control Risks on the benefits of using RelativityOne

At Relativity Fest, I interviewed Antonia Karlan, Head of Project Management at Control Risks. I asked her why Control Risks had committed to RelativityOne.

The aim of Control Risks, Antonia Karlan said, was to provide the best solutions for its end clients. RelativityOne allowed Control Risks to integrate its own complex workflows with Relativity’s analytical tools. Continue reading

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Missing Legalweek for the first time since 2007

I have been going to Legalweek in New York every year since 2007. I am finally forced to accept that I will not make it there this year. The short version is that I was due to have a hip replaced in November, the date being chosen (to the extent that you can choose these things) very much with Legalweek in mind. With that interval, I should have been able not only to attend Legalweek but to walk around there without pain for the first time in years.

The operation was pulled at the last minute because a test which should have been done had not been done. As things stand, I do not have the new date, and nor do I know the outcome of the test in question. Put as shortly as possible a) I don’t want to miss an operation date if one is offered, b) I don’t fancy telling travel insurers that I have both a pending operation and a test whose result I cannot describe, and c) nine hours on a plane followed by a week of rushing around Manhattan doesn’t seem to make much sense in the circumstances.

That’s the nutshell version. The rest is of interest only to those who want to know about osteoarthritis or would like a copybook example of how the best-laid plans can fall to pieces. Continue reading

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EDRM announces Global Advisory Council 2020

I recently published an interview with Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad, the new owners of EDRM (the Electronic Discovery Reference Model). They had taken over EDRM only days before, and it was clear that they had plans to make EDRM a significant force in eDiscovery.

This week EDRM announced the formation of its 2020 global advisory council, chaired by Robert Keeling, partner at Sidley Austin. EDRM founders George Socha and Tom Gelbmann have roles as founder advisers. David Greetham of Ricoh USA is executive advisor and Craig Ball will serve as general counsel.

The list of members of the advisory council shows that EDRM is reaching widely and deeply into the eDiscovery world for collaboration and support (I should add diffidently that my name isn’t there because I was slow to reply to and accept EDRM’s kind invitation – a complete list will be published shortly). Continue reading

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Interview: Kelly Atherton of NightOwl Global on using Relativity’s Active Learning

I have interviewed Kelly Atherton, Director of Analytics and Managed Review at NightOwl Global, several times over the years, mainly about the use of Relativity’s analytics tools. She speaks with the authority of one who uses these tools every day, and the interviews act as a record of the development of technology-assisted review.

NightOwl Global has always shown a deep commitment to the use of new software tools as they develop. I last interviewed Kelly Atherton when she and NightOwl were first starting to use Relativity’s Active Learning, and I wanted to find out how that use had developed. Continue reading

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Consilio webinar: using magic and dragons to validate analytics

ConsilioTechnologists and lawyers are two groups of people who have their own arcane terminology, and it is perhaps unsurprising that they often miss each other in the dark.

I am fond of analogies and examples drawn from elsewhere – one of my favourite posts over the years was one in which I compared technology explanations to cooking, using it to urge technologists to accept that what seems simple to them may seem complex to others.

It can be helpful to tap into popular culture in giving such explanations. Consilio has done just that with a downloadable webinar called Validating analytics with magic and dragons. The Presenters are Sarah ColeJulia Helmer, and Susan Stone, all of Consilio. Their aim is to explain how stories are made out of many small pieces of information which can be pulled together with the use of conceptual analytical tools. They use examples from Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings to illustrate this. Continue reading

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Interview: Jo Sherman of EDT on EDT’s work with artificial intelligence

At a Legaltech of long ago, I was given a demonstration of the discovery software of the company then called eDiscovery Tools. I asked if the software included a particular feature, and the demonstrator thought for a while and said “We don’t have that yet. Ask me again in two weeks”. I was rather impressed by this reply from what was then a small software company, with the ability to assess a suggestion and implement it quickly.

That company, now called EDT, is no longer so small. As founder and CEO Jo Sherman says in this video, the company has grown considerably over the last two years. I asked Jo Sherman to tell me what EDT is working on now.

Continue reading

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DSARs and data breaches – advice on data governance from Integreon

A new article from Integreon brings us a new year reminder of the importance of looking after personal data. Called Sound governance for personal data, it is written by Clare Chalkley and Claire Frazer of Integreon’s London office.

The article’s focus is on two things. One is the power of the Data Subject Access Request, that is, the right given by the GDPR (though it builds on much older rights) to control what data is kept about them. The other is the ever-present risk of data breaches. These come in many forms, but the one which most closely affects individuals is the exfiltration of their personal data from a company which knows a lot about them. Continue reading

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Legility and Inventus combine to deliver technology-enabled legal services globally

2020 kicks off with another piece of consolidation in the legal services / eDiscovery market, as Legility and Inventus combine. Legility is the acquiring company but its CEO, Barry Dark, says that it sees “the end-result as a merger between two market leaders”. An article by Sarah Brown of Inventus tells the story here.

The combined company, to be called Legility, brings skills and markets which both overlap and are complementary. The clients of 2020 work in global markets – Gartner’s prediction of about five years ago was that non-US markets for discovery-related products and services would grow at a faster rate than the US market, partly because they started relatively late, and partly because the economies of non-US regions would accelerate more quickly. That led Inventus to its close focus on the UK and Europe and on AsiaPac as well as the US, with its CEO, Paul Mankoo, based in London. Continue reading

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FTI Consulting enhances its eDiscovery services with a partnership with Brainspace

FTI Consulting has marked the new year by entering into a partnership with analytics software company Brainspace.

The start of the new decade offers an opportunity to look back at the progress made in the past 10 years. You will be glad to know that I have no such ambitions, being more interested in the next decade than the last.

There are a couple of elements, however, that are worth mentioning in this context. One is that FTI Consulting’s technology segment was a big player in eDiscovery at the beginning of the decade and remains so now, while Brainspace barely existed 10 years ago. FTI Technology was and is a consulting company which, until recently, owned its own first-rate discovery software, Ringtail. That perhaps obscured the fact that FTI Technology was always willing to use the best tools for the job in hand. Brainspace’s claim to rank among the best tools is justified by the number and quality of those who work with it. Continue reading

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Interview: Cristin Traylor of McGuire Woods, Attorney Tech Evangelist of the Year at Relativity Fest

Cristin Traylor is Discovery Counsel at McGuireWoods. She was the winner of the Relativity Fest 2019 award for Attorney Tech Evangelist of the Year, and I interviewed her shortly after the awards ceremony.

Cristin Traylor said that her interests lie at the intersection between legal and technology. Her role comes under two broad headings – advising clients on discovery, information governance, privacy etc, and managing the firm’s document review centre and discovery projects. As a result, she said, she spends a lot of time in Relativity. Continue reading

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Interview: Scott Gillard of FTI Consulting on eDiscovery developments in Australia

I have known Scott Gillard of FTI Consulting for many years, mainly from brief annual conversations at Legaltech in New York. At Relativity Fest in Chicago, I had the opportunity to talk to him properly about electronic discovery in Australia and FTI’s role in it.

The investigatory and regulatory market in Australia is very busy, Scott Gillard says. The banking Royal Commission and its aftermath have consumed the entire market, with newly-invigorated regulators going after the banks, and considerable knock-on litigation. Continue reading

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David Horrigan of Relativity and Chris Dale talk about their panels at Relativity Fest

It has become a habit at Relativity Fest that my last interview is reserved for David Horrigan, Discovery Counsel & Legal Education Director at Relativity.

One of the reasons for leaving it until the end is that David Horrigan is involved in so many panels that it is hard to catch him until the show is nearly over. This year he took part in ten different sessions over three days.

The best of those, he said, were the two which involved judges. One of those was the traditional judicial panel, now in its sixth year, at which judges survey the eDiscovery cases which have implications for litigators. You can find Relativity’s account of the judicial panel, written by Sam Bock, here. Continue reading

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Interview: Cameron Tschannen of NightOwl Discovery on the use of analytics tools to cut the time and cost of review

At Relativity Fest I interviewed Cameron Tschannen of NightOwl Discovery about the use of email threading and textual near-duplicate identification in eDiscovery.

These tools, Cameron Tschannen said, are always used by default at NightOwl. They group documents together for organisational purposes and searches, and enable the safe removal of documents from review. This simultaneously reduces volume and increases quality.

Continue reading

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Consilio is recruiting in London, Hong Kong and elsewhere

ConsilioWhen I interviewed Andy Macdonald, CEO of Consilio, after one of Consilio’s acquisitions, he was keen to emphasise that buying successful companies was not the only way to expand a business. Certainly, buying the right company will usually bring a wave of good new people into the business, but it also encouraged applications from elsewhere. As Andy Macdonald put it, companies which are seen to be successful attract successful staff.

Consilio always has a list of open opportunities on its careers page.  Two in particular caught my eye. One is for an eDiscovery Project Manager in Hong Kong. The other is for the Head of UK Client Experience for Consilio’s Self-Service Business Units based in London.

Consilio has expanded its Hong Kong presence considerably since I was last there, consistent with Consilio’s quest, led by client demand, to be able to provide a full service across the AsiaPac region. The requirements include a willingness to travel both domestically and internationally. The London role is primarily to serve UK clients, but extends to supporting non-UK clients as required. Continue reading

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Interview: Pavan Kotha of Deloitte on winning the Lit Support All-Star Award at Relativity Fest

Pavan Kotha is a manager at Deloitte. I met him at Relativity Fest in Chicago where he won Relativity’s Lit Support All-Star Award.

Pavan Kotha is clearly a man who loves his job. He says that he likes to share his knowledge with the discovery community, and that the recognition given by the All-Star Award encourages this approach. He appreciates the support which Deloitte gives to its staff

I asked him what he found most exciting among the new Relativity functions. Like several others to whom I spoke, he most values the new ability to handle short message formats. Exchanges between people may take many forms – perhaps originating with an email, transferring to WhatsApp, and ending in a phone call. The result is complex to review and it is very difficult for reviewers to get a sense of the story if they work only with email. Relativity’s storyboard approach, Pavan Kotha said, gives reviewers an ‘eagle’s eye’ overview. Continue reading

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Interview: Wendy King of FTI Consulting on RelativityOne and on the changing role of GCs

Wendy King of FTI Consulting is an interviewer’s delight, giving crisp answers which tell us all we need to know in as few words as possible. I took the opportunity to talk to her at Relativity Fest in Chicago.

I asked her first about the Relativity migration service which FTI announced at ILTA (and which I wrote about here). The migration of data can be complex and time-consuming. It needs considerable skill, not least on project management, and it is helpful to involve a company like FTI who knows what to prepare for and what to look for afterwards. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology, Relativity | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hammering the point home – the importance of social media in eDiscovery / eDisclosure

It is only a couple of weeks since I last wrote about the importance of social media in eDiscovery / eDisclosure (When the car sneaks on you and your social media betrays you).

I come back to it so quickly, partly because its importance cannot be overemphasised, but mainly to give you links to two articles which both emphasise the point and give practical examples of its application.

The first is (another) article by UK civil procedure expert Gordon Exall, whose Civil Litigation Brief gave me the opening for my last article.

Gordon Exall’s newer article is called Civil procedure back to basics 69: social media and the litigator: a recap. It is a summary (and not a short one because there is a lot to say) of recent cases in which social media has featured, with pointers to other sources. It includes examples from other jurisdictions (the US and Canada, for example), and the points emerging from the cases are applicable in most jurisdictions where discovery is required. Continue reading

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Sharing knowledge and ideas with Nuix Community

Like many people, I constantly need to improve my knowledge of the software I use. I am teaching myself video editing at the moment, and frequently need help either on very specific things (“Where is the menu option for this function?”) or for more general (“How do I get the best results when trying to do this or achieve that?”).

I sometimes use the manual. More usually, I put a query into Google and almost invariably find that someone else has posed the same question and that it has been answered, perhaps by more than one person and with more than one suggestion. I ought perhaps to get some formal training as well, but for now this reliance on a shared community of interest is enough for my purposes.

The same applies to professional software used for discovery or business purposes. New users of software like Nuix will want training, but it is helpful also to be able to call on others who have been there before and who have worked out ways – new ways or just different ways – of using functions or achieving objectives. Continue reading

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Interview: Ben Sexton of JND on how RelativityOne encourages new ideas to help clients

At Relativity Fest, I interviewed Ben Sexton of JND about JND’s use of Relativity One. What led to that decision, I asked, and what were the perceived benefits?


Ben Sexton said that JND’s primary focus was on serving clients. Before the move to RelativityOne, they had had to be half focused on IT and half on being solutions providers. RelativityOne allows JND to concentrate on being a solutions provider without having to worry about the server going down and other aspects of infrastructure support. Continue reading

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Interview: Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad on their plans for EDRM

I wrote recently about how Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad had turned ACEDS into “an educational force to be reckoned with”. In the same article, I reported that they had acquired EDRM (the Electronic Discovery Reference Model). I had to wait until I saw them at Relativity Fest to find out what their plans are for EDRM.

EDRM is, as Mary Mack makes clear, much more than the model. It runs projects, including a GDPR project, and will be considering whether changes to the model itself are necessary or desirable. Another project is a community-sourced stop-words list.

EDRM crosses borders, both geographical borders and functional borders. One can join in from any jurisdiction, and from legal, IT, security or any other related discipline. Continue reading

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When videos come, they come not single spies but in battalions

The drafts of the 23 video interviews recorded at Relativity Fest have landed on my desktop for comment, for sending back for any amendment, and for sending out for approval.

I may be some time….

Normal service will be resumed shortly.


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When the car sneaks on you and your social media betrays you

English barrister Gordon Exall, he of the Civil Litigation Brief who is constantly informative as @CivilLitTweet on Twitter, reports on an interesting finding of fundamental dishonesty in a claim about an alleged motor accident. The judgment is Wise -v- Hegarty & Alpha Insurance (9th July 2019) and Gordon Exall’s blog post is here.

Craig Ball, former trial lawyer and doyen of US forensic experts, is rightly fond of saying that this is the “greatest time ever to be a litigator” in terms of the evidence which modern devices bring us. I interviewed him here on how mobile data increases lawyers’ ability to uncover the truth. By “mobile data” one generally means data created, collected and disseminated by the kind of mobile devices which most of us carry around with us. Years ago, however, I did a panel with Craig Ball on this subject in the US, and he gave us an illustration of a motor accident represented by two moving dots on a map. The data in the car (whether it was a property of the car or its passengers) would, he said, provide evidence about accidents and their causes. Continue reading

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Moderating a discovery pilot panel at ILTACON Europe on 13-14 November in London

For some years, ILTA (the International Legal Technology Association) has had an event in London every November. Previously a one-day event called INSIGHT, it has been renamed ILTACON Europe and extended to two days. The website is here and the programme is here.

Disclosure has been given proper attention, with a panel on Thursday at 11:30 called The Disclosure Pilot: The Disclosure Review Document and Technology. The Big Questions! The panel members are Vince Neicho, Vice President-Legal Services at Integreon, Jeff Shapiro, eDiscovery Support Manager at Clifford Chance LLP, Andrew Haslam, eDisclosure Project Manager at Squire Patton Boggs, and Clare Chalkley, Vice President Legal Services at Integreon. I am the moderator. Continue reading

Posted in CPR, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Integreon | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Interview: Justin Tebbe of Inventus on managing eDiscovery projects on a global basis

At Legaltech in New York, I interviewed Justin Tebbe who is Senior Director, Technical Solutions at Inventus. I was interested to know how he and his colleagues in other parts of Inventus work together for the benefit of the clients.

Justin Tebbe said that he is responsible for the US operation of Inventus, for hosting, and for working with development partners using specialised tools. He also gets involved in global initiatives, liaising with his counterparts in other jurisdictions as well as other departments.

Justin Tebbe gave a practical example of the benefits of working like this. A project which started in the US, with processing and review already well underway, had to be rolled out in Germany. The transfer was seamless, with the new team using the same templates and the same fields, and getting exactly the same experience as their US counterparts (who remained involved in the project).

Inventus tracks projects with its own ticketing system and workflow management system holding all the information about the project, including the individual tasks which need to be done. If one person deals with some stages, the next one can pick up where the last one left off.

It is also business intelligence software, with real-time data on how much has been reviewed and where it has got to.

Justin Tebbe said the clients are more global. Inventus is a global business with offices around the world but it offers a single experience to its users everywhere.


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News from ACEDS, EDRM and the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation

This blog falls silent when I go to foreign conferences – packing, panel preparation, travelling and the event itself push aside other things, and the post-event catch-up is inevitably tiresome. Some announcements are worth capturing now that I have settled back in.


Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad, as the ACEDS Executive Director and VP Client Engagement respectively, have together turned ACEDS (the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists) into an educational force to be reckoned with, within and beyond the US. The announcement (reported here by Bob Ambrogi) that they were leaving ACEDS, came freighted with strong hints (“We’re not going away”) that a new venture was being planned. But what would that be?

While we pondered that, it was announced that Mike Quartararo would become the new Executive Director of ACEDS. The ACEDS announcement is here. Ari Kaplan will help build and chair a new ACEDS Global Advisory Board. I saw Mike Quartararo last week and it was clear that he is full of ideas for carrying on Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad’s work. His Open letter to the ACEDS membership pays tribute to Mary and Kaylee and sets out his initial plans for ACEDS. Continue reading

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Back from Relativity Fest with good impressions and 1.5TB of videos

I am told that we recorded 23 video interviews over the three days of Relativity Fest – I lost count, but the indefatigable Taylor Laabs of Relativity, who ran the schedule, says that that was the final total. My son Charlie set up the equipment each morning and I talked to a stream of interesting, knowledgeable and personable people all day, with gaps for copying data (we came back with almost 1.5TB of video), recharging batteries, and recharging me. You will forgive me in the circumstances if my account of Relativity Fest is rather short on reports of keynotes, panels and all the other things which comprised the packed formal agenda. I saw the beginning of the opening keynote, and I turned up to moderate my own International Panel, but I am dependent for the rest on the reports of others.

You might, for example, like to read Empowering the e-Discovery Community Today and Tomorrow by Chris Brown, Relativity’s Chief Product Officer, which summarises the opening keynote with a focus on product development which is unsurprising given Chris Brown’s role, two articles by Zach Warren of Legaltech News, always a source of timely and helpful reports (for which you may need to register) A New UI is Coming: 5 Things to Know From Relativity Fest 2019’s Keynote and, on the Judicial Panel 4 E-Discovery (Adjacent) Cases Judges Are Watching This Year plus a summary by Sarah Brown of Inventus called Relativity Fest 2019: Top Buzzed-About eDiscovery and Legal Trends

My own observations, drawn from my interviews, from what I saw of the opening keynote, from the reports of others, and from such opportunities as I had for discussions, include the following: Continue reading

Posted in Canada, Cross-border eDiscovery, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, GDPR, Relativity, Relativity Fest | Leave a comment

EDiscovery and Legal Technology Conference in Dublin on 29 November

I am often asked which conferences are worth attending on this side of the Atlantic. There used to be several to choose from, but they have been supplanted by the events like Relativity Fest London and the Nuix Insider Conference which, although primarily dedicated to specific software solutions, have always made a good job of covering topics broader than their own solutions.

ILTA has an event in November, this year extended to two days. ACEDS supports first-rate evening events which attract good audiences. The best broadly-based, product-neutral event in the calendar is, however, held in Dublin every November.

The eDiscovery and Legal Technology Conference 2019 is run by La Touche Training in Dublin on 29 November. I have been to all but one of the previous five such events, generally moderating the closing discussion panel. I was booked to go this year, but now cannot go, my wife having been offered a long-awaited knee operation shortly before that date. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Ireland, NightOwl Discovery, Nuix | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sedona Conference webinar on 6 November: US/UK EU cross-border data transfers after Brexit

The Sedona Conference is organising a webinar on 6 November called US – UK – EU cross-border data transfers after Brexit.

As I write, it is far from clear what will happen on or before 31 October. Will there be a deal? Will UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson be forced to request an extension? If Brexit has not happened by 31 October, we can be reasonably sure that Johnson’s promise to be dead in a ditch will go the way of all his other promises. Merely to recite that he said this illustrates the absurdity of the whole business.

Whatever happens, it is important to consider what impact Brexit will have on day-to-day cross-border data transfers, and this is the subject of the webinar. What will be the impact of Brexit on day-to-day cross-border data transfers, on data protection regulation and enforcement, and on cross-border collection, processing, and transfer of data to meet litigation and regulatory requirements? Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border eDiscovery, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Moderating the international panel and recording interviews at Relativity Fest 2019

A year rolls by very quickly, and it is time for Relativity Fest in Chicago once more. It runs from 20 to 23 October and the agenda, as always, is packed with sessions, panels, workshops and social events. It grows every year, but somehow manages to remain, if not exactly intimate, still friendly and welcoming.

My purpose in going, as always, is twofold. First, I am moderating a panel on Tuesday morning. Called simply the 2019 International Panel, it aims to cover the latest developments in cross-border e-Discovery, conflict of laws, and data privacy and protection.

The speakers are Meribeth Banaschik of EY GmbH, Kelly Friedman of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and Manfred Gabriel of Holland & Knight. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, GDPR, Relativity, Relativity Fest | Leave a comment

A roundup of the Nuix User Exchange: discovery is more than just…discovery

I was not at the Nuix User Exchange this year, the first one I have missed for some time. I am therefore dependent on a blog post by Corey Tomlinson of Nuix who summarised the event for us.

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. Continue reading

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FTI Technology and Relativity: corporate legal departments in 2020

FTI Technology and Relativity have joined forces with Ari Kaplan Advisors to ask chief legal officers about the future of the legal industry and about what skills and expertise will be needed by the next generation of lawyers.

Ari Kaplan is very good at this, conducting personal interviews with senior people to get their views and to draw conclusions from them.

The key issues which arose from the interviews inevitably include risk, privacy, security and new technology. Reputational risk often follows from failure in any of these areas. Continue reading

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Inventus expands eDiscovery and legal services in Asia

I had some interesting interviews earlier this year with Paul Mankoo, CEO of Inventus. In one of them, he talked about the benefits of a UK base for a multinational eDiscovery and legal services company.

My write-up of the interview includes this:

Paul Mankoo said that more of Inventus’s business is outside the US than is inside it, and it offers more services in, and derives more revenue from, non-US locations. With two German offices (in Frankfurt and Berlin) it has a strong presence in mainland EU. This growth is greater in Asia than in the US.

It is important, Paul Mankoo said, to understand the markets and to emphasise that Inventus is not merely a US-centric business. Internally, having a UK CEO avoids giving the impression that one jurisdiction is more important than another. He might have added that London is more convenient in time zone terms for a business which operates at the outer limits of both East and West. Continue reading

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The disclosure pilot – making better use of the Disclosure Guidance Hearings

I wrote last week about the session run by ACEDS and sponsored by Integreon on the first 10 months of the disclosure pilot. Vince Neicho of Integreon has also now written about it (see What We Learnt About the Disclosure Pilot 10 Months In) and I draw your attention to his article for its emphasis on one particular point.

That is the minimal take-up of the new Disclosure Guidance Hearings which, as Vince Neicho puts it, are “hearings designed to facilitate a discussion between the parties and the judge where agreement has not been possible on aspects of the disclosure process”. The emphasis, as Vince Neicho points out, is practical rather than legal. The court needs to hear from the “legal representative with direct responsibility for the conduct of the disclosure process”.

Vince Neicho suggests that we might separate legal questions (such as the list of disclosure issues) from arguments about getting the job done, and (as Vince puts it) “disputes on scope, accessibility and formats of data”. Continue reading

Posted in Court Rules, CPR, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Integreon | Tagged | Leave a comment

OpenText: lawyers and cybersecurity risk

The practice of law and the practice of information technology have at least two things in common: both use terminology which is meaningful to insiders and incomprehensible to others; both have experts constantly reiterating concerns which audiences ought to deal with.

The combination often results in a blizzard of awful warnings couched in terms which dull the senses and provoke torpor rather than action. When you see your fortieth earnest warning urging you to take steps or refrain from doing something, you switch off. This is exacerbated by the fact that most of these subjects have a finite vocabulary, much of it technical in nature.

OpenText is refreshingly free from the worst aspects of this, producing articles which do more than reiterate awful warnings in quasi-mystical terms. Their blog posts identify risks and benefits in terms which are comprehensible, with meaningful examples. Continue reading

Posted in Cyber security, Data privacy, Data Protection, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Enfuse Conference, OpenText | Leave a comment

Session notes: the Disclosure Pilot 10 months on

I went this week to an evening session organised by ACEDS and sponsored by Integreon whose purpose was to review the progress of the disclosure pilot in the 10 months since it began.

The speakers were Ed Crosse of Simmons & Simmons, Charlotte Hill of the Junior London Solicitors Association, Chief Master Marsh, and Lucinda Orr of Enyo Law. The moderator was the always-excellent Vince Neicho of Integreon.

They packed a lot into an hour. I serve you best, I think, if I set down the main points in a fairly short form:

Despite an intense campaign of information sessions and publicity, to say nothing of a general obligation to keep up with the rules, not everyone had got the message that the pilot existed, still less what its implications are. “Pilot? What pilot?” does not really seem an adequate response. Continue reading

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Interview: Erin Plante of Inventus on the growing challenges of international discovery

Erin Plante is responsible for financial crime investigations and cross-border compliance at Inventus. I interviewed her in New York in January and asked her about the development of investigations around the world and, in particular, the role Inventus plays in conducting them. This is the first part of a two-part interview.

Investigations, and the triggers for them, take place in multiple jurisdictions and Inventus people work as a team all over the world to manage this. Inventus has data centres in many places and can set up collection and processing systems anywhere – this is particularly helpful in areas where it is difficult to move data around either because of deficiencies in communications or because of regulatory restraints. Continue reading

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FTI Consulting: Predictive analytics in information governance and discovery

FTI Consulting is producing some interesting articles in conjunction with Corporate Disputes Magazine. A recent one is called Building a global information governance initiative and discovery programme – predictive analytics. Its contributors are Glenn Barden and Sonia Cheng of FTI Consulting and Patrick Oot of Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP, all names well-known to those who follow this subject.

The interesting thing about this article is that despite its title’s emphasis on the role of technology – the “predictive analytics” reference – almost everything in the article is about the role of people – the people with the relevant skills and the people who make the corporate decisions.

Glenn Barden opens, for example, by observing that there is too much data to review manually and says:

The use of statistical modelling maximises the value of the data that is already available – meaning that the experts are able to spend more time deriving insights, rather than locating the patterns.

So – the technology does the tiresome stuff and humans can spend more time drawing conclusions from the resulting information. Continue reading

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ACEDS and Integreon panel on 2 October: UK Disclosure Pilot 10 months in

The UK disclosure pilot enters its tenth month in October. We now have practical experience to add to the text of the practice direction and to the many talks and articles which heralded its arrival. It is time for a review.

The UK Chapter of ACEDS is presenting a discussion in London on 2 October in association with Integreon. The speakers are Ed Crosse of Simmons & Simmons, Charlotte Hill of the Junior London Solicitors Association, Chief Master Marsh, and Lucinda Orr of Enyo Law.

The moderator is Vince Neicho of Integreon.

In formal terms, these months have seemed fairly quiet, with few published judgments about disclosure. I take that to suggest that the new procedures have settled in without too much disturbance, and that parties and judges have just got on with it. Continue reading

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Interview with SullivanStrickler Part 3: data security and future developments

This is the third and last part of my interview with Brendan Sullivan of SullivanStrickler and Fred Moore of Horison Information Systems about the increasing value of tape as an archive medium. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

This section first focuses on the security benefits of tape archives and then looks at the way the market is likely to develop.

Security issues and cybercrime have been steadily increasing over the last few years, and are among the primary concerns of most organisations and their IT departments. I asked Brendan Sullivan and Fred Moore if tape archives offered any help with security.

A tape archive is off-site and, except when it is actually being used, is off-line. The media is usually on a shelf, giving what is known as the “tape air gap”. Most cybercrime is effected on an online storage device; someone would have to break into SullivanStrickler’s vault and steal a tape in order to get access to its contents. Continue reading

Posted in Litigation Support, SullivanStrickler | Tagged | Leave a comment

A big eDiscovery component at OpenText Enfuse 2019

OpenText’s Enfuse 2019 takes place in Las Vegas between 11 and 14 November. Adam Kuhn, Director of Product Marketing at OpenText Discovery, has written a preview of Enfuse called Chart your eDiscovery path at Enfuse 2019 which makes it clear that eDiscovery will be a major component of the panels and discussions at the event.

I attended this event for many years in its earlier incarnation as Guidance Software’s CEIC. While eDiscovery was always important there, the event’s primary focus then was on the identification, preservation and collection of data for a range of purposes including law enforcement and criminal and civil discovery. The pure eDiscovery component was relatively small – my role from year to year was to talk about eDiscovery in non-US jurisdictions and about privacy and data protection, at a time when these were seen as eccentric fringe subjects. Later, the focus moved to cybersecurity as that became the dominant concern of organisations and their IT departments. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Guidance Software, OpenText, Recommind | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ricoh and ACEDS webinar on 8 October: using forensics to track the money

Most of what one reads about the use of forensic tracing of fraud is about the technology. This is neither surprising nor wrong in a world where crime investigators are constantly trying to catch up with technologically-skilled criminals.

There is more to it, however, than merely applying the latest technological tools to electronic evidence. What investigators are aiming for is a story to which the technology evidence is the underpinning.

The building of this narrative is the subject of a webinar produced by ACEDS and sponsored by Ricoh called To catch a thief: using forensics to track the money.

The speakers are David Greetham of Ricoh USA, Inc and Mary Mack of ACEDS. Together they will give an explanation as to how forensic techniques were used to uncover the facts and identity of both the perpetrators and the money. Continue reading

Posted in ACEDS, Discovery, eDiscovery, Evidence, Forensic data collections, Ricoh, Ricoh eDiscovery | Tagged , | Leave a comment

FTI Consulting expands Relativity support in Australia

The eDiscovery software and services market has developed in ways which few of us predicted. Three broad lines were, however, discernible a while back – that consolidation would reduce the number of players in the market, that the market would grow, and that the fastest growth would be outside the US.

It was always predicted that Relativity would continue to grow, and that part of that growth would come from partnerships with other established players. The most interesting of those relationships is the one with FTI Consulting, a partnership which has taken FTI to new and different heights as it combines its global technology consulting strength with Relativity’s software. Continue reading

Posted in Cross-border eDiscovery, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology, Nuix, Relativity, RingTail | Leave a comment

Integreon panel in Bristol: technology, judges and discovery

Earlier this year, I took part in a discussion panel in Bristol hosted by Integreon. The panel members were Mark Brannigan of Aon, Nicola Woodfall of Travers Smith, Emily Wyllie-Ballard of RPC, Vince Neicho of Integreon, and Clare Chalkley of Integreon. I was the moderator.

I have not written this up hitherto because I knew that Integreon was doing its own summary. That has now been published with the heading When legal meets technology: exploring the future of eDiscovery.

The discussion in Bristol centred around a presentation given by many of the same people to the Judicial College. Their focus on that occasion was a practical consideration of the disclosure pilot, and that was the jumping-off point for a wide consideration of the factors to be considered in any discovery exercise. Continue reading

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How not to do it: object lessons in discovery and data protection from Her Majesty’s Government

Her Majesty’s Government has been giving us some object lessons in discovery and data protection recently. We have had documents missing at court, reluctance to swear affidavits about documents, and curious redactions. Now we have been offered spurious GDPR / personal information reasons for withholding messages about government business, and a threat of tracking and data-harvesting on government websites in a way which suggests that Facebook’s morals and business methods have been imported into government. The whole thing stinks.

Look away now if you wish to be spared the political context in which all these things have become normalised. The context, of course, is Brexit, which began with a referendum won by fraud, by foreign interference, and by the skilful collection and use of data to target undecided voters. That has brought us Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, a man whose every word is a lie, an exaggeration or a distortion. He is in hock (political hock, I mean – I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that money has changed hands) to a group of far-right extremists and vulture capitalists who will benefit from a no-deal Brexit first by shorting the crashing Pound, second by picking over the carcass of British business and industry, third by the removal of regulatory protection for workers, food and other essentials, and last by US trade deals in which we will necessarily be the weaker partner. Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Discovery, eDisclosure, Electronic disclosure | Leave a comment

Interview with SullivanStrickler Part 2: New technology and new purposes for tape

This is the second part of an extended interview which I did with Brendan Sullivan of SullivanStrickler and Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies, Inc. in which we discussed the revival of tape as an archive medium. The first part is here and the third part will be published shortly.

The subject of this part is the reasons why tape declined as a popular archive until about 2000 and then revived. The technical deficiencies of tape proved inadequate for the changing demands – not just increased volumes but changed purposes and pressures. Since 2000, the technology of tape has advanced to meet the demands. This, coupled with two decades of experience, makes tape a valuable, yet still under-appreciated, means of archiving data.

Part of the problem derived from issues with the tape medium itself – there were multiple differing formats, tapes were easily damaged, and the material of which they were made was susceptible to decline over time. Continue reading

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Interview: James MacGregor of Consilio on the expansion of Consilio’s business

ConsilioAt Relativity Fest in London, I spoke to James MacGregor, Managing Director at Consilio in London, about Consilio’s ambitions in the worldwide market for eDiscovery and related services. There seems to be no end to Consilio’s global ambitions and every year bring at least one significant acquisition or extension of the Consilio empire.

James MacGregor said that the market is getting smaller in the sense that there are fewer companies doing what Consilio does, as a result of the consolidation in the market. The important thing to focus on was differentiation, meaning, in this context, why clients should choose Consilio from among the other big players.

As a specific example, James MacGregor pointed to Consilio’s data centre in France. That came with its own established business – a major client sensitive on the subject of data protection – but also brings in new business because Consilio faces little competition in that respect. Continue reading

Posted in Consilio, Contract management, Cross-border eDiscovery, Data privacy, Data Protection, Data Subject Access Requests, Discovery, Document review, DSARs, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure | Tagged | Leave a comment

RelativityOne data migration services from FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting has been one of the Relativity’s most active partners in the use of Relativity’s SaaS platform RelativityOne. Some of the benefits of that are described in my most recent interview with Wendy King of FTI on the subject.

It is, perhaps, relatively straightforward to open a new project in RelativityOne. What, however, if your data and all its applications, scripts and workspaces sit in a different platform? To meet this challenge, FTI Consulting has launched a new set of services to help with RelativityOne data migration. The services include migration planning, data and workspace migration, application and script transfer, and post-migration evaluation.

There is more information about this here. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology, Relativity | Leave a comment

AccessData webinar on 22 August: Accelerate incident response through automation

AccessData is giving a webinar on 22 August called Accelerate incident response through automation. Its subject is the need to react very quickly to data breaches, and the ability to do so by the automation of incident response using AccessData’s new RESTful API.

The API alerts the AD Enterprise agent and initiates an immediate collection, preserving data related to the cause of the breach.

There is more information about this webinar here, together with a registration form.


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Funding and development news from iCONECT

iCONECTiCONECT has been developing document review software for 20 years. Its iCONECT-XERA document review platform gives clients access to a secure central repository, giving worldwide access to very large volumes of documents through an interface consciously designed to make life easy for users.

The last few years have seen significant consolidation in the eDiscovery market, both in software and in support providers. The market has also seen considerable investment, a recognition of the fact that the demand for document management tools is predicted to grow.

iCONECT has seen an opportunity to fund its next phase of growth and new development by a strategic partnership with Newfield Capital Partners, announced here. Continue reading

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Interview with SullivanStrickler: Unstructured data – tape, vaulting, privacy and discovery

This is the first part of an extended interview which I did with Brendan Sullivan, CEO of archiving specialist SullivanStrickler and Fred Moore, President of Horison Information Strategies, Inc.

SullivanStrickler’s tagline is “Providing access to the world’s legacy data”. Over the course of three interviews, we cover the growing problem of legacy data – not just the growing volumes, but the increasing expectation that organisations know what data they have and can find what matters – and the solutions offered by SullivanStrickler.

I open by summarising the problem: data is kept for good reasons (such as pending litigation or regulatory requirements), and bad reasons (no-one is responsible for managing it and the lawyers have said “Keep everything” without thought as to the implications). Old formats and redundant systems make it near-impossible to comply with obligations which increasingly bring financial penalties and corporate embarrassment. How can you say you have found everything relevant when you don’t know what you have? If you can’t assess the risk, how do you know what resources to apply to that risk? Continue reading

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Nuix Ringtail becomes Nuix Discover

Nearly a year has passed since Nuix acquired Ringtail from FTI. The development and marketing focus since then has, rightly, been on continuity and on expansion – continuity in the sense that development continued without a break, and expansion in the sense that Nuix has been astute in introducing its new discovery capabilities to its markets around the world.

Nuix has now announced that the newly integrated software is to be called Nuix Discover. I am not the only one who will be sorry to see the departure of the Ringtail name (but then I still remember Attenex with affection), but the renaming makes sense in overall branding terms.

Here is the Nuix press release. An article by JR Jenkins called Discovering more than just a new name is a punchy summary of the benefits of the transition and integration work, including new capabilities and the programme of user meetings which Nuix has held around the world. Continue reading

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Interview: Christina Zachariasen of Allen & Overy on A&O’s uses for RelativityOne

At Relativity Fest in London I interviewed Christina Zachariasen of Allen & Overy. What benefits, I asked, do A&O and its clients and get from using Relativity and RelativityOne?

Christina Zachariasen said that Relativity was a leading review platform.
The decision to use it goes back more than 18 months as part of a significant transformation of both technology and people. Continue reading

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FTI Consulting on building a global IG and discovery program

A recent article in Corporate Disputes Magazine looks at some of the factors – notably leadership and strategy – involved in building a global information governance and discovery programme. It includes input from Craig Earnshaw and Sonia Cheng of FTI Consulting in London, and Daniel Lim of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in the US.

Two key things appear from the title alone – that information governance and discovery are interlinked and that, for many organisations, the implications are global. In the old days (about four years ago) the focus of most organisations, especially US ones, was the ability to find documents and information relevant to actual litigation or regulatory investigations. The concept of information governance to pre-empt or head off problems, not merely reduce their impact, is relatively new.

This basic idea was slow to take off because organisations failed to spot what now seems obvious – that control of information, including knowing where it is and disposing of useless information – reduces the time scale and cost of reaction to discovery requests. Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, FTI Consulting, FTI Technology, GDPR, Information Governance, Information retention | Tagged , | Leave a comment