“Consolidation” is the term used in the eDiscovery industry to refer to the series of acquisitions and mergers seen over the past few years. The usual reaction when one is announced is instant surprise (“I didn’t see that one coming”), followed quickly by recognition of the thinking behind the exercise. Some of these deals have significant implications, not just for the parties involved, but for their partners, users and staff. They can also have significant implications for competitors.
Consilio has appointed James MacGregor as managing director in charge of its sales team in the UK. James MacGregor will be responsible for expanding Consilio’s UK presence, and expanding into new regions with new and existing clients. There is a press release about the appointment here.
I first came across James when he was VP of European eDisclosure Services at FRONTEO USA. His experiences on both sides of the Atlantic will help Consilio develop cross-border business (which has always been one of its strengths) well as business within distinct jurisdictions. He is also (and this matters in developing client relationships) a nice chap. Continue reading →
As we sat on the 32nd floor of Broadgate Tower for the Masters Conference last week, a series of people came past the window. Was there a metaphor here, I wondered, for lawyers’ adoption of technology? These people were brave; many of them were plainly nervous; they relied entirely on technology which they neither understood nor controlled; it was a hell of a long way to the bottom; the risks of failure were high. Yet on they went. Fortune favours the brave. The main difference, I decided, was that the abseilers had volunteered – they had a choice whether to take part or not. I don’t think the lawyers do.
The Masters Conference was set up in the US by Robert Childress many years ago, and I took part in several Washington events. More recently, Robert has brought it to London with an approach which is rather different to others, and very appealing. This year, like last year, the hosts were Reed Smith, a firm with better credentials than most for their use of technology and, in particular, for their aspirations to be at the front of developments.
Although the Masters Conference is structured like most such events, with pre-chosen panel members talking on advertised topics, it has more flexibility than most, not least in its ability to co-opt people at the last minute to talk about the things they know about. I am not against the preparation which goes into most events – far from it – but I also relish the spontaneity which comes from calling in at the last minute someone who happens to be around with expertise in the subject. Continue reading →
The UK chapter of ACEDS (Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists) has organised some of the best eDiscovery-related events in London in the last couple of years. I moderated early ones on technology-assisted review and on the GDPR; the last one I attended was an extremely good discussion about the pending new eDisclosure rule which I wrote about here.
The next one is on 20 September and is called Bringing eDiscovery in-house. The moderator is Vince Neicho of Integreon and the panel members are:
Gearoid O’Laoithe – eDiscovery Case Manager – Royal Bank of Scotland Richard Day – Lawyer – Serious Fraud Office Emily Wyllie-Ballard – eDiscovery Manager – Reynolds Porter Chamberlain Continue reading →
You may have noticed an increasing focus in this blog on career opportunities in electronic discovery / disclosure and the wider world where technology meets legal practice.
I have no intention of becoming a kind of jobs board, but my eye falls occasionally on things which might serve to encourage people into this area. I have written recently, for example, about job roles at Consilio and about international opportunities for Relativity, in both cases because they might help people understand the very wide range of opportunities which are out there. If the main focus is on encouraging young people to join in, there are opportunities also for people with skills acquired elsewhere to move sideways into a business which shows no sign of contracting.
These opportunities are not exclusively within providers of technology services, and not only about dipsutes. The most interesting one came up a few days ago from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for a number of associates in its Legal Solutions Hub in its Manchester-based Global Centre. The job is described here. Continue reading →
It is perhaps not surprising that when discovery stories are told, the focus is on the bigger cases. Talking to Vince Neicho of Integreon, I asked him if there was a role for outsourcing review in smaller matters and for teams beyond the major firms.
Vince Neicho was forthright in emphasising that outsourcing eDiscovery functions, and in particular document review, is as helpful for smaller firms as it is for large ones – and perhaps more so in some cases. One of the overlooked points is the ability to scale resources quickly to meet a particular challenge – what happens when that job finishes, particularly if it finishes unexpectedly early? The ability to outsource people-heavy functions becomes a major benefit to smaller firms. Continue reading →
Like Caroline Hill, I have had an “in-depth and constructive conversation… with likeable ILTA board member Kate Cain and VP of Marketing and Comms Patti Moran”. I give full credit to them for making contact with those of us who expressed strong views about the new press policy and about the accommodation offered to us.
There has been some constructive learning on both sides. ILTA has acknowledged that the press policy should have had some fine-tuning and discussion before arbitrarily excluding people who have been stalwart friends of ILTA for years. They conceded also that they might have made a better job of explaining why the press had been relegated to an hotel away from the main event – the fundamental problem is shortage of space but they had managed to convey the idea that the press was not really welcome on site. Continue reading →
The 2018 Nuix User Exchange runs from 16-18 September in Huntington Beach, California. A recorded discussion between the organisers gives us an idea of what to expect and what is involved in meeting that expectation.
Those of us who go regularly to eDiscovery events and conferences might easily underestimate how much work goes into them. We take a lot of things for granted – not just that the educational and technical content will interest and inform us, but that food and accommodation will be organised and that there will be things to see and do beyond the formal sessions.
We can be pretty sure of that at the Nuix User Exchange, taking place at Huntington Beach in California from 16 to 18 September. Previous events have been packed with learning and ideas, and have also run on rails so far as the speakers and delegates are concerned. Continue reading →
Vince Neicho is VP – Legal Services at Integreon, based in London. Before that, he was at Allen & Overy for 42 years. For much of that time he was responsible for A&O’s eDisclosure and litigation support function. I interviewed him recently and asked him to explain why he moved to Integreon at this stage in his career, and how his former and present roles complemented each other.
Vince said that he wanted to something new before hanging up his boots. Apart from the subject-matter overlap, Integreon has the same ethos of high client service as Allen & Overy. He is subject-matter expert at Integreon for disclosure / discovery and document management, and is involved also in other service lines of Integreon. Continue reading →
Tom O’Connor has been working in eDiscovery since before eDiscovery became a thing. He has written two articles this week, both eloquent and both sad in tone. One was about the late Browning Marean who, four years after his death, is still remembered fondly by many of us. Tom has kindly quoted my thoughts on Browning and I will not add to them here (there is a picture of Browning at an ILTA event, along with a couple of other pictures, at the end of this article).
Tom O’Connor’s other article is about the recent (and not so recent) developments at ILTA, the International Legal Technology Association. “ILTA” is a year-round organisation, but its four letters are synonymous with its big annual event, despite the rebranding as “ILTACON” to differentiate the event from the organisation.
Tom’s article tells how ILTA has become more “corporate”, managing in the process to lose the affection of many from its core base who valued its peer to peer knowledge-sharing ethos. The new “corporate” structure involved the appointment of a CEO and, in due course (just before ILTACON 2017), the departure of the Director of Programmes and Strategic Relationships, Peggy Wechsler. As Tom puts it, Peggy “…was the primary organiser and well-known and widely admired public face of the annual conference”. Continue reading →
While I have no plans to become a general advertising board for eDiscovery recruitment, I do think it helpful from time to time to show what types of positions are available, whether for those already involved in eDiscovery or for those thinking of transferring from other business areas.
Relativity has been steadily increasing its geographical footprint and, although most of its open posts are based in Chicago, there are others in Kraków (including General Manager – Poland) and remotely-based openings for Hong Kong and Australia. Continue reading →
Long-established Canadian eDiscovery provider Commonwealth Legal was acquired by Ricoh Canada in June 2014. The Commonwealth Legal brand has been maintained in the four years since then, with the company expanding and diversifying with Ricoh’s support.
Now Commonwealth Legal has been renamed Ricoh eDiscovery to align itself more clearly with Ricoh eDiscovery in the US as the latter widens its global offering. A post by Jennifer Johnson called Announcing Ricoh eDiscovery in Canada sets out the reasons for the renaming and summarises the opportunities which face the combined companies and the clients.
The website is now at www.ricohediscovery.com. Other means of keeping in touch with Ricoh eDiscovery can be found at the foot of Jennifer Johnson’s post.
The fifth annual Nuix User Exchange takes place at Huntington Beach, California, from 16 to 18 September. I will be there, as usual, and will be previewing some of the sessions which catch my eye as the agenda nears completion.
The Nuix User Exchange features a broad mixture of hands-on labs and sessions about the context in which the technology is used worldwide. My own panel will discuss the GDPR and the growing trend worldwide towards a similar focus on individual privacy. This movement crosses the divide between law and regulation on the one hand and technical solutions on the other. I will say more about this in due course. Continue reading →
Expertise is out of fashion at the moment, drowned out by charlatans, shysters and the volubly ignorant. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Brexit afford ample opportunity for all of them. It is perhaps no coincidence that nuisance telephone calling is on the rise again – if there are suckers out there prepared to accept that a “No deal” Brexit is a good idea, or that the GDPR obliges you to write to all your customers, then why not try and sell them so-called “Green Deal” window replacements over the phone?
There are plenty of good people offering useful help with the GDPR – lawyers who understand the law, first-rate privacy consultants who had expertise in this area before the letters “GDPR” were ever strung together, and data management companies who offer tools and consultancy aimed at discrete GDPR obligations such as identifying private information. Continue reading →
The career of my friend Patrick Burke illustrates the range of opportunities open to those with legal and technology skills.
One of the themes which recurs as I speak and write about eDiscovery and its related disciplines is that skills developed for one purpose may be relevant in another, and that eDiscovery and all the subjects which surround it have a voracious need for experience.
As new fields open up, it is obvious that that experience is going to have to be ported over from somewhere else. Some of these things are developments of older things – the law has long had a concept of privacy, for example, but it is only relatively recently that computerisation, data analytics, the Internet, and mass communication have made it a field which dominates other discussions. Security breaches used to be limited by the physical reach of the aggressor. Until very recently we had not heard of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
It is the job of government simultaneously to encourage development in new areas while regulating it. Heavy-handed regulation stifles innovation; untrammelled technological development put businesses and consumers at risk. Facebook is the obvious example of a project which began with modest social ambitions and turned into a monster, threatening global politics and economics as well as personal privacy. Continue reading →
Brainspace uses analytics and visualisations to help users make faster and more informed data decisions. Integrating Brainspace with RelativityOne brings the power of those analytics to the ever-larger volumes of data on RelativityOne.
Drew Deitch, senior manager of strategic partnerships at Relativity, took the opportunity to emphasise Relativity’s commitment to “a vibrant ecosystem of applications and integrations on the Relativity platform and in RelativityOne”. Continue reading →
Before the General Data Protection Regulation took effect, much of the commentary focused on the level of fines which might be levied for GDPR breaches. That there are other implications of GDPR breaches appears from an interesting article by Cordery called UK appeal court ruling on spreadsheet data breach damages case.
The article reminds us first that individuals affected by a data breach can bring claims for compensation or damages against the organisation responsible for the breach. Second, it reminds us that spreadsheets (historically a problem in electronic discovery anyway) are frequently the source of inadvertent disclosure by data breach.
There is a third point, which Cordery is too tactful to mention. I have no such inhibitions. The offending organisation was the UK Home Office, an organisation which combines incompetence and a singular degree of unpleasantness dating back (at least) to the time when Theresa May was Home Secretary, keen to create a “hostile environment” for anyone whose race, skin colour, or religion did not meet the approval of the far right wing of the Conservative party. By the time of the appeal judgment discussed by Cordery, May’s successor Amber Rudd had been forced to resign because of the Home Office’s handling of the Windrush generation. Yesterday, the Court of Appeal found that the Home Office “materially misled” a High Court judge and displayed “a serious breach of duty of candour and cooperation” in relation to the handling of child refugees from Calais. This was not a data breach case, though spreadsheets and personal data were again involved, but lack of candour towards the court is a recurring theme in matters of disclosure. Continue reading →
The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website, has published the documents relating to the pilot scheme for disclosure, initially in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales. The documents are those approved by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee and comprise a press announcement, the draft Practice Direction, the draft Disclosure Review Document, the draft Certificate of Compliance, and the draft Disclosure Certificate.
As a reminder, these are the post-consultation drafts of what will eventually be a new disclosure rule replacing the present Part 31, its practice directions, and the present Electronic Documents Questionnaire.
I was one of those who helped draft the present Practice Direction 31B and the EDQ, and have a particular interest in the proposed replacements. That interest does not translate into an immediate review of these documents which were published only yesterday.
You might like to look at them for yourself. I will come back to them shortly.
Ed Spencer is a Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing. It was his affidavit which provided much of the technical information used by Master Matthews in giving his blessing to the solution agreed between the parties in Pyrrho.
Ed Spencer and Lizzie Hancock, also of Taylor Wessing, have written an article on the firm’s website called eDiscovery innovations: Continuous Active Learning. It is not too often that we see such articles by an actual user, still less by a user based in the UK.
The article gives a brief description of what Continuous Active Learning is. More significantly, perhaps, it has a section called How to use continuous active learning – size doesn’t matter, which sets out some of the factors to consider when using Continuous Active Learning including, crucially, discussions aimed at “explaining and justifying strategy to the other side”. Continue reading →
The merger between Consilio and Advanced Discovery is now completed (see announcement here) and the combined company is now the second largest provider of information governance, risk management, eDiscovery, and document and contract review services in the world.
One of the points made by CEO Andy Macdonald when I interviewed him at the time of the merger was that large and obviously successful companies attract the most talented people who see personal opportunities in the scale and complexity of the client engagements, and in the company’s ability to invest in new technology and processes.
David Greetham is VP, eDiscovery Sales and Operations at Ricoh USA, Inc. Ricoh is a supporter of ACEDS (Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists), who are running a series of webinars throughout the summer.
David Greetham is the presenter of one on 7 August called Schools out – let’s stay connected – the Internet of Things.
The webinar will look at the challenges of collecting and processing electronically stored information from connected devices (loosely pulled together under the label “the Internet of Things”), and at how traditional methods of collection are inadequate for the task. Continue reading →
Nuix is presenting a webinar on 23 July with the title Scaling for the future: evolving your intelligent-driven digital investigations. The presenter is Stuart Clarke, Global Head of Security and Intelligence.
The theme is that there is ever more data in ever-multiplying data sources and data types. It is not enough simply to collect them all (often hard enough by itself); one must also expose relationships between the people, objects, locations and events either hidden in the data or spread so widely that humans cannot trace the links without inordinate time and cost. The technology is an accelerator of digital investigations, not a substitute for human input.
Earlier this year, AccessData launched Quin-C, its new solution for data access, processing, and analysis, designed to enable investigators of every skill level to conduct more accurate and advanced investigations in shorter timescales.
One of its strengths is its ability to customise configurations to suit the needs of the investigation.
Cross-border discovery, and collection in foreign jurisdictions is rarely easy. Those who think it is difficult to collect data in the EU, where privacy restraints conflict with US discovery requirements, may care to think how much harder it is to achieve the same objectives in China.
The difficulties range from state restraints (a “state secret” is widely defined or, rather, it is often not defined at all until you stumble over it) and there are technical difficulties of language to deal with as well. Locally-created email systems and chat networks similarly create problems, both of corporate control and to do with the technical methods of collection.
Consilio gave a webinar in March called Investigation and litigation in China – eDiscovery challenges. It is available for download here.
As well as describing some the difficulties, the webinar makes positive suggestions for dealing with the problems raised by eDiscovery in China. Continue reading →
Sarah Brown is Senior Manager, Communications, at Epiq. I interviewed her at Legaltech in New York about the importance of communication in formulating and executing a discovery plan.
Sarah Brown said that communication is an under-appreciated component of an eDiscovery roll-out. People get caught up in the technical aspects of the software or the ins and outs of the case itself and overlook the importance of communication. Continue reading →
As the world pushes off for the summer, it is perhaps worth summarising the subjects which have proved of interest to those attending eDiscovery events so far this year. The attention in this article is on those I have attended, and on the UK and mainland Europe rather than the US. The focus is on the topics themselves rather than on any attempt to summarise what was said.
This article ends with the hope that we will see more of the next generation willing to speak at events, for their benefit and the benefit of their employees, as well as for the audiences.
Relativity Fest London
Relativity Fest is now the biggest event in the UK (and EU) conference calendar, both by the number of participants and by delegates. I spent much of it recording video interviews, unwilling to miss the opportunity to capture so many people with interesting things to say, and my observation of the events was therefore limited. Many of those videos have been published in this blog. Continue reading →
At Ricoh’s Technology in Practice in Toronto last November, I moderated a panel called TAR Trends around the World. The panellists were US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck (now retired from the bench and a Senior Counsel at DLA Piper), Maura Grossman (formerly a New York litigation partner and now Research Professor at University of Waterloo), and Constantine Pappas of Relativity.
One of our objectives was to summarise the development of judicial approval of the use of technology-assisted review in different jurisdictions. We referred to various papers, opinions and judgments and it is perhaps helpful to give links to these documents. For the sake of brevity. I will not quote heavily from any of these sources. They are all worth reading. Continue reading →
Part of what I try to do is to encourage new entrants into a business which continues to expand both in importance and in global revenue, offering opportunities to people with a range of qualifications, skills and attitudes.
I was lucky enough to be old (relatively speaking) when legal and eDiscovery technology was young. There was no career path or planned progression, and segments of training and experience fell into place as technology sidled into and then merged with legal practice.
Craig Earnshaw of FTI Consulting is another whose background and interests found him a place in the new world of technology consulting and, indeed helped to shape it. An article in Who’s Who Legal 100 records that Craig worked with electronic evidence from the mid-1990s, developing both technical and strategic skills which enabled him to found the European technology consulting practice of FTI in London in 2006. Continue reading →
Working Group 1 of The Sedona Conference has published the public comment version of the Sedona Conference Primer on Social Media, Second Edition.
The first edition was published in 2012, setting out a practical approach for addressing the corporate use and management of social media. New messaging technologies and business applications have proliferated since 2012, and “traditional” social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have changed significantly. There have been changes in the law and in the rules of discovery / disclosure, of evidence and of professional responsibility. Continue reading →
Keith Conley is President and Chief Operating Officer at Epiq. I interviewed him at Legaltech in New York in February, asking him about Epiq’s recent and planned expansion a year after the merger with DTI which made Epiq the biggest single player in the worldwide eDiscovery market.
The most recent development, Keith Conley said, was the launch of a document review service in India. Epiq has 100 seats at Hyderabad where they have recruited the skills, and put a leadership team in place. It brings Epiq’s document review headcount to 2,500 seats in total. Continue reading →
As his many friends know, British eDisclosure pioneer Nigel Murray has brain cancer. His daughter Sophie steps into a boxing ring tomorrow, 7 July, to raise money for Cancer Research UK. I invite you to sponsor her distinctly brave method of fund-raising.
I met Nigel Murray at a litigation support drinks party in London on 15 December 1993 . We did pitches and educational sessions together – I recall in particular flogging up to Newcastle with him to be told by one large firm that their clients would have no interest in the kind of technology we told them about.
With his company Trilantic, and later with Huron Consulting, Nigel organised sessions at the major US events on cross-border discovery back in the days when privacy was an unheard-of (and distinctly unwelcome) concept in US discovery. I took part in many of them – always fun, and always with that pleasure you get (I do anyway) when your message is not what the audience wants to hear but knows it must listen to. Nigel Murray led the way in helping US discovery people understand what was different about the EU and the UK. Continue reading →
At Relativity Fest in London, I interviewed Glenn Barden of FTI in the UK about FTI’s adoption of Relativity in London. The post-event party was underway by the time of our interview which explains the background noise.
Glenn Barden said that FTI’s role was to provide not only industry-leading software but the services to go with it. FTI felt that its clients’ needs could best be served by offering Relativity alongside FTI’s own Ringtail. Continue reading →
At Relativity Fest in London, I spoke to Amanda Fennell, Chief Security Officer at Relativity. I started by asking her what her role encompasses.
Amanda Fennell said that the Chief Security Officer role at Relativity differs from most Chief Information Security Officer roles. The CSO has to protect the company’s own data, its products, the physical premises – everything. Continue reading →
Anthony Di Bello is Senior Director, Market Development, at OpenText. I knew him at Guidance Software before that, and OpenText’s acquisition of Guidance Software is the first topic covered in this interview, recorded at Legaltech in New York in February (which is why the GDPR, the subject of most of the discussion, is referred to as a future event).
Anthony Di Bello says that OpenText’s acquisition of Guidance Software, with its abilities to search, preserve and collect the data, was a logical acquisition for OpenText to complement its earlier acquisition of Recommind (now part of OpenText Discovery) with its Axcelerate search and analytics capability. Continue reading →
As is widely known, A&O was one of the first big London firms to move part of its operation to Belfast, benefiting from reduced establishment costs, a sympathetic environment for incoming businesses, and a skilled local workforce. Continue reading →
David Greetham is Vice President of eDiscovery Sales and Operations at Ricoh Legal in the US. I caught up with him at Relativity Fest in London and asked him about Ricoh’s plans for discovery and related subjects beyond North America.
David Greetham said that he was over to open Ricoh’s first London Azure data centre and to help Ricoh’s London team to begin operations. Part of the perceived need for a London data centre was the growing concern about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Beyond that, the primary purpose for opening a London data centre is to service the needs of Ricoh’s North American clients, with the intention of later expanding London-based business. Continue reading →
Cliff Dutton is Chief Innovation Officer at Epiq. I took part in a US panel discussion with him years ago and was glad to catch up with him at Legaltech in New York in February.
The word “innovation” is used to cover a lot of things and, it and its twin term “disruption” warrant explanation. I asked Cliff Dutton what “innovation” means to Epiq.
It means three things, Cliff Dutton says – product innovation, process innovation and business model innovation. Between them new ideas improve the products and services which Epiq brings to its clients, improves the way in which they are delivered, and changes for the better the relationship between Epiq and its market. Continue reading →
OpenText is giving a webinar on Tuesday 26 June at 15:00 BST with the title Prevent GDPR breaches with 360° security for every endpoint.
Its theme is that data security does not stop at the perimeter and that compliance, privacy and data security are the biggest concerns for organisations today, with fines and government scrutiny threatened when data breaches occur.
The webinar is presented by Anthony Di Bello of OpenText.
The importance of social media, including pictures, video, audio and and the increasing volume of potential evidence created on phones and tablets, has been properly receiving much attention recently.
It brings with it questions of costs, cuts, and proportionality as law enforcement, defence lawyers, and parties to civil or regulatory proceedings either gape in bewilderment at the size of the task or, in the case of the UK Crown Prosecution Service, close their eyes and hope that it will all go away.
The subject is currently topical in the context of criminal cases in the UK. While I have your attention for that reason, it is worth highlighting some of the points which apply equally in a civil context.
Let’s start with an article by Grania Langdon-Down in the Law Society Gazette of 18 June with the title Law enforcers struggle with electronic evidence challenges. It covers several aspects of what is effectively the same problem – people who “unwittingly give away more on their devices than they would tell their closest friend or relative”, police accessing phone data without a warrant, and police and prosecution authorities keeping back information (whether deliberately or by oversight) from defendants. Alison Saunders, the about-to-be-ex-head of the Crown Prosecution Service admitted that the CPS had been “too slow” and had been “taken by surprise – and shouldn’t have been” by the range and importance of data on the phones. Continue reading →
The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has given approval in principle to the proposed new disclosure rule for England and Wales. A LinkedIn post by Ed Crosse of Simmons & Simmons reports that the CPRC gave its approval on 15 June and that final approval will be sought at the next CPRC meeting on 13 July when the practice direction and disclosure review document have been checked.
The original proposals were published in November 2017 and have, Ed Crosse says, been “significantly approved as a result of the feedback received during the three-month consultation”. There were apparently 250 pages of written responses and 26 roadshow meetings and discussions. The pilot has been pushed back to 1 January 2019 in the Business and Property Courts in London and regional centres. It will last for two years and will be monitored during that time. Continue reading →
At Relativity Fest in London, I spoke to Ben Shellie, CEO of Intelligent Voice. Intelligent Voice, Ben Shellie said, makes software designed to make audio review as simple as any other document review. It takes voice recordings, turns them into text, and helps reviewers not only to find what they are looking for but to identify things which they may not have had in mind.
The IICE eDiscovery Forum takes place at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 26 to 27 June 2018. IICE stands for Information Governance, Investigations, Compliance and eDiscovery.
This is the event which has for years been known to most of us as “IQPC” after its organisers. It has been running for 13 years and this is, I think, the 12th one which I have attended. This year I am chairing it.
One of the big attractions at Relativity Fest in London was a panel discussion about the right of US authorities to access data held abroad. The specific context was the case originally known as “Microsoft Dublin”, “the Dublin Warrant” or Microsoft v US.
The panel included the Honorable James Francis IV, Distinguished Lecturer at the City University of New York School of Law, and retired U.S. Magistrate Judge (S.D.N.Y.), who made the original Dublin Warrant decision. With him was Rachi Messing of Microsoft. David Horrigan of Relativity moderated. You can watch a recording of the panel here.
After the panel, I asked Judge Francis if he would distil into five minutes the really interesting discussion which had earlier taken an hour. Master of précis that he is, he did just that.
There is no substitute for reading the rules relating to disclosure, whether those expressly so – Rule 31 and its practice directions – or those with wider effect elsewhere in the rules. What happens, though, when something in the rules appears to conflict with common sense or with the duty to be proportionate? Judicial discretion goes only so far.
The extracts which Gordon Exall gives in his September 2017 post are primarily to do with the form of the disclosure statement, something you may consider an afterthought or an act of purely formal compliance which does not really matter. You would be wrong, as this judgment shows. Continue reading →
The collection of data held abroad has long been a difficult (and interesting) subject for the US courts, state authorities and lawyers. 2018 has brought us the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the culmination of the battle between the US and Microsoft over emails stored in Dublin, and now the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Uses of Data (CLOUD) Act.
Relativity, FTI, the New England Chapter of the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS), and others come together on 13 June at Suffolk University Law School in Boston to talk about these things and about the very practical issues which arise from them for all those engaged in the keeping and collection of data held abroad. Continue reading →
The merger between Consilio and Advanced Discovery, which I wrote about here, has now taken place. The combined company is presenting a webinar on 13 June with the title Mobile devices and the changing landscape of eDiscovery.
The amount of raw data and information generated by and stored in mobile devices increases all the time. The days are gone when discovery obligations could be met by collecting emails, loose files and corporate databases. Voicemail, texts, chat, social media, video and photograph files, GPS location information and more are all available from phones and tablets. Continue reading →
At Legaltech in New York in February, I spoke to Brad Scott, President and Chief Operating Officer at Epiq. More than a year had passed since Epiq and DTI were brought together as a single and very large global eDiscovery company, and I was interested to learn about the progress made since the merger.
One of the most interesting interviews which I have conducted this year was with Dean Kuhlmann, VP of Business Development at Brainspace. I took the opportunity then to write about the Cyxtera group of companies, including Brainspace, whose Continuous Multimodal Learning technology and dynamic visualisations were, as I put it, “augmenting intelligence, taking information, reorganising it, and giving the “good stuff” to the people who need it”.
Brainspace 6.1 takes this further with new features designed to improve the accuracy of investigative decisions, accelerate data analysis and reduce legal costs. Continue reading →
Ed Crosse is a partner at Simmons & Simmons and a member of the Disclosure Working Group headed by Lady Justice Gloster. At Relativity Fest in London I took part in a panel with him and with Sir Colin Birrs at which which we discussed the proposed new disclosure rule.
Afterwards, I talked to Ed Crosse about the proposals, starting with the question “Why now?”.
Consilio is giving a webinar on 6 June about its new eDiscovery platform called Sightline.
Sightline has its own (rather good) section on the Consilio website which describes how Sightline was built from the ground up to manage eDiscovery, data exploration and investigations with new search, review, analytics and reporting tools. One of the points emphasised in the website is the fact that analytics – email threading, textual near dup and conceptual analytics – are built into every Sightline licence and that every document ingested into Sightline is analysed.
The webinar will focus both on the multiple uses for Sightline (including, for example, contract review as well as disputes matters) and on the advantages of Sightline over having to choose between “multiple disconnected technologies” with the resulting complication in workflows. Continue reading →
Canada holds the G7 presidency from 1 January to 31 December 2018 and is the host for the G7 summit in Québec on 8 to 9 June.
The G7 is obviously concerned with overarching political and economic political, economic and security matters, but it is concerned also with various other topics like investment in growth, jobs for the future, gender equality, climate change, and clean energy.
Canada feels that it is important to understand what people think about these subjects and whether they react positively or negatively about them country by country.
Canada turned to OpenText (which is, of course, a Canadian company) to apply its data analytics skills to data collected from publicly-available sources such as G7 articles and tweets. To do this, OpenText uses Magellan, it’s artificial intelligence (AI)–powered analytics platform, to retrieve documents, display sentiment, and break down the key themes in an interactive way to show what issues matter most to citizens.
Providers of eDiscovery software have two ambitions in their marketing. The first is to persuade people who are not yet converted to the concept to look at any software in order to get the idea. The second, of course, is to encourage people to look at their own products.
iCONECT has always been good at this, and its iCONECT-XERA discovery review software is designed to be both attractive and instantly comprehensible to users. Its blog makes a good job of pointing out specific functions which are particularly useful and which may be missed by those new to eDiscovery as well as to those who have not yet had a look at iCONECT-XERA.
iCONECT-XERA ranked well in the recent 2018 eDiscovery Buyers Guide. A blog post by Lynn Frances Jae called The review is in and it’s good news draws attention to a couple of the specific functions which the Buyer’s Guide highlighted, including the ability to search for empty fields and the document compare function which allows users to investigate the differences in both the text and in their own metadata. Continue reading →
Well, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is with us, and I am sure that you have all got your policies and procedures in order and your data classified, protected and secured. Perhaps not, not yet anyway, but you’ll be there soon, no doubt.
Even those who are well-prepared remain at risk of some kind of crisis. This may derive from oversight or omission, but it is as likely to come up because the bad guys, in their various flavours, often manage to be one jump ahead of the defences.
Research by FTI Consulting with more than 500 UK business managers in large companies shows that there remains considerable concern about the ability of organisations to cope with a GDPR related crisis, about their organisations’ vulnerability and about the potential damage to their reputation if such an event took place. Talk-Talk and British Airways are examples of companies which faced very substantial public backlash following some kind of failure (not just GDPR privacy-related failure) for which they were evidently unprepared. Continue reading →
The Sedona Conference Working Group 6 is concerned with international electronic information management, discovery and disclosure. Its primary concern is organisations which are subject to litigation and regulation in multiple jurisdictions with potentially conflicting international laws.
WG6 is a global forum and think tank for sharing information, developing best practice, and educating on matters of national and international law and policy concerning eDiscovery the management, disclosure and protection of electronically stored information.
The implementation date for the General Data Protection Regulation has come and gone with little obvious adverse effect except for those who gratuitously destroyed their own marketing lists after misunderstanding the new regulations about consent.
Companies have discovered that the world did not suddenly come to an end on a single big bang day and they can now settle down to and take a longer term view of their obligations in relation to private data as defined in the GDPR.
Many have been doing this already, and Nuix gives us a case study from a US-based Fortune 100 corporation which anticipated the need to rationalise, manage and control their data in advance of the GDPR. Continue reading →
Relativity is presenting a webinar today, 30 May, in conjunction with Bloomberg. The title is Corporate cloud legal update: 2018 law, legislation, and regulation and, unsurprisingly, the principal subject is the Clarifying Lawful Uses of Overseas Data (CLOUD) Act, 2018.
That act, with its potential for US authorities to reach into foreign (that is, our) data sources, raises interesting and important matters of law relating to both privacy and jurisdiction. It also has practical implications for corporations, whether US ones or others. It is not the only legislation with cross-jurisdictional impact, with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect at the same time as the CLOUD Act. Continue reading →
Every so often I write a post whose main purpose is to be a reminder that social media (including many non-conventional data forms) is both disclosable as a formal matter and potentially vital as a generally incontrovertible source of contemporaneous record.
The last few days have brought us several examples of dishonesty in law and politics. We have had the most eloquent judicial criticism of dishonesty I have ever seen in a civil case – nothing to do with social media, just an old-fashioned exercise of judicial credibility in the face of oral evidence which was beyond belief from witnesses whose demeanour failed to impress. We have had a reminder that the UK Ministry of Justice and its ministers have retained the idea, inherited from the fluently dishonest Chris Grayling, that truth is one of those luxuries, like functioning courts and an adequate supply of judges, which is easily dispensed with in hard times. We have also had a former junior justice minister refer to mounting volumes of evidence as “useless guff from social media”, saying this without any obvious self-awareness during a speech in which he criticised lawyers as “technologically-illiterate”. I will come on to him below.
At Relativity Fest in London, I interviewed David Horrigan, Relativity’s Discovery Counsel and Legal Education Director, on two subjects which had been well covered at the event. The first of those was the US government’s CLOUD Act which at a stroke made redundant the US Supreme Court’s consideration of the long-running case between the US government and Microsoft about data held on (in that case) servers in Dublin.
The other was the state of preparation and anxiety in the US about the then-pending General Data protection Regulation, which has since (today) come into force. At Relativity Fest, David Horrigan moderated a panel with former US Magistrate Judge James Francis IV (who gave the original Microsoft Dublin Opinion) and Rachi Messing of Microsoft. As I often do, I looked to David Horrigan for a high-level summary of the current topics.
That merger has now completed its formal stages and there is an infographic here showing the main quantitative features of the merged business, with figures for customer focus, scale, expertise, and technology. As I said in my earlier article, pure size tells only part of the story. The broad geographical spread matters very much to multinational clients, particularly those who need to give discovery simultaneously from locations around the world. The ability to invest in products like Nuix and Relativity, and in the skills to use them them, matters also. Perhaps the main point derived from my interview with Andy Macdonald was his saying that it becomes easier to attract talent because “people like to work at growing businesses.” Continue reading →
I take every opportunity to interview Karyn Harty of McCann FitzGerald. Over the years we have discussed her involvement in the leading TAR case Irish Bank Resolution v Quinn, the use of eDiscovery tools and skills for non-disputes purposes, the effect of Brexit on Ireland, and the development of court rules for proportionate discovery.
Karyn Harty was in London for Relativity Fest London and we did a panel together in which she gave the Irish perspective on the proposed new disclosure rule for England and Wales. I took the opportunity to talk to her afterwards about the need for eDiscovery training for judges and litigators.
If I come back now to a panel I moderated on technology-assisted review last November, it is partly because I think we are about to see a new focus on the use of TAR to achieve proportionate eDiscovery beyond the US. It is perhaps time for a jurisdiction-neutral survey of the points which arise when the use of TAR is under discussion – or to help kick-start such a discussion if it is not already happening.
The panel was one of three which I moderated at Technology in Practice in Toronto last November. Run by Commonwealth Legal and Ricoh, this event was one of the best I took part in last year. This was partly because they gave me a lot to do, and partly because the organiser, Jennifer Johnson of Commonwealth Legal, assembled an agenda which was both diverse and threaded through with some consistent themes. One of those themes was the human element in technology – thus the title I gave to my event review Law, technology and the human element at Technology and Practice in Toronto. Indeed, one of my three panels was devoted to that human element. Winning acceptance of technology-assisted review depends very much on understanding how people work; it is not just law and technology.
For my first panel, Jennifer Johnson allowed me not only to pick my subject but my panel. I chose technology-assisted review, and asked for Maura Grossman, formerly a red-hot New York litigator and now an research professor at the University of Waterloo and for US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck (now retired from the bench and Senior Counsel at DLA Piper). Constantine Pappas of Relativity joined us to bring the provider view. Continue reading →
Integreon is a global provider of legal, document, business and research support solutions for law firms, corporate legal departments, financial institutions and professional services firms.
That function includes identifying software and services which Integreon can deploy on behalf of its clients. Integreon has a partnership with Venio Systems, a provider of eDiscovery technology, whose web-based eDiscovery solution is designed to help lawyers reduce costs and risks while improving the management of litigation. There is more information about the Venio solution here.
Integreon and Venio are today presenting a joint webinar called The power and future of automated discovery. Its focus will be on automated self-service discovery and other trends in eDiscovery processing technology.
The speakers will be Jamie Berry, Managing Director of Litigation Services at Integreon, and Chris Jurkiewicz, co-founder of Venio.
Note the point towards the end – I am not seeking mere anecdotes about bad disclosure conduct but judgments in which aggressive or abusive disclosure – not just cock-up or incompetence – was punished
An interesting question came my way from Zander Goss @zandergoss, whose Twitter bio describes him as “Future pupil barrister; UCL LLM student”. It originated in the form of a tweet to Gordon Exall@CivilLitTweet who is the Oracle on all things relating to the Civil Procedure Rules with his Civil Litigation Brief.
Gordon Exall passed his question to me.
The question as originally put was this:
It is narrowly framed – not about whether one jurisdiction requires broader discovery / disclosure than the other but about the prevalence of tactical abuse and “exploitation” of discovery.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has an investigative role which is rather different from that of most regulators or law firms. It is investigator and prosecutor, taking on only seven to ten new cases each year, each of which might last between five and seven years.
The SFO has taken OpenTextAxcelerate (which it acquired with the purchase of Recommind) to help it deal with the serious and complex fraud, bribery, and corruption cases which it manages, each involving huge volumes of documents and data which must be analysed to see if criminal activity has taken place and to run a prosecution where relevant. The Rolls-Royce fraud investigation which was settled in 2017 involved about 30 million documents. One case presently in hand has already turned up 50 million documents.
The OpenText press release is here. It quotes Ben Denison, Chief Technology Officer at the SFO, as saying that Axcelerate gives the SFO a way to “simplify its document review process, quickly capturing, categorising, and analysing data through a combination of advanced analytics features and built-in proprietary machine learning algorithms”. Continue reading →
The messages were much the same as those which I got from interviews at Relativity Fest in Chicago last October. I talked there to Wendy King and Daryl Teshima from FTI at a point when the relationship was still new.
Daryl Teshima said that FTI saw significant benefits for clients in combining FTI’s own technology with a review platform on which many of FTI’s clients have standardised, in order to give clients the widest possible choice. The combination of Ringtail and FTI’s much respected consulting team offers a toolkit for solving problems big and small. Continue reading →
You are probably secretly relieved when this happens, but I always feel I should explain when there is an interruption in the flow of blog posts. Gratifyingly, if slightly disconcertingly, the number of page views on my blog were higher in the week in which I published nothing than in any of the four preceding weeks. I could draw from that the conclusion that I could push off for weeks on end, but that would perhaps be unwise when new stories are appearing all the time.
Although there was some pleasure in it, the week away involved two events in different countries. The first was Relativity Fest London, at which I took part in a panel about the new disclosure rule, did several video interviews on a range of subjects, and had a lot of useful and interesting conversations. The one I always feel sorry for at these events is my son Will, who has to spend the whole day in a corner of a conference centre guarding the equipment and waiting for the next interview.
It takes most of the day to prep for the videos alone, let alone the panel and the rest. The time and effort is amply repaid by the video content we get from it. Almost none of this is time-sensitive, so an event like Relativity Fest gives me a library of interviews to spread out over the coming months. Continue reading →
On Thursday 3 May I will be in Milan to take part in a discussion with Accuracy Italia about the use of Relativity.
Accuracy is a business advisory company with offices around the world. Its work includes transactions, disputes, turnarounds and other services for a wide range of industry sectors. These include Accuracy Review which is hosted in the Milan data centre, where Relativity is used for investigations and litigation document review.
The panel includes local experts and people from Relativity. My role is to moderate a discussion which will introduce the benefits of electronic review generally and of Relativity specifically. There is more information about this event here together with information about attending.
I don’t think I betray any secrets by saying that I was asked to review the outline, the table of contents and the structure of this book as long ago as May 2014. I disclaimed personal knowledge of the authors, Michael Wheater and Charles Raffin, but said that the fact that they were barristers at Hardwicke was “a reference in itself”.
We were then in the middle of the compliance frenzy caused by the Court of Appeal’s daft decision in the Mitchell case in November 2013 ( Mitchell MP v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 1537). Mitchell was not a disclosure case but its elevation of nitpicking, rules-centric point-scoring over the practical and proportionate dispensing of justice gave rise to a series of pointless judgments about disclosure, shifting lawyers’ attention away from getting the job done and towards picking holes in their opponents’ disclosure, and in satellite litigation about alleged defects in procedure.
There are many people who know a little bit about the General Data Protection Regulation, in some cases, just enough to be dangerous. Jonathan Armstrong of Cordery in London is an acknowledged expert on the subject of the GDPR and a range of other compliance subjects such as modern slavery.
I caught up with him in New York at Legaltech, where he had been taking part in a panel on the overlap, often amounting to conflict, between the requirements of the GDPR and US eDiscovery obligations, and I thought it would be interesting to capture some of his views on this.
The problem is a magnification of one which is familiar to anyone who has tried to reconcile the often broad demands of US eDiscovery with the ever-tighter restrictions on the use of personal data in jurisdictions outside the US. The EU has always been the leader in setting standards for the protection of personal data, and the GDPR takes this to a much deeper level. Continue reading →
Since its establishment in 2016, the UK chapter of ACEDS (the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists) has been organising panel discussions in London which have rightly attracted large audiences.
The next one, on 16 May, is called Demystifying Blockchain – What is it? How is it relevant to legal technology professionals and how does it relate to eDiscovery?
The speakers are Dr Ben Gardner, Chief Scientific Officer – Wavelength Law, Gary Nuttall, Managing Director – Distlytics Ltd, Lee Bacon, Partner – Clyde & Co, Alexander Carter-Silk, Partner – Brown Rudnick and Spencer Lynch, Managing Director – Stroz Friedberg
… and the moderator is Richard Troumans – Editor, The Artificial Lawyer. Continue reading →
With Relativity Fest London nearly upon us (it is on 1 May) it is timely to publish an interview which I did with Nick Robertson, Chief Operating Officer at Relativity at the end of last October’s Relativity Fest in Chicago in which he summarised the main points which interested people at that event.
Lorraine Medcraft is Senior Director of Sales at Epiq in London. I spoke to her at Legaltech in New York, mainly to hear about Epiq’s TMX bundling software which I had written about shortly before.
TMX is an Epiq proprietary tool which allows clients to structure and build bundles, to collaborate (by, for example, letting the other side come in and comment) and then making them available for a hearing. There is more information about TMX here.
One of the recurring themes in this blog is the extension of eDiscovery skills and tools to purposes beyond pure eDiscovery. The software developed for compliance with court rules and regulatory requirements often lends itself to wider purposes.
I have written before about how eDiscovery software developer iCONECT has turned its XERA software to purposes beyond litigation discovery – healthcare and HR, for example. It has also been constantly inventive in making partnerships with other companies to bring specialist adjuncts to iCONECT-XERA’s primary eDiscovery function.
At Legaltech New York, I interviewed iCONECT CEO Ian Campbell about iCONECT’s partnership with Heureka, a company which specialises in the identification, preservation and collection of documents and data.
Dean Kuhlmann is VP of Business Development at Brainspace. I interviewed him at Legaltech about the way technology is changing search for eDiscovery and and for wider business purposes.
The “story” in Dean Kuhlmann’s interview ends with a senior lawyer running down the corridor in his office after 15 minutes use of Brainspace, urging others to come and see what he is able to do with it. The context is the advances in technology which enable, as he puts it, five million documents to be visible on one screen, and the reduction in the time and labour required to review them. The technology, Dean Kuhlmann says, is not replacing humans but using them to get a lot more done more quickly.
Before looking at the interview itself, it is worth looking at Brainspace and the group of companies of which it is part, because that complements the picture of a very broad funnel at the top and a small pool of very relevant documents at the bottom. That five million documents reduced to a small pool for review is a microcosm of a business group which begins in volume terms with more than 50 data centres worldwide.
Brainspace is part of the Cyxtera group of companies which between them manage, secure, and make available very large populations of documents. Cyxtera owns 57 data centres around the world. Before anything else, therefore, it is an infrastructure company. It goes far beyond that, however, integrating security as a core service and providing other analytics and specialised services for key verticals such as financial services, public sector and health care as well as applications for broader businesses. Continue reading →
A good interview does not have to be formal and structured to be effective and informative. By the time I came to interview David Horrigan, Relativity’s eDiscovery Counsel and Legal Education Director, at Legaltech, I had done 16 interviews over three days and this was our last. I had even discarded my tie.
David Horrigan is a fluent and articulate man, and we covered quite a lot of ground in our recap of the Relativity events at Legaltech and in looking forward to the next event (Relativity Fest London on 1 May).
We talked about the panel which I had just moderated for Relativity on cloud and regulation. It was part of a Relativity series on discovery at home and abroad and was, obviously, the “abroad” bit. Continue reading →
Among the out-takes on the virtual floor of our virtual video editing room are several clips of me interrupting interviews when people talk about the GDPR fines of up to 4% of global turnover. They are, I have to say, slightly embarrassing to watch as I lay into people to ask if they have something more constructive to talk about, and I apologise to them. They are not the real targets of what have, with some justification, been called my “GDPR rants”.
As I have observed here before, I have been known when moderating panels in the US to ask the audience to name the first thing that comes to mind when the GDPR is mentioned. Always it is the fines. It is time to move the discussion to the actual likely effect on businesses large and small, not ignoring the fines, but equally not implying that every organisation is at risk of being handed fines at the maximum level for the slightest default.
At Legaltech, I was invited to go and talk to Rob Robinson, Doug Austin and others from CloudNine. I don’t usually agree to such invitations from non-sponsors because they take me out of an already overflowing stream of things to do at Legaltech, but I have known Rob Robinson for many years and he gave me my first introduction to US eDiscovery writing. There was also an invitation to be interviewed by Doug Austin whose eDiscovery Daily Blog came top of the recent list of Top 60 eDiscovery Blogs and Websites for eDiscovery Professionals assembled by Feedspot (I wrote about it here) and I welcomed the opportunity to reach his wide audience. Continue reading →
Michael Conner is Director of Global Business Development at NightOwl Discovery. I interviewed him at Legaltech in New York about the relationship between clients, lawyers and eDiscovery providers.
Much of NightOwl’s business involves offering services directly to clients, generally on multi-year agreements. The clients have direct relationships with both the eDiscovery provider and the lawyers and this, Michael Conner says, can set up “a nuanced relationship”. Continue reading →
As I have observed before, one of last year’s most interesting eDiscovery developments was the new partnership between FTI Consulting and Relativity, enabling FTI to supplement its own widely respected Ringtail with the ubiquitous Relativity and with Relativity’s cloud offering RelativityOne.
That relationship has taken a significant step forward with the announcement that FTI is to provide Relativity and RelativityOne in Hong Kong.
FTI has been offering eDiscovery services in Hong Kong for a long time and I have taken part in events with them there. They know as much as anybody (and more than most) about the difficulties specific to Asian eDiscovery, not least the difficulty of handling cross-border eDiscovery matters. Continue reading →
Brandon Mack is Director, Analytics and Advanced Technologies at Epiq. I have interviewed him before, and jumped at the chance to do so again at this year’s Legaltech because of his succinct and positive descriptions of the way technology can be used for eDiscovery.
He drew a distinction in opening between conventional eDiscovery tools primarily designed to minimise data volumes to more conceptual tools such as predictive coding and advanced pattern matching. Continue reading →
ILTA is the International Legal Technology Association whose function is to spread understanding about legal technology by organising events and by encouraging the sharing of information between people facing similar problems.
Although ILTA itself is a year-round educational resource, its name has become synonymous with its big annual event, called ILTACON, this year taking place at National Harbor in Maryland, just outside Washington. ILTACON is an event whose benefits extend from listening to expert speakers to informal discussions with others, as well as a strong calendar of social events.
ILTA recognises that the cost of attending ILTACON can be prohibitive for some and has established a number of scholarships to enable deserving people in various categories to attend, with their registration fee, accommodation and reasonable travel costs covered by the scholarship. Continue reading →
Relativity Fest London takes place at 155 Bishopsgate on 1 May. That and the Nuix event which I attended recently (I wrote about it here) have effectively displaced most of the more generalised eDiscovery / eDisclosure events in the London calendar, offering a mixture of product-specific technical sessions and panels to do with the context in which the technology is used.
I am involved in one of the latter events called Court rules, regulations, and roles: the law and your part in the eDisclosure process. It is perhaps worth setting out its description:
From a potential new disclosure rule for England and Wales to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affecting Europe and beyond, new rules and regulations are changing the duties and the roles of the participants in the e-disclosure process. Senior judges and rule-makers on both sides of the Atlantic have called for more judicial “stewardship” of the discovery/disclosure process, but many judges have resisted taking on this role. With the UK’s GC100 calling for comprehensive change in the disclosure process, what other legal professionals could see their roles change? Will judges in the UK become more active in the disclosure process, and will lawyers cooperate more? Mr. Justice Birss joins United Kingdom and international experts to apply the rules and regulations to your role.
The panel member of most interest in this context is Mr Justice Birss. His was the judgment in Smailes v McNally which I wrote about here, describing it as “the disclosure case of 2014” and referring to “its analysis of almost every point which can arise in an argument about electronic disclosure”. Continue reading →
We do not have many good events in London dealing with eDiscovery and its surrounding subjects. The annual Nuix Insider Conference is an exception, one of the few events I go to whether or not I am participating in it.
An article by Jessica Lyford in Forensic Focus gives a good summary of the day which I do not need to recapitulate here. The theme which she refers to as “the convergence of investigations, eDiscovery, incident response and governance” is much the same as was covered by CTO Stephen Stewart in my video interview with him here, particularly the move by companies to put compliance, security, information governance, risk and HR matters under the umbrella of “risk” with a Chief Risk Officer taking overall control.
CEO Rod Vawdrey made two observations in his opening speech which are worth recording – that we are seeing a shift from recording the past to tracking what is happening now, and another shift from “silo subjects” to “problems we solve”. The accumulation of risk areas under one umbrella brings one benefit beyond the concentrated focus – once all the subjects are treated as part of the same problem, it becomes possible to aggregate budget towards tools and, services and staff to deal with them. Continue reading →
The US Federal Rule of Evidence 902 (14) allows a forensic investigator to confirm that electronic evidence is authentic without having to appear in person to testify to that effect.
AccessData, makers of AD eDiscovery and other forensic tools, is running a webinar in conjunction with ACEDS on 11 April to talk through compliance with FRE 902 (14), about reducing the risk of data spoliation, and about reducing the overall cost using AD eDiscovery and the other AccessData forensic products.
I have been interviewing Hal Marcus since his Recommind days, always getting useful insights into current topics on eDiscovery and analytics.
Recommind is now owned by OpenText and, more recently, OpenText has acquired Guidance Software. Catching up with Hal Marcus at Legaltech in New York, I asked him about the OpenText master plan for these acquisitions.
Hal Marcus said that OpenText’s ambition was to manage the full life-cycle of enterprise information management. The acquisition of Recommind and its strong analytical tools showed that OpenText was serious about discovery. Bringing in Guidance Software and EnCase takes this to a whole new level. Continue reading →
At Legaltech, I had the opportunity to interview David Perla who is Co-Founder and Managing Director of of The 1991 Group and a member of the Board of Directors of Integreon. David Perla has worked in a law firm, and as President of Bloomberg BNA Legal Division/Bloomberg Law, and he was co-founder and co-CEO of Pangea3, a provider of outsourced legal services. He is better placed than most to talk about the present state of the legal market.
There was a time when clients gave instructions to law firms, and law firms did the work and sent in a bill. Those times are long gone. We sit now, David Perla says, at an intersection between law firms, end-user clients and a range of companies in the surrounding ecosystem. Continue reading →
FTI and its long established eDiscovery platform Ringtail get more interesting all the time. Ringtail 9.4 brings a Software Development Kit, social networking enhancements, Mac compatible document review, customisable browse panels and a range of other developments which, when added to its solid processing capability, its strong visual analytics and its user-friendly interface have helped Ringtail keep its place at the top of the market.
It was Ringtail which BLP used in its successful application of predictive coding in the UK BCA Trading case which I wrote about here.
In parallel with software developments, FTI has been making strategic partnerships with others. The big story of last year was its partnership with Relativity, giving FTI’s top-of-the-range consulting practice a wider set of choices for document review. Continue reading →
David Greetham is VP of eDiscovery Sales and Operations at Ricoh Legal. Just before Legaltech, Ricoh launched Remlox Cloud, a system designed to enable the easy collection of discovery data. There is information about this here, and an explainer video here (and linked to below). I took the opportunity to talk to David Greetham to find out more.
David Greetham said that Remlox Cloud is derived from Remlox™ Remote ESI Collection tool which is designed for full forensic collection. It has been used in 37 countries, across six continents, and for several types of matters including cases involving the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government agencies. Continue reading →
Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken, by the anonymous author known as The Secret Barrister, describes the present appalling state of the criminal justice system and is one of those books which make you hate politicians. The decisions which underlie the conditions described in the book are the product of more than just budget-cutting; ideology and ignorance play their part, along with a cynical calculation about who votes for what.
I recently took a cab from Fleet Street and was treated along the way to a diatribe from the driver about the income of fat cat lawyers. Unusually for me, I engaged in the discussion. What made him say that? “Well”, he said, “The place I picked you up from, that’s Freshfields. They all earn fantastic money”. I patiently explained that there was much difference between a glossy world-ranking commercial law firm and a criminal barrister hurrying from dilapidated court to dilapidated court. He seemed genuinely not have considered this. Unfortunately, I doubt that he will read SB’s book.
What he will do is vote. He will have read his newspaper’s latest attack on legal aid being “given” to some “obvious” crook (probably one with a foreign-sounding name), or on an apparently derisory sentence handed down by a judge, and he will share its editor’s faux outrage. The editor will have used the headline precisely to attract this kind of reader, and they feed on each other’s prejudices. Politicians of all shades will take note and conclude that they can attack the justice budget as much as they like. Very large numbers of people will approve; most of those directly affected don’t vote anyway; and most of the rest don’t think they will ever come into contact with the criminal justice system. Continue reading →
Consilio and Advanced Discovery, each of them already a major player in the global eDiscovery market, are to merge, with investment company GI partners taking a majority stake in the merged business.
The Consilio press release says that the combined company will have more than 2,500 employees, 14 data centres and 23 document review facilities in 11 countries, offering information governance, risk management, eDiscovery and document and contract review services.
Few dissent from the view that electronic discovery, and the growing number of business services which depend on eDiscovery skills and tools, will continue to grow, and even more quickly outside the US than in it with the spread of regulation, the growth in International trade, and the increasing need to meet cyber security and data protection demands. As companies become increasingly global, they expect the professional service providers to march with them and to be able to meet their increasing demands. Continue reading →
Stephen Stewart is Chief Technology Officer at investigations and cyber security software company Nuix. I talked to him at Legaltech New York about the ever-wider uses for eDiscovery skills and tools, about the uses for artificial intelligence, and about our transition from investigating the past to confronting unwanted activity as it happens.
Stephen Stewart said that AI and technology-assisted review are “rehashed algorithms from 30 years ago”. TAR addressed an existing problem – the time and cost of eDiscovery review – and made it go faster. Continue reading →
I wrote here about a helpful presentation, under the auspices of ACEDS and moderated by Vince Neicho of Integreon, about the proposed new disclosure rule. Since then, the date has passed for representations to the working party and it is helpful, perhaps, to gather some of the comments together.
All of us stress the need for a better understanding by lawyers and judges of the basics of electronic disclosure both in preparation for the pilot and case by case.
One of the issues here (as I said in my article on Triumph Controls) is of terminology. The term “technology-assisted review” is used vaguely, both in the rules and in various judgments, as if it had a single generalised meaning rather than being a specific example out of a wide range of different technologies. The problem is compounded by the fact that “technology assisted review”, “computer-assisted review” and “predictive coding” are used for much the same thing without differentiation from more everyday analytical tools like email threading, deduplication, and near deduplication. The ILTA comments include a strong section on this. Continue reading →
The management of eDiscovery data brings conflicting challenges. Data must be accessible to those who need to see it but kept away from others. Logs recording steps in the process must be transparent but the results of that process and the thinking behind it are intended for a select audience.
On the face of it, encryption is the answer to security issues. Conventional encryption / decryption, however, inevitably brings latency which is at odds with the need for speed as reviewers pass quickly through documents; that is especially so when those “documents” are large media files like audio or video.
According to Ian Campbell, CEO of eDiscovery software company iCONECT, the answer lies in blockchain, and iCONECT has executed a letter of intent with encryption technology company Leonovus for this purpose. Continue reading →
I use the term “predictive coding” in this article because that is the term used a) in the relevant judgment, b) by BLP whose successful use of the technology is the subject of the article, and c) by FTI Consulting, whose Ringtail eDiscovery software was used. I wrote about the varied terminology (TAR, CAR, etc) in my article on Triumph Controls. Whatever you call it, we are talking of a system which “harnesses human judgments ….on a smaller set of documents and then extrapolates those judgments to the remaining document collection [Grossman and Cormack, TAR Glossary, 2013].
2016 saw two judgments in the courts of England and Wales in which the use of predictive coding was upheld, both from disclosure applications rather than at trial. The first was Pyrrho which, since the parties consented to the use of the technology, is more an example of the wisdom of cooperation than a clear sign of court approval – once the parties had agreed and explained their positions cogently to the court, it was unlikely that the master would have declined to convert their agreement into an order.
The second was BCA Trading which drew less attention than Pyrrho but which is more significant because BLP’s proposed use of predictive coding was hotly contested. The registrar inevitably drew on Master Matthew’s careful analysis in Pyrrho and said “I reach the conclusion based on cost that predictive coding must be the way forward”.
BCA Trading is back in the news again, following a 12 day trial at which BLP’s client was successful. BLP has written about it in an article called BLP wins case for BCA using predictive coding in disclosure. It says that “the disclosure provided was thoroughly tested at trial and the judge relied heavily on it for his findings”. I have not seen the judgment, but I understand that there is little in it about the discovery process – nor would one expect there to be in a judgment after trial. Continue reading →
One of my recurring themes in my occasional interviews with Matthew Geaghan of Nuix is the ever-wider application of eDiscovery skills and tools to tasks and functions beyond eDiscovery. As he says in this interview, it is “all about the data” and about the skills used for identifying, assessing and categorising data. Waymo v Uber has settled, but it has lessons for the recipient, as well as the owner, of wrongfully-removed data.
Information governance is a term which, useful though it seemed to me, did not attract as much attention as it should have done when it came up as a subject three or four years ago. It did not then have behind it the compelling reasons which have appeared since then, including awareness promoted by the imminent General Data Protection Regulation and realistic concerns about cyber security risks. It has become more evident that bad things happen when you do not secure data, quite apart from increasing duties to preserve the privacy of data subjects. Continue reading →
With its acquisition of Guidance Software, OpenText has inherited the annual Enfuse conference which Guidance Software ran successfully for many years, originally with the name CEIC. I was a speaker there for many years and always learnt something and always enjoyed it.
As always, Enfuse has an agenda packed with technical and industry topics. As a special attraction this year, the industry keynote speaker is former FBI director James Comey. At the FBI he confronted terrorism, cyber threats, cyber attacks on political processes, and ethical challenges, and he is bound to be a big draw at Enfuse.
Enfuse takes place this year in Las Vegas between 21 and 24 May. If you are quick you can catch the early bird rate which ends on 9 March. You will find registration details here.