I attended LegalTech New York and took some notes from Wednesday, February 4, 2009. They may be a little rough, so please forgive any typos.
From the conference: Session title: Bringing E-Discovery In-house
- Operate in the most efficient and cost-effective way with external counsel
- Minimize objections from opposing counsel
- Create an effective working relationship between legal and IT professionals
- Recognize and address risks
- Identify necessary tools and when you need to use them
- Capitalize on potential savings
- Identify trends in the marketplace
Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation, National Archives and Records Administration
Will Robberts, CEO, Kempton Advisors, Former President, Livenote (division of Thomson-Reuters)
Tom Tigh, President, SuperiorGlacier
Christopher A. Byrne, Esq., Christopher A Byrne, Esq., P.C, Former Assistant Director, FDIC’s Division of Liquidation
Stuart W. Hubbard, Attorney, Schiff Hardin LLP
Johannes C. Scholtes, President / CEO, ZyLAB North
My notes from the presentation:
One goal of the panel is to help legal types and tech types to better communicate and understand each other.
The panel was impressed that Judge Facciola talked about concept searching in his keynote address this morning.
As Judge Facciola said, it is critical for lawyers to keep up on the technology around e-discovery and to understand it. It is no longer an option. You simply cannot litigate these days without knowing about e-discovery.
Cooperation among parties (and among lawyers and in-house IT professionals) is key to saving money matters involving e-discovery.
Mentoring: Baron’s rule of thumb is to get the youngest person in the organization to be involved in e-discovery and make sure they know about it. But maybe this is bottom-up mentoring? It works both ways; it fosters cooperation and each learns from the other and develops a positive relationship. And it helps the firm or corporation to save money on vendors.
Communication is difficult between and among IT folks, lawyers, and records professionals.
Among the audience, many want to bring e-discovery in-house. For those in the audience who have had success with it, a lot has to do with the good relationship between the lawyers and IT.
The Role of Record Management: starting your strategy with RM and records retention policies and planning can help control the costs and time down the road when you become involved in litigation. With good RM techniques and practices (including ultimately, records destruction) the process is more manageable. Destruction of records may sound bad, but in reality, it is simply part of the RM lifecycle.
Baron: The Achilies heel of records keeping is people. The more you have to rely on people, the high the risk and the more work in the long run. Auto email archiving can be helpful, but it must be done correctly, or else it can get way out of hand.
Knowledge Management: Baron claims that there are tons of KM conferences, but they never invite lawyers. Of course, I beg to differ. Case in point: LegalTech NY – there was a whole legal KM track in this very room on Monday. Readers of this blog know that there are many KM conferences that are focused on law and lawyers are welcome. Nevertheless, Baron’s point is well taken: lawyers are often ignorant about KM principles and they are important when considering RM and e-discovery. These are all connected.
Most companies react to things out of fear. The key is to be pro-active and to address this before the need arises – before the lawsuits.
Search: Johannes C. Scholtes (ZyLAB pitch): Knowledge management search is different than “legal” or e-discovery search. KM search just wants the best results, e-discovery search is concerned with finding “everything.” ZyLAB provides the high level of recall. But with high recall, you get a lot of “junk” and “noise” (i.e. non-relevant search results).
Finding what’s not there: the technology can find words and concepts that are not actually present in documents.
Key: Early collaboration (before the meet & confer) between the lawyer and technologist to develop strategy and how to perform the search.
How can law firms bring e-discovery in house?: the panel really did not dig into this issue. I expected more concrete advice on it. Perhaps someone will ad a comment and augment my notes?
Factors to consider when selecting e-discovery / EDRM vendors: Ownership of IP – the vendors should own their platforms; important product requirements: scalability, open formats and integration with in-house systems, usability, compare coverage with the EDRM model; Cost of software; size of vendor doesn’t matter – focus on competencies and service levels; speak to references.
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