eDiscovery and Litigation Support

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

The State of eDiscovery 2011: Results of our industry market research study


With the start of the New Year eDiscovery practitioners often try to predict what risks, concerns, and challenges they will face in 2012.  With the exception of using GPS technology, it is difficult to know where you are going if you do not know where you have been, or at least where you are.  Rather than merely pontificating on this prediction, Digital Reef and I decided to take this a step further by conducting a market research study on the current state of eDiscovery, so that the industry has a benchmark of where we are heading.

Takeaways from The Sedona Conference Working Group 6’s Report


On International Principles on Discovery, Disclosure & Data Protection

The Sedona Conference® (TSC) creates a preeminent opportunity for legal industry thought leaders, i.e. judges, attorneys, academics, and experts, to have a “meeting of the minds” regarding best practices and tips on issues such as antitrust law, complex litigation, and intellectual property rights.  This is accomplished through mini-think tanks referred to as “Working Groups.”  Working Group 6 is charged with focusing on International Electronic Information Management, Discovery, and Disclosure.  Last month, they issued a report containing some best practices that will be summarized herein. 

Social Media Tips in the Age of eDiscovery


Privacy is one of the public’s biggest concerns when discussing eDiscovery and its place within the realm of social media.  For one thing, many people feel that it still exists…it does not.  More and more courts are determining that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when individuals voluntarily post updates, thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, etc. out in “the cloud” of public domain.  Various Tweets, status updates, “check-ins”, and the like have caused many problems for litigants from across the globe.  Who here has read all of the terms and conditions of all of the social media sites that they belong to and still belong to them?  I would argue that very few have.  So what can we do as regular citizens to protect our inalienable rights of Freedom of Speech and expression?  Here are some tips that may give you the impression that your social media activity is private but cannot guarantee that it is not discoverable:

Effective Project Management is Essential


Effective project management is an essential component in the litigation discovery process.  Unlike other practice areas, litigation requires meeting numerous court deadlines, following various rules of civil procedure, and bartering with opposing counsel to reach agreements.  Non-compliance can be costly, where hundreds of thousands of dollars can be handed down as sanctions.  Effective project management enables lawyers to rely on their vendors to assist them in achieving these requirements on-time and on-budget.  


Tips and Techniques for a Defensible Social Media Discovery Process


Tweets, status updates, wall posts, messages… these have all become forms of business communication. The acceleration of social media has created yet another e-discovery headache for litigators.  The problem is growing, and social media must be considered when preparing a case. It is almost required now that attorneys be knowledgeable and due diligence around social media. When comparing social media discovery to traditional discovery the process is essentially the same; search, identify, preserve, analyze and produce. But social media discovery requires specific techniques and a lot more “digging” than traditional discovery.

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Cloud Computing


It is not a trivial task to migrate systems, data and users to a new system and especially one that exists in the cloud. However, companies that do so successfully achieve visibility into spending on cloud resources and manage the lifecycle for each instance, gain the ability to scale IT infrastructure capacity to meet increased demand, without capex resource costs,  and do not have to spend time waiting for IT resource.  Moreover the cloud enables companies to pay only for what it consumes, leaving it free to focus on its primary business.  A cloud based environment can also allow companies to better handle a challenging economy by providing greater business agility in terms of rapidly expansion or contraction IT capabilities.

Cloud Computing & Jurisdiction: A Primer


Cloud computing, which is relatively new, could lead to some novel problems concerning jurisdiction.  Generally, in civil lawsuits, a company is charged with producing relevant documents that are under its “custody and control.”  This typically means that a company is responsible for producing its documents without regard to where the documents are physically stored, provided they are the company’s documents or the company has control over the documents.  However, because a company using cloud storage will place its documents in a different physical location from the office of that company, several new questions may arise and there is little precedent for these types of issues. 


E-Discovery Analytic Technology: How does it work?

At this year’s 8th Annual-Advanced eDiscovery Institute Event, a panel entitled “Behind the Black Box: Decoding Advanced Analytic Technology” was held for legal professionals to learn about eDiscovery technologies in simple terms. As moderator Gilbert O. Greenman stated, “…to explain the black box to you, I have none other than people who can claim to have invented the black box, tested the black box, and analyzed the black box”. Panelists included Founder and CTO of Digital Reef, Steve Akers; Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Susan Dumais; Professor at the University of Maryland, Dr. Douglas W. Oard; and CTO of Recommind, Dr. Jan Puzicha.

Concept searching, near-duplicate clustering, document clustering, predictive coding, and related analytic technologies facilitate eDiscovery, but many there are many concerns attorneys have about the ability to explain these technologies. This panel of experts peeled back the cover of these tools, and explained in simple terms how they work in practice. The panel of experts looked at both where on the EDRM the black box technology fits in, and what exactly the black box is. While introducing the panel moderator Gilbert Greenman joked, “…the slides may be the only thing this panel agrees upon.”


Cloud Computing Caveats Part I: Take Time with the Details


Switching to a cloud can save money by lowering IT and data center support costs, improving performance and scalability, and reducing storage costs.  However, stakeholders and counsel should be cognizant that cloud computing presents various legal issues around control and custody of data, data preservation and collection, data review and production, and of course, attorney-client privilege. 

How can lawyers learn more about eDiscovery to win cases?


As litigation attorneys grow more technologically savvy, the integration of eDiscovery practices congruently become more widespread.  More law firms are accepting the fact that cultivating electronically stored information (ESI) can help them win their cases.  However, there is large subset of attorneys that wince at the very thought of dealing with ESI and will avoid it all costs.  Perhaps it is because they do not understand its use, have heard horror stories about the financial burden that eDiscovery may cause, or that they are afraid of the enormous consequences that exist with sanctions.  Regardless of the reasons, many law firms and lawyers from around the world are consciously refusing to explore proven methods that can assist them in winning their clients’ cases.  Nevertheless, they are in luck, because it is not too late for them to learn how to utilize eDiscovery to provide them more options to win their cases.

All Posts


Ask the Experts at Digital Reef