eDJ Contributor: Babs Deacon
Prior to joining the eDJ Group, Deacon worked as a Practice Support manager for several prominent law firms and as a subject matter expert on data analytics and discovery management. She is a regular speaker on topics such as defensible data reduction, early case assessment and managing discovery costs, and she is a frequent contributor to numerous legal publications. She has developed accredited courses approved by the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) boards in the States of New York and California and trained hundreds of eDiscovery professionals in discovery management and data analytics.
Deacon’s distinguished industry leadership roles include serving on the executive board of the East Coast Association of Litigation Support Managers and the National Board of Women in eDiscovery, and Co-chairing the EDRM Evergreen Project. She is currently the Director of the New Jersey Chapter of Women in eDiscovery. Deacon holds a conservatory degree in Music from Northwestern University.
Posts by Babs Deacon
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- May 15th
eDiscovery Selection: Don’t ask for more than you need
We have all experienced the eDiscovery “flavor of the month”. Right now, it’s predictive coding. Previously it was analytics and before that it was early case assessment (ECA). Buzz around a particular new kind of software, platform or method is great for the eDiscovery community because it gives everyone a reason to research and discuss newer methods at conferences and in the press and blogosphere. However, this kind of buzz can become a drag on the industry when it percolates into the software and service provider selection process in an uninformed way.
posted at 9:54am on May 15th
- April 1st
Google Glass and Prophetic Coding
Several eDiscoveryJournal readers have emailed us asking when we are going to write about last week’s announcement by eDiscovery software developer, eDocBadger, of their newest TAR enabled application, SeedSense, for Google Glass™. SeedSense made a huge splash last week, as a finalist in Google’s Glass Explorers program (#ifIhadglass), and many prophectic coding experts have already started opining about its potential impact on review work flows. The eDocBadger development team gave eDJ a chance to take their app on a spin with two loaner pairs of the wearable display devices. The glasses, running on gOSviii, were loaded with SeedSense 1.3, still in beta, which integrates a third-party prophetic coding engine with an SQL-based review platform to speed responsive and privileged review of ESI. eDocBadger’s Chief Scientist described the application’s workflow: In step 1, SeedSense harvests the essential issues in the case [...]
posted at 10:59am on Apr 1st
- March 29th
Laura Bandrowsky: Farewell to an eDiscovery Super Heroine
One of the most important benefits of having been a member of the Litigation Support/eDiscovery community so long, is having made many industry friends. When I say friends, I don’t mean people you wave to at LegalTech but folks you trust no matter where they’re working or what they’re doing. People you make an effort to spend time with and whom you know you can tell your work and life truths and secrets. The reverse of this benefit is that, being in the industry as long as I have, you start to lose these friends to illness and age. We lost Laura Bandrowsky, Practice Support Director of Duane Morris LLP, last week after a long battle with cancer.
posted at 9:00am on Mar 29th
- March 28th
eDiscoveryJournal Profile Series: Dr. Herb Roitblat and what do aquatic mammals have to do with eDiscovery?
I interviewed Dr. Roitblat last month and I started out my questions with, “what’s with all the technology named for residents of SeaWorld®?” But, quickly changed my inquiry to, “what’s a nice bio-psycho-acoustician doing in an industry like eDiscovery?” And I’m glad I started this research as early as I did in order to coincide with the announcement of Dr. Roitblat’s fifth patent: US Patent No. 8,401,841 related to “language modeling”. Legal Technology veterans have known about Herb since he dove into the Knowledge Management world with DolphinSearch™ in early 2000. And we have followed his move from KM to eDiscovery and the debut of his newest offering, OrcaTec. I wanted to know the how’s and why’s of this creative journey and if I was missing some inner truth about analytics and sea creatures? Dr. Roitblat started in academia at [...]
posted at 9:00am on Mar 28th
- March 26th
No Regrets: 10 Things to Know about Vendor Selection
Early in my consulting career I had an experience that helped shape my approach to RFI/RFP design and management. I was tasked with procuring software and services for a large government-managed litigation team. Although I was not under the same rules and regulations as my government clients, I wanted to manage the process in a manner that would hold up under any public scrutiny. During the project, I kept picturing myself having to testify in front of a hearing committee of public officials, which kept me on the “straight and narrow” so to speak. Having to design a transparent process and make purchasing decisions under such a high degree of scrutiny assisted me in developing methods that I have used and shared ever since. I recommend that members of the eDiscovery and Information Governance community adopt a similar mind-set when [...]
posted at 9:00am on Mar 26th
- February 27th
Vendor Selection to be an Important Discussion in 2013
I’ve been helping several organizations with their vendor selection process, recently, as well as writing on the topic. Many eDiscovery-ites may be wondering, “Haven’t we bought everything, already?” Of course the answer is that eDiscovery is a cyclical endeavor, which includes periodically reassessing technology, pricing and staffing as practices evolve and technology improves. I recall helping a number of firms overhaul their litigation support departments and platforms in 2005-2007 to accommodate escalating eDiscovery volumes and remote access requirements. We are in another selection round as many corporations are becoming more aggressive about bringing processing in-house, adding the power of TAR and sophisticated analytics to document review and negotiating subscription pricing relationships. Important technology decisions should not be made in a casual manner. The approach must be standardized to ensure a valid comparison of offerings. Although standardization is the foundation of [...]
posted at 7:02pm on Feb 27th
- February 25th
eDiscoveryJournal Profile Series: Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown, Outten & Golden Litigation Support Coordinator
I wanted to kick off the eDiscoveryJournal Profile Series by interviewing someone working in the eDiscovery trenches: Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is the Litigation Support Coordinator of Outten & Golden LLP, a Plaintiffs’ firm specializing in employment law. Kerry-Ann and O&G are getting a lot done with a lean head-count by empowering the whole firm, embracing Technology Assisted Review “TAR”, and partnering with vendors. Ms. Reid-Brown joined Outten & Golden at the completion of a recruiting process whose goal was to fill the roles of both paralegal and litigation support manager with one person as litigation support coordinator. Also, just prior to bringing Kerry-Ann on board, the firm created an eDiscovery Task Force because while the firm felt secure that it was a recognized leader in employment law it wanted to be known for reaching equally high standards in eDiscovery management. In [...]
posted at 11:38am on Feb 25th
- February 6th
Babs Deacon’s 2013 LTNY Update
This was my 25th year at LegalTech and I always look at it as a kind of family reunion. I love seeing old friends, both the human and technical kind. Yes, there are many applications that I consider “friends” and, this year, I was excited to be able to catch up with many of them as a working analyst, which entails maintaining the dual perspective of industry research analyst and eDiscovery consultant. Reconnecting with industry veterans and meeting first-timers refreshed my thinking about design trends, and as I carried my iPad around the Hilton, I began to notice the impact the new device was having on our industry. Many of my old technology friends are undergoing a UI refresh as they strive to compete with more recent arrivals. FTI’s Ringtail, for example, is throwing off the last vestiges of its [...]
posted at 9:42am on Feb 6th
- January 17th
The eDiscoveryJournal’s Profile Series
On behalf of the eDiscoveryJournal, I am very excited and proud to announce the initiation of our eDJ Profile Series. In this series of articles, we will be focusing on the people involved in all facets of the eDiscovery business: lawyers, techs, sales reps, consultants, judges, authors, project managers, developers, marketing people, eDiscovery/litigation support managers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, government and corporate law department people; every possible category of participant in this industry that we have all helped build. We will highlight their experiences, challenges, ideas, aspirations and will help to tell their war stories. The eDiscoveryJournal is looking forward to profiling many members of the community whose contributions and perspectives may be unknown to the eDiscovery community at large. Although we have a list of people our contributors have been interested in profiling for some time, we are also very interested [...]
posted at 9:00am on Jan 17th
- January 14th
Are unstable backup tapes a real problem?
I recently hit a snag during a migration project when a client’s back up tapes could not be restored due to physical tape failure. At the time I thought, “here we go again, unreliable tape backup”. Then I started to wonder, was this a real problem or just an urban legend like alligators in the sewers? I realized I didn’t truly understand the scope of the problem because all of my information was anecdotal. Anecdotal isn’t helpful when trying to compare backup and disaster recovery options. Cloud storage is the newest entry and stakeholders may be tempted to flock to it as the panacea for all of their storage ills. This is an important decision and it requires hard metrics, not just a vague feeling that one or other of the methods is unreliable or not secure. I started with [...]
posted at 9:00am on Jan 14th