Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Pete Pepiton. Published: 2012-11-26 09:00:51  It’s getting hard to tell one eDiscovery conference from another, which is a big reason why several of the unique features of last month’s EDI Summit made it such a pleasure to be there.  Formally titled the EDI Leadership Summit, it ran from Oct. 17-19 (that’s in 2012 in case you’re reading this as a result of some Bing search in 2018) in Ft. Lauderdale.EDI is the Electronic Discovery Institute and is the brainchild of Anne Kershaw, Patrick Oot and Herb Roitblat. Its self-description reads: “The Electronic Discovery Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to resolving electronic discovery challenges by conducting studies of litigation processes that incorporate modern technologies.”  http://www.ediscoveryinstitute.org/aboutus Informally, I would say that they are in the “But what does the data say?” business of bringing some rigor to understanding many of the complexities surrounding eDiscovery and Information Governance.The first thing you notice at an EDI Summit is the overwhelming percentage of corporate / governmental attendees.  Everyone who follows eDJ knows that most of the conferences in our space are 50% vendor, 40% law firm and 10% corporate  (Your results may vary, but not by much, I suspect).  At last month’s Summit, and at last year’s Summit as well, more than half of the folks there were in-house.  This brings a distinctive sharpness to the discussions, focusing much more on managing risks than avoiding them as well as a constant reminder that the whole name of the game is efficient dispute resolution.I must admit to being shocked when I realized that there was no panel discussion on Predictive Coding – surely such a thing is not even legal in 2012!  Some sessions did mention it, but it did not occupy ¼ of the content as it seems to have done at other events this year.  Instead, the sessions were aimed at topics my in-house clients are actually struggling with: how much to bring in-house, how to set up a process to evaluate cases throughout their eDiscovery flow and how to write a good RFP (Request for Proposal, not Request for Production).One of the things I really like about the Summit is the stark contrast that gets drawn between the ways that law firms and their clients think about eDiscovery.  The session that I moderated (“The Litigation Risk Matrix”) had a number of in-house folks in the audience.  At one point we put up a Visio swim-lane diagram that one of the panelists uses to describe his company’s process. It quickly became apparent that none of the law firm attendees recognized what it was, even though all the in-house attorneys routinely use similar diagrams.  The need to reduce something as frequent and repeatable as the eDiscovery workflow to a defined process has been preached for years, but how many folks are actually doing it in a way that is understood by all the stakeholders?Another interesting highlight of the Summit was Microsoft’s unveiling of the eDiscovery capabilities in Office365.  Everyone who attended one of their lab sessions got their own Office365 account and a personal walk-through on how to set it up.  They then got a hands-on walk through of the search and hold capabilities.  This could be an interesting game changer if that functionality becomes a default part of large corporate infrastructures.EDI is putting a fair amount of effort into creating a community of interest in the space.  One of the key ways this plays out is in the number of attendees who bring spouses and get to know each other on more than a what-do-you-do basis.  There is even talk of a spouse outing at next year’s event.  Another way the EDI community is becoming more visible is in the interconnected events it will put on over the next year.  In addition to the LegalTech and ACC dinners, look for cross-country teleconferences and online training.The final unique thing I’ll mention about the summit is actually the first event that occurs.  The EDI Summit kicks off with an golf outing (disclosure: I run the golf outing) that is designed to include everyone, even non-golfers.  We have four players per team, and play a scramble format.  The main difference, though, is that our fourth player is a social player who doesn’t hit every shot.  That player drives a cart, putts and keeps an eye peeled for the beverage cart.  Everyone had a fabulous time and enjoyed getting to start off the conference activities earlier than the others.  In fact, we already have people reserving spots for next year.  Shoot me an email (peter.pepiton@dinsmore.com) to get on the list.Sorry, I lied.  The final unique thing I’ll mention is the room keys at the conference hotel.  They also served as save-the-date cards for next year.  If you didn’t get one, it will be in Santa Monica from October 15-17, 2013.  But, make sure to arrive on the 14th because we’ll tee off mid-morning on the 15th.  You can submit your name here to be contacted when registration opens.  Fore!eDiscoveryJournal Contributor Peter Pepiton

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