Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: . Published: 2012-12-11 10:53:09  I just returned from the Thomson Reuters eDiscovery Conference in San Francisco where I chaired the one-day event with Robert Brownstone (Technology & eDiscovery Counsel/Co-Chair EIM Practice of Fenwick & West LLP) and Amor Esteban, partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon.  The Thomson folks were nice enough to allow the program chairs to build the curriculum from scratch and pull together an excellent faculty.  We tried to avoid the pitfalls of the typical “Death by PowerPoint” panels that we so often see at eDiscovery programs and only had to use about 15 slides the entire day.   The attendees were encouraged to ask questions and contribute throughout the program; and they often did so.The day started with a discussion moderated by yours truly with Amor Esteban, Deborah Baron (Vice-President of eDiscovery & Compliance, HP), and Kevin Nichols (Principal, KLN Consulting Group and eDiscoveryJournal contributor) on what I call “eDiscovery 2.0,” which encompasses social media, “the Cloud”, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) issues.  We could have easily done an hour-long session on each of these topics and naturally we went over the allotted time; but people kept asking questions so we kept answering.Since this was a very tech savvy San Fran crowd (I counted at least 60% of the attendees with iPads), there was a great deal of discussion especially about the role of social media.  Kevin brought up the issue about employers asking potential employees to provide their Facebook passwords during the hiring process.  Personally that scared the heck out of me; but Amor assured us that this policy is becoming less of an issue as states have begun to pass laws protecting  the privacy rights of applicants and employees.Deborah Baron provided the attendees with an in-depth overview of “the Cloud” and the eDiscovery issues related to “the Cloud”.  Deborah was able to provide the simple economic truth that companies see financial incentives to moving to “the Cloud” to save money on internal infrastructure.  Sites like SalesForce.com and now Microsoft’s Online Exchange, Office365, are becoming the trend instead of installing software behind the firewall.  Some of the challenges of “the Cloud” that need to be addressed are: 1) Collecting and preserving data from “the Cloud” for litigation purposes, 2) Agreements from Cloud providers that tend to be onerous at best, and 3) international data protection laws that sometimes conflict with the data being managed in “the Cloud,” which Amor has a great deal of experience addressing due to his leadership role as Board member of The Sedona Conference® and Chair and Editor-In-Chiefof Working Group 6’s International Principles on Discovery, Disclosure& Data Protection: Best Practices, Recommendations & Principles for Addressing the Preservation Discovery of Protected Data in U.S. Litigation.We had some other wonderful discussions throughout the day covering other topics like:

  • Managing the Costs of Litigation Through Effective eDiscovery Business Processes. The panel included Kimbir Tate (Sr. Manager of Litigation Support, McKesson Corporation), Albert Barsocchini (Discovery Counsel, Nightowl Discovery), and Amor Esteban.
  • International eDiscovery:  Current Challenges and Solutions. This discussion was done in an interview style by me with Amor, who is one of the top thought-leaders on international data protection laws; and
  • Managing Complex ESI Projects. The panel was moderated by event co-chair, Robert Brownstone, and it included Adam Sand (Associate General Counsel, Ancestry.com), Mike Flanagan (General Counsel, First Advantage Litigation Consulting), and Kimbir Tate.

One of the highlights of the day for me was the mock meet-and-confer on Defending and Challenging a Motion Against Technology Assisted Review with an all-star cast including Hon. Socrates Peter Manoukian (Judge of the Superior Court, County of Santa Clara), Perry Segal (eDiscovery attorney and management consultant, Charon Law), Robert Brownstone, and Nicole Armenio (Solution Architect, Kroll Ontrack).  We generated a hypothetical scenario where a class action investor suit comes before the Judge (played by Judge Manoukian) where the Plaintiff’s counsel (played by Robert) is requesting the producing party to utilize Technology Assisted Review (TAR) because his clients don’t trust the traditional keyword process used by the Defense Counsel (played by Perry) for a serial litigant.  The Judge asked an impartial 3rd party expert (played by Nicole) to participate in an open court discussion to assist on the technical side of the issues.The conversation covered a gamut of issues ranging from “what is TAR?” and “who pays for TAR?” to “what is the benefit of using TAR over traditional search approaches?”.  Each party’s counsel did an excellent job of jockeying for his side; and the Judge asked some thought-provoking questions on the technology and legal perspective.  Nicole provided the audience with a quick rundown on TAR, including predictive coding techniques.  Overall this type of format engaged both the participants and attendees so that the conversation continued unofficially through the lunch break.I can’t thank the co-chairs (Robert and Amor) enough for the help before and during the program.  Thank you to the attendees of the program for your interest in this full-day eDiscovery program and for actively participating throughout the day.  Thank you to the lunch sponsor, Kroll Ontrack, and reception sponsor, First Advantage Litigation Consulting, for giving us the forum to educate.  And finally, thank you to the Thomson Reuters team for handling the logistics and enabling us to put on an intimate and interactive program.If you have any questions about this program or any other programs in the future, please send me an email, and I’ll be glad to answer any questions.eDJ Group CEO and eDiscoveryJournal Contributor, Jason Velasco

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