Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: . Published: 2013-05-28 09:29:17  Fresh from getting off the plane from NYC and a day to get my laundry done, I hopped on a plane to Los Angeles to attend my first LegalTech West conference at the Westin Bonaventure.  I hadn’t been to the Bonaventure in about 10 years and was glad to see the upgrades they recently made.I was in town to moderate the ARMA Big Data track of the conference.  We had three sessions covering several different aspects of how Big Data trends are impacting corporations and law firms.  With me throughout the day were three excellent panelists:   Eric Hunter (Bradford Barthel), Helen Streck (Kaizen InfoSource), and Cary Calderone (Dred Law Blog & Sand Hill Law).  One of the things I really enjoy about moderating panels is that I learn so much from engaging with people (both panelist and attendees) with different experiences.I’ve been tracking Big Data topics with Barry Murphy for a couple of years and have spent time with Barclay Blair of Via Lumina, but I haven’t been in the trenches regarding practical approaches of Big Data.  All three of the panelists at LegalTech West were excellent practitioners that have deep experience.  Eric and his law firm completely shifted over to a Google ecosystem and they use Big Data analytics to make their law firm more efficient.  Helen is professional records management consultant and has been instrumental working with ARMA on putting together the “Principles” (which we’ll get to shortly).  Cary offered us the legal perspective as he’s been helping organizations put together policies and approaches to incorporating Big Data into their business.Our first session had all three panelists discussing the foundations of Big Data.  The first thing to note is that no one liked the term “Big Data” as it’s not very descriptive.  Personally when I think of Big Data, I think of the ad word marketing aspect that many internet companies use  to bring me closer to the products and services I may want to purchase (yeah right!!).  Helen discussed the uses of Big Data in healthcare on how medical professionals can use the large volume of data being collected to track trends to make better determinations and diagnoses which in turn should make our healthcare costs go down.Our second session (after an amazing lunch at Drago) focused more on the implementation of Big Data techniques.  Eric provided the audience with a case study on why and how he was able to transition a law firm into a Google shop.  I have to admit that I was surprised on how innovative Eric’s law firm was to move to the Google as most law firms are slow to adopt new technologies especially for email and internal social networking.  Helen discussed the ARMA Principles and how records managers can continue to adopt to advance their careers as technology continues evolves.Our final session focused on the legal and privacy aspects of Big Data.  Both Cary and Helen had some excellent insight in this area.  As individuals, we have to make a decision on convenience versus privacy.  In the United States, we don’t have much of a choice especially when we carry around work related devices.  The topic of Predictive Coding came up during this session and we determined that these types of technologies are going to make sorting through the large volumes of data easier, but there really still isn’t an easy button.

LegalTech West Show Floor

As for the LegalTech West show itself, I took some time to browse through the show floor during one of the breaks and found it quite lively.  There were about 40 booths with a mix of eDiscovery providers, court reporting companies, and other legal technology companies.  I was a bit surprised to see at least three companies focusing on serving the Asian eDiscovery market.  Many of these providers focus on collecting and processing Asian data and others focused on doing attorney review with native speakers on Asian documents.  This was exciting for me because I’m going to be spending the next few months focusing on the Asian eDiscovery market.  My coverage of the topic will start next week so keep an eye out on my posts for those interested in the topic.After the show, a few colleagues needed to get out of downtown Los Angeles (not exactly the most happening place at night) and headed down to Hollywood to check out the action.  We discovered a new tapas joint near Hollywood and Vine called Solo Tapas where again I learned that everyone in Hollywood is either a struggling actor or an aspiring musician.  Fun crew there and I wish them the best of luck with their careers.
LA Band Fallling Still

LA Band Falling Still

Afterwards, we found a cool local bar called Hemingways (inspired by the author) that had stacks of books 25 feet high and some really cool old typewriters.  We checked out a new band called Falling Still which reminded me of a young Nirvana (especially the bass sound).  Great music scene in LA and reminded me how lucky I am to live in Austin, TX (the live music capital of the world).   We ended the night at the Roosevelt Hotel where we hung out poolside with a bunch of Spanish tourists (the Spanish definitely know how to have fun).  I can only imagine the stories from that that pool side lounge over the years.It was an exhausting, but fun  few days, but I was glad to head home and to see Paul McCartney in Austin (his first visit ever) with my teenagers.  I have to admit, I got a little misty eyed when I saw my kids singing along with Paul doing “Hey Jude”.  I’m looking forward to a week at home before heading out to Atlanta the first week of June for our Legal Hold Bootcamp with Mikki Tomlinson.Stay tuned for the next set of adventures!!!Jason Velasco can be reached at jason@edjgroupinc.com for offline comments or questions. His active research topics include International eDiscovery and Data Privacy Issues, Evaluating eDiscovery Service Providers and eDiscovery Special Masters.Find Jason at the following future events (please feel free to email to see if any passes or discounts are available):

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