I enjoy meeting eDiscovery peers, especially those whose social media content bring me new perspectives and pro tips. Jerry Bui’s videos and articles attracted my attention and ILTA was a good excuse to catch up on FTI Technology.
7 degrees of eDiscovery
It is always fun to share eDiscovery journeys and find common employers, friends and experiences. Jerry brings a fresh perspective to the consulting industry.
Bui, Jerry: “I started in eDiscovery with an early startup as a developer (late 1990’s) with a partner recently out of Ernst and Young. We tinkered with eDiscovery projects, where I learned the basics and the industry. We both got recruited by Navigant to do pure eDiscovery projects.”
While sharing favorite creative tools, I asked Jerry about his modern, casual style and how it differs from the traditional image of a business and technology consultant. Despite eDiscovery being a ‘new industry’ many of our well known personalities are headed towards retirement and need to make room for new blood. Part of Jerry’s role at FTI is to mentor new consultants and reinforce innovative approaches across eDiscovery, digital forensics, project management and business development.
Bui, Jerry: “In that vein, I can experiment along the futuristic edges here. Our firm embraces an entrepreneurial mindset, which gives consultants a degree of freedom to influence the future of the industry. I’m lucky to work alongside a team of experts that are all adapting and innovating as the world changes.”
Realizing that traditional ads and marketing are losing traction, Jerry experiments with A.I. tech like the Synethesia video platform to create fast, entertaining content.
Bui, Jerry: “You film yourself on a green screen after training the system with facial, voice and body mappings. If you read it 20 minutes’ worth of a script, it can generate a synthetic version of you doing a video.”
Greg Buckles: “Which you could use to create a summary video from a meeting recording. It could condense the meeting down to visual Cliff notes.”
Bui, Jerry: “That would be super cool. You engage differently with human to human content. The synthesized information can have a real impact.”
Is it real or Memorex?
The eDiscovery implications of these new content generation technologies are just now being debated. When a system produces different text, video and audio versions for different channels and audiences, which one is real?
Bui, Jerry: “Exactly. I have tried to tackle some of these questions in my Metaverse forensics newsletter.”
FTI investing in M365
Talking about how I was using our KnowNow tools in the briefing led us to how FTI’s own chat collection and processing tools and their team’s work within emerging data sources like Microsoft 365. While M365 Purview eDiscovery will export a Teams channel chat in daily chunks, there are potential costs and risks that can arise in review. One-way FTI addresses this is through proprietary density modeling analytics that unitize chats by communication clusters in time.
eDiscovery exports from M365 and Google can reset date-time metadata. Both systems provide the original metadata in their manifest/load file for overlay into review platforms, but resetting metadata and parsing extended chat transcripts raises concerns that we are ‘manipulating’ the ESI as it is produced from the native systems.
Bui, Jerry: “The philosophical question is, does that mess with the forensic nature of the collection? With all this manipulation, real time manipulation, just in time manipulation? Is it now not forensic evidence? I think what we’re doing in the cloud may not be forensic to begin with, because we’re not getting the bits and bytes directly from the disk. Now, the processes rely on APIs. If you’re using the API or their export modules, does it really qualify as a forensic collection?”
Supporting M365 AED
FTI is getting more requests to support M365 Purview eDiscovery for a variety of scenarios. The ability to identify the key SharePoint sites that custodian are using without having to run PS scripts is a good example of usage cases. Also the automatic retrieval of modern collaborative attachments (.fluid files) is a pain point that M365 has solved.
Bui, Jerry: “The staging of eDiscovery exports in a cloud environment can take forever before it’s available for download. Then the large volume throttling can kill download speed. But in Microsoft environments, getting a pick list of custodian SharePoint sites can be pretty compelling for Purview Premium eDiscovery clients. Also exciting is seeing the classifiers in Purview. The retrieved modern attachments are not reconstructed within the PST messages, but they are referenced in the manifest.xml and in the attachments folder. This saves us the manual effort of collecting custodian OneDrive content from all around the tenant.”
Although Jerry and I bounced all around Microsoft, vlogging and eDiscovery, it was clear that FTI is focused on helping corporate clients navigate emerging data sources and cloud platforms like M365 eDiscovery. Many global consulting/accounting firms seem keen to stick with the traditional outsource managed service model. FTI seems to have a more flexible integrated approach that will play better as corporations increasingly take over more of their eDiscovery lifecycle. I hope that you enjoyed Jerry’s pro tips as much as I did.
Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.
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