Blog

  • Name Tag
    Technology Advantage

    Insight into Name Normalization: What Is Your Name?

    Assigning a single unique name to identify an individual has created problems that precede the inception of e-discovery. Think of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, St. Nick, Noel or simply Santa. These variations are associated with a unique individual and yet, our society has been using different names to refer to him since before we were born. In e-discovery, identifying individuals with information relevant to a dispute is one of the first and most important steps we go through at the inception of a case. As such, the identification of the different names for these individuals is critical to ensuring we do not miss potentially relevant files. 

  • Phases
    Legal Updates

    Finding Proportionality in a Phased Approach to E-Discovery

    Two recent decisions highlight the usefulness of phased e-discovery as a tool to satisfy Rule 26(b)(1)’s ever-important proportionality requirement. Model orders for patent cases in numerous courts require phased discovery, typically phasing email discovery to occur after other discovery and only if deemed necessary. However, phased discovery is becoming prevalent in other types of cases as well.

  • Presentation
    Technology Advantage

    Presentation Skills in a Virtual World

    Let's say you have been asked to present to your firm regarding your team's accomplishments for the year. "Sure, no problem," you think, because you've done it many times. Then you find out it will be on by video. You may have gotten by during the pandemic with some group calls and the like but now you need to take your show on the virtual road. In this blog I provide tips I learned in a recent workshop on virtual presentations.

  • Deposition Packs
    Legal Updates

    Deposition Packs: What are They and How Can They Help Legal Teams Prep for Depositions?

    Depo packs serve two purposes: (1) to help prepare your client’s witnesses and experts for their depositions by refreshing their recollection of specific events or communications and focusing their attention on issues that are central to the factual story and legal strategy; and (2) to assist the trial attorneys in preparing to depose the other side’s witnesses or defend their own witnesses. This blog provides an overview of depo packs and how they can be a tremendous benefit to the client as well as an effective tool for the attorneys deposing or defending depositions. 

  • Social Network
    Technology Advantage

    Collection Best Practices - How Multifaceted Software Has Changed E-Discovery

    As our work force has shifted to mobile and remote working practices (a trend in place before COVID, which only accelerated during the pandemic), businesses have turned to collaborative messaging tools such as Slack and various versions of Teams to manage communications. On the positive side, by using these messaging tools, organizations are able to more efficiently discuss ideas and brainstorm solutions. However, when an organization becomes involved in a dispute and those communications are potentially relevant to the dispute and need to be preserved and collected, the process may not be as straightforward as a simple email collection.

  • Checklist
    Technology Advantage

    Electronic Production Checklist

    It’s a Friday afternoon and your weekend is about to start…and yes - you guessed it…a last minute production request comes in and your plans are no longer the same. Like many other e-discovery professionals, I’ve been in this position too many times to count. To ensure that I remember all of the various conditions that should be considered and checked and double-checked in preparing productions, I recommend using a checklist to make sure you are top of all of it!

  • Justice
    Legal Updates

    Court Orders Spoliation Sanctions Requiring Defendants and Former Defense Counsel To Pay Attorneys’ Fees and Costs

    In DR Distributors LLC v. 21 Century Smoking, Inc, v. CB Distributors, Inc. and Carlos Bengos, 2021 WL 185082, No. 12 CV 50324 (1/19/2021), Judge Johnston of the Northern District of Illinois, granted Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against Defendants and their former counsel, requiring them to, among other things, pay what was expected to exceed a million dollars of attorneys’ fees and costs to Plaintiff. The Court imposed the sanctions based on its conclusion that Defendants and their former counsel: did not take reasonable steps to preserve ESI (electronically stored information); did not conduct a reasonable investigation of their ESI; did not timely disclose ESI under 26(g); and spoliated thousands of emails and chat messages. This ruling shows that we, as legal practitioners, need to be extremely congizant of our discovery obligations.

  • GDPR Map
    Legal Updates

    Reluctance to Follow Salt River

    In 2019, I co-authored an article published by the American Bar Association regarding the future of U.S. pretrial discovery involving European Union data following the decision by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona in Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement & Power District v. Trench-France SAS, 303 F. Supp. 3d 1004 (D. Ariz. 2018). The article concluded that Salt River represented a potential watershed moment promoting the application of a foreign mechanism to U.S. discovery overseen by a foreign discovery master under the Hague Convention, as opposed to U.S. courts’ typical deference to domestic discovery practices. Recently, however, I was involved in a matter which demonstrated that state courts may be reluctant to follow Salt River’s lead.

  • Gates
    Legal Updates

    So, Are the Gates Up or Down?: Liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Van Buren v. United States and Your Business

    Seeking to resolve a split among the Circuits “regarding the scope of liability under the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act]’s “exceeds authorized access” clause, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to the appeal of Robert Van Buren, a former Georgia police sergeant whose criminal conviction for violating the act was upheld by the Eleventh Circuit in 2019. Under the "gates-up or gates-down" threshold established by the Court's opinion, the access to information relevant to the question of civil or criminal liability under the CFAA is defined by IT permissions. Specifically, the question is now what files or folders within a computer system is an authorized user allowed to access and did that user exceed that authorized access?