Significant changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect yesterday. Over the past couple of years since they were proposed, we have blogged about our observations and others’ concerns triggered by the rule changes. Whether these amendments will accomplish their goals of achieving proportionality in the scope of discovery and uniformity in how courts deal with spoliation remains to be seen.
Legal Tech Blog
Law and paralegal students at 50 schools in the U.S. will receive hands-on e-discovery training as part of their studies through a new program launched by kCura, makers of Relativity software. You can read the press release about the program here, as well as an interview with two professors at Chicago-Kent College of Law, which is one of the schools on board with the Relativity Academic Partners program.
Good reminders for in-house counsel and outside litigators:
- Understand the Data Environment
- Document the E-Discovery Process
- Develop a Targeted Collection Strategy
- Utilize Technology to Support Proportionality Arguments
- Reduce E-Discovery Costs by Leveraging Privilege Non-Waiver Agreements
You can read the white paper from Exterro here.
Anyone who has provided assistance in trial presentation will identify with this. When I go to trial I bring with me everything you might expect: miscellaneous office supplies, several volumes of paper exhibits, a rolling bookcase, a laptop, small printer, second monitor, splitter, and if I’m sharing equipment with opposing counsel, a switch; and since most courtrooms were not built with any of this technology or the extra set of hands required to run all of it in mind, I find I usually also need a chair, small desk, projector, a table for my projector, sometimes my own projection screen, speakers, lots of cords, extensions for all those cords, power strips, my own personal hot spot, and plenty of duct tape. Most judges and court personnel are very friendly and accommodating, and I do my best to try to make all this extra gear fade into the background, but unfortunately, sometimes, despite my best efforts, cords that extend to the opposite side of the room get in the way, there is no ideal place to project evidence onto a screen without blinding someone, binders overwhelm witnesses and attorneys, and my presence behind counsel’s table, with all this equipment, does not go unnoticed. The good news is that any distraction it causes is temporary and is outweighed by the benefits of being able to publish and annotate key evidence for the jury and display dynamic demonstrative exhibits for them without fumbling around with large poster boards (not to mention the advantage of being able to edit them on the fly). However, hauling it through security (often up stairs in buildings that also weren’t built for ADA compliance), setting it up and breaking it all down (sometimes several times to make way for other court proceedings) can be time consuming and very difficult. It sure would be nice if courtrooms were designed to handle modern-day trial presentations, and as Multnomah County considers plans for the new courthouse, I hope that they’ll make a few improvements. Here are some suggestions that would help with some of the biggest obstacles:
- Several power outlets located at counsel’s table;
- Empty shelves behind counsel’s table and in the witness stand;
- Speakers, large projection screen, and monitors that both sides can tie into and positioned so that everyone in the courtroom can see and hear the evidence;
- Lighting designed for displaying electronic evidence;
- Space behind counsel’s table for a paralegal or someone else hired to assist with trial presentation (maybe even a small desk or table?);
- Internet access.
Obviously, the most important thing is that we build a secure courthouse that won’t crumble in an earthquake, but I think there’s also an opportunity to design it for the courtroom technology that attorneys and jurors have come to rely on and expect.
Three years after his Da Sliva Moore opinion approving the use of TAR (technology assisted review, computer assisted review, or predictive coding), US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck says that “the case law has developed to the point that it is now black letter law,” and goes on to list several judicial decisions approving the use of TAR. You can read Judge Peck’s recent opinion in Rio Tinto PLC v. Vale S.A. et al.
Smartwatches have been around for awhile, but the upcoming release of the Apple Watch has the potential to bring them into the mainstream. While the Apple Watch, and other Smartwatches, have the potential to increase efficiency, they also provide another device that can store and/or access corporate data. This presents another device that will need to be incorporated into a business’s BYOD security policy as well as another device to manage.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email account to conduct official State Department business has been at the top of the headlines lately. Clinton has explained that her decision to use her personal email account was simply a matter of convenience and has stated that she has already released over 55,000 pages of correspondence. Not satisfied with the production of printed email, last week the House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said his committee may seek electronic versions of the correspondence, not just the printed copies, and today House Speaker John Boehner called on Clinton to hand over the private server that stores the emails.
A new app from Microsoft, Outlook for iOS and a Preview version for Android, shows that Microsoft is committed to designing for other platforms. Some reviews have been positive, like this one from The Verge, while others have said that this app is still a little rough around the edges, like this article from Infoworld. I tend to agree with The Verge, but there is a larger security concern for companies using the ActiveSync protocol (this includes Exchange, IBM Notes Traveler). Read more…
The Law Technology News just published the top six data breach predictions for 2015 as outlined in Experian Data Breach Resolution’s 2015 Second Annual Data Breach Industry Forecast. That article can be read in full here. I am focusing on the prediction regarding employee mistakes, as this seems to be one of the hardest areas for companies to rectify. As the article points out, both in its title and when discussing employee mistakes, businesses will continue to ignore the employee side in favor of protecting against cyberattacks. There are various reason for this, from the cost of security in general, to the sticky issue of balancing user efficiency and security, to cyberattacks being very much in the news currently. Read more…
The FBI has concluded that the North Korean government was behind the Sony data breach that exposed embarrassing emails that have harmed the reputations of the company and its executives, forced the cancellation of the release of the “The Interview” amid terrorist threats, and put thousands of employees’ private information at risk. This latest breach should cause IT professionals and business owners to review their privacy and security protocols and address weaknesses, and it should serve as a reminder that, while there will always be significant risk, there are some steps we can all take to be more secure online. Read more…