A hearing is scheduled on Tuesday in Grant County Circuit Court for a court order to keep Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer from deleting emails that may be relevant to his connection with the militants who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The Oregonian wants official government business related emails sent and received on a personal email account, which is listed on the Sheriff’s Office website, to be retained according to public records laws. Sheriff Palmer’s attorneys revealed that those emails are routinely deleted, and claim that doing so is within the state’s policies.
Legal Tech Blog
We have blogged previously about some of the improvements we would like to see at the new courthouse. Next week is your opportunity to share your own ideas and learn more about the new Multnomah County Courthouse. Attend the open house in person next Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 4-6 PM or online at the project’s website.
The latest iteration of iOS aims to make whether or not a device is being managed by a company very clear. The lock screen will now say “This iPhone/iPad is managed by your organization” and when you go into Settings>General and look at the About screen the message will read “This iPhone/iPad is supervised. [Company Name] can monitor your internet traffic and locate this device.” Transparency appears to be the main goal here. There is some confusion out there as to whether or not the message can be turned off, although I did find a post from Meraki, a free MDM solution provided by Cisco, implying that it could. That post can be found here. As a whole it is an interesting move by Apple as they continue to make security and privacy a main focus.
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.
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.