Legal Tech Blog

Changes to FINRA Discovery Guide in Customer Arbitrations Effective on December 2, 2013

Posted on: November 15th, 2013 by Josh Ross

In October I wrote about the SEC’s approval of changes to the FINRA discovery guide ”the rules that govern discovery in FINRA cases” that are likely to change the way litigants relate to and manage e-discovery.  Today, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 13-40 announcing that those amendments will become effective on December 2, 2013 and apply to all customer cases filed on or after that date.  The Notice can be read here.

The Write Blocker: An Essential Tool in Any E-Discovery Arsenal

Posted on: October 25th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

The scenario seems simple enough: You receive a hard drive of data from your client that you need to bring into your e-discovery processing platform and/or review platform. All you need to do is plug that hard drive into a computer and start copying over the contents, right? Not so fast. Without the proper tools in place, you run the risk of modifying the data on the hard drive. An example of this would be an automatic scan from the antivirus software installed on the computer. Most antivirus programs are setup to automatically scan a hard drive that is plugged into the computer. This is good for security but can be problematic for data collection as these scans have the potential to modify the date accessed field.  Read more…

SEC Approves Rule Change Regarding E-Discovery in FINRA Arbitrations

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by Josh Ross

This summer Stoll Berne successfully represented a client in a dispute against the client’s former brokerage firm. As with most customer disputes against brokerage firms, we litigated this case through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration program, FINRA Dispute Resolution.  During discovery, the brokerage firm, a major, worldwide company represented by its in-house legal department, took some challenging positions with respect to e-discovery. Read more…

Issues with Password Protected Word Files in Documents and Goodreader

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

In Securing Confidential Information on the iPad Part Two I recommended both Documents by Readdle and Goodreader for organizing your files securely on an iPad, as well as accessing documents without an internet connection. A very helpful reader recently informed me that they couldn’t open password protected Word files that they had moved to Documents on their iPad. They received an error, and wanted to know if I had any thoughts on the matter. While I tried a few things, I was not able to successfully open a password protected Word file either. Password protected PDF files worked without a hitch, but not Word files. Read more…

Judge Scheindlin Takes Issue with Proposed Amendment

Posted on: September 6th, 2013 by Josh Ross

Judge Shira Scheindlin, Senior Judge for the Southern District of New York, has been long considered the leading jurist and a pioneer of e-discovery jurisprudence.  She authored the Zubulake I-V opinions, which are mandatory reading for all litigators certainly in federal courts and, in my view, in state courts as well.  So you know it won’t end well for a plaintiff accused of spoliation when Judge Scheindlin issues an opinion beginning with the following: “A decade ago, I issued a series of opinions regarding the scope of a litigant’s duty to preserve electronic documents and the consequences of a failure to preserve such documents falling within the scope of that duty…  Such obligation should, at this point, be quite clear especially to the party planning to sue.” Read more…

District Court Issues Task Force Recommendations

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by Angel Falconer

Last month, the District of Kansas, as part of its “Rule 1 Task Force” aimed at ensuring civil litigation “actually is handled in the ‘just, speedy, and inexpensive’ manner contemplated by Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” issued recommendations including “Guidelines for Cases Involving Electronically Stored Information” (don’t they all?).  Even if you never practice in Kansas, and even if you rarely land in federal court, I think you’ll find the materials to be a helpful resource.


Pioneer Judges of E-Discovery

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Angel Falconer

It may seem just plain wrong for a paralegal who focuses so much time working on e-discovery, but I often simply prefer to sit down with my hard copy of Law Technology News.  Much to my delight this morning, as I sipped on my coffee (out of my e-discovery vendor provided thermos) and leafed through the pages, a photograph of Judge Scheindlin caught my eye.  Here’s a link to a set of interviews with five “pioneer” judges of e-discovery along with some of their noteworthy opinions and commentary on the topic below.  I won’t fault you if you print any of them out to read (double-sided, of course).  If you’re like me, you spend several hours a day in the glow of large dual monitors, and sometimes paper can feel like a refresh button.

Zubulake I-V (2003-2005)


Moore v Publicis Groupe (February 2012)

William A Gross Const Associates Inc v American Mfrs Mut Ins Co (2009)

Mancia v Mayflower Textile Servs Co (2008)

Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v Executive Office of the President (2008-2009)

US v O’Keefe (2008)

Tile: A new way to track your most important items

Posted on: July 8th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

There are many companies who provide the ability to track the various important objects in your life, from the built-in Find My iPhone, to a bluetooth sticker like StickNFind. A new product called Tile, aimed for release this winter, takes the idea and puts a new spin on it that uses the Tile community to help find what you have lost. In general, this means that you can “mark” your item as lost via the app on your iPhone, and then anyone that walks by your lost item with the Tile app running will send you the location, unbeknownst to them.

Read more…

Online Tool Will Test Tech Skills

Posted on: June 4th, 2013 by Angel Falconer

Kia Motors America’s corporate counsel, D. Casey Flaherty, and Capensys, a firm that specializes in training services for law firms, will create an online version of Flaherty’s test that he uses to audit outside lawyers’ tech skills.  Flaherty is allowed to be critical of law firms’ widespread technical incompetency as he began his career at a big law firm.  And when he’s not scrutinizing Kia’s outside counsel, you can find him writing (here and here) or speaking on the topic (here).  The online tool is due out next year.

Using Computer Forensics to Investigate IP Theft – LTN

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by Angel Falconer

This article was posted on Law Technology News yesterday.  Particularly for businesses that have never experienced IP theft by a departing employee, the article offers a good overview of what to expect in litigation and a checklist of first steps to take in preserving the most valuable (and vulnerable) evidence in these cases.  I would add that, in addition to working closely with a computer forensics expert, IT staff will usually provide critically important information about systems and proprietary software that the company may use.  Read more…

Legal Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.

About this blog

The goal of this blog is to provide a forum for discussing issues related to technology used in law firm and case management, and share information about CLEs, legal opinions, articles and products that may interest Oregon practitioners in the area of e-discovery.

About the authors

  • Josh Ross

  • Angel Falconer
  • Joshua Ross represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of commercial disputes, including unlawful trade practices, fraud, securities issues, class actions, and contract disputes. Josh is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar, and is a Region 5 member of the OSB Board of Governors.
  • Matthew Clover

  • Angel Falconer
  • Matthew Clover has been the IT Administrator at Stoll Berne since 2008. He supports attorneys, paralegals, and clients with the technology side of litigation. Matthew has a broad range of experience with legal industry technology, as well as more widely used technologies. He helps manage Stoll Berne's in-house e-discovery systems and has significant experience advising attorneys on the collection and management of electronic discovery and the use of trial software. Matthew also supports the firm's overall network, mobile, and applications infrastructure.
  • Angel Falconer

  • Angel Falconer
  • Angel Falconer is Stoll Berne's Litigation Support Manager. She supports attorneys and clients through the entire litigation process and has worked on cases involving the securities laws, complex commercial disputes, class actions, unfair competition and trade secrets. Angel has expertise directing large-scale discovery projects and helps manage Stoll Berne's in-house e-discovery systems. Angel supervises electronic evidentiary presentations in arbitration hearings and in state and federal trial courts.
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