Legal Tech Blog

E-Discovery Sifting Through the Electronic Era

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by Josh Ross and Angel Falconer

The following article originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Trial Lawyer magazine, the quarterly journal of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

Although electronic discovery has been a regular part of litigation for many years, dealing with the many facets of identifying, collecting, managing, storing, requesting and producing electronically stored information (ESI) remains a daunting task. Frankly, it can be a headache. Over the past decade, the increased focus on electronic discovery has created a morass of disputes, costs and stresses for litigators and their clients.  Adequately dealing with discovery of ESI requires a careful balance of competing interests: the need to fully investigate and uncover all potential evidence, and the desire to work efficiently and cost-effectively without bankrupting your client.

Despite volumes of articles, commentaries and blogs written on e-discovery – not to mention legal opinions – some lawyers choose to ignore it.  For example, we represented a plaintiff in an accounting malpractice case a few years ago. The defendant produced key memoranda that we suspected were modified prior to production in litigation. To find out, we served a supplemental request for those documents in native format, including metadata showing when the documents were created, revised and printed. The opposing counsel’s written response read, in part: The request “is unduly burdensome and vague. We do not know what it means, or what a response would look like.”  Read more…

Documents by Readdle is now a Universal app

Posted on: April 16th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

In Securing Confidential Information on the iPad Part Two I recommended Documents by Readdle as one of the options to securely store documents, and other confidential material. At the time Readdle did not have an app for the iPhone, but was in the process of creating one. Well, the app has finally been released for the iPhone and can be downloaded for free from the app store here. I think Readdle did an excellent job of fitting the functionality of Documents into the smaller package of the iPhone. Whether or not you have an iPad, I think that Documents is a must have application for securely storing documents, videos, and other media locally on the iPhone.

Samsung looks to assert itself with a new security feature: Samsung Knox

Posted on: March 18th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was introduced last Wednesday to great fanfare at an event at Radio City Music Hall in New York. It has been described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary by various members of the tech press, and not a threat to Apple’s iPhone 5S likely to be announced at some point this year. That said, unless Apple is planning something radically different from their normal release cycle, there is one feature that distinguishes the Galaxy S4 from the iPhone: Samsung Knox.  Read more…

Invest in the Future Now: Law Professors Suggest a Paradigm Shift in How Law Firms Should Operate

Posted on: March 12th, 2013 by Angel Falconer

Last week, ReInventLaw, sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and Michigan State University, held the first of a series of  TED style talks to discuss the future of law practice and the changes in technology and regulation we might see.  The ReInvent Law Laboratory was founded by MSU professors Daniel Martin Katz and Renee Newman Knate.  Its message is simple: Innovation. Technology. Entrepreneurship.  Professor Katz teaches e-discovery at MSU, one of very few law schools that offer such courses, and he has a warning to firms that continue to ignore the storm brewing and fail to invest in the tools required to deliver legal services in the 21st century: invest or lose out.

http://computationallegalstudies.com/2013/03/10/innovation-in-legal-the-future-is-already-here-it-is-just-not-evenly-distributed-slides-by-professor-daniel-martin-katz-reinventlaw-laboratory-msu-law/

Insourcing Litigation Support – Part Two

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by Matthew Clover, Angel Falconer and Josh Ross

In Part One of this series we provided an overview of the reasons we decided to primarily insource our e-discovery processes. In this post, we will cover the investment associated with the initial setup, and maintenance of, an insourced e-discovery program. Our firm invested an initial outlay of funds to get up and running, and regularly invests in the costs associated with maintaining the system. The initial investment might include hardware to run the back end databases, and the software for processing, reviewing, and producing documents. Insourcing also increases the complexity for the IT department, especially in smaller firms that have smaller departments, as you will likely be working with a database server for the back end of one or more of your e-discovery applications. Lastly, insourcing will affect your storage, backup, and archiving strategy, not to mention creating its own specific issues for IT to troubleshoot. However, our experience shows that we (and our clients) save money over the long run by insourcing.

Read more…

Securing Confidential Information on the iPad Part Two

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

In Part One of this series, I looked at the basics of locking the iPad down with a passcode and a MDM software solution.  In this article I am going to focus on some of the ways you can securely review documents on an iPad. One of the things that makes the iPad so convenient is it’s ability to easily review documents, make notes, and in general help reduce the amount of paper one needs to carry around. The simplest way to add documents to your iPad is via email. However, this becomes a bit cumbersome if you have more than a few documents that you want to review. Also, if you need to make notes or edit the document, you really need a few apps installed to handle this.  Read more…

Removing the PDF/A attribute

Posted on: January 30th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

Here at Stoll Berne we use Westlaw CaseLogistix as our e-discovery review platform, and Westlaw CaseProduction as our e-discovery production platform. These products work well most of the time, and Westlaw CaseLogistix is one of the easiest review platforms to use, especially if you need to do reviews of native documents. So, what does this have to do with PDFs and PDF/A documents specifically? Well, in order to do redactions, get an accurate page count, and to produce any documents out of Westlaw CaseLogistix, you must first create what is called a markup. This is essentially a PDF image of the native document that sits in the same folder as the native document, with a unique filename. The exception to the creation of an additional markup document is when the native is already a PDF. However, if the native PDF has certain properties, Westlaw CaseLogistix will fail to recognize it as a markup.

Read more…

Insourcing Litigation Support – Part 1

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by Angel Falconer, Matthew Clover and Josh Ross

Recently, we’ve seen a few pieces about the various reasons law firms bring litigation support in house (insource), including e-discovery processes, or outsource all litigation support to third-party vendors or co-counsel.  These articles got us talking about our own choice to bring much of this work in house. Read more…

When to Collect Client Email: Does it Really Pay to Delay?

Posted on: January 18th, 2013 by Josh Ross

In the last few years we have seen a dramatic increase in the volume of ESI produced in lawsuits.  That’s a well documented reality which, in many circumstances, can pose a barrier to dispute resolution for would-be litigants because of the excessive costs of locating, collecting, reviewing, and managing the incredible amounts of information produced in even simple cases. Read more…

Securing Confidential Information on the iPad Part One

Posted on: January 9th, 2013 by Matthew Clover

As Angel Falconer mentioned in a previous post, a few of us here love our iPads, and, I will add here, would be lost without them. Whether it is their portability, ease of access to email, the internet, reviewing documents, or using the TrialDirector application, the iPad has become an indispensable tool for many in the legal industry. I use mine for everything from note taking to task management to accessing the Stoll Berne network remotely, not to mention email, browsing the internet, and catching up on the latest technology news via Flipboard.  However, as with any device that contains potentially confidential information, the iPad needs to have security protocols in place to make sure data is protected if it should fall into the wrong hands. 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

  • Matthew Clover
  • 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

  • Matthew Clover
  • 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

  • Matthew Clover
  • 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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