Category Archives: e-discovery

matrix of e-discovery software

How eDiscovery Works

How eDiscovery Works

Greg Buckles of the EDRM Project has created an easy to use, expandable matrix of e-discovery specific applications. This is not the only legal software list (litigation support firm lexbe has one here, and Findlawhas long had some level of software listings) this one should make it easy to sort through the veritable forest of ED applications out there, all of which claim to be the greatest thing since you-know-what.

ABA TechShow: The Video

Live from TechShow 2009 ...

Live from TechShow 2009 ...

 

Thought I’d share some choice video from TechShow 2009 featuring all 4 of the Best of Show winners that I wrote up in TechnoLawyer, plus interviews with some of my heroes such as Bob Ambrogi, Jay Funeberg, and Kevin O’Keefe, as well as sightings of legal blogging all-stars like Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighelle. I’m still excited.  

 

See related videos here and find me on YouTube as practicehacker

ABA TechShow 2009 – Short and SaaSy

Were the ABA Damnit!

We're the ABA Damnit! We own you!

This was my 10th year at ABA Technology Show in Chicago. This year was particularly cool.  Here’s why:

Meeting The Heavies: To me, seeing people like Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighelle, Bob Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Kevin O’Keefe, Brett Burney, Andy Atkins, Jay Foonberg (!) and the rest of my pretend blog friends … I mean pretend LinkedIn friends … is like reconnecting with long lost relatives. Exciting and a little intimidating. But all of them were really great and down to earth. Except that Kennedy. Such a prima donna. I kid, I kid.

Meeting Canadians: Who can forget meeting the Great Librarian of Upper Canada! Beat that. Then there was Phil of the Future (my name for him), Steve Matthews (nice guy), Brett Burney (I think he’s Canadian), Dominic Jaar (vive la Quebec libre!), the boys from Clio (or as I called them, the Booth Babes), and a host of other talent from the Great White North. It was great to meet you all: now go back where the ice doesn’t melt until July.

Technology Becoming Accepted: This year for the first time in memory I noticed a preponderance of grey hairs and the careful gait of partners scoping out potential buys for their offices.  This was not the brash, flash-in-the-pan TechShow of the late-90’s in which the Internet was decried as a fad.

SaaS, Saas, and more Saas: Software as a service was all over the place, and by next year it will be pervasive. This year I was knocked out by the number and variety of kick-ass SaaS providers at the show including Clio, RocketMatter, and VLO Tech. Clio was my hands-down favorite for a number of reasons – I intend to use it in my own practice. Whatever your cup of tea, the idea of throwing away the IT department in favor of the Cloud is gaining traction fast.

Less is … Less: One lamentable fact about this  year’s show – there was less of it than I’ve seen in a long time. Another casualty of the economy I’d say, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that many legal technology vendors have been slaves to profit instead of boosters for innovation and the slow economy is making it painfully apparent what a royal screw job they’ve been giving lawyers all these years. Many players couldn’t make it ? Good riddance to bad company.

Other than that however, it was a great experience as always and one that I heartily recommend to one and all. If you haven’t been to TechShow, go there. If you have, come back. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

For more coverage see my SmallLaw Column in TechnoLawyer.

Check out Twitter coverage of TechShow.

As always, I’d love your thoughts. E-mail me at mhedayat[at]mha-law.com or tweet me @practichacker.

ttyl 🙂

Clio Client Connect – collaboration gets serious

Clio ClientConnect

This weekend at LegalTech the makers of practice management suite Clio launched ClientConnect, a secure portal that will enable attorneys to share documents, collaborate, bill, and take payments in a secure evnironment on the web. And oh yes – it’s free to every Clio subscriber.

ClientConnect very nearly solves the universal problems that plague asynchronous multi-party communication. In other words, with ClientConnect there are no more e-mail roadblocks, mixed signals, or convoluted conversation-threads in the way of attorney-client communication. As a result lawyers can now make files of any kind, as well as time-sheets, notes, and case details available in seconds just by  recording them in Clio or uploading them to Clio’s super-fast collaboration-servers.

The highlights of ClientConnect include

  • document exchange and collaboration
  • clients can audit case activity anytime
  • case notes are now instantly available
  • clients can pay bills in seconds by PayPal

All told both clients and lawyers will benefit from the ability to collaborate in an open, secure, round-the-clock system that requires no software and has a virtual 0 learning curve. For those lawyers still on the fence, the advent of ClientConnect makes it hard to justify not trying Clio’s 30-day free trial.

Twitter and More Twitter!

Can’t enough Twitter? You’re not alone. Herein I present a selection from the 140+ Twitter tools featured recently on Mashable. I’ve highlighted the ones that lawyers can use right away. If you don’t “get” how they can be useful let me know and I’ll post a follow up or explain via comments.

Posting

Brabblr – Post to all your micro blogging services at once Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Tumblr, Jabber, Frazr, etc.

Autopostr – This service lets your friends in Twitter know when you post a new picture on Flickr.

EmailTwitter – With this service, you can send tweets to Twitter from a cellphone without incurring SMS charges.

GroupTweet – Allows you to post private message to a group of Twitter friends.

Hashtags – You can add tags to your Twitter posts with this service.

HelloTxt – Update Twitter and a host of other micro blogging and social networking sites with one click.

LinkBunch – Need to share more than one link in a tweet? LinkBunch puts together all the links and provides you one link that you can share on Twitter. As you might have understood, this can be used not just with Twitter, but also with emails, IMs, SMS, etc.

LiveTwitting – Helps you cover a conference live on Twitter. Similar to liveblogging, only cooler.

MicroRevie – Post reviews on twitter accs and this service will turn them into microformats.

Mobypicture – A service to post to your blog and micro-blogging sites like Twitter through your mobile phone.

OutTwit – A tool for Outlook that will send the latest tweets from your friends as incoming email messages.

SecretTweet Post to Twitter anonymously. If you really need to.

SnapTweet – Allows you to post your Flickr pictures to Twitter.

Snitter – Adobe AIR desktop client for Twitter compatible with Mac and Windows.

Twhirl – desktop client based on Adobe AIR. Impressive features including multiple Twitter accounts, connect to Friendfeed, post image to Twitpic, post to Pownce and Jaiku simultaneously, and search using Tweetscan.

TweetCube – This service allows you to post files on Twitter. Files that can be shared include .zip, .rar, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .gif, .mp3 and .txt.

Tweetr– an AIR based Twitter client for MAC and PC. You can use this to send files upto 100MB.

Twibler – posts your ebay listings to Twitter automatically.

Twideeo – You can post videos to Twitter using this service that lets you upload the vid to their site and then generates a link to your video.

Twit+ – You can tweet pictures, videos, and files using this service publicly or privately among your friends on Twitter.

Twitxr – Another neat way to post a picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Picassa.

TweetChannel – You can add TweetChannel as your friend in Twitter to help you channel your various posts.

TweetLater – An useful service to schedule your Twitter posts for the future.

Twitpic – Share pictures on Twitter using Twitpic.

Twitsay – You can tweet an audio recording to Twitter using this new and popular service.

Twits Like Me – You can use this service to find people on Twitter who share your interests.

TwitterCal – This service allows you to post events from your Google calendar to your Twitter accounts.

Twitter Feed – This tool allows you to send your blog atom or RSS feed to Twitter.

TwitterGram – Post an mp3 on Twitter using this service.

Twitteroo – This is another popular desktop client for Twitter.

TwitterIM – Using this tool, you can tweet from Windows Live Messenger and ICQ.

Twitterlights – This tool allows you to highlight snippets of text from any webpage and send it to twitter. The url of the page also gets converted into a tinyurl and gets included in your tweet.

Twitter Reply – With this tool, you can send your Twitter updates on a secret email address, or through Windows Live Messenger or ICQ.

Twittershare – This desktop/web application also allows you to post pictures on Twitter. Works on Mac as well.

VisualTwitter – Allow you to post pictures on Twitter.

Reading

TopTweet – This site provides you updates from the top Twitter personalities. Yes, it took us a lot of tries to take a screenshot without Scoble in it.

TweetWire – TweetWire grabs the freshest links posted on Twitter and displays them Yahoo News page style.

Twitter100 – Just like in your personal start pages, this tool will allocate a box to each of the people you follow on a single page and display their latest tweets.

Twitterator – Twitterator enables you to follow a group of people at one go.

Twitter Digest – This tool allows you to subscribe to a message stream from a Twitter user of a group of users on the web or through an atom feed.

Alpha Twitter This site provides you with the top links on Twitter.

Search

Summize – The leader of this space; lets you create an RSS feed consisting of posts responsive to your query.

Flaptor Twitter Search – Simple Twitter search engine. You can get an RSS feed out of your search query as well.

Terraminds – Another search tool for Twitter.

Tweet Scan – This is a search engine for Twitter indexing all the public messages on Twitter.

Twits Like Me – This tool helps you find people on Twitter who share your interests.

Twitterment – Search engine for Twitter powered by Google search.

TwitterWho – Using this, you can search for multiple queries on Twitter at one go.

Twubble – Find people who share your interests and highlight current friends you already follow.

Analytics

TwitBuzz – Follows links, messages, and users on Twitter and displays them nicely on its site Digg-style.

TweetBeep – Like Google Alerts – sends an alert whenever a keyword is mentioned or somebody links to you.

TwitGraph – Provides graphs of your Twitter usage – tweets by day, top 5 words, top 5 links, top replies.

Twitterlinkr – Shows the most popular links being posted on Twitter.

24oclocks – Tweets displayed by the hour of the day.

GeoTwitterous – Displays where the people you follow call home on a global map.

My Tweet Map – Latest tweets from your friends on a map.

Quotably – Check out a user’s conversations in a conversation thread. Extremely useful.

Sitevolume – Like Alexa: lets you see how many times a term has been used on Twitter, Digg, MySpace, YouTube, or Flickr. Add in multiple terms and see bar graphs comparing the terms.

Twetterboard – An analytics service that provides information about popular Twitter users and popular links.

Tweetburner – Tweetburner gives you click stats for the links you posted in Twitter.

Twittermeter – See how frequently a word has been used on Twitter. You can also compare two or more words.

Twemes – Twemes follows Twitter public messages with particular tags to build a meme around a topic.

TweetStats – Twitter statistics including timeline, tweets/mo. and tweets/hr.

TweetVolume – See how many times a particular word appears; compare up to 5 words via bar graph.

TwitterLocal – This tool allows you to generate an RSS Feed of a filtered list of tweets from a certain area.

Tweetmeme – Displays popular topics on Twitter and those people talking about that topic.

Twist – Trends of what people are saying on Twitter (like Google Trends for internet search words).

Twittermap – This tool displays the most recent public updates in the last 12 hours.

Twittermeter – Allows you to compare any keywords used on Twitter on through a graphical interface.

Twitt(url)y – Tracks the most linked to urls on Twitter and display them Digg-style.

iPhone + Others

Twitter for iPhone Another Twitter client for your iPhone.

iTwtr This is an open source Twitter client for iphones.

Pocket Tweets – A web based Twitter client for the iphone.

Twittai – A Java-based Twitter client compatible with more than 200 kinds of mobile phones.

ceTwit – Twitter client for Windows Mobile. Not as cool as the iPhone versions, but then again, what is?

Twapper – Send updates from your 30boxes calendar to your mobile phone using Twitter.

TwitterFone – You can update Twitter from your mobile phone using this service.

Qik – Stream videos from mobile phone to Twitter. Works really well.

Utilities

Crowd Status View the status of friends on one page.

@answerme – Track the questions you ask.

CommuterFeed – Shared traffic reports using Twitter.

Hahlo – if you are not satisfied with your Twitter interface, you can check out Hahlo to manage your Twitter account. It gives you a separate profile page and the rest of the Twitter features in a new look.

LoudTwitter – This tool posts your Twitter posts on your blog. Hey, isn’t Twitter supposed to be some kind of a blog, too? Now I’m confused.

My Tweeple – Manage your friends and followers in Twitter on a single web page.

Politweets – You can check out your presidential candidate’s popularity on Twitter here.

StrawPoll – Sends out polls on Twitter that you can participate on. As they say, you can never have too many polls.

TrackThis – Get updates of your shipment using Twitter. It supports FedEx, UPS, USPS and DHL tracking codes.

Twitterfeed – Posts your blog posts automatically to Twitter.

Tweetclouds – Create a word cloud from a public Twitter stream using this service.

Tweet Clouds Make a tag cloud from your Twitter posts.

Tweetpeek – You can create a group Twitter feed with Tweetpeek.

TweetWheel – You can find out which of your Twitter friends know each other with this service.

Twitku – Mashup of Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce public timelines. You can also post from its interface.

Twitpoll – You can participate on polls using Twitter through Twitpoll.

Tweetshots – this service allows you to take your Twitter posts to Tumblr, embed in websites, or send over email.

TwitterAnswers – Combines Twitter and Mosio so that you can send questions over Twitter and have them answered by other people.

Twitter Census – You can create surveys on Twitter using this service.

TwitterNotes – You can create notes on TwitterNotes using Twitter and tagging your notes.

Xpenser – Record your expenses using Twitter. You can also use other mediums like email, SMS, IM, voice, etc.

this month’s installment from CyberControls

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CyberControls

Courts Unsympathetic to E-Discovery Ignorance

In a recently released analysis of this year’s judicial opinions on electronic discovery issues by Kroll Ontrack®, the dominant topics reoccurring in the 2008 judicial opinions were the importance of creating and enforcing sound document retention policies, the use of proper search terms for production, and the consequences when parties fail to properly comply with discovery requests. Of the approximately 138 reported electronic discovery opinions issued from Jan. 1, 2008 to Oct. 31, 2008, over half addressed court-ordered sanctions, data production, and preservation and spoliation issues. The breakdown of the major issues involved in these cases is as follows:

  • 25% of cases addressed sanctions
  • 20% of cases addressed various production considerations
  • 13% of cases addressed preservation and spoliation issues
  • 12% of cases addressed computer forensics protocols and experts
  • 11% of cases addressed discoverability and admissibility issues
  • 7% of cases addressed privilege considerations and waivers
  • 7% of cases addressed various procedural issues
  • 6% of cases addressed cost considerations

“It is clear that courts are no longer allowing parties to plead ignorance when it comes to ESI best practices,” said Michele Lange, director of Legal Technologies for Kroll Ontrack®. “These cases exemplify that judges can and will hand out sanctions for mishandling ESI and lack of document retention policies. Having a well-crafted document retention policy, ensuring cooperation between legal and IT departments, and partnering with an e-discovery expert can help prevent the same mishaps described in these cases, ultimately saving organizations hundreds of thousands in sanctions and reputation damages.”

The top five most significant cases from 2008 that summarized these issues included:

Court Imposes Sanctions for “Egregious” E-Discovery Misconduct

Keithley v. Homestore.com, Inc., 2008 WL 3833384 (N.D.Cal. Aug. 12, 2008).

In this patent infringement litigation, the defendants’ failure to issue a written document retention policy well after its preservation duty arose led the court to label the discovery misconduct “among the most egregious this court has seen.” The court ordered the defendants to pay over $250,000 in fees and costs associated with prior and future motion practice and expert fees, deferring additional amounts until actual fees can be determined, while also imposing an adverse jury instruction against the defendants.

Court Orders Forensic Examination and Denies Cost Shifting, Citing Producing Party’s Discovery Misconduct

Peskoff v. Faber, 2008 WL 2649506 (D.D.C. July 7, 2008).

In this ongoing contract dispute, the court followed up on its previous holding that it was appropriate to ascertain the cost of a forensic examination to determine if the cost was justified. The court found the defendant’s inadequate search efforts, failure to preserve electronically stored information and overall unwillingness to take “discovery obligations seriously” caused the need for a forensic examination. Since the problem was one of the defendant’s “own making,” the court refused to shift costs.

Court Orders Production of Text Messages

Flagg v. City of Detroit, 2008 WL 3895470 (E.D.Mich. Aug. 22, 2008).

In this ongoing wrongful death action, the defendants argued the court’s previous order that established a protocol for the production of text messages violated Stored Communications Act. The court was willing to modify the means of production and ordered the plaintiff to file a Fed.R.Civ.P. 34 production request, finding a third-party subpoena unnecessary. See also Flagg v. City of Detroit, 2008 WL 787061 (E.D.Mich. Mar. 20, 2008).

Magistrate Orders Parties to Cooperate in Production and Advised Expert Testimony May be Needed for Judicial Review of Search Methods

United States v. O’Keefe, 2008 WL 449729 (D.D.C. Feb. 18, 2008).

In this criminal prosecution, the co-defendant filed a motion to compel claiming the government did not fulfill discovery obligations. Applying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to this criminal action, Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola ordered the parties to participate in a good faith attempt to reach an agreement on production. The court also suggested that judicial review of search methods may require expert testimony, since for lawyers and judges to make search term effectiveness judgments are to go “where angels fear to tread.” See also United States v. O’Keefe, 2008 WL 3850658 (D.D.C. Aug. 19, 2008).

Court Denies Motion to Retract Privileged Documents Finding Lack of Reasonable Precautions Taken

Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 2008 WL 2221841 (D. Md. May 29, 2008).

In this copyright infringement case, the plaintiff sought a ruling that 165 electronic attorney-client privileged and work-product protected documents produced in discovery were discoverable. Determining the defendants did not take reasonable precautions by relying on an insufficient keyword search to prevent inadvertent disclosure, the court found the defendants waived their privilege. The court noted several measures could have helped prevent this waiver, including a clawback (or other non-waiver) agreement the defendants voluntarily abandoned and/or complying with the Sedona Conference Best Practices for use of search and information retrieval.

CyberControls is made up of experienced specialists in the in the field of electronic discovery and production, computer forensics and the integration of computer technology and the rules of discovery. Our professional services teams are comprised of pretrial litigation consultants and field technicians and forensic experts. To discuss a specific issue you may be facing as a respondent or requesting party in a commercial litigation matter call us at 847-756-4890 or visit www.cybercontrols.net.

 

 

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This Month’s Installment From Cybercontrols

Contrary to the old phrase, “…be careful of what you ask for you just might get it”, commercial litigators need to be alert to the fact that electronically stored information (ESI) encompasses far more than just e-mails, documents, photos and instant messages. The problem for a requesting party is that a producing party, unless otherwise directed, will only concern itself with identifying, collecting, reviewing and ultimately producing readily accessible “active” files. The yield from this routine approach may not be even close to a full representation of the full extent of the available ESI that relates to the case and the actions of persons of interest while they used the computers in their custody. Computer forensic examiners refer this lesser known category of useful ESI as computer artifacts.

Short of a full computer forensic examination, a requesting party may want to consider including in their initial e-discovery production requests that a number of computer artifacts be included with the

responding party’s production. These artifacts may include:

  1. Each computer’s Windows registry history to include all installed software, and external hardware devices connected to each computer of interest.
  2. Each computer’s Master File Table (MFT), which will clearly identify the complete file structure including distinct folders on each computer for future reference.
  3. Each computer’s Internet History Files, which will disclose the Internet activities of each computer custodian.
  4. Produce all link files (.lnk) from each custodian’s computer, which may show the usage of relevant files that are stored on external storage devices.

This approach has the potential of avoiding a full fledged fight that a computer forensic examination request would surely foster. But, a reasonable request for some of the items listed above would help to eliminate concerns and suspicions that relevant ESI was being withheld. The Windows registry would help establish whether any scrubbing software might have been installed on a particular computer or not.

It also would help identify if any external media devices were connected to the computer-if so, did the producing party conduct their e-discovery on all of those devices for relevant ESI or not?

The Master File Table of each computer will provide a complete road map of the user’s file structure and the folders in which data files were stored. If the Internet activities of certain persons of interest are rerevant, these activity files may prove to be crucial to the requesting party.

Finally, the link files (.lnk) are often the most irrefutable means in which to determine the date and time when specific data files were last accessed and/or modified by the user of a computer whether those files were located locally on the computer or on a network’s file server.

CyberControls has dubbed this added element to the e-discovery production request as the “Computer Artifacts Report.” It’s important to note that a producing party is obligated to take the necessary precautions when collecting these computer artifacts not to modify, alter or corrupt the data itself. An e-discovery or computer forensics specialist can provide the necessary instructions and/or support for this.

Computer artifacts can also prove to be quite helpful to a responding party when counsel is searching for additional elements to help bolster aspects of a case where the production of documents or e-mails is insufficient. Such artifacts can also help to stead off a more intrusive and costly computer forensic examination initiated by the requesting party.

CyberControls is made up of experienced specialists in electronic discovery, They can be reached at 847-756-4890 or on the web at www.cybercontrols.net.