Category Archives: litigation

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.

it’s about time (and billing)

Its About Time (and Billing)

It's About Time (and Billing)

Chrometa - Automated Timekeeping

Chrometa - Automated Timekeeping

Join me for this complimentary webinar about time and billing

Thursday, June 18, 2009
2:00 PM Eastern/1:00 PM Central/12:00 PM Pacific
sponsored by Chrometa

Lawyers underestimate their time by 25% due to bad recording habits, disorganization, and bad management. Enroll in this complimentary webinar and learn how to:

– Capture activities that you’ve been missing
– Create a back-up for time-keeping purposes
– Find out what you do most (and least); and
– Maximize billiable time by minimizing waste

Have your questions answered live by our panel.
Mazy Hedayat – Legal technology writer and practicing attorney
Kristi Royse – Speaker and legal time management and billing expert
Brett Owens – Software entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder, Chrometa

Sign up here.

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.

my 15 minutes of fame …

 

My 15 Minutes of Fame

My 15 Minutes of Fame

 

Courtesy of 37 Signals, creators of killer apps such as highrise (their crm application), comes my 15 minutes of fame as their spokesman. You’ll find me right here on their website. And it’s no bull. I’ve used highrise, basecamp, backpack, and campfire to communicate with teams accross the country in connection with pending litigation. Yeah, it works. Not only that, the products are easier to use,  more intuitive, and less costly than anything out there with the possible exception of Google Apps, which I also use. But that’s a whole other level of commitment …

 

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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