Category Archives: LitigationSupport

LegalTech and Interviews

Even though I didn’t get to attend LegalTech, I always look forward to the wrap up posts and interviews that get posted in the days following the event.

This evening, as I was catching up on my blog reading, I came across a couple of my favorite thought leaders being interviewed.

First, Chris Dale had a short video chat with Craig Ball about eDiscovery rock starts and eDiscovery skills.

Secondly, an audio interview with Brett Burney about current trends in the eDiscovery world.

Check ‘em out!

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Convenience Always Trumps Security

Even when people are fully aware of the dangers of using unapproved cloud services and personal email accounts, people still use ‘em.

And it gets worse! They’re more likely to email work documents to their personal accounts, move documents via cloud apps that IT doesn’t know they have, and lose devices that would give whoever found them unrestricted access to company data. Basically, in every way that Softchoice measured, the youngest workers were the most likely to lose data or leave themselves open to hacking.


But – here’s the kicker — they’re also the most informed about the risks. Younger workers were also the most likely to say that their company has a clear policy on the downloading of cloud apps; that their IT departments have communicated about the risks of cloud apps; and that their workplace has a clear policy on how to protect information.

So the theory that if we simply educated and trained people to take security seriously the problem would be a long way towards solved, appears to be just flat out false. They know the risks, they know they aren’t supposed to do these things, but for the sake of easy access to work information, they do it anyway.

I honestly don’t know that we can train for security. Even when a company has been involved in litigation, and had to review employees personal devices for relevant information, those employees still turn around and do the same thing. Personally, that’s the reason I don’t mix my personal and business information, but I work remotely and have access to cloud based tools, if I didn’t, I might be tempted, and I say that as someone who lives and breaths e-discovery. If anyone should fear the mingling of personal and work data, it should be me, and I still wouldn’t do it.

No, the only real solution is providing convenient, yet secure, tools at the Enterprise level. Obviously, we’re not there yet.

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My Latest on eDiscovery Insight – Working with DAT Files

It’s up over on the AccessData blog. It’s part of a “Tips from the Trainers” series, and is all about working with Concordance DAT files in Summation 5.0 now that we can load those files directly without the need to convert them.

Hope you find it useful!

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Could Facebook Be Creating a Facial Recognition Tool to be Used by the Government

NPR has a story this morning talking about Facebook’s facial recognition tools and the potential risk to our privacy that comes along with it.

One of the things I like about this story is the explanation of modeling, and how without a model, facial scanning doesn’t really work. It’s comparable to the conversations I’ve had about using eDiscovery software to do Optical Character Recognition. Typically, when I explain that running OCR on handwriting is not really going to be useful. People want to know why, when they “write” on their tablet device, it can translate that into text, but OCR software cannot. It’s because you’ve already modeled what your individual handwriting looks like for the tablet device. It is not trying to identify some random person’s handwriting. If I can, I’ll also drive home that point by picking up their tablet device and show them how terribly it recognizes my handwriting, because that’s not the model it is comparing from.

Facial recognition, as of right now, works very similarly. It’s great when you know who you are looking for, but horrible at identifying a random person, because we don’t have a full model of photos for that person for the software to compare. But, along comes Facebook with their photo tagging feature, and suddenly, is there the possibility of getting a model based on a large number of different photos from your FB profile, to be shared with law enforcement? Yes, there is that possibility. But, if I were in law enforcement, while I might be interested in having access to FB’s photo modeling, I’d also have to be somewhat wary of using it. It relies on Facebook users to actually tag photos of the actual people in the photo, or someone to go through that multitude of photos to correct for all of those cases where people have posted a picture of a baby, and tagged the parents, or of a pet, and tagged the owner, and so on and so on. Of course, we know those things happen, so the risk here is not so much that law enforcement would use FB photos and compare them to surveillance video in order to capture wrongdoers. The real risk is the chance that the inaccurate models will cause mistaken identifications, and lead to harassment and investigation into completely innocent people.

That’s also the risk of all government surveillance programs. When the NSA gathers as much data as Edward Snowden claims that they have, the risk is not that they are reading your emails. It’s almost impossible to imagine that someone is sitting and looking at the billions of messages and phone records they are collecting. No, it’s the collection and storage of that data, because if and when you are identified as a suspect, based on some random algorithm based on the “big data” collection they have, they will now have all of that information and start drawing conclusions based on things you’ve said in emails, or who you’ve talked to on the phone. They’ll start investigating the people you communicate with, talking to the people you work with, and so on.

When you have that much data it’s useless until you know what you’re looking for, (If you work with eDiscovery, you know this fact well), but once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to find data that conforms to your theory if you have enough of it, even if your theory is completely wrong.

When you are actually innocent, that kind of investigation doesn’t go away in terms of how people think about you. False accusations ruin lives. With that much data about you living in one place, the potential for this to happen to you, rises.

In the end, I’m not worried about Facebook recognizing my face, because if it gets it wrong, it’s mostly just funny and correctable. But I am definitely concerned about the government using that same technology, because when they get it wrong, I can’t correct it, and it is most definitely not funny.

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ILTA Recorded Sessions

Back when I used to attend ILTA as a member, I always struggled to figure out what sessions to go to an what one’s I would miss. It was often a tough choice. Now, as someone working for a vendor, there are typically only one or two sessions I even manage to find the time to get to

That’s why I’m making a note here for myself, and others, to take a quick look at the recorded sessions page. It’s not the same as being there for the session as it happens, but when you can’t be there getting the information is better than nothing!


Will I See You at #ILTA13?

Yes it’s true, after last year’s new experience of attending the annual ILTA Conference as a vendor as opposed to an attendee, I’ll be repeating that this year. I expect it to be similar to last year, there won’t be as many opportunities to socialize with my old contacts and attendees, because I’ll be trying to support AccessData’s efforts more than attend sessions. Still, I hope some of you who I haven’t had the chance to see since last year will take a moment to stop by and say hello! I will definitely be at our booth on Monday evening Aug 19th, for the opening of the vendor hall, and should be spending much of my time in our demo room (Messina) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

So come on by and catch up, ok? And if you want a demo of Summation 5.0 or AD eDiscovery 5.0, I’ll be glad to do that for you too, but I won’t force it on you. Promise… ;-)

Of course, if you want to try and meetup elsewhere let me know and I’ll get you a way to get in touch with me at the show.

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Xerox Copiers Altering Documents

Apparently, Xerox scanners/photocopiers randomly alter numbers in scanned documents.

Naturally, I immediately wondered of any of those altered documents wound up involved in eDiscovery?

Update: Xerox has responded on their own blog. As I suspected, it wouldn’t be common for the characters to get changed as described in the first post, but you could certainly stumble into it and have some inaccuracies if you weren’t paying very close attention. Gladly Xerox will be issuing a patch, and explained how to set your device back to factory settings, where, apparently, the issue does not exist.

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Trimming eDisovery Costs by Trimming eDiscovery

That’s the focus of my latest post on the Ediscovery Insight Blog. Obviously, it focuses on AccessData’s eDiscovery platform, but the idea of cutting costs by cutting down the amount if data to review, and having an efficient workflow, applies no matter what technology you are using!

Check it out!

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Must be Pretty Popular

How in demand must ediscovery skills be that you can have one website dedicated to Litigation Support careers conducting a talent drive, while another hroup is launching another site dedicated to ediscovery careers?

I’d say there must be some serious demand out there, wouldn’t you?

Now, since I’m not really in the market, I haven’t been involved much in either of the sites, but if you have been looking at them, from either the employee or employer side, what do you think about it?

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TRU Staffing Offering Scholarships for Legal Tech Education

For the second year, the fine folks over at TRU Staffing Partners are offering scholarships to cover the costs of some great eDiscovery and legal technology education. If you’re looking to get some great education in this field, you may want to consider applying before the deadline of Feb. 15

According to the link above, the courses being offered are:

DTI/Litworks Certified Litigation Support Professional
Four-day course offering industry best practices learned through hands-on experience, networking with peers, and reviewing leading software tools. The course is designed for professionals with one to five years of litigation technology support experience or for litigation paralegals, document review attorneys and legal IT professionals.

DTI/Litworks Certified Litigation Support Project Manager
Three-day course that focuses on sharpening litigation support project management skills and techniques, with an eye towards building skills. Attendees receive practical resources and tools, including checklists and templates that can be immediately applied to daily work as a litigation support project manager.

Georgetown University SCS Paralegal Program – Advanced Litigation & Trial Technology Course
Covers the tools and thought processes that drive the use of technology in today’s litigation landscape. You will gain hands-on experience with tools such as Forensic Toolkit, Concordance, CaseMap, and TrialDirector; but more importantly you will learn how these tools create a more efficient and effective litigation workflow. The course will include lecture, hands-on work and course projects that will enhance your learning in this exciting field.

Georgetown University SCS Paralegal Program e-Discovery course

This course introduces key e-discovery concepts that paralegals will apply in most of the matters that they support. Through a combination of lectures, hands-on classroom exercises, and written assignments, students will learn how to spot critical e-discovery issues and how to best resolve them.

Georgetown University SCS Paralegal Program Legal Project Management Course
Students will first learn Project Management Fundamentals, and Project Management Planning and Controls and then how to apply concepts to legal scenarios via case studies in Collection Plans, Production Plans, Trial Preparation Plans, and eDiscovery Program “plans“. Students will create group project plans and present them to a panel of leading Litigation Support and eDiscovery professionals. The course will satisfy the education requirement to apply for the CAPM or PMP credential.

LIU Post Paralegal Studies Program Litigation Support/e-Discovery course
This brand-new course is designed to give students an in-depth perspective on the litigation support industry. Through discussion and hands-on application, students will be introduced to the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) and learn common best practices and workflow techniques for electronic data processing and analysis. The course will also familiarize students with the basics of e-Discovery Project Management. A group project allows students to apply their knowledge to a mock real-world scenario on the final day.

Bryan University e-Discovery Project Management Certificate Program
An online, real-time fully accredited 7 1/2 month intensive practical e-discovery project management curriculum taught by a nationally renowned faculty. The program utilizes a comprehensive prepare/collaborate/engage teaching model combined with practical experience handling digital data with state of the art e-discovery processing, search, review, and production software and tools. Click here for a downloadable pdf with course details.

Learn About e-Discovery
This program will help you to find the educationally valuable information that you need to grow in your understanding of electronic discovery. First, you will have a 30 minute phone call to discuss your learning objectives, how much time you have available each week to dedicate to learning more about e-discovery. You will be sent a dynamic customized learning plan that meets (or exceeds your learning objectives based on what you’d like to learn and how much time you have to spend on it. The plan includes Internet accessible blog posts, videos, presentations, articles, white papers and podcasts organized in a manageable order in order to maximize your learning experience.

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