Presenting programs and conferences on electronic data discovery for the legal community is an industry in and of itself. There are almost weekly offerings, from live programs to vendor webinars to law school classes like Patrick Burke's course at Cardoza Law School; from our own LegalTech New York's massive three-day extravaganza where you can see e-discovery demonstrations and attend seemingly-endless sessions on predictive coding; to gatherings at resorts in Arizona, California, and Florida, and workshops in Colorado and Minnesota. Each is different; all have their specific audiences; most do a great job. One of my favorites is the Georgetown Law Advanced E-Discovery Institute, held annually in the Washington, D.C., metropolis.
This year, Georgetown moved to The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, from its previous venue at Pentagon City (aka Arlington, Va.). The decision to move was excellent, as the new venue easily handled the 600 attendees, vendors, and media. (Granted, the hotel sold out, and some had to be housed in a nearby Marriott, but that happens to the best of events.) Before I forget, I must give kudos to the Ritz-Carlton for being one of the very few conference facilities where the internet connectivity was full-strength and worked flawlessly. That may sound like a small thing, but for events that draw tech folks, all with multiple devices, that is huge and can literally make the difference between days filled with frustration rather than productivity.
But what makes Georgetown a must-attend event can be summed up in one word: judges. Now in its ninth year, the event starts and ends with judicial panels, and nine of this year's 20 panels included at least one jurist. And not just any judges Georgetown attracts the key judges who are strongly influencing the development of e-discovery law and the development of e-discovery technologies and protocols. Among the leaders are Andrew Peck, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who has been addressing predictive coding (aka technology-assisted review); U.S.D.C.'s Shira Scheindlin, also of New York, who wrote landmark rulings on preservation; and U.S.D.C.'s Paul Grimm, who Monday will drop the word "magistrate" from his title, and whose opinions have become primers for practitioners. That's just three. It would take this entire article to detail the contributions of the nine judicial speakers this year. Georgetown also has strong ties and synergies with two other major EDD players: The Sedona Conference, and the E-Discovery Institute.
Georgetown's programming is compelling and fascinating. This year's topics range from privacy, to a series of panels addressing predictive coding, to discovery issues in criminal law, cost controls, using and challenging digital forensics evidence, foreign ESI, meet-and-confer preparation, so on and so forth. The judges and top practitioners obviously do their homework to present well-structured, relevant, discussions that keep attendees' attention all the way through the closing sessions.
Despite the large audience, the event has an intimate feeling, with plenty of opportunities for networking with attendees and for talking to the vendor sponsors and learning about their wares. Congrats to Georgetown Assistant Dean Lawrence Center and his team for yet another successful event.
Everybody in the e-discovery community whines that so many lawyers don't understand EDD, but they can take some comfort in knowing that it's not for lack of opportunities. Those lawyers would be wise to read up on the ABA's August updates of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and take advantage of the excellent options that abound.
>>Speaking of Cardoza, many thanks to Burke, senior director and assistant general counsel at Guidance Software, for inviting me to speak at the final session of his 2012 "E-Discovery, Digital Evidence and Computer Forensics" class, along with headhunter Michael Potters, of the Glenmont Group, and attorney David Horrigan, an analyst on e-discovery and information governance with 451 Research. Horrigan served as the "judge" in a lively mock meet-and-confer session; and we all talked about career options a hot topic given the recent controversies about the difficulty faced by law school grads as they try to find jobs. Burke reminded them that expertise in e-discovery will be a strong differentiator upon graduation, and that jobs abound for folks who really understand EDD. (Horrigan is a frequent contributor to LTN's "Technology on Trial" column.)
>>Kroll Ontrack has released its "Year In Review" report analyzing 70 "prominent" 2012 EDD cases. Among those cases:
32% addressed sanctions regarding a variety of issues, such as preservation and spoliation, noncompliance with court orders and production disputes;
26% tackled procedural issues, such as search protocols, cooperation, production and privilege considerations;
16% discussed discoverability and admissibility issues;
14% addressed cost considerations, such as shifting or taxation of e-discovery costs; and
9% discussed technology-assisted review and predictive coding.
>>Money, Honey! Chris Gierymski, director of docketing at DLA Piper, checks in to let us know that the National Docketing Assocation has completed its first compensation survey of docketing professionals. Among some of the results, the survey found that
55% of respondents have been with their current employer for at least five years and 12% with more than 20 years. Almost 70% of respondents are female, and at least 40 years old. Top annual pay was $118,000 for managers, $96,630 for supervisors, $82,500 for administrators. Download the report here.
>>Musical Chairs: Christina Peters is the new chief privacy officer at IBM. Don't be surprised if we start seeing more of these positions as privacy becomes even more complex and nuanced in our digital world! Peters has been a member of IBM's legal department since 1996, she joined the company's privacy team in 2010, writes Catherine Dunn in our sister publication, Corporate Counsel. IBM's privacy group is housed within the company's legal department, Dunn reports, and provides "subject matter expertise" across the company, as well as assists with IBM's "global privacy assessments around personal information that IBM owns." Peters takes over for Harriet Pearson who recently departed for Hogan Lovells. Pearson's practice focuses on privacy and information security policy and compliance, including cross-border data transfers, the firm notes.
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Monica Bay is editor-in-chief of Law Technology News and a member of the California bar. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @lawtechnews @LTNMonicaBay