Like many of you reading this, I read many different legal journals, mostly online. A great many of those journals are focused on e-discovery, some are more focused on IT security, others on law firms generally, others on the law generally, and so on. What has caught my eye in recent months is how many of those journals, regardless of whether their focus is on e-discovery, the intersection of the law and technology generally, law firms or simply on the law generally, have turned their attention to the intersection of the law and digital technology. In this month’s column, I tackle one of the topics discussed in the aforementioned journals to see how that topic has been treated, and then discuss how, in order to test the analysis of and solution to any given problem, the discussion of any given topic must be broadened to discuss all aspects of e-discovery.

The Interconnectivity of Issues

A representative example of the topics discussed in the aforementioned journals are the many pieces that have reported on or made the case that law firms or businesses should bring e-discovery and other legal services in-house. In these pieces, legal services are never defined, but from context it is clear that the term refers to the review of e-discovery, whether a TAR or a review by reviewers contracted by the e-discovery provider (or some other provider). Many of the pieces use the term e-discovery narrowly. They will make the general statement that e-discovery should be brought in-house, but then discuss aspects of e-discovery—forensic data collection, data processing, using a digital review platform, e.g., Relativity—as somehow separate from e-discovery.

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