EDRR Conference Update: The Protodigital Lawyer

I’m at the 12th Annual Electronic Records and Retention Conference in San Francisco and will have a full report later today when we wrap up but wanted to mention two related topics that have come up.  Several speakers, notably Browning Marean, have  mentioned the issue of techncial competence vs legal competence that Ralph Losey set forth in his blog post this week as a main cause of the problems we are having with high ED costs.  I don’t necessarily agree with that premise (more on that later) but the post is fascinating reading ( as Ralphs always are) and discusses  the second issue that has people here talking: the protodigital lawyer.

I love this phrase, in no small measure becasue it phonetically it reminds me of the word ‘troglodyte’.  It was coined by Ken Withers (and if you don’t know Ken, you should … more on that later as well) and used by him in his keynote address at the the Georgetown University 5th Annual Advanced E-Discovery Institute Program last month.  Ken lays the blame for our current problems as the result of too many attorneys thinking in the old paper based paradigm.  As he puts it:  ” …they are still thinking of the digital information system as a set of tools for producing information (the document, the email communication, the legal opinion or spreadsheet) that they will manage as though that information were paper-based.

I couldn’t agree more with that!  Take a look at Ralphs discussion and see what you think. I’m off to a breakfast workshop on ED Cost Reduction Strategies and will have a full report on this great conference later today.

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