docNative Discussion on Web Broadcast

Earlier this week, Browning Marean and I recorded the first of a monthly series of web based discussions on discovery and technology that we have undertaken. Called The E-Discovery Zone, the broadcast is sponsored by CaseLogistix strategic partner TechLaw Solutions and will be available beginning on Dec.17th.

This initial discussion featured a conversation with well known legal technologist and forensics specialist, Atty.  Craig Ball.  We talked about several subjects we felt were the major developments of 2008 and not surprisingly one of those was the shift of focus from paper based technology to the docNative paradigm. 

Now not everyone calls it that, of course. Browning and I did several webinars for CaseLogistix earlier in the year where we discussed this shift as the simply “the new paradigm”.  Ralph Losey referred to it as the “paper prison” on his blog and Ken Withers talks about the “protodigitial age” with it’s emphasis on “… objects from the analog world..” .

Craig, Browning and I had a fascinating discussion on this subject. We spoke about the digital educational level of attorneys (we found it generally lacking) and the resultant avoidance of e-discovery in many cases.  Ken Withers also made note of this in his article and states  bluntly that this deliberate ignoring of electronic information slows down ” … the truth-seeking purpose of discovery and evidence law.”  Not surprisingly it is this issue that Judge Grimm also delves into at length in the Mancia decision.

We all agreed that further educational efforts are needed, on the part of both attorneys AND clients.  The consensus was attorneys need to understand digital technology better in order to provide the best representation of their clients but that clients need to understand that zealous representation and adherence to the Sedona Cooperation Proclamation are not antithetical but rather required of an attorney as part of his ethical responsibility to the court under FRCP Rule One.

Craig and Browning felt that the response to all this discussion is more educational efforts in 2009 and that consideration of the docNative paradigm, regardless how it is termeed,  will be an ongoing part of that effort.  I certainly hope so because the 2009 ED predictions that I have seen so far don’t include any mention of educational efforts and without them the best prediction for 2009 will be more, and greater FUD …fear, uncertainty and doubt.

At least that’s the way I see it  … now tell me what you think.

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