Bil Kellerman in the E-Discovery Zone

Bil Kellerman of Wilson Sonsini was the latest guest yesterday on the E-Discovery Zone, the award winning broadcast series hosted by Browning Marean and myself every month on the TechLaw Solutions website.   Bil, who many of you know from his days as Director of Corporate Legal Systems at Summation, is now the electronic discovery manager at Wilson Sonsini, where  he oversees the firm’s Electronic Data Operations Center (eDoc), working with litigation attorneys and clients’ in-house counsel and IT departments to effectively manage all aspects of client data collection associated with a litigation matter.

Our discussion focused on three areas of interest in todays ED space: forms of production, search technology and protective orders.  Needless to say, all three of us had strong opinions on all three areas but much of the discussion centered on the recent decision in Williams v American Mutual (William A. Gross Construction Associates, Inc. v. American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co.  07 Civ. 10639 (LAK) (AJP) (March 19, 2009).

In that case, Judge Andrew Peck (who wrote the the groundbreaking decision in the pre-FRCP amendents case of  Anti-Monopoly, Inc. v. Hasbro, Inc., 1995 WL 649934 (S.D. N.Y. 1995),  laid into attorneys who he found technically lacking in a manner reminiscent of Judge Fasciolas arresting keynote speech at LegalTech New York in January.  Bil echoed Judge Peck by noting that the vast majority of attorneys he deals with simply don’t understand the basic technology of digitally stored documents, at which point the discussion progressed into the Sedona Cooparation Proclamation  and the ongoing issue of technical education of attorneys.

The full recording of the discussion should be online by weeks end. In the meantime Browning and I are travelling to Chciago for the ABA TechShow where we will be continuing thses discussions with other colleagues. I’ll give you a full report on how those talks play out later this week and in the meantime I am interested in hearing your opinion.  When you have an e-discovery matter, do most attorneys you encounter understand the basic principles enough to engage in a cooperative dialouge about exchanging digital documents?

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