Quick Review of Legal Tech West

I always like to wait a few days after a TechShow before I  comment on what I saw in order to better digest the experience so after Legal Tech West and the always delightful experience of traffic in LA, I spent a relaxing weekend in San Diego to unwind.

So what did I see at the show?  Data mapping and collection continue to get attention as Nuix added more horsepower to it’s product, Fusion Genome added an ROI calculator and Orange Legal Technologies promoted it’s “OneO Data Transport Service” which claims to quickly map and transfer data among different e-discovery applications.

Guidance introduced EnCase Portable, which  runs on a USB drive and StoredIQ  was showcasing it’s  Desktop Agent, a tool for collection and filtering of relevant data.

But in retrospect, the biggest trend I saw at the show was the continued push to the left of the EDRM model with more and more emphasis on planning and protocols. In fact, if this keeps up we may need a segment in EDRM called “consulting”.

 The trend to incorporate ED more with document management is pushing further into unstructured data and enterprise Content Management.  Kroll Ontrack added Advanced Search Technology to Ontrack Engenium  in order to add e-mail threading and de-duplication capability. Ikon showcased a new set of  technology and services in support of both litigation needs and document management.  Fios meanwhile tried to divert the attention around it’s management restructuring with an all new “Compliant Disposition Methodology”,  focusing on what they call  “information governance” ,  a broad set of  consulting services focused on crafting retention policies and working with document management in order to reduce the volume of corporate legacy data.

The not really new idea is to assess needs BEFORE litigation and establish a plan to handle ESI requests when they come in.  In the consulting world we call that, well … consulting but having Fios push the concept can’t hurt. A rising tide lifts all ships.

And finally judges continued to push the concept of cooperation with the Hon. Dave Waxse, U.S. Magistrate, District of Kansas and the Hon. Andrew J. Peck, U.S. Magistrate, Southern District of New York anchoring a Wednesday AM keynote.  Judge Peck repeated his recent  “wake up call” from his recent decision in William A. Gross Construction Associates, Inc. v. American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co. 07 Civ. 10639 (LAK) (AJP) (March 19, 2009) saying he is tired of attorneys doing “drive by” meet and confers while Judge Waxse focused on attorneys who are less than truthful when reporting on the sate of data collection.

All of which led back to the issue of better education of attorneys and a  report I heard from Chuck Kellner that federal judges in Illinois are putting together a training requirement for attorneys who wish to argue e-discovery matters in front of them. No word yet on the specific requirements but it is clear that Federal judges are going to take the lead in raising the bar for ED education.

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