Yearly Archives: 2019

Be a Game-Changer or You’ll End Up on the Sidelines: Why Law Firms Should Invest More in eDiscovery Technology

Most of us saw the headline in Forbes at the beginning of this year about the record increase in legal technology investment for 2018. “713% Growth,” it proclaimed. Which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the trends over the last several years. I can imagine the industry evangelists all nodding their heads assuredly: “Told you so.” And according to the recently released Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition 2019 survey, it’s not just the legal tech folks, but law firm leaders as well, who “agree almost unanimously (96 percent) that a focus on improved practice efficiency is a permanent trend in the profession.”

But just because law firms agree, doesn’t mean they’re changing anytime soon. Why? The top four reasons given in the survey are:

  • Law firm partners resisted most change efforts (69 percent up from 44 percent in 2015)
  • Law firms experienced insufficient economic pain to motivate change (66 percent)
  • Most partners were unaware of what they might do differently (60 percent)
  • Clients weren’t asking for it (59 percent)

It’s not really an unfamiliar story. In fact, much of the growth over the past several years has been with corporate legal teams bringing eDiscovery in-house. But if you rewind the clock to 2015, many of them were giving similar reasons for putting off investment in legal tech, until enough corporate legal departments realized the benefits – namely by becoming educated on new tools and processes and how adapting them could affect significant cost savings. Those same driving forces can also apply to law firms.

Clients aren’t likely to drive the change. If you’re in the middle of litigation and need to send large data sets to outside counsel for processing and review, you probably aren’t going to push the law firm to invest in new technology. You simply want the job done correctly so that a resolution can be reached.

Which is why it’s up to technology vendors and forward-thinking law firms to move the needle and push the industry beyond its entrenched views. Law firm leaders might ask, Why change when things are going well? Two reasons: Because efficiencies gained through technology investment can make what is going well go even better, and an economy that is up will eventually go down.

In fact, 62 percent of respondents in the Altman Weil survey indicated in-house legal teams doing more of their own eDiscovery was currently taking business from them. So, if technology can help in-house teams increase their effectiveness, increase the defensibility of their processes, and cut costs, then it stands to reason that law firms can do the same by streamlining their processes and increasing their investment in technology.

The most difficult and expensive stage in eDiscovery is related to the right-side of the EDRM (processing and review). Most corporate legal teams are using technology to help with the left-side (information governance, preservation, and collection). Yes, there are some who do everything in-house, but this requires an extremely mature in-house eDiscovery process, with all of the stakeholders (Legal, IT, and Business Units) working together seamlessly, as well as a robust technology solution.

Which means, when litigation arises involving large data sets, complexities with file types, and complicated search needs, those in-house teams are still going to want to utilize law firms or service providers that specialize in elite eDiscovery. Which in turn means, the 31% of law firms who aren’t resistant to investing in technology are going to be able to take on bigger cases and more of them, while recouping their costs.

As Nicole Black said in a recent Above the Law article, “Large law firms are happily winning at checkers, while the rest of the world has long since moved on to chess.” As the ubiquity of electronic evidence in both civil and criminal cases is becoming more and more inevitable, law firms would do well to become game-changers instead of being left on the sidelines.

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Stay up to date with the latest Legaltech and eDiscovery trends in the Ipro Newsroom

New Study Shows AI Made Scientific Discoveries Humans Missed:

New Study Shows AI Made Scientific Discoveries Humans Missed: What are the Implications for eDiscovery?

People are always talking about how Artificial Intelligence is the future of legal technology. But up to this point, very few are using it within eDiscovery, and those who are stick with the standard TAR / Predictive Coding approach. Outside of legal, breakthroughs are happening which could open doors for attorneys and investigators to use AI to help sift through large datasets while making connections otherwise not possible with human-only review.

In a recent study published in Nature, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used an algorithm called Word2Vec to read scientific papers. The algorithm was given no training in scientific knowledge, instead relying only on word associations. While reviewing over 3 million previously written scientific papers and looking for associations humans may have previously missed, the AI led researchers to knowledge that existed but wasn’t apparent without the help of machine learning.

Vahe Tshitoyan, the lead author on the study, stated, “This algorithm is unsupervised, and it builds its own connections.” Because it’s not trained on a specific dataset, you could easily apply it to other disciplines. He continues, “The information is out there. We just haven’t made these connections yet, because you can’t read every article.”

But any shadow of a doubt can throw a court case into question, which is why bringing AI into the legal sphere is tricky at best. This very well-considered and in-depth article in Law360 discusses why AI Tools need to be litigation ready or “discovery in a lawsuit contesting decisions those tools have made could quickly become a nightmare: Your company may suffer enormous distractions and decreased productivity as it struggles to address litigation requirements that are inconsistent with its AI systems, data and culture; may be subjected to onerous court orders that interfere with its ability to conduct its core businesses; may even suffer adverse judgments on claims that lack merit.”

This highlights the push-pull that exists around AI in the eDiscovery industry: innovators will create technology and find potential uses for it in legal, but the need for data integrity and defensible processes will slow those advances’ practical application.

But forward movement is forward, even if it is slow moving. And in the digital age, even when progress may seem to stall, new approaches can change things seemingly overnight. And even if the Word2Vec algorithm isn’t currently practical for Review, it may be useful during investigations or Early-Case-Assessment, where human reviewers simply need the extra insight AI can give them, allowing them to get to the facts of a case quicker, and then continue through the more standard processes required for defensibility.

Which is why it’s important that we continue to look outside the bubble of legaltech for possibilities. The answers are out there. We just need to make the connections.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Stay up to date with the latest legaltech and eDiscovery trends in the Ipro Newsroom

Two Murder Investigations in the Last Week Highlight eDiscovery’s Role in Criminal Investigations

Two recent murder cases have again highlighted the use of electronic forensics to solve cases that only a few decades ago, would have been difficult to crack in the relatively short time frame between the crime and the arrest.

The Sydney Loofe Case

In the second week of his trial this June, murder suspect Aubrey Trail tried to cut his own throat in the courtroom. A year ago, the then 51-year-old Trail and his alleged girlfriend 24-year-old Bailey Boswell, were charged with the murder of a 24-year-old Nebraska woman, Sydney Loofe.

Loofe was last seen 11/15/2018 before going on a Tinder date with Boswell. Police found the remains of Loofe’s body in a field a few weeks later, and in the months that followed, used a wide variety of electronic data, along with traditional forensics, to link Trail and Boswell to the murder. From an eDiscovery point of view, the list of evidence pieces together a vivid story:

  • Tinder Profiles: 140 messages between Loofe and Boswell in the days before November 15th were pulled from their online dating profiles. The last was on Nov. 15 at 6:54 p.m., when Boswell said she’d arrived at Loofe’s apartment. Police also found that Boswell went by “Audrey” on her online-dating profile.
  • Snapchat Photo: Loofe sent a selfie to a friend via Snapchat on November 15th with the caption, “Ready for my date.”
  • Facebook Videos: Trail and Boswell both posted Facebook videos claiming innocence while police were looking for them. In one, Boswell said she was “Audrey on Tinder and a few other names because I have warrants.”
  • iPhone Reset: After her arrest, Boswell gave investigators permission to search her iPhone 7, which they found had been reset to factory default settings on November 17.
  • Cellphone Pings/GPS Locations: Loofe’s phone last pinged a cell tower near Wilber, where Boswell and Trail lived in a basement apartment. When detectives searched that residence, the landlord, who lived upstairs, “reported a strong odor of bleach coming from the basement.” Data from Boswell’s phone showed its location was “in close proximity to the area where the remains were discovered Dec. 16th.”
  • Security Video Footage: Security footage from a local Home Depot showed Trail and Boswell on Nov. 15 around 10:35 a.m., shopping for tools and supplies that could be used to cover up the crime.
  • Phone Calls from Jail: In two different phone calls, one to the Lincoln Journal Star and the other to the Omaha World-Herald, Trail gave different accounts, claiming he unintentionally killed Loofe in a sex game gone wrong.

All of this led to a confession from Trail, stating that he had killed Loofe, and then he and Boswell covered up the crime scene and disposed of the body.

The MacKenzie Lueck Case

MacKenzie Lueck was a 23-year-old University of Utah student who disappeared in the early hours of June 17th, 2019. Her parents reported her missing on June 20th, and on June 28th, Ayoola Ajayi, 31, was arrested as a suspect for her murder. Once again, a combination of digital and traditional forensics created a narrative of what happened to her, and led investigators to her remains and the arrest in just over a week.

  • Airport Data: Lueck arrived at the Salt Lake City airport at 2:09am on June 17th from California after attending her grandmother’s funeral. Security photos from the airport show Lueck in the airport after deboarding her plane, giving investigators an image of what she looked like, what she was wearing, and personal belongings she had with her at the time.
  • Text to her Mother: While at the airport, Lueck texted her mother to let her know she had arrived safely.
  • Lyft Data: Lueck requested a ride through the ride-share app Lyft. Data from Lyft showed that the driver took her to Hatch Park, which is 8.5 miles from her home in Trolley Square. It also showed that nothing out of the ordinary happened on the drive, and that the Lyft driver immediately picked up other passengers after dropping her off. An interview with the driver indicated she was meeting someone in the park, but the driver didn’t know who that might be or the make/model of another car they were driving.
  • Park Surveillance: There are no surveillance cameras inside Hatch Park, but police began investigating security footage in the areas surrounding the park.
  • Social Media: Police looked at Lueck’s social media and dating profiles, and also asked the public if they had any information on alternate accounts, due to the growing trend of people keeping online profiles that aren’t known to family or close friends in order to maintain a layer of anonymity.
  • Phone Data: Cell phone data showed that the last person Lueck communicated with before going missing was Ayoola Ajayi. It also showed that Lueck’s and Ajayi’s phones were in Hatch Park the night of the 17th within one minute of each other. Hatch Park was the last place Lueck’s phone transmitted data. Ajayi’s phone also had several pictures of Lueck, including one from an online profile, after he had said in a police interview that he had no idea what Lueck looked like, had never visited her online profiles, and had last texted her at 6pm on June 16th.
  • Suspect’s Online Image: Investigators used data from Ajayi’s online footprint—from sites as varied as LinkedIn and Goodreads—along with interviews of people who knew the suspect, as well as public records, to put together a profile.
  • Search of Suspect’s Home: A forensic excavation found charred items matching Lueck’s clothing and personal belongings, and Lueck’s DNA matched remains found on site. Police also located a mattress and box-spring Ajayi had given away using a social media app just prior to his arrest.

Conclusion:

These tragic events show how law enforcement are more and more relying on electronic data to solve cases. And as these cases move to the courts, it highlights how important eDiscovery is in today’s legal world. Mobile phone data, GPS, social media, surveillance video, and other new media types are continually being used to investigate criminal cases and bring them to trial. Which is why companies that create eDiscovery and trial presentation software must continue to stay on the cutting edge of technology trends in order to maintain data integrity used in criminal and civil court. Since the use of these types of data are being used to solve crimes, attorneys and courts must be prepared to handle the electronic data while trying these cases.

Written By Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro Tech

 

Want the latest industry news? Visit the Ipro eDiscovery Newsroom

You’re Never Too Old to Grow Up! Ipro Announces a New Look for their Website

Websites reflect their owners’ identities in the same way buildings do—they are even referred to in architectural terms, built on sites, given addresses—and that’s why you’ll see an updated look when you visit Iprotech.com.

Ipro has been a legal technology company for 30 years and during that time has evolved through many changes. This past year marks one more of those changes, a blending of powerful technology with a client-centric approach. We hope the new website’s powerful, yet simple design and readability reflect that shift.

As part of that design, we adapted the theme of city skylines for a number of reasons. A city’s skyline can be read and recognized like a line of text, and from above, it resembles a circuit board. They represent the intersections of business and government, the great centers of data creation, technological innovation, and legal oversight. These are the places where Ipro operates and thrives.

As a final small yet significant change, our logo now sports a capital I. Early printers of Latinate languages used the uppercase to signify the beginning of a sentence, because periods are small and often overlooked. A capital letter notes a change in thought, the introduction of a new idea distinguished from the lines that had preceded it. Beginning our company’s name with a capital letter seemed one more way to reflect our identity and where we stand going into this new era.

Check out our new look, as well as how we can help you simplify your process from discovery to trial!

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro Tech

Ipro Discovery to Trial Legal Software
Ipro gets an updated look

The Future of eDiscovery and Lit Services for Smaller Organizations?

Lit Services

The Future of eDiscovery and Lit Services for Smaller Organizations? A Modern Desktop Deployed Solution is a Great Fit

Smaller firms and organizations are often left out of the conversation when it comes to eDiscovery. Yes, they still are expected to handle electronic evidence as it arises in civil litigation or in criminal cases, but because of limited resources, they often must manage ESI either using older legacy software or by handing their data over to a 3rd party vendor.

Many in the industry are saying that new cloud offerings are the solution for small firms, and certainly they give power and flexibility, but are often geared toward enterprise clients (just imagine your grandfather buying a high-end gaming computer to play solitaire and you’ll get the idea). Plus, many firms aren’t ready to move operations to a cloud-based platform, instead wanting to keep things in-house for control and security. That’s where powerful eDiscovery software, which can be deployed on a desktop quickly, affordably, and with continued development and support is a game-changer for smaller shops—keeping them ahead of changing technology trends.

Ipro (desktop) is a discovery, review, and production solution that easily handles millions of records. It is accessible by any number of users within your infrastructure and it can be deployed in less than an hour with all the functionality you need to review cases of any size.

Bob Meyers, 20-year eDiscovery industry veteran and consultant, shares his recent experience working with a small firm out of Las Vegas who focuses on criminal defense: “They had just received a data dump of over 700,000 documents from the DOJ, and needed to find a cost-effective tool quickly to help them load, process, and review all of those documents. Ipro (desktop) became their number one solution.”

A lot of legacy desktop eDiscovery solutions aren’t supported or continually developed. They’re out-of-the-box options, and often out-of-date in dealing with the latest issues. If you want the latest technology, you’re expected to move to the cloud. But in today’s dynamic technology world, simply having functional software isn’t a long-term solution. That’s why the Ipro development team is continually working to meet industry challenges, while the Ipro support team is there to help you with anything that may be an issue today and future-proof your needs.

Along with the latest support and development, Ipro (desktop) lets you easily migrate from the most popular legacy flat-file review databases and has been purpose-built with the most cutting-edge features found in any in-house review platform. Effortlessly manage reviews, unitize documents, ingest native files, and produce documents with this true all-in-one litigation platform.

An additional benefit with Ipro, is that their desktop deployment isn’t the only option: they also have a powerful and robust cloud offering. If your cases get too large for your physical infrastructure or need to be accessed online by co-counsel, they can temporarily be moved to the Ipro Cloud, giving you that extra-horsepower on demand, allowing you to take on cases of any size or complexity without significant ramp-up time or monetary investment.

As electronic data continues to grow and become more and more standard as part of the legal progress, smaller firms need the flexibility to operate powerful software while fitting within their personnel and resource budgets. Ipro (desktop) begins to close that gap. Or as Julie Laboe, expert consultant and trainer in e-discovery and litigation database programs and trial presentation software states, “I’m seeing the scenario [of small firms facing large data sets] more than ever before, and Ipro (desktop) simply levels the playing field for small firms against the bigger players in any type of case.”

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer for Ipro Tech

Deleted ESI Doesn’t Automatically Mean Sanctions:

Deleted ESI Doesn’t Automatically Mean Sanctions: Two Recent Cases Highlight the Spoliation Thresholds in Rule 37(e)  

With the 2015 FRCP amendments quickly nearing a half-decade in existence, case-law continues to define how these rules are upheld in court, especially when it comes to the handing out of sanctions. Two recent cases show how strictly judges are adhering to the thresholds laid out in Rule 37(e). As a reminder, here they are those thresholds in plain language: 

If Electronically Stored Information (ESI) was lost because a party didn’t take reasonable steps to preserve it when they should have (i.e. because they knew litigation was imminent); and if the lost ESI can’t be restored or replaced by simply doing discovery again; and if there was an intent to deprive the party of information by the loss of the ESI; and if the lost ESI actually affects the outcome of the case, then the court may consider sanctions. 

In other words, sanctions are not given just for spoliation of ESI.  

 

Mafille v. Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. May 21, 2019 (N.D. Okla. 2019) 

 “Lecturing Plaintiffs about their obligation to preserve electronically stored evidence is exceedingly poor form. 

In this case, the Plaintiff, Marlana Mafille, was terminated in part because of alleged performance issues. As part of a standard retention policy, Ms. Mafille’s company computer was given to a charitable organization with other retired computers and the data was presumably destroyed, even though the plaintiff had submitted an EEOC charge of discrimination three months earlier. 

After the defendant tried to blame the plaintiff for not requesting the computer be saved, US Magistrate Judge Frank H. McCarthy stated in his ruling, “…lecturing Plaintiffs about their obligation to preserve electronically stored evidence…is exceedingly poor form and beyond zealous advocacy.” He continues, “The court finds that Mrs. Mafille’s work computer should have been preserved and further that Defendant is solely and entirely at fault for failing to take reasonable steps to preserve the computer. However, that finding does not necessarily equate to an award of the sanctions Plaintiffs have requested.” 

Why were sanctions denied? The plaintiff’s computer contents were uploaded daily onto the defendant’s LAN server as part of a company policy. So even if her computer were destroyed, the contents could potentially be retrieved if discovery were done on the LAN server. Also, the defendant requested which documents were vital for the plaintiff’s case so they could attempt to retrieve them from the LAN server, but the Plaintiffs never identified any such items. Or as Judge McCarthy ruled, In the absence of such a showing the court must find that Plaintiffs have not suffered any prejudice as a result of the destruction of Mrs. Mafille’s work computer.” 

 

Univ. Accounting Serv., LLC v. Schulton. June 7, 2019 (D. Or. 2019) 

I deleted the file as fast as I could, because it’s exactly the type of damning information they want to catch me with.” 

Ethan Schulton was a lead software developer for ScholarChip and decided to leave the company and start his own endeavor to compete directly with his former employer. He also took his entire email file, ScholarChip’s client list, and some client webinars. Litigation began on March 7, 2018 and four days later, Schulton started deleting files. He did so again on April 9. And then again in August. During his deposition, Schulton admitted, “I recognize fully that was in violation of the subpoena,” and later said of one particular piece of data, “I deleted the file as fast as I could, because I was petrified at its existence, because it’s exactly the type of damning information that UAS wants to catch me with.” 

In US District Judge Michael H. Simon’s Ruling, he states that the Rule 37(e) sanction thresholds “have been satisfied.” It was clear that ESI which should have been preserved was deleted after litigation had begunJudge Simon continued, Schulton has admitted facts sufficient to support the conclusion that he acted with the intent to deprive UAS of the information’s use in the litigation, at least to the extent of depriving UAS of the ability to prove precisely what Schulton took with him when he left ScholarChip’s employment at the end of 2017. Finally, UAS has attempted to restore or replace through additional discovery the deleted information but has been unsuccessful. Thus, UAS has satisfied the four threshold elements under Rule 37(e). 

Yet, even after meeting the threshold conditions, the judge didn’t order case termination sanctions, but instead chose a permissive inference spoliation instruction against the defendant. 

 

Conclusion: 

Just because spoliation sanctions require proof that the stringent Rule 37 thresholds were met, doesn’t mean you should be lax when it comes to your eDiscovery processes or technology. Stay up to date with the latest eDiscovery and industry news here on the Ipro blog. 

 

Written by:
Jim Gill
Content Writer for Ipro Tech

  

eDiscovery Technology for Small Law Firms? The Answer Isn’t Necessarily Found in the Cloud

If you look at the news or even the endless supply of police procedurals and legal dramas streaming on Netflix and Hulu, you would think that everyone is aware that evidence these days is often electronic. But according to a recent Thomson Reuters survey, only 19% of smaller law firms are investing in eDiscovery technology and only 2% plan to do so in the next year (Who else gets an image of paralegals printing out emails and reviewing stacks of paper documents that were created digitally?). 

Most small firms are probably working off the assumption that eDiscovery software solutions are cost-prohibitive and only a worthwhile investment for larger firms or in-house corporate legal departments. But times have changed, especially with a move to cloud-based platforms. But what if you don’t want to move to the cloud? You may want the control and security that comes from having your operations on-prem. Or you may be a small shop that wants to keep things simple and keep costs lower than even the cheapest cloud-based offerings. You may even want to run the entire discovery process straight through review into trial preparation and presentation software on the same machine. 

Many desktop-based eDiscovery options are legacy platforms. They may still be available for use, but they aren’t being supported in the present or developed for the future. And in today’s dynamic technology world, simply having functional software isn’t a longterm solution.  

And this is where small firms find themselves stuck: either they adopt cloud-based solutions that were built with larger users in mind or they are left with outdated, unsupported desktop solutions. It’s no wonder many of them simply stick with the old way of doing things. 

But instead of a “go cloud or do nothing” approach, the small firm solution might be a powerful, locally deployed, low-overhead eDiscovery suite. A tool that can quickly ingest, scan, and OCR an array of file-types directly into review. Software that has the most up-to-date review tools of a cloud-based platform. And then, when production is finished, the same machine can move data seamlessly into trial presentation software on a laptop for use in trial. Ia case comes along that is too large for a firm’s physical infrastructure or needs to be accessed online by co-counsel, it can simply be moved to the cloud, allowing small firms to take on cases of any size or complexity without significant ramp-up time or monetary investment. 

Imagine it – a small law firm with high-end eDiscovery capabilities deployed locally. Unicorn? Game-changer? Or the answer that’s been hiding in plain sight all along. 

Learn more about the most comprehensive desktop-based eDiscovery solution on the market. 

 

Proposed German Regulation Raises the eDiscovery Existential Question:

 What is Legal Tech?

A new article published in Artificial Lawyer discusses a proposed new regulation for legal technology solutions “that have encroached on what they see as the regulated provision of legal services.” While still far away from fruition, if it were to pass, this regulation (or others like it) could affect the EU in significant ways.

The regulation specifically targets automated platforms that guide people through a legal claim process. There has been a rise in legal technology which, as the article states, “build[s] up their legal expertise through scaled case numbers, allowing them to go up against big opponents. They assume the user’s cost, give the user someone to fight for them, in exchange for a part of their winnings upon success. Moreover, they may receive financing from third parties. Lawyers [in Germany] are currently not permitted to do either.” This approach gives users access to legal areas where attorneys have little interest due to the small amounts in dispute.

But what does a proposed regulation in Germany have to do with eDiscovery in North America? If anything, it raises that question which haunts all of us in one way or another: who am I? Or in this case, what is legal tech? You might ask, why bother with philosophy 101 when there are terabytes of data to review? Too often in the legal world there’s a “we’ll deal with that when it comes up” approach. Our cases rarely go to trial. We usually don’t deal with large-scale data. Almost all of our discovery is email. And then, when something new does come up, we are caught off guard.

Potential outcomes are always worth pondering, specifically for the reason that it causes us to stop and imagine what is possible. So, how would you define legal tech?

The German politicians’ definition, “seems to mean web-based platforms that engage with consumer legal issues.” This certainly seems to potentially encompass many (if not all) of the eDiscovery software companies out there. The German proposal currently focuses on individuals who use automated legal platforms, but where does the regulation end? Does this extend to scholars, consultants, service providers, in-house corporate eDiscovery team members who aren’t attorneys? As Artificial Lawyer posts, “Would AI review tools administered by a team of paralegals in an LPO come under the ‘unregulated legal tech advice’ umbrella?”

Again, all of this is speculation. After all, it’s a proposed regulation in a single European country that may not gain any traction. Then again, understanding begins with definition. In an industry like eDiscovery—where our own terms aren’t clearly defined (just ask for a definition of AI or TAR or ECA, and you will get a variety of answers)—the basic question of “what is legal tech and what is its role in the legal system?” is definitely worth pondering and potentially preparing for.

Attorneys Need Presentation Tools Specifically Designed for Trial

Because the Courtroom isn’t the Classroom—

Historically, teachers have used a variety of technology display tools for presenting information to their students; a photocopy on transparency paper via an overhead projector or a video camera hooked up to a TV on a rolling cart to show clear images from a book. Fast forward a few more years when smart podiums came along, giving teachers the ability to connect a laptop to a projector and show images, word docs, and videos. These were all powerful in their day.

Often, the presentation needs of teachers and attorneys have a lot of similarities, gaining the right focus of your audience, but attorneys have much more at stake; they need a dynamic presentation tool to meet their needs in the courtroom. Yet many still use PowerPoint, document cameras, and even foam boards to present evidence to the jury. 

The law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard were doing just that 4 years ago, when they realized they needed far more control and flexibility over their presentations. That’s when they switched to TrialDirector as their go-to presentation software for trial. The firm attributes TrialDirector’s seamless flow, the ability to call up exhibits on the fly, video deposition tools, and how easily the presentation integrates with the attorney’s dialogue as having a powerful impact on the jury to help them tell their story and provide a positive outcome for their clients. 

With TrialDirector 360 you can: 

  • Present virtually any type of document or media from your PC or laptop 
  • Streamline your entire trial preparation and presentation process with one tool 
  • Organize transcripts, video depo’s, and documents for offline presentation 
  • Impress juries and clients through easy-to-present, impactful multimedia presentations 
  • Easily collaborate with multiple users working on a centrally stored case 

Most of the time we stick with what we know and make it work, often not realizing there may be a better solution out there. Trial presentation is no different, attorneys need a competitive edge in the courtroom and TrialDirector 360 can give them that edge.  

You Have a Choice When it Comes to Your Data, So Choose to Give it To Us

You Have a Choice When it Comes to Your Data, So Choose to Give it To Us: The Ongoing Dance Between Data Privacy and eDiscovery

We all love the idea of having control. Especially when it comes to the things that matter to us most. Things like privacy. And it’s that notion of control that tech giants like Google and Amazon are using in their latest announcements regarding user data. 

In a NY Times Op-Ed published in May, Google’s Sundar Pichai said, “Privacy is personal, which makes it even more vital for companies to give people clear, individual choices around how their data is used.” This along with a statement saying that Google believes the United States would benefit from GDPR-like legislation is no-doubt an attempt to reassure users. 

Amazon’s new Echo Show gives users the voice command “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” which deletes all voice commands from Amazon’s servers after midnight of that calendar day. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to use the command, “Alexa, forget what I just said,” to delete an individual command. But Amazon hasn’t said if these commands will delete metadata, and they won’t delete data shared in a transaction, like calling for a rideshare, ordering dinner, or purchasing something online. (In some ways, it begins to seem data is like energy in the First Law of Thermodynamics: it isn’t really destroyed, it only changes form).  

More than this though, is the idea that putting privacy in the hands of the user creates a false dichotomy: you have control on how tech companies use your data, but just letting them use your data makes the use of their products so much more functional and convenient. And as Lauren Goode from Wired said, when “tech companies have made it a choice between convenience and privacy, convenience will always win.” 

So, what does this mean for the LegalTech world? Any time data is involved, everything is at stake. Data is evidence, and the amount of electronically stored information (ESI) continues to grow at breakneck speeds. But, the same challenges apply regardless of how that ESI is created: where is it located and how can it be preserved, collected, reviewed, and produced for the courts in a timely, defensible, and cost-effective manner? 

When you throw privacy into the mix, it adds another layer. Who owns the data? Is it protected and under what guidelines and jurisdictions? 

Law tends to be a stolid, steadfast, and let’s face it, slow-moving entity; technology is always chasing what lies beyond the horizon. For investigators, attorneys, and other players in the eDiscovery world (lit-support, IT, paralegals, etc.) understanding the data landscape belonging to specific custodians involved in a case can be complex on its own. The need to understand the larger, digital world and how changes in both technology and policies surrounding the creation, ownership, and extraction of data become increasingly important in creating effective strategies for the courtroom.  

So the question begins, who uses Alexa, who uses Google and who decides to pass on both?