Top 10 ILTA 2014 Moments

top ten

ILTA’s 2014 “Imagine” conference is in the books, and, if you’re like me, you probably needed this week to recover. Below is my top 10 list of memorable moments in Nashville, Tennessee last week.

10: The best swag: robot pens. Once again this year, Kroll Ontrack handed out robot pens. Everyone loves a good robot pen!

9: The after-parties. Good food, fine drinks and wonderful music in Music City. Great way to reconnect with old friends.

8: Prizes! Cameras and speakers and tablets, oh my! Congrats to all attendees that took home prizes in vendor bingo, daily drawings and the money machine.

7: The ILTA fun-run. About 50+ attendees enjoyed a sweaty 3.2 mile run on Monday morning. I spent my time near the back of the pack with these lovely ladies.

6: Grand Ole Opry show featuring Carrie Underwood. An unnamed informant even reported seeing Judge Peck taking in some down-home country music at the Opry (conveniently located steps from the conference hotel).

5: Technology demos. Kroll Ontrack enjoyed some great conversations about with ILTA attendees.

4: Powerful Keynotes. “Technology is a resource-liberating force” – Peter Diamandis; “It’s a mad, mad, mad world…” – Rod Beckstrom.

3: Education. Education. Education. Top-notch speakers with interesting commentary. Legal process, document management, cloud, ediscovery, knowledge management, dashboards, disruptive technology, security, time, billing, search, machine learning, innovation, spearfishing, information governance, cyberhacking, …the future of law.

2: And the award goes to…ILTA’s Distinguished Peer Awards – our industry’s version of the Emmys.

1: Comic-con Vendor Expo. Who doesn’t love seeing friends and colleagues dressed up as Superman and Wonder Woman? Check out Kroll Ontrack’s ILTA video, where we asked party attendees what makes them an ediscovery superhero.

See you next year in Las Vegas, August 30th – September 3rd, 2015!

August 2014 Ediscovery Case Summaries

ediscovery case studies

Though Destruction of Evidence was Egregious, Lesser Sanctions Ordered
Hawley v. Mphasis Corp., 2014 WL 3610946 (S.D.N.Y. July 22, 2014).

“Less Accessible” Information Leads to Spoliation Sanctions
Mazzei v. Money Store, 2014 WL 3610894 (S.D. N.Y. July 21, 2014).

Circuit Court Finds Failure to Provide Sufficient Evidence, Affirms Denial of Sanctions
Automated Solutions Corp. v. Paragon Data Sys., Inc., 2014 WL 2869286 (6th Cir. June 25, 2014).

Court Allows Plaintiff to “Switch Horses in Midstream” and Use Predictive Coding
Bridgestone Americas Inc. v. Int’l Bus. Mach. Corp., No. 3:13-1196, 2014 BL 202049 (M.D. Tenn. July 22, 2014).

Court Affirms Taxation of Costs; Says Plaintiff Presents a “Bad Argument”
Wis. Res. Prot. Coun. v. Flambeau Mining Co., 2014 WL 3810884 (W.D. Wis. Aug. 1, 2014)

Tribute: What Ediscovery Legends Are Made Of


Too many times this year, I sit at my desk with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Upon learning of Browning Marean’s passing over the weekend, all I can think is another ediscovery pioneer gone too soon. 

The ediscovery community is just that – a community. Whether you wear the hat of lawyer or client, vendor or consultant, litsupport or technologist, commentator or marketer, we all are connected by the same goals and ideals. And that is the reason why when one of our ediscovery family leaves us too soon, we all take a moment of pause. This year, sadly, we have had too many moments of pause.

My road with Browning goes back to the dark ages, to my early days both as a lawyer and ediscovery enthusiast. Long before the Zubulake opinions or 2006 FRCP amendments, Browning was one of the early advocates for legal technologies. He and a few other forbearers were headliners for a series of cross-country educational events sponsored by Kroll Ontrack. Like many of my former and current Kroll Ontrack colleagues, I am humbled to have had the chance to observe and learn from him, as we traveled from coast-to-coast evangelizing about this “new fangled” practice called ediscovery. As the years ticked by, it was a delight to visit with him at tradeshows and CLEs; Browning always genuinely showing interest in Kroll Ontrack’s newest offerings and my own personal pursuits. He touched so many in our community, it’s no wonder that within hours upon his passing, tributes, more tributes, and picture memorials abounded the ediscovery blog-o-sphere.

This trailblazer leaves big shoes to fill, sparking passion and inspiration to those of us left carrying the torches. Browning, I am certain somewhere you are convening one heck of a meet and confer.

#ILTA14: Grand Ole Technology and the Grand Ole Opry – Mid-Week Highlights


With record setting attendance (including representatives from 15 countries outside the US) and more than 200 educational sessions (including 400 speakers), once again, the annual ILTA conference is abuzz. This show, unlike any other, focuses on education, and this conference, unlike any other, offers a deep dive into the practicalities of law firm technology. Wandering the halls of the massive Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, you will hear the 3,000+ attendees talking about the same themes:

Legal process, document management, cloud, ediscovery, knowledge management, dashboards, disruptive technology, security, time, billing, search, machine learning, innovation, spearfishing, information governance, cyberhacking, …the future of law.

Not in Nashville this week? Perhaps more than any other year, these themes have permeated the social realm. Track all the tweets and vines with these hashtags: #ILTA, #ILTA14, #ILTAConf. In the first 24 hours of the show, there were more than 2,292 tweets from 552 contributors!  Check out the hashtracking for Day 1 of ILTA.

In addition, ILTA members, consultants and exhibitors also know how to have some fun – perhaps more exuberance than any other legal tradeshow of the year. How many other tradeshows have a Comic-con themed party where you can see attendees costumed as Wonder Woman or clad in nothing but Superman underwear? I promise these ILTA photos captured by one veteran attendee don’t disappoint!

Of course Kroll Ontrack partook in these entertaining festivities as well. On Monday night during Comic-con, we all dressed up like ediscovery superheros and our guests were able to win great prizes from our money machine at the Kroll Ontrack booth – all while enjoying our simultaneous cocktail party. Also, throughout the show, Kroll’s hot ticket items – and coolest things around – have been our robot pens. Attendees stop by the booth to check out the latest demos of products but cannot seem to leave without first collecting a pen – good thing we ordered extra!

If all this ILTA 2014 excitement isn’t enough, attendees could take in the sights and sounds of Nashville. The Grand Ole Opry is steps away from the convention center, and Carrie Underwood, Trace Adkins, and other country music superstars did not disappoint ILTA attendees that wandered over for an evening concert.  All this excitement and the conference is only at its mid-point! With two days left, there are sure to be more highlights to come. Check out next week for a blog containing a full wrap of all the best parts of the show!

Predictive Coding’s Ripple Effect


There’s always a new video going viral. The best ones are often talked about over the office water-cooler, making the participants overnight sensations. Consider 5-year-old Noah Ritter of Pennsylvania. He was merely interested in the super slide at his county fair, but when a local news crew asked him how the ride was, his adorable interview immediately went viral, garnering more than 3 million views on YouTube. That single video sent a ripple effect through the internet (and likely his personal life), and his interview was featured in articles and news outlets as far away as India and earned him a spot on Good Morning America. And now, for the crème de la crème, his name even graces this fine blog.

This ripple effect of popularity got me thinking about predictive coding (no surprise there). Predictive coding certainly made a splash when the first Federal court approved its use in litigation in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe. But since then, savvy practitioners have seen predictive coding as more than a discovery tool and have devised new uses for this powerful technology. The idea of incorporating machine learning and predictive coding into everyday business tasks is not far-fetched. This ripple effect of predictive coding can be seen in many areas, but there are three specific areas where the ripple effect will likely soon be a wave.

First, early use of predictive coding can be used to narrow the scope of discovery and refine the precision of collection. In addition, using predictive coding in this way can effect settlement. Incorporating predictive coding into EDA creates value that at least one court has already recognized.

Second, predictive coding can be used as a compliance tool.  Predictive coding is a natural way to assess and detect risk patterns, and stop them from developing further. Therefore, predictive coding software could be trained to comb through all of an organization’s information to detect potential risks and enable counsel to take immediate corrective action.

Finally, predictive coding can be used to combat the trials of information governance. Predictive coding can be and should be implemented in record retention policies. Predictive coding can identify which documents should be kept – and those that can be defensibly deleted. As more and more businesses become bogged down by big data, a smarter, more automated approach to record retention will be the future of information governance.

For more information concerning these “ripples” of predictive coding, check out Kroll Ontrack’s latest infographic, The Predictive Coding Ripple effect.

Information Governance, After-Glow Parties, and Honky-Tonks: Get Ready, ILTA 2014 is Almost Here


What town is the home of Maxwell House Coffee, holds the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world (standing a mere 42 feet tall), and – this one pretty much gives it away – has the highest concentration of guitar pickers on earth? That would be Nashville, Tennessee! Nashville not only boasts these fun facts but also has streets lined with honky-tonks, is a foodie’s haven, and is Hollywood A-lister’s weekend getaway destination.

So what does Nashville have to do with ediscovery? Nashville is hosting the 2014 International Legal Technology Association conference – or more commonly known as the ILTA conference. With the conference right around the corner, the following will give you a preview of what to expect at the weeklong, action-packed event.

Things Not to Miss

ILTA offers a wide breadth of educational session topics and events that truly set it apart from other legal technology conferences. With a little over 3,000 attendees – a relatively small number for this type of forum – ILTA is still able to offer more than 200 topic areas that are relevant to the legal technology industry. It is important to map out your schedule early to make sure you catch the hottest sessions being offered. Make sure to not miss the sessions targeting ESI protocol, ediscovery vendor relationships and information governance. These areas only scratch the surface of the wide range of topics covered. For a full list, check out ILTA’s session grid. The sessions are great but, in my opinion, one of the best parts of the conference is all of the fun events that are offered. Don’t miss the golf tournament, fun run, Comic-Con event, tailgate party or After-Glow parties. You’ll be sure to have a great time when attending!

Stop by to say “Howdy” at Kroll Ontrack’s Booth

Also, don’t forget to stop by the Kroll Ontrack booth located at 400/402. On Monday night, during the Comic-Con event, we will be throwing a cocktail party from 7-9pm. The party will include a money machine in Kroll Ontrack’s booth, with plenty of opportunities to win awesome prizes and of course some great cocktails. The best part about the event is that Kroll Ontrack staff will be dressing up like ediscovery superheros, so we hope that you’ll dress up as well and learn how Kroll Ontrack can be your superhero for all your ediscovery projects. Throughout the entire run of ILTA, the booth will be offering demonstrations of our products. Stop by the booth or pre-register online to see a demo of Relativity or our solutions.

ILTA will run from August 17-21 at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. For more details on the conference, check out ILTA’s website. Registration is still open but space is limited. We hope to see you there! Also, stay tuned to and follow Kroll Ontrack on Twitter or Facebook for more LIVE updates from the conference and all the latest in ediscovery.

Let It Go – Discarding Past Ediscovery Protocols; the Portfolio Approach is the Future


At some point in the last 9 months (even if you don’t have small children), you have likely heard or seen snippets from Disney’s latest blockbuster animated movie, Frozen.

“I’m never going back, the past is in the past. Let it go. Let it go….Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway.”

The song made popular by Idina Menzel is more than just a catchy kid’s tune; it offers some clever advice for those in the ediscovery world. It is time to let go of the fragmented case by case approach and leave short term ediscovery approaches in the past. The portfolio approach is the future.

Recently one of my Kroll Ontrack colleagues, John Winkler, published an article, “E-Discovery Evolution: Streamlining the Daunting Process,” in ILTA’s June 2014 Litigation and Practice Support Whitepaper. In this article, Mr. Winkler discusses the tendency of humans to seek out short term solutions even when long-term alternatives are a safer bet and offer superior results. He argues that when it comes to ediscovery, this notion rings true. Most law firms and corporations handle ediscovery matters in a single-minded, one-off, case-by-case manner. However, as Mr. Winkler posits in his article, there is a way to work smarter, not harder. What truly needs to be implemented is a long-term, comprehensive portfolio management approach to ediscovery that is designed to minimize data transfers, decrease the amount of stored documents and has everything needed for ediscovery in one place.

As ediscovery technologies and laws evolve, it is time to let go of the belief that short-term approaches to ESI collection, review and production are the best options. Instead, a portfolio approach to ediscovery can help law firms and corporations:

  • Drive repeatability across cases by leveraging similar data sets across productions
  • Standardize practices around the most current, innovative technologies
  • Predict costs and achieve visibility into expenses with subscription pricing based on reusable capacity and duration
  • Eliminate resource and infrastructure burdens and reduces risk across multiple cases

It you get a chance, read John Winkler’s article or watch a recorded webinar he did on the topic. His thoughts will give you some new perspectives on old practices.

James Bond, Data Security, and Law Firms: They Have More in Common Than You May Think

james bond

Certainly we all know that James Bond always gets the coolest cars, the lady, the perfect martini – shaken, not stirred – and of course the bad guy. And, in Bond’s most recent mission, he was tasked with tracking an illusory cyber-criminal. Fortunate for Bond, he had the help of Q, one of the smartest computer programmers available, and he was able to catch the hacker.  If Bond and Q were available to everyone facing data security problems, we would always catch the bad guy and never have anything to worry about – not to mention have a pretty awesome set of wheels. Unfortunately, that it not the case and the latest prime targets for these evasive cyber-criminals are law firms.

But what would hackers want to do with law firms? Well, law firms by their very nature have access to highly sensitive information about corporate clients, and their most-important job is to keep that information confidential. Their core competency is arguing the merits of the law – but the rise of big data and the use of unstructured data dictate the need for law firms to act as secure data centers. Building secure data centers and protecting them from cyber threats is not a core competency, which is perhaps why hackers see them as a ripe target.

This is a red hot topic right now. Recently, the Sedona Conference announced that it is forming a new working group that specifically addresses the issue of data security. Additionally, the U.S. Senate proposed new legislation related to cybersecurity. This is only the tip of the iceberg for this growing area, and if you’re interested in hearing more on law firm data security, Kroll Ontrack and other industry leaders, such as Ralph Losey at Jackson Lewis, Brian Calla at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, Alan Brill  from Kroll Associates and David Horrigan of 451 Research held a Google+ Hangout on this topic. You will find it to be a fun, interactive discussion on these issues. Check out the Google+ Hangout here.

As always, don’t forget to stay tuned to and for all the latest in ediscovery.

July 2014 Ediscovery Case Summaries

ediscovery case studies

Orders Are Not Obsolete Unless the Court Says So
HM Elecs., Inc. v. R.F. Techs., Inc., 2014 WL 3014660 (S.D. Cal. July 3, 2014).

Court Encourages a More Cooperative Discovery Plan
Life Plans, Inc. v. Sec. Life of Denver Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2879881 (N.D. Ill. June 25, 2014).

Court Slaps Stonewalling Defendant with Sanctions
Brown v. Tellermate Holdings Ltd., 2014 WL 2987051 (S.D. Ohio July 1, 2014).

Court Denies Mirror-Imaging as a Disproportionate Discovery Method
Downs v. Va. Health Sys., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74415 (W.D. Va. June 2, 2014).

Court Does Not Find a Waiver Where Computer is Sold at Auction
Kyko Global, Inc. v. Prithvi Info. Solutions, Ltd., 2014 WL 2694236(W.D. Wash. June 13, 2014).

New Pulse Benchmarks Demonstrate Trends in Source Media and Deduplication


Don’t miss a beat; the new Pulse Benchmarks are here! These metrics can help practitioners keep up with trends in the ediscovery market and better plan and execute their ediscovery projects. If you’re new to Pulse, here’s a quick overview: Kroll Ontrack’s Pulse Benchmarks present aggregated and trended data from over 4,000 matters over a five-year span (2008-2012) to identify trends and key changes in the ediscovery market. Our two new Benchmarks cover interesting trends in types of source media and deduplication review volumes. To see the two new Benchmarks, please download the report.

Types of source media fluctuate as ediscovery processing becomes standardized

Understanding what data goes into a project is important to getting to the information you need. Source data for ediscovery processing can be transmitted in many formats, but data from the Pulse Benchmarks has indicated a trend away from data being transmitted on CDs/DVDs and more data being transmitted via electronic file transfer (or FTPs).

Deduplication rates rise to reduce review volumes

Cutting time and costs is what technology assisted review (TAR) is all about, and one of the important tools used in TAR is deduplication. Deduplication is the process of comparing documents based on characteristics and removing duplicate records from the data set. This process can either be leveraged on the entire data set (project level deduplication) or a subset of data (such as custodian deduplication). This Pulse Benchmark indicates that project level deduplication selections are on the rise, marking a trend toward efforts to drive down review set volumes to cut time and costs.

What do you think about the trends outlined by the new Pulse Benchmarks? Why do you think source data is move away from CDs/DVDs and toward FTPs and why do you think deduplication is being used more and more on a project level basis? Where do you expect these numbers to be in the coming years? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to know more Pulse Benchmarks? Be sure to check out the full list on or view our previously recorded webinar, featuring ediscovery experts Eli Nelson and Wendy Butler Curtis.