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Modern Ediscovery: Making Sweet Music in the Virtual Age

Who wants a flip phone when you can have the latest smartphone in your pocket? No one wants to be seen as behind-the-times in this technology-driven age. When it comes to ediscovery, we want to be modern, too. In fact, we must be modern; outdated methods will simply get you (and your client) in trouble.

Recently, I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar, Ediscovery Program Management: From Vinyl to Virtual, with two ediscovery gurus – one a former colleague and one a current colleague. Along with Josh Zylbershlag, ediscovery litigation services director at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Harrison LLP and Tom Barce, director of consulting services at KrolLDiscovery, we explored the history of the music industry, comparing it to our own “vinyl to virtual” shift in the ediscovery industry. Are you still conducting ediscovery the same way you would buy music off the racks in the record store? Or, have you adapted to digital download or a streaming subscription?

  • Information Governance: Are you still managing huge file servers with no idea what’s on them, or are you an organization that creates, uses and governs information with an eye toward accessibility?
  • Legal Hold: Has your corporation adopted legal hold policies and guidelines? Have you taken it virtual by subscribing to technology solutions with effective legal hold management?
  • Collection: What about your collection processes? Are you sending droves of people to collect data every time there is a new case or are you leveraging modern remote collection technology and centralized discovery databases?
  • Search and Analysis: Is it time to update your review practices? Are you still in the dinosaur age, not using electronic workflow and batching, dynamic data profiling, innovative search analytics, predictive coding and sampling?

Our goal in this webinar: to make sweet music at each stage of the EDRM by discussing modern ediscovery practices. Want more to learn more? Watch the webinar today!

Looking Back, Peering Forward: The Top Ediscovery Cases of 2016

The 2015 FRCP amendments are now one year old and there are a full twelve months of case law to guide practitioners through the contours of the new rules. The last year in case law has seen stark developments on how courts interpret the proportionality, levy sanctions, utilize new technologies and reconsider costs to make ediscovery “just, speedy and inexpensive.”

Our webinar, The Top Ediscovery Cases of 2016, updates practitioners on the ediscovery highlights of the past year and features three ediscovery experts, offering the perspective of both counsel and judges:

  • Patrick Oot, Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  • Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer, District of Minnesota
  • Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse, District of Kansas

Rule 26(b)(1): Proportionality Today

The webinar first discusses that the most drastic change of Rule 26(b)(1) is the essential change of mindset. The case Gilead Scis. v. Merck is used as an example to illustrate the place of proportionality in ediscovery. Gilead reveals the required sound reasoning both a party requesting discovery and a party objecting to discovery need to employ. In other words, “now the scope of discovery is neither broad nor liberal…it is proportional.” Attorneys that ignore proportionality do so at their own risk: the case Fulton v. Livingston Fin. is also used to show how the court imposed sanctions on a litigant who made arguments based on the old rule.

Rule 37(e): Sanctions Illustrated

The webinar then discusses the scope of Rule 37(e) and addresses the need to utilize “reasonable steps” to prevent sanctions, as this rule was formed with the intent of curtailing excessive ESI storage. The webinar uses the case Marten Transp. v. Plattform Adver. to show that the scope of a preservation duty is focused: courts expect “reasonable steps,” not perfection. The case Living Color is also used to highlight the fact that parties cannot simply make conclusory statements about prejudice resulting from ESI spoliation without any evidence and expect the court to levy sanctions.

One reason for excessive ediscovery costs is a cultural one and the webinar highlights that Rule 37(e) fits with Rule 1, which was amended for this reason. Cooperation between litigants is a key component of successful preservation, and a panelist observed, “Lawyers too often ignore their obligation to cooperate.”

Predictive Coding: New Frontiers

There are two myths underlying document review discussed in the webinar. The first is the myth that a response to discovery needs to be perfect when in fact the rules call only for “reasonable inquiry.” The second myth is that human review is the best way to ensure responsive documents are not missed when manual review has been shown to be imperfect. In this webinar, the discussion of these two myths sets the stage for asserting that predictive coding technology can be utilized to make ediscovery a more efficient practice.

2017: The Year of Ediscovery

In 2017, one common wish is that attorneys become better educated in ediscovery and the new technologies available. Courts will continue to dissect what constitutes reasonable steps for ESI preservation and also provide additional guidance for when discovery is proportional. Even though counsel may not be proficient in proportionality, the webinar concludes by stating that judges “recognize proportionality when they see it.”

With new opinions continuing to emerge, we expect the ediscovery landscape in 2017 to continue to evolve. Watch this webinar, The Top Ediscovery Cases of 2016, to learn more about the impact of the 2015 FRCP amendments and predictions for the upcoming year.

#WaybackWednesday: Mobile Device Investigations Webinar

A smartphone from a key employee lands on your desk, what next? From employment matters and IP theft cases to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and corporate fraud, mobile devices are the modern reservoir for key data in litigation and investigations. However, this new data source is still uncharted territory for many legal and technology professionals working in law departments and law firms.

Last month, Kroll Ontrack’s own Jason Bergerson presented a useful webinar, Mobile Device Investigations: From Android to iPhone and Back, that provided an introduction to the world of mobile device investigations.

The Complex World of Mobile Data

The webinar began with an introduction to the world of mobile data and it was highlighted that there are many different types of data on mobile phones, each one needing a certain process to identify and extract data properly. While smart phones have been equated to computers, it is important to remember that they are not computers and to treat them the same can be a sanctions-worthy mistake.

The webinar walked through the computer forensic investigative process and provided helpful tips to keep in mind regarding the content in various apps and which data might be the most useful in litigation. The webinar highlighted the complexity of the varieties of data and things to consider when pursuing a forensics investigation.

Not All Phones Are the Same

This webinar also discussed at length the fact that cell phones themselves are a diverse category. Modern smart phones, burner phones, older flip phones and international models each have their own systems and methods of storing data. Furthermore, it needs to be considered where the data is physically located. Is it in the cloud? Or in the device in-hand? Each of these impacts the forensic method and the likelihood of success. The webinar provided various considerations for practitioners, depending on the sort of device at issue in their case.

It Was Deleted; Is It Gone?

In this webinar, various scenarios were explained in which mobile device data might be seemingly lost, but could still be recovered. Also, it was shown how some deleted data can be recovered, but there is a very short time frame in which to do so. The webinar provided guidance for practitioners on how to proceed, so that investigative team can have the best odds of successfully obtaining the needed data.

We at Kroll Ontrack know that time demands and schedules make it difficult to attend webinars. Therefore, we have all our webinars online to view on demand, so that you won’t miss out on information that matters.

Making Cents Out of Ediscovery Costs [Webinar]

Ediscovery does not have to be expensive. By utilizing the newest technologies, engaging in skillful preparation and obtaining knowledge of the process, you can keep ediscovery costs down. Kroll Ontrack’s latest webinar, Cost-Effective Ediscovery: How to Manage Expense and Reduce Waste provides useful tips and suggestions from three seasoned ediscovery specialists. These experts provide law firm, corporate and provider’s perspectives:

Don’t Be Late to Adopt New Technology

The myth that human review is the gold standard, as well as apprehension on how a court regards technology has led some practitioners to shy away from taking advantage of technological opportunities. However, as the webinar panelists discuss, predictive coding is an untapped resource for practitioners aiming to cut ediscovery costs.

Don’t Just Buy Ediscovery: Manage It

The webinar discusses that keeping ediscovery costs in check is not as simple as choosing the right provider. While setting a budget and considering fee schedules are important, this is not all that needs to be done to influence ediscovery costs. Panelists suggested:

  • Monitoring costs along the way; ask for regular updates
  • Communicating with corporate, law firm and provider representatives; lack of communication increases costs
  • Cooperating with opposing parties where possible; come to an agreement on things such as the number of custodians, production parameters and document review protocols

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Get Proactive

Being prepared for ediscovery saves downstream costs. Webinar panelists highlighted the importance of ediscovery assessments and postmortem evaluations in pinpointing risks and identifying cost reduction recommendations across discovery response plans.

Watch this webinar, Cost-Effective Ediscovery: How to Manage Expense and Reduce Waste to learn even more about how to make budget-friendly ediscovery not just a possibility, but a reality.

An Ediscovery Attorney and a Healthcare Security Manager Walk into a Webinar

Healthcare

What do an ediscovery attorney, a forensics investigator and a healthcare security manager have in common? In today’s digital age – everything. 

HIGH-TECHNOLOGY HEALTHCARE

Kroll Ontrack’s most recent webinar, How To Develop a Data Preservation & Collection Plan in Preparation for Litigation, hosted by Healthcare Informatics, gave attendees a hard look into the challenges healthcare organizations face when a government investigation or civil litigation arises.

Kroll Ontrack SVP of consulting Cathleen Peterson and healthcare security manager Brian Abel put their own professional experiences on display as they navigated this challenging intersection between healthcare, law and technology.

CASE STUDY: EDISCOVERY HEALTH CHECK

Truth is, an ediscovery attorney, a forensics investigator and a healthcare security manager have a lot in common. Today’s healthcare organizations are traversing a new information technology terrain. Growing data volumes, increased information security threats, vast data collection efforts and computer forensics investigations require a higher level of comprehension from all experts.

As Brian and Cathleen discussed via a real-world case study, legal, regulatory and compliance requirements are requiring hospitals and healthcare organizations to properly handle electronically stored information (ESI), or face severe consequences. At the end of the day, this new territory is where technologists meet attorneys and data managers meet security professionals.  If your job involves any of these important roles, you will benefit from spending 60 minutes with this new webinar recording.

Throwback Thursday: 6 Months of Case Law Under the New FRCP [Webinar]

A Tale of Two Rules

The first six months after the FRCP amendments produced extensive case law as courts and parties grappled with the application of the new rules. In particular, Rule 26(b)(1) with its emphasis on proportionality and Rule 37(e) with its “reasonable steps” language have impacted the ediscovery environment.

To guide practitioners, Kroll Ontrack has compiled an extensive case law digest containing case summaries and analysis to guide practitioners through the nuances of these new rules. In addition to the downloadable e-book, Kroll Ontrack partnered with Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers of Ohio and nationally renowned civil procedure expert Tom Allman to present a webinar that explored the most prominent cases and developments.

Missed the webinar? Listen here.

Rule 26(b)(1): The Age of Proportionality

In the webinar, Judge Deavers discussed the changes to Rule 26(b)(1) and their resulting impact on ediscovery. Most notably, the old and often cited “reasonably calculated” language of this rule has been removed, and the rule was revised to emphasize the need for proportionality. Webinar speaker Tom Allman referenced a new research paper he authored, Proportionality Today, which he made available to webinar attendees.

As the new rules take hold, one theme clearly emerges: There is no substitute for specificity. Parties need to be prepared to explain why their discovery request is both relevant and proportional, while parties that are objecting to discovery need to be able to explain why it is not.

In the background of this is newly amended Rule 1, which encourages cooperation between the parties. Keeping discovery proportional and manageable is no longer solely the responsibility of the courts: parties are now expected to do their part to contain the parameters of discovery and resolve any disputes.

Rule 37(e): Preservation Under the Shadow of Inherent Power

In addition to the Rule 26 discussion, Tom Allman reviewed the amendments to Rule 37(e) in regards to sanctions for ESI spoliation and directed webinar attendees to another piece of his research, Applying Amended Rule 37(e). The new language specifies that “reasonable steps” must be taken to preserve ESI, however the rules do not specify what this constitutes, leaving it to the courts to determine depending on the facts of the case.

Despite the lack of explanation of what constitutes “reasonable steps,” the rule clarifies that a party must still have act with intent or “bad faith” before sanctions will be imposed. Suspicious activity or honest mistakes are not enough to warrant sanctions, in most cases. However, if a party acts irresponsibly to preserve evidence, a court may infer a finding of intent.

In addition, Rule 37(e) has attracted attention because some courts are going beyond the parameters of Rule 37(e) and using their “inherent power” to sanction parties. In these cases, the court reached the conclusion that Rule 37(e) did not provide a suitable remedy for the behavior.

With new opinions emerging on an almost daily basis, the impact of the 2015 FRCP amendments continues to evolve, changing the ediscovery landscape. Download the full webinar here!

ICYMI: Ediscovery in China [Webinar]

Ediscovery in China

Kroll Ontrack recently presented the Ediscovery in China: Traditions, Rules and Customs You Need to Know webinar. In the webinar, which is now available on-demand, Kate Chan, Kroll Ontrack’s Regional Managing Director in APAC, discussed the following barriers and best practices for ediscovery projects with data in China.

Watch the webinar to learn more about ediscovery in China.

The Implications of China’s Regulatory Framework

Unlike the United States, China does not have formal discovery practices in civil litigation, which presents initial contentions between these legal systems on opposite sides of the world. The Chinese government has several regulations that impose possible restrictions on gathering data in China for an investigation or litigation. The most impactful regulation is the State Secrets law. State secrets are broadly and vaguely defined by the Chinese government as “matters that have a vital bearing on state security and national interests and, as specified by legal procedure, are entrusted to a limited number of people for a given period of time.” Individuals are prohibited from sharing and transferring such secrets, complicating data collection, review and production practices, should any of such information be classified as a State Secret in an investigation or litigation.

Language and Cultural Challenges

Other ediscovery barriers in China revolve around language and culture: English is not the primary language in China, the Chinese are very formal in their communication style and there are many regional dialects in China, making searches and early data assessment difficult for English-speaking litigation professionals.

Work culture in China is very family-oriented, with the entire family prioritized above the needs of individual members, also known as familism. Because of this, many managers tend to hire their relatives and many businesses tend to be family-owned.

Further, litigation teams working in China need to understand the Chinese cultural phenomenon known as guanxi, which refers to personalized networks of influence and reciprocity between individuals and businesses. All of this makes examining data related to ediscovery challenging and unique.

Developing Economy

In addition to the regulations, language and cultural challenges, the Chinese economy is still developing. China’s legal system and corporate governance practices are less developed when compared to other countries, resulting in much reluctance toward, and unfamiliarity with, data collection and analysis activities associated with litigation. Manufacturing and production plants tend to be located in remote locations rather than in big cities, which means that litigation teams often have only one chance to obtain the needed data. Lastly, China still uses a great deal of paper documents with employees often mixing data between their personal and business computers.

Best Practices

With all the challenges that litigation teams may face when an ediscovery project crosses borders to China, these are some of helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Get an expert well-versed with different Chinese-language dialects
  • Consider diverse data sources
  • Use local resources for collection
  • Consider a mobile ediscovery solution

Want to learn more? Download the webinar today!

Ediscovery in China: Traditions, Rules and Customs You Need to Know

Ediscovery in China

On June 22, Kroll Ontrack managing director and APAC ediscovery expert Kate Chan will discuss the Chinese ediscovery landscape, so you will be prepared when you need to know the traditions, rules and customs when faced with a regulatory investigation or cross-border litigation.

Register today to learn about Ediscovery in China!

Ediscovery in China: Traditions, Rules and Customs You Don’t Know

The Chinese legal landscape is often seen as daunting and secretive; a laborious task for an American legal professional to master. Specifically, Chinese data protection and privacy laws in particular provide a challenge to any international ediscovery project. Because of the substantial economic growth resulting in higher volumes of data in China, as well as the expanding complexities of ediscovery law, a practitioner that is not familiar with Chinese law can find themselves at a significant disadvantage, especially when faced with a regulatory investigation or cross-border litigation.

To help you meet these unique challenges head on, we’ve enlisted seasoned APAC ediscovery expert Kate Chan to offer the information and strategies you need to manage Chinese ediscovery.

Specifically, this webinar will cover:

  • The implication of China’s regulatory framework on ediscovery
  • Recent developments in Chinese ediscovery practices
  • Tips for managing the unique issues related to managing ESI in China
  • Ways Chinese ediscovery differs from ediscovery practices in other APAC countries

Click here to get more information about this webinar and to register.

Kate Chan is a New York attorney who started practicing on Wall Street. She is a native of Hong Kong and is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. She is the Regional Managing Director of Kroll Ontrack’s Legal Technologies unit in Asia Pacific.

April Webinar: Got Data? Analytics to the Rescue!

Got Data Analytics to the Rescue

On April 19, 2016 join Kroll Ontrack experts Cathleen Peterson and Jim Sullivan, along with Kiriaki Tourikis from JP Morgan, as they discuss data analytics as both the lifeblood powering critical business operations and the kryptonite preventing the business from flexing its muscle. When investigations, litigation or compliance matters strike, organizations and their counsel that leverage analytics are more likely to win.

Register for the Data Analytics webinar today!

This session will feature hypothetical scenarios to explain the various analytics tools and how they fit into a case, data breach or investigation. At the end of the session, participants will understand how analytics can help:

  • Map the data collection and explore key points and related themes
  • Identify key players, timelines and communication patterns
  • Mine data for Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Find redundant information and remove non-relevant, junk data

Plus Check Out These 2016 Webinar Recordings

Click the links below to watch Kroll Ontrack experts and panelists discuss the FRCP amendments and “dark data.”

January 2016: 2015 Year in Review: Ediscovery Case Law and Rules
February 2016: Turning on the Lights in a [Dark] Data Room

ICYMI: Ediscovery Gotchas Seminar

ediscovery pulse - esi report

Ever been bogged down in discovery? Neck deep in data, which multiplies faster than you can blink? With help nowhere to be found? Join ediscovery experts, Ross Gotler (Paul Weiss) and Jonathan Sachs (Kroll Ontrack), as they discuss the common blunders that befall litigation teams. From tips to save on monthly data hosting costs and avoid over-collection to knowing what deduplication protocol to follow, this webinar shares tactical, practical examples of ediscovery situations gone wrong and how the issue could have been better resolved.

Topics discussed in this webinar include:

  • Six months into an ediscovery project you determine that a significant portion of the data you loaded into the review tool is not likely to be used. What can you do to avoid paying fees for the unnecessary data?
  • It is the start of another case, and many of the same employees that are identified as custodians in previous matters are a part of this matter too.  What are some tools of the trade to ease collection and review?
  • Over the past decade, your company has grown globally through acquisition; however, very little has been done to integrate the various data management policies and procedures across the locations. Legal hold practices are awry.  How do you go about de-cluttering but keeping necessary data?

Check out the webinar, Ediscovery Gotchas: Frequent Headaches that Give You the Most Pain in Discovery, to find out more and be sure to stay tuned for our next featured webinar.

 
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