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An All Day, Coast to Coast Celebration: ACEDS E-Discovery Day Recap

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It seemed like almost everyone who is involved in the world of e-discovery was celebrating on December 1st. The third annual E-Discovery Day was bigger than ever this year – according to fellow E-Discovery Day sponsor and ACEDS affiliate Exterro, “12 sponsoring organizations hosted 13 separate live events, with over 370 attendees, in 7 States plus the District of Columbia. More than 2000 virtual participants listened to 14 hours of news, analysis, practical tips, and advice presented by 39 e-discovery experts in 15 webcasts.”

And ACEDS was right there doing our part. ACEDS Executive Director, Mary Mack, participated on webinars as a speaker, moderator, or panelist from dawn till dusk, closing out the day with Top 5 E-Discovery Process Improvements Legal Needs to Make (But haven’t made yet…) – the most well attended event according webinar co-sponsor Exterro. This roundtable discussion featured William Hamilton, Director, UF Law; Hon. John Facciola (Ret.), US Magistrate Judge, D.C.; and Mary Mack, these experts, who are not only e-discovery teachers but have also navigated complex e-discovery projects, weighed in on what 5 e-discovery process improvements legal teams need to make to start seeing real results.

When asked what some of the biggest obstacles legal teams are facing when it comes to process improvements, two main themes arose: the lack of focus on understanding e-discovery, and because of this, the inability to match team members’ skills with specific tasks. As Judge Facciola said, “most [obstacles] come from attorneys not knowing how delegate the handling of a matter. They either need to truly understand it or give the jobs to someone who does. And at the same time, there are too many young attorneys not getting guidance from their superiors.”

William Hamilton supported this by saying, “law firms have a peculiar culture, similar to corporate settings, where there’s a lack of structure around e-discovery. Even within the same law firm, you’ll have attorneys with different levels of expertise regarding e-discovery.”

In another ACEDS sponsored webinar, 5 Critical Cyber Security Updates for Firms and Corporations in 2018, a similar theme of understanding and taking the steps towards competency, only this time on the cyber security side of things. Roy Zur, Intelligence Expert and CEO of Cybint (a fellow BARBRI company), explored the upcoming security trends for 2018 and what companies should do to prepare for new threats and intrusions. Roy Zur covered all the different types of threats and attacks in one of the clearest ways I’ve ever heard, next he went into the Dark Web – what it is, how it’s used – and then prevention, detection, and best practices for minimizing risk. It’s more important than ever for law firms to protect themselves. “Mainly it was financial markets and government and big retailers” Mr. Zur said of targets of cyber-attacks, “but now there are increased attacks on law firms, because a firm is a hub for a lot of confidential information, serving many companies.”

There were other events around the country with ACEDS chapters and affiliates as well. The ACEDS Philadelphia Chapter put together the largest gathering of e-discovery professionals in Philadelphia with ILTA, ARMA Liberty Bell Chapter, and Women in eDiscovery Philadelphia Chapter. Exterro sponsored the event, which focused on the topic of “The good, the bad and the ugly of ISO 27050-3 – Code of practice for electronic discovery.”

The Twin Cities ACEDS chapter and Mary Mack hosted a panel discussion regarding the appropriate disposition of client data: “The Case is Done but the Data’s Still Everywhere. What’s a Client to Do?” For many clients this can be the biggest headache, so this webinar looked at considerations when looking at the security of data once that data gets to law firms and providers; what measures should be taken to protect data held by those organizations, and how to vet those measures; and, how should the client ensure appropriate disposition of data by their law firms and vendors at the end of a matter.

And finally, Mary was at it again, this time with LTPI Chairman and President, Eric P. Mandel, and three of the Discovery Data Governance Model co-authors, Quintin Gregor, Kevin Clark and Seth Eichenholtz, to discuss explore the state of the industry, and to examine LTPI’s DDG project, as well as the ACEDS / LTPI relationship.

Other ACEDS chapters had gatherings around the country as well: The New England ACEDS chapter kicked things off with a breakfast roundtable discussion, while our friends in Florida were celebrating E-Discovery Day with the Jacksonville and South Florida chapters both had educational and networking events. There was also a New York City networking event sponsored by LTPI, ACEDS, WIE, and Exterro. There was even an ACEDS hosted E-Discovery Day Twitter chat (click here for highlights).

It’s easy to see why E-Discovery Day has become the year-end event for the industry, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s celebration!

Jim Gill’s writing about eDiscovery and Data Management has been twice recognized with JD Supra Reader’s Choice Awards and he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Before working in eDiscovery, Jim taught college writing at a number of institutions and his creative work has been published in numerous national literary journals, as well as being nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

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