Relativity Awards

ACEDS Community Advocates and Leaders Honored With Prestigious Innovation Awards at 11th Annual Relativity Fest

Sept. 29, 2020EAGAN, Minn. – Key community members and leaders within the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) have been recognized with prestigious Innovation Awards at the 11th annual Relativity Fest. The event, held virtually for the first time ever and boasting over 6,000 attendees, is the industry’s premier forum for e-discovery, compliance, and legal technology professionals to network, learn and collaborate.

Among the ACEDS winners selected for their roles in championing legal technology and advocating for those who use, manage, and build on top of Relativity:

  • Inclusion Breakthrough Award: Maribel Rivera, Senior Director, ACEDS Community Relations
  • Lit Support All-Star: Rachel McAdams, CEDS, e-Discovery Technology Specialist at A&L Goodbody and Vice President ACEDS Ireland Chapter
  • Stellar Women in e-Discovery:  Kenya Dixon, CEDS, General Counsel & Chief Operating Officer at Empire Technologies Risk Management Group, and ACEDS Global Advisory Board Member

“We’re excited, but not surprised, to have such strong representation from these ACEDS trailblazers and innovators recognized at Relativity Fest,” said Michael Quartararo, President, ACEDS and professional development. “Their contributions and participation have consistently benefited and strengthened the greater ACEDS community, and it’s gratifying to see them recognized in this prestigious forum.”

“This award is not just for me. It’s for my kids, it’s for my friends and colleagues, it’s for anyone I may influence, it’s for every person who needs a door opened for them,” Maribel Rivera commented in the post-Relativity Fest Blog, the Best of Relativity Fest,  Every day I wake up and I breathe diversity, inclusivity, and equality. At ACEDS, we’re creating the Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, Awareness and Action Committee (IDEAA), where we’ll be working with the NAACP, Hispanic organizations, the Life Preservers Project, and others. This is all about them.”

“I feel so honored to be recognized by this industry. Relativity and ACEDS have been such great partners over the many years that I have built eDiscovery and Information Governance programs. I hope to continue working with both organizations to provide innovative data solutions to our clients,” said Kenya Dixon, “This industry has been my lifeblood for so many years but I truly believe that so much more is on the horizon. I look forward to working with the many stellar innovators in our community for years to come.”


The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), part of leading legal education provider The BARBRI Group, is a global member-based association for professionals who work in e-discovery, information governance, compliance and the broader legal community. ACEDS provides training and certification in e-discovery and related disciplines to corporate legal departments, law firms, the government, service providers and institutions of higher learning. The CEDS certification is recognized around the world and used to verify skills and competence in electronic discovery for organizations and individuals through training, certification and ongoing education. The CEDS credential is held by practitioners at the largest Fortune 500 companies, Am Law 200 firms and government agencies. ACEDS has 23 chapters, with locations in most major U.S. cities, the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa (with Australia and South America chapters coming soon). Our goal is to help professionals and organizations reduce the costs and risks associated with e-discovery while helping to improve and verify their skills and advance their careers and overall technology competence in e-discovery and related fields.

Justice and Law concept image

Sean O’Shea: Tips for Paralegals and Litigation Support Professionals – August 2020

8/1/2020: Maryland Court of Appeals on Social Media Authentication
In Griffin v. State, 419 Md. 343 (2011), the Maryland Court of Appeals found social media evidence must be shown to have not been subject to hacking or other manipulation.

8/2/2020: Relativity Integration Points
Relativity Integration Points (RIPs) assist with the import of data from third party systems into Relativity workspaces.

8/3/2020: Automapping with Relativity Integration Points
Integration points will perform automatic field mapping between a workspace and the load file.

8/4/2020: excel macro to hide multiple ranges of rows
It successfully hid more than 70 ranges in a few seconds.

8/5/2020: NIST Study on Facial Recognition – Too Many False Positives
False positive results were returned far more often than false negatives, and the software exhibited different biases.

8/6/2020: Circuit Court Ruling on PACER Fees
The cost of digital audio equipment used for recordings of trials and other proceedings can be taken into account for PACER fees.

8/7/2020: Emojis and the Law
The Android “Grimacing Face” emoji got the reactions shown in orange on the below chart, but the Apple version of the “Grimacing Face” face emoji got the reactions shown in blue.

Emojis and the Law

8/8/2020: Judges Agree: Limit the Number of Pages in Your Brief
“Let me add an incentive to the production of short and pertinent briefs.  The longer you make your brief, the more likely that most of the pre-argument analysis of your case will be turned over to a law clerk who just finished the bar exam.” – Hon. Arthur L. Alarcon

8/9/2020: D.D.C. Ruling on Adequacy of Search by Navy
“[T]he reasonableness of the Navy’s search is buttressed by the fact that Carlborg has offered ’no suggestion as to where else‘ the Navy ’might have looked for his records or what other search criteria should have been used.’” Carlborg v. Dep’t of the Navy, No. 18-cv-1881 (DLF), 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142543, at *13 (D.D.C. Aug. 10, 2020) (quoting Peavey v. Holder, 657 F. Supp. 2d 180, 190 (D.D.C. 2009)).

8/10/2020: NIST Guide to Media Sanitization
There are three methods of media sanitization: clear, purge, or destroy.

8/11/2020: Excel OLE action error explained
An OLE action error message may be prompted if you click on a link to a PDF on a worksheet, and then try to OCR it.

8/12/2020: Enforce HTTPS
An admin can force visitors to a Relativity workspace to view it over HTTPS so that requests and responses are encrypted.

8/13/2020: Excel’s TEXT Formula
The formula can easily convert a column of numbers of varying lengths into a standard format with a consistent number of digits.

8/14/2020: Getting a count of volume shadow copies
VSCMount is a tool that helps you check to see if volume shadow copies are available.

8/15/2020: Never Use ‘However’ at the Beginning of a Sentence
Garner instructs brief writers to never use ‘however’ at the beginning of a sentence in order to indicate a contrast, and recommends using ‘but’ instead.

8/16/2020: Mississippi Court of Appeals: Jury Must See Evidence Where Spoliation Unclear
“[T]he  explanation for  the  original record’s  absence  may  be  fully  satisfying  either  that it  was  lost  through  no  fault  of  the  [party],  that  the [party]  deliberately  destroyed  it,  or  as  in  most cases,  somewhere  in  between,  thereby  making  it  a jury  issue.”  Murphy v. William Carey Univ., No  2018-CA-00910-COA, 2020 Miss. App. LEXIS 462, at *28-29 (Miss. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2020) (quoting DeLaughter  v.  Lawrence  Cty.  Hosp., 601  So.2d  818,  824  (Miss.  1992)).

8/17/2020: 2 GB Text per Document
Relativity will not process more than 2 GB of text for any single document.  Such a document will generate an error that will cause processing to halt.

8/18/2020: Create htm file with links
Use this format:

<div align=”center”>

<a href=””l”>Index2″</a> |

<a href=””l”>Index3″</a> |

<a href=””l”>Index4″</a> |

<a href=””l”>Index5″</a>


8/19/2020: Simple File Upload
Relativity’s Simple File Upload tools allows users to load documents into a workspace without using the Relativity Desktop Client.  No more than 100 documents can be loaded at a time.

8/20/2020: Making Relativity Desktop Client Work For You
Don’t miss that you can simultaneously import data into a single workspace using different instances of the Relativity Desktop Client on up to four different computers.

8/21/2020: Common email threading problems
An embedded email link or attachment can cause email threading to be over inclusive.

8/22/2020: Separate email addresses with ; NOT ,
Email addresses in the recipient and cc fields should be separated by semi-colons.  If they are separated with commas, Relativity will read adjacent email addresses as a single address.

8/23/2020: regex from head on and from behind
If you want a regex search to find results from the beginning or end of every line start with (?m)

8/24/2020: District of Maryland Case with a Defendant Known Only By An IP Address
The Court ordered the issuance of a subpoena to produce documents identifying the Doe subscriber.

8/25/2020: ALSPs
The past few years have seen a rise in the number of companies and law firms using ALSPs – Alternative Legal Service Providers -which perform legal research; electronic discovery; and regulatory compliance.

8/26/2020: Excel worksheets that hide themselves
Beware of vba code that automatically re-hides Excel worksheets.  Spreadsheets can be set to make a worksheet you unhid disappear again.

8/27/2020: Regex multiline wildcard
Using (?s) at the beginning of a regex search will let you search from in front and behind while also using a wildcard.

Regex multiline wildcard

8/28/2020: Diffchecker
Diffchecker, is a free online tool that does a fine job of comparing differences between two text or PDF files. Diffchecker can also help you compare multiple versions of an image, allowing you slide back and forth between two versions.

8/29/2020: Florida Court of Appeal rules passcode protected by Fifth Amendment
The Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal agreed with the Petitioner that producing the passcode would require him to disclose the contents of his mind and provide the State with incriminating information that would be used against him. “Distilled to its essence, the revealing of the passcode is a verbal communication of the contents of one’s mind.”. Garcia v. State, No. 5D19-590, 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 12232, at *8 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.  Aug. 28,2020)

8/30/2020: finding duplicates with python
You can use a python script to find where there are duplicates in a character set.

8/31/2020: use code to generate list of links on a web page
Right clicking ‘Inspect’ and entering code on the console of the Chrome browser will create a list of all links on a web page.

Justice statue with code on monitor device in background

One Ethics Rule Leads to Another: Technology Competence and the Duty of Supervision

There are two ways lawyers can satisfy their ethical duty of technology competence. One way is by learning about technology and becoming more proficient in the use of legal tech tools. The other is by working in association with tech savvy lawyers and legal professionals.

From an ethics standpoint there is a key distinction between competence by education and by association. A lawyer who directs others’ work has a duty to make reasonable efforts to assure compliance with all applicable Rules of Professional Conduct.

The supervisory duty is found in Rule 5.1 (work performed by other lawyers) and Rule 5.3 (work performed by non-lawyers). The duty has three distinct components.

With power comes responsibility: partners and firm-wide ethics

First, partners have added ethical responsibilities because of their managerial role. ABA Model Rule 5.1/5.3 (a) provides:

(a) A partner in a law firm [or a lawyer having comparable managerial authority] shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all [lawyers and staff] in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

These are a few steps partners can take to raise the level of technology competence at their firms:

  • Pay for continuing legal education and technology training for lawyers and staff.
  • Be supportive of scheduling requests to take advantage of education and training opportunities, especially when made by staff and junior lawyers.
  • Set an example by attending in-firm programs and following good security practices.

Managing a legal team brings ethical responsibilities

The next provision has a wider scope. It applies to any lawyer who directly supervises another’s work. ABA Model Rule 5.1/5.3 (b) reads:

(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over [another lawyer or a non-lawyer] shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the [other lawyer or non-lawyer] conforms to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

These are three ways to incorporate ethics into the collaboration playbook:

  1. Focus on decision making in project planning – It’s important to define roles and responsibilities at the outset of every project. The supervising lawyer’s key role when delegating technology-related tasks is decision maker. Lawyers are encouraged to rely on others for tech education, advice and support. But they are still in charge and responsible for making informed decisions. This responsibility is imposed by the rules of civil procedure in addition to the rules of ethics.
  2. Stay informed about project progress – Setting expectations for communications is likewise important in project setup. This relates directly to Rules 5.1 and 5.3 because knowing what’s going on is a prerequisite to meaningful supervision. The communications plan should cover frequency and means. Err on the side of over-communicating when supervising inexperienced lawyers and staff or working with a vendor for the first time.
  3. Evaluate ethics in vendor selection – Confidentiality is always a paramount concern in outsourcing legal work. Evaluate all potential vendors on security of confidential information and privileged communications. Other ethics rules may come into play depending on the legal matter or task. For instance, investigations often raise some of the numerous rules about communications. Ask targeted questions during vendor selection to cover these areas.

Active management (not to be confused with micromanagement!) is a key element of effective collaboration. Rules 5.1 and 5.3 make it an ethical duty too.

Outsourcing an unethical act adds up to two rules violations

Last but by no means least is the prohibition on unethical conduct by proxy. ABA Model Rule 5.1/5.3 (c) provides:

(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for [another’s] violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if:

  1. the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
  2. the lawyer is a partner [or has comparable managerial authority] or has direct supervisory authority over the [other lawyer or non-lawyer], and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take remedial action.

Note that paragraph (c)(1) applies to all lawyers from the newly minted to senior partners. It’s just common sense that lawyers can’t get around the rules of ethics by instructing somebody else to do what they can’t do themselves.

In the technology arena, social media has repeatedly proved a top danger zone. It’s good practice to delegate social media investigations and discovery to law firm staff or vendors with the right skills and software tools. But in doing so lawyers must take care that everyone involved understands and abides by these three rules of professional responsibility:

  • 4.2 Communication with Person Represented by Counsel prohibits unauthorized direct communication with people represented by counsel.
  • 4.3 Dealing with Unrepresented Person provides a lawyer must not state or imply disinterest when communicating with an unrepresented person on behalf of a client.
  • 7.1 Communication Concerning a Lawyer’s Services prohibits false or misleading communications about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services.

Education and association are complementary answers to the problem of technology competence. Competence by association doesn’t just supplement education, it promotes it too. Delegating tech tasks is a prime opportunity to learn about relevant technology. Lawyers should seize the educational opportunity as they fulfill their ethical duty of supervision.