ILTA>ON for eDiscovery Professionals

What? ILTA>ON – The premiere conference for legal technology professionals.
When? August 24-28, 2020
Where? Your home or office

This year ILTA>ON is more accessible and affordable for everyone! The conference will be virtual and will run from August 24 through the 28. Each day begins with a keynote from 9-10 a.m. CT with sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT. You can go here for more details and to download the session grid. NOTE: Times are listed in central time.

Feel free to go to the site and check everything out, but I thought it might be helpful to share my top picks for eDiscovery professionals here:

The Conference Kick-Off

Don’t miss the conference kick-off on Monday, August 24 for “A Taste of ILTA” which is FREE for ILTA members! The conference will kick off at 9:00 a.m. CT with an inspirational keynote by Steven Carver. Steven will expose NASA’s shortcomings in planning, procurement, leadership, and change management – and connect these failures and innovations to legal technology projects. In addition to the keynote, there will be a full day of events including professional development sessions.

The professional development sessions on Monday include topics around leading in times of crisis, emotional intelligence, and creating a culture of inclusion. There is also a public speaking session, so if you cringe each time you have to speak publicly, or if you would just like to fine tune your speaking skills…this session is for you!  

The Transformative Project of the Year Sessions

In addition to the professional development sessions, Monday attendees can attend “The Transformative Project of the Year” sessions where award nominees present their projects. Attend this session to see some of the innovative projects your peers have implemented over the last 12 months. There will also be a session to present the results of the ILTA Technology Survey. This free day of Education will include access to the Exhibit Hall, where you can meet and interact virtually with ILTA’s business partners. Visit to register for this FREE day of exceptional content!

Litigation Support Track

There are sessions throughout the entire week that eDiscovery professionals may find of interest but first, let me jump to Wednesday, August 26, for an overview of the Litigation Support track. The day opens with a keynote sponsored by Thomson Reuters at 9:00 a.m. CT. The keynote will be followed by the track’s kick-off session titled “Litigation Support Roundtable: Today’s Challenges.” This will be an informative and interactive session with our exceptional moderators, David Horrigan of Relativity and Mike Quartararo of ACEDS. This is a great opportunity for attendees to interact with each other and discuss the challenges eDiscovery professionals face in our world today.

After the roundtable is a session titled “The Show Must Go On? Trials, Mediations, Arbitrations and Depositions – The Art & Science of Remote Presentation.” Join Shannon Bale (Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP) and Alicia Aquino (Aquino Trial Services) in this interactive discussion about options, methodology, and tools to assist attorneys attending and participating in virtual hearings, trials, and depositions.

Next up is our session titled “Clawbacks, Redactions and Formats…Oh my!” This panel of experts moderated by Doug Austin (author of eDiscovery Today) will discuss these perennial issues in ediscovery which are as pertinent today as ever. Join Cindy MacBean (Honigman LLP), Rachel McAdams (A&L Goodbody) and Cristin Traylor (McGuireWoods LLP) for this timely and relevant discussion.

Following this session there will be a one-hour break allowing attendees to catch up on email, network with friends, or visit the exhibit hall. In the exhibit hall you will have the opportunity to meet with your current vendors or see what new products and services are being offered in the eDiscovery space.

After the one-hour break, the litigation support track will continue with “O365 Security and Compliance Center for eDiscovery.” In this session, expert John Collins from Lighthouse will take a deep dive into the functions and features of this tool.

The litigation support track will wrap up Wednesday with the session “Disruption in Ediscovery.” In this session David Greetham from Ricoh USA will walk through some of the root causes for past disruption and discuss what eDiscovery professionals can do to prepare for the future. A must see for those wanting to stay on top of our ever changing industry.

The day will end with a variety of networking opportunities and socials. Plan on spending your evening catching up with peers and participating in social events.

So, what else might you be interested in throughout the week?

Law Department Track, Data Science Track and an ILTA General Track 

On Tuesday, we have the Law Department track, Data Science track and an ILTA general track. The Law Department track is always a favorite for eDiscovery professionals who work in corporate law departments, but also for those who work in firms and want to stay on top of clients’ needs and requirements. It is important to note that the final law department roundtable, from 3:45-4:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, is limited to corporate law department members only. This is a great opportunity for the corporate members to discuss topics amongst their peers. Data Science is an emerging field and a natural next step for many eDiscovery professionals. ILTA general sessions on Tuesday afternoon will include topics on security and Women who lead.

Technology Adoption and Artificial Intelligence Tracks

On Thursday, we have the Technology Adoption and Artificial Intelligence tracks. Do your attorneys and paralegals utilize technology offerings to the highest degree? If not, the Technology Adoption track may provide useful tips and information on how to increase and improve technology adoption in your organization. Artificial intelligence tools are prominently used by eDiscovery professionals in technology assisted review and continuous active learning. Attend the AI track to learn more about AI and the various use cases in legal technology.

#CreatingTheFutureTogether and the Business and Legal Process Improvement Track 

Finally, to wrap up the conference on Friday, we have a dual track on #CreatingTheFutureTogether as well as the Business and Legal Process Improvement track. A variety of sessions are offered on this final day that will appeal to eDiscovery professionals. Don’t miss Joe Raczinski’s spark talk on “Back to the Future!” There will also be a session titled “How E-trials are Changing the Practice of Law.” This panel will include The Honorable Justice Colin Campbell, Marcel Duhamel (Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease) and Sandra Potter (Indicium Legal Consulting).

The #CreatingTheFutureTogether track will focus on solving problems legal technology professionals will face in the next three to six months. These sessions are for managers, directors, and C-level executives who need to plan and prepare for the not too distant future. This includes a session titled “Rethinking the Business of Law” with our own Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors and Meredith Williams-Range with Shearman & Sterling.

I hope this article proves useful to all my eDiscovery friends, and that it helps you navigate the ILTA>ON conference this year. The conference is being delivered to your living room or office for the first time ever, so it is not only convenient, but also affordable. Please go to to see more details and to register.

I look forward to seeing you and catching up at the conference!

Compliance theme with woman working on a laptop

The Impact of Technology Certifications on Your Career

ACEDS Advisory Board Chair, Ari Kaplan, spoke with Tom O’Connor, a nationally-recognized consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems, who is also a member of the global advisory board for ACEDS, and discussed why professionals seek certifications, the challenges associated with obtaining one, their impact on one’s career, and how they are evolving.

Listen to the full interview here

Legal advice service concept with woman using a tablet

CEDS: The Tech-To-Lawyer and Lawyer-To-Tech Dictionary?

A guest blog post by ACEDS advisory board member Jeff Jacobson

Before I studied for and passed the CEDS exam, I thought I “knew” e-discovery. In fairness, I’m sure I did know more about the subject that 99% of practicing lawyers, and as a “Big Law” partner I had overseen many complex e-discovery projects. What I did not have, however, was the level of technical knowledge necessary to trouble-shoot problems alongside my firm’s professional e-discovery staff.

I encouraged some of the non-lawyer e-discovery professionals with whom I worked to become CEDS certified, too. They came to the process knowing the technical details cold, but once they passed the CEDS exam, they understood much better the legal requirements driving their work. Between their coming just a little closer to my knowledge of the law, and my coming just a little closer to their knowledge of how various search tools and review platforms function, our ability to collaborate increased tremendously.

It’s not necessary to think of the CEDS certification as a “Rosetta Stone” that will let lawyers function without e-discovery professionals, or vice versa. That’s not the point. Every day, lawyers find ways to educate themselves about their clients’ businesses in order to become more valuable to their clients. Every firm has clients that will face significant e-discovery challenges. If you are a lawyer who has an affinity and an aptitude for e-discovery—and, if you’re reading this, you probably are—why wouldn’t you want to take the next step to increase your value to your firm and its clients? The same question applies to e-discovery professionals who have management aspirations and want to learn more about the law governing their field.

If, like me a few years ago, you think you know “enough,” sign up for the CEDS exam and start looking through the study materials. If you’re already truly fluent, the worst that will happen is you add a credential that demonstrates your fluency. I suspect it’s more likely, however, that the CEDS exam process will teach you at least a few things you didn’t know as well as you thought. And when that extra knowledge lets you solve a client’s problem, or avoid what would have been a costly mistake, you’ll be thankful you invested the time to learn.

TAR Talk Podcast

Episode One: Flying with Global Aerospace: An Inside Look at the First TAR Case
Hear how Tom Gricks, the lead attorney on the Global Aerospace case, obtained the first order authorizing the use of technology assisted review (TAR) over the objection of opposing party.

Episode Two: The Birth of TAR 2.0 (and CAL) With Dr. Jeremy Pickens
Learn about the birth of continuous active learning from Dr. Jeremy Pickens, Catalyst’s chief scientist. He details the differences between TAR 1.0 and 2.0 and how different systems work.

Episode Three: Is “Backing up the Trucks” Still a Legitimate Strategy in the TAR Era?
John Tredennick and Tom Gricks review a recent decision In Re Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, 2018 WL 4441507 (D.D.C. Sept. 13, 2018), a multidistrict class action litigation. Was the plaintiff’s side forced to review non-relevant documents (a document dump) or was it human error?

Episode Four: Can You Do Good TAR with a Bad Algorithm?
Should proportionality arguments allow producing parties to get away with poor productions—simply because they wasted a lot of effort due to an extremely bad algorithm? Dr. Bill Dimm, founder and CEO of Hot Neuron (the maker of Clustify software) joins our hosts to discuss whether one can do “good” TAR with a bad algorithm.

Episode Five: EDRM TAR Guidelines: What’s Good and What’s Not So Good? The TAR Talk Take
After two years of work, Duke Law and EDRM recently published the TAR Guidelines. In this podcast, we give you the TAR Talk take with the good and the not so good. Join us for a fun discussion.

Episode Six: The Latest TAR Poll Results
Rob Robinson of ComplexDiscovery just released the results from the Spring 2019 Predictive Coding Technologies and Protocols Survey. In this episode, we look backwards and forwards and give you the TAR Talk Take.

Episode Seven: TAR Talk featuring Honorable Judge Andrew Peck (ret.)
We talk with Judge Peck, one of the leading judges moving TAR law forward.

Episode Eight: Validation: How Do We Know TAR Worked?
Tom and John take a shot at this tricky topic.

Episode Nine: Fear of Missing Out?
Herb Roitblat recently released a paper called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which provided a mathematical analysis of relevance recall for TAR projects. The EDRM claimed that the “analysis has the potential to be a game changer” for legal search and review. Is it? Tune in for the TAR Talk take on Herb’s paper and his analysis. Information Scientist Bill Dimm will be joining us to talk about the math.

Episode Ten: The Battle Between TAR 1.0 and TAR 2.0
The battle between TAR 1.0 and TAR 2.0 rears its ugly head. When is TAR 1.0 the best approach and when is TAR 2.0 better? You may be surprised at our views on this. Tune in for the TAR Talk Take with Tom and John.

Episode Eleven: The Open Source Revolution
The Open Source Revolution: Could it lead to a standard product for TAR engines available to anyone for free?  Join Tom and John for a TAR Talk look at how the open source revolution is now reaching the legal profession.

Visit the TAR Talk homepage here:

Coffee Fruit

How Brewing Coffee is Just Like E-Discovery

For so many people that know me, I have a bit of a coffee addiction. I love coffee – but perhaps not in the way many overpriced coffee chain drinkers do. I love the art and science behind how coffee is made. In fact, I own six different coffee brewers and even roasted raw coffee beans in my garage (and promised my wife I’d never do it again because of the smell!). Every coffee cherry tree in every region across the world are tended and cared for by extremely hard-working families. What’s so interesting is that dependent upon the region the cherry is in, the temperature, the altitude, and the type of ground upon which the bean is dried out (desert, lush rainforest dirt, or cement) all make a huge difference in the taste of the bean. The same varietal from Africa will taste different in Hawaii. It’s amazing. How the same bean is roasted and for how long will also impact the flavor. If you use a blade grinder instead of a good burr grinder, the taste will be impacted. If you buy pre-ground beans (please don’t!), it will taste different. Add too much water and at the wrong temperature – yes, it will make a difference! There’s so many beautiful subtleties and nuances that go from farm to the cup.

So what in the world does my obsession with coffee have to do with eDiscovery? Everything. If you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s a couple of ways in which brewing the perfect cup of balanced coffee is just like eDiscovery.

1. You get what you pay for

Aldo Gucci famously said that “the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory” is so very true. If I want just a cup of coffee, I can go to my local gas station or chain coffee house. Coffee has traditionally been so commoditized that it doesn’t matter where you buy it from because you can get it – and cheap. But you must know that you get what you pay for when you do. The same must be said for eDiscovery. There are so many eDiscovery providers out there today who all say that they can do it better, cheaper, and faster than that other company. But the reality is that this type of behavior only does a disservice to us as lawyers and legal professionals.

When every vendor says the same thing, it confuses the consumers of eDiscovery. It takes the high-quality differentiated work of competent eDiscovery service providers and turns their services into a commodity, thus giving off the appearance that the service offerings are undifferentiated. Intense competition and “cheaper” prices inevitably make a service become a commodity in a market.  This is the very reason there is so much confusion in the eDiscovery market. This also creates a lot of risks for law firms and legal departments who need to quickly choose a provider, and then go with the lowest price. The unfortunate side effect is that the companies whose value does rise above the morass of the other providers may get glossed over. It can ultimately lead to missed deadlines, poor project managers, and dreadful communication.

This is a wonderful reminder that just because there is a coffee shop chain over every other street corner does not mean that they have the best baristas, source the best beans, and take care in their product. Likewise, the same goes for eDiscovery providers. Just because the company is bigger, does not mean that you are getting the best PM’s who authentically and genuinely care about your matters, your projects, and want to help elevate you and your team to understand the absolute best ways to approach each matter with the right eDiscovery technology. It’s so important to get to learn why the company exists, how they are going to help your team and ensure it’s not just about “closing a deal” to meet a quota for the month.

2. It’s always the details that matter

As you can tell from my introduction, there’s a lot of details that go into making a great cup of coffee. The details do matter. Lawyers involved in eDiscovery may not want to ever know how the “beans are brewed” — you just want it done and done right. I get that. It seems like every eDiscovery provider out there is making up some new gimmick to win the business: “We’ll give you X gigabytes of processing for free!”; “We’ll throw in the processing!”; “We’ll give you free users!”; “We’ll give you one month of free hosting!”. There are also service providers who are going to tell you that their Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Technology Assisted Review, Predictive Coding, et cetera is better than the next provider – and it just may be true! The point here is that there are far too many choices and as a result, it becomes increasingly frustrating to figure out who can competently do the work, can have it done on time, and is reasonably priced. That’s why partnering with your in-house litigation technologists is so important.

Plus, it is more important than ever to understand where the data is being hosted and the security around that data. All data is in the cloud now. It’s just a question of whether it is in a private data center or a commercial enterprise cloud environment like Azure, AWS or Google. In either case, it’s critical to know where the data centers and the co-lo are located, what security certifications have been performed, are they performing independent audits and penetration tests, et cetera. If it is a multi-tenant environment, how are they performing database segmentation to ensure isolation of your data? To put it mildly, there are a plethora of very important questions to be asked around the security of the data that can be overwhelming but should be known before choosing a service provider.

Choosing a service provider because they all seem like the same and so, therefore, we should go with the lowest priced is not a strategy that ever works out. Understanding from a technical subject matter expert (often called Solution Consultants, Solution Architects, or Sales Engineers) can help turn the technical underpinnings into plain English. Just because a bean looks like a bean, doesn’t mean it’ll taste the same. Likewise, just because a service provider can process and host your data does not mean that the work product will be done efficiently, correctly, or done with the best customer service you’ve ever had.

Wrapping Up

As I finish drinking my highly roasted single-origin coffee from Nicaragua, I will also close this post by saying that the details matter. The technology to go from data chaos to data nirvana is available. The technology is out there and readily available to find the right facts in the right documents to help prove your matter like you never could before. The ability to review fewer documents with the help of algorithms is proven and accepted. And, the ability to secure your data appropriately and ensure compliance with national and international security standards is there. But just because something is advertised as better, cheaper, and faster does not mean that you are getting the best or even close to the best. Understanding both the nuances in the technology and most importantly, the level of authentic care the people have in helping you achieve your goals and exceed your expectation every time is no different than appreciating the nuances of brewing a great cup of coffee!

BIA Podcast on Data Breach Discovery

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Three Ways E-Discovery Providers and Consumers Can Make this Industry Better

In 1996, Steve Jobs regained the helm at Apple. In a recorded talk he gave to the marketing team, he reminded them what it meant to work for Apple. He reminded them why Apple exists as a company and what its core values have been and always should be. Jobs said that in his absence, marketing was spending a lot of money, and the company forgot who it was at its core. He said, in part, “even a great brand needs investments and caring if it’s going to retain its relevance and vitality.” At Apple, he said, “we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better … we believe that in this world people can change it for the better and that those people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.”

Understanding your “why” statement is critical to one’s success as a person, as an organization, and when choosing an eDiscovery partner. While I’ve written multiple times about how to find your own “why” statement (see here, here and here), today, I want to share three ways in which we can make this industry better, as both eDiscovery providers and decision makers.

1. Why does the eDiscovery provider exist?

This isn’t a question that I have ever seen on an RFP! However, think about how important the answer truly is for the success of your eDiscovery projects at your law firm or legal department. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be connected with some great CEO’s in this industry. I have asked them this question: “why does the world need another eDiscovery vendor?” Shockingly, I get silence from some and then from others I get, “to make money.” Neither is an acceptable answer. In the former, silence is deafening, and the latter proves that they are tone deaf to what this market truly needs. As Simon Sinek said, author of “Start with Why,” people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!

In the age of every vendor trying to prove their AI is better than the next person, there is a deafening void of companies that, like Apple, have a concrete mission. Companies that understand that operating from the inside-out (talking about your why statement) and not from the outside-in (talking about how great your features are) drives customer and brand loyalty, and therefore creates an exceptional customer experience that is so good, it is what Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles called the “Raving Fans.” When that happens, the company becomes not just profitable, but sustainable in an era of increased consolidation.

If the eDiscovery provider you want to pick next can clearly elucidate its purpose and mission to you, and through its actions proves that this is true, you found a winner.

2. Presentation Coma: Accolades. Company History. Employees. Locations.

The invitation from a prospect by a law firm or corporate legal department to have an eDiscovery sales team present on its company, it should be considered a privilege and not a right. That may seem like an obvious statement, but how often is it exercised? Think of the last time a salesperson walked in, opened her laptop, and then droned on for the first 20 minutes about her company’s history, the number of awards it received, how many locations it has, and how many people are employed there in front of a room of extremely busy professionals, most of whom may be billing by the hour. Don’t get me wrong — those are data points that are helpful to know. But for the first 20 minutes?

I learned a long time ago from Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds, and Scott Schwertly that the story that you tell through big headlines and high-resolution photos on your slides is vastly more demonstrative than 12-point font and 10 bullet points on a screen. What should the focus be on instead? How the company makes you feel. Sound odd? Let’s go back to Steve Jobs’ marketing speech. In talking about some of the best marketing ever, he mentions Nike. It’s a shoe company. They sell a highly commoditized product (like eDiscovery). But, in any of their commercials, are they talking about how much better the air soles are in Nike shoes over Reebok? No. Rather, Nike wants you to walk away from a commercial feeling differently about Nike shoes. They show great athletes and encourage persistence, strength, and commitment to be the best. That is why “Just Do It” has been one of the most successful ad campaigns. We can all relate. Nike makes us feel differently and so we want to buy their shoes.

eDiscovery companies should be selling the same way. Certainly, Apple and Nike all make great products, but that’s not what they’re marketing. I remember years ago when I was working in the Litigation Services business unit at LexisNexis, I would present with stories. These stories would be about the lawyers’ faces on the slides of my presentation who used CaseMap or Concordance (I did say this was years ago!) and created their own client successes. I did the same when I was at Iris Data Services, the company that first introduced real eDiscovery Managed Services to the market. I showed faces and names of litigation professionals talking about how Iris was a real partner and not just a vendor. Why do you think so many other vendors often said: “no one ever got fired for hiring Iris?” Because we had stories about success, and that equals trust, credibility, empathy, and most of all, a real partnership between a vendor and its customer. It creates “Raving Fans.”

3. Let’s not make it about the price per GB

In our industry, we have more than 500 eDiscovery providers that essentially can do the same thing: process data, host data in a review platform, provide review lawyers, and produce. There are variations in there, but in a world in which price compression creates commoditization, which causes nearly every vendor to say we can process better, cheaper, faster; host cheaper per gigabyte; and offer the best Project Managers out there, as consumers, become numb. After all, if you’re better, cheaper, faster, what else do you have to hang your hat on? What else do you have to make yourself seem better than everyone else?

Apple sells computers, tablets, and phones that are all well over $1,000. But yet, so many of us crave for an Apple product. Why? It’s how Apple makes you feel about its products. And yet, a desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone are all highly commoditized and you can buy them all for dramatically lower prices! Again, you feel like you belong to an elite crowd flashing the Apple logo wherever you go. The lesson learned here is that as consumers, we tend to pay more (sometimes a lot more) for products we believe in. The same should go for eDiscovery.

I wish that eDiscovery providers would stop racing to the bottom of the pricing barrel in order to win over a customer. I want providers to show that they are better than this. Show value. Don’t provide overly complex pricing structures and hidden fees. Show that there’s a way you can differentiate that solves real business problems. The technology is there; the personnel is there; the business leaders across sales and operations are there. There’s a way to stand out from the overcrowded marketplace to show that you can do more; be more, and solve the bottlenecks. We have countless examples across multiple verticals that consumers will pay more for a company’s product or a service even if they can get it cheaper elsewhere.

For the decision makers out there, I invite you to look beyond how many free users, free project management hours, free hosting, and free processing you can milk out of providers. Rather, ask about the value they can provide in a partnership with your company. Ask about how they can differentiate through education. Are they a vendor or a partner? Ask if anyone on their team has their CEDS certification or are actively involved in their local ACEDS chapter. Ask how many thought leaders there are at the company regularly producing educational content that can help solve critical business issues at your own company. Demand better than just free — ask providers to show you they are better. After all, nothing in life is really “free.”

Wrapping up

“It’s a very noisy world. We’re not going to get a chance to have people remember much about us. No company is. And so we have to be really clear about what they want us to know about us.” Jobs’ speech back then is equally relevant today in a very noisy eDiscovery world where everyone alleges to have the best AI, the best processing, and all of the latest advancements, we need to ask deeper more and more personal questions to the providers as consumers. As providers, we need to think more about why your company exists, and whether your company’s actions align with your mission statement — or are you ultimately just about the lowest cost per GB? Together, as consumers and providers, let’s strive for more thoughtful questions to solve not just today’s eDiscovery challenges, but strive to create sustainable solutions into the future.

Litigation Case Management Survey

Are you involved in pre- and post-eDiscovery review and organization of facts to prepare for trial, arbitration or within an investigation?  Are you a trial attorney, investigator, paralegal or lit support professional who handles, reviews or manages evidence?   Please take 5-10 minutes to complete a survey about what (if any) technology you use to accomplish your discovery/review needs.

A link to the survey is here

How Can We Accelerate the Rebuilding of Trust and Confidence in Financial Services?

According to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, the banking and financial services sector is routinely rated as the least trusted of all sectors. That’s a serious and systemic problem for a sector that needs to be trusted to function succesfully.

There’s nothing new in that problem – it has been widely accepted for decades that financial services isn’t trusted; and of course the Global Financial Crisis made the problem even worse. We can think of the trust deficit as a festering sore on the face of financial services; and it’s a sore that simply hasn’t been treated.

Treatment of the trust deficit is long overdue so I hope you find it refreshing to know that many people around the world are now working together to actually do something about the problem. They are working together on a voluntary basis to “create a framework for finance reform;” and at the heart at that framework for finance reform is a wonderfully simple yet potentially very effective idea – to have “Finance Development Goals.

There are 12 Finance Development Goals and each one is focused on a root cause of the trust deficit.

Here’s a straightforward listing of the Finance Development Goals with an accompanying quotation for each one to help articulate what they are about:

FDG: Be transparent

“Sunlight is the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman” – Justice Louis Brandeis

FDG: Be Evidence-Based

“In God we trust, all others bring data.”  – W Edwards Deming

FDG: Govern well

“Good governance is the art of putting wise thought into prudent action in a way that advances the well-being of those governed.” – Diane Kalen-Sukra

FDG: Create a client-centric culture

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” – Potter Stewart

FDG: Design products that deliver

“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” – Irene Au

FDG: Communicate authentically

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  – George Bernard Shaw

FDG: Act with purposefulness

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary projects, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a great new and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” – Patanjali

FDG: Incentivise responsibly

“Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcome” – Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway

FDG: Stabilise the ecosystem

“Remember when nurses, carers, teachers and students crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took billions in bonuses and paid no tax? No, me neither.” – Fuad Alakbarov

FDG: Raise awareness through education

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

FDG: Raise awareness through education

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

FDG: Protect the consumer from harm

“To not do what you can to protect someone, that’s cowardly.” – Jodi Lynn Anderson

FDG: Manage Risk

“Not taking risks one doesn’t understand is often the best form of risk management.” – Raghuram G. Rajan

The idea is that the many hundreds of people involved with the project will work collaboratively to create and execute a plan that centres around engaging with the 1,000 most influential people in financial services, who, in effect, govern the way the financial services sector operates.

Those VIPs include politicians, policymakers, regulators, the leaders of the major trade bodies, the leaders of the professional associations and the top financial think tanks, academics and thought leaders; and of course the leaders of the major commercial organisations; be they banks, asset managers, insurers and so on.

If you wish to know more about this initiative to help drive positive, progressive and purposeful finance reform, you should know that there are special meetings taking place in Europe, North America, the Far East and Australia; and of course if you can’t attend any of them you can engage with the project through conference calls and webinars.

All are welcome, especially those with an interest in the intersection between technology and regulation; and those who have an interest in topics such as data science, regulation, compliance and e-discovery.

Please enquire through

What Will the E-Discovery Team of the Future Look Like?

It’s fair to say that e-discovery is at an inflection point. As an industry, it has seen an influx of cash. 2018 saw an almost doubling of mergers, acquisitions, and infusions of capital from investors. Big players like Microsoft are making inroads on the basis of their substantial footprint inside enterprises.

Governmental jurisdictions from the EU (with GDPR) to California (with the CCPA) are enacting regulations that put new demands on practitioners, with over 50% of respondents to a recent Norton Rose Fulbright report stating they have to balance cross-border discovery operations with jurisdictional data protection regulations.

And in the trenches, the practice of e-discovery is changing too. The demands on in-house legal teams are rising. For every $1 billion in revenue, businesses are spending over $1 million on legal disputes.  Where five years ago, a single IT professional was responsible for approximately 230 GB of data, next year, that amount will have more than quintupled to over 1230 GB per IT professional.

Data types have exploded from email and standard office documents to include social media posts, instant messaging applications, text messages, and more. How far in the future are data types that are biometric and geo-spatial? Suffice it to say, e-discovery teams must continue to evolve (and rapidly) if they want to keep pace with the changes in the e-discovery industry.

In Exterro’s new report, The State of E-Discovery 2019, we take an in-depth look at the business, judicial, and technology trends shaping the e-discovery industry—and at the ways e-discovery teams are changing to meet those challenges.

So, what will the e-discovery team of the future look like? Here are three ways it might differ from what you’re used to.

It will be proactive.

Reactive e-discovery is a recipe for disaster. If an e-discovery team doesn’t have a firm grasp on its likely custodians, where their data resides, and a process in place to ensure its preservation, they’ll be behind the eight ball before their real job even starts. They’ll be at risk of missed deadlines, budget overruns, and increased legal risk.

Proactive e-discovery teams are already embracing project management principles, as they:

  • Implement project management principles, including moving away from using attorneys as e-discovery managers
  • In-source e-discovery activities, starting with the left side of the EDRM
  • Cooperate and communicate effectively, not just internally with IT, but also with opposition as needed during the litigation process

It will be smaller.

Anyone who has spent more than a week in a business environment has heard the phrase, “Do less with more.” Unfortunately, legal teams in general and e-discovery teams in particular are not exempt from this mandate. The State of E-Discovery 2019 reports that almost 80% of legal teams responding to a recent study had fewer than 50 members.

Just because a legal team is small doesn’t mean it struggles to perform. An even greater amount (84%) were “very or somewhat satisfied” with their legal team’s performance. Part of this is because legal teams are developing diverse skill sets to optimize their efficiency. Attorneys on teams specialize in a variety of roles including litigation, contracts, and relationship management. Meanwhile, legal teams are adding IT professionals to support operations like e-discovery, with fully 36% having dedicated IT resources on their team.

It will embrace technology.

And perhaps it goes without saying, but technology plays a huge role in ensuring that these smaller, proactive legal teams are able to function effectively. Technology continues to be the great equalizer in matters of e-discovery.

E-Discovery teams are adopting more and more tools to get their work done. The average legal department uses 3.5 dedicated legal software tools. 75% of professionals agree that new technology makes their job easier—and 50% agree that the technologies being introduced are now made for legal professionals, rather than IT specialists.

The most popular tools by legal teams include both legal hold technology and e-discovery data collection and processing (as well as document management, e-billing, and matter management). Moving away from point tools for a holistic e-discovery technology platform, which minimizes the risks and delays inherent to data transfers, can point the way toward an even more efficient future.

Find out more about what’s happening today in e-discovery by downloading Exterro’s newest report, The State of E-Discovery 2019.