Good E-Discovery Conversation

There’s just so much good stuff in this conversation with Ralph Losey and Judge Shira Scheindlin that I can’t even decide which parts to quote or comment on. Just go, and either read or listen to the podcast.

I will say this though, I wish I could get every attorney in our firm to read it, especially the parts where Judge Scheindlin warns of the dangers of half-doing the job:

JUDGE: But that’s the key point. You can’t use self-help. You either go for protection by coming to court or you comply. But you can’t take the middle ground and just ignore it, put your head in the sand, do it half way and then say, “Well the reason I didn’t do better is it was too expensive.” That’s what you can’t do and that’s where I think a lot of lawyers make a mistake

I do believe there’s a real risk of “sort of” collecting, searching and processing in the way you’re comfortable with, but which isn’t actually in compliance with what was requested, all because they aren’t comfortable with the technology. Which leads to the other great piece of advice she had:

I don’t think that we can turn all lawyers into computer specialists, and there are some lawyers who have a love of computers and they really do both fields – and probably Ralph Losey is one of them and there are a couple others who come to mind – but many lawyers are really lay people. They don’t have an engineering background, a science background, a math background, and they’re never going to implement technology. But what I think is important is that they at least identify when they need help, the questions they should ask, the places they should go. We just want them to be educated, conversant with the field, even though we may not expect all lawyers to become technical specialists.

Hmm, wonder where attorneys could meet up with technical experts to get the help they need when they need it? Where could they invest some time and network with some technical folks, forensic experts, etc.? Don’t suppose a little investment in social networking tools would help out there, eh? 😉

Tags: ediscovery, RalphLosey

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