Litigation 2.0

Litigation 2.0. So it begins.
I told the audience at my presentation on electronic discovery trends last June at the Legal Tech West Coast conference that on the morning of my presentation I had a bit of an epiphany about where electronic discovery was going as it moved toward its next evolutionary stage. I sketched out a few notes that morning on where I saw it going. Then I had a near “Jerry Maguire” moment and, until my better judgment prevailed, nearly scrapped my prepared presentation and rewrote something new called “Electronic Discovery 2.0.”
I set aside the notes and haven’t yet returned to them, although you will pick up some of the ideas here and there in my recent writings on electronic discovery. They are, to me, some of the most interesting ideas on legal tech that I’ve had, but haven’t yet written about.
Litigation 2.0
In the last few days, however, these ideas have come back to me with renewed life. In part, that’s because of a conversation I had with John Thickett of the Tusker Group about their approach to outsourcing electronic discovery work and processes, and the implications of that outsourcing. In part, it comes from podcasts I’ve listened to featuring Andy Kessler, the author of The End of Medicine (podcast link), and C.K. Prahalad (podcast link).
But, mainly, it’s from the recent conversations Matt Homann, JoAnna Forshee and I have had about the next public LexThink! conference, which have focused on the topic of a new kind of conference on electronic discovery.
Litigation 2.0
In keeping with the LexThink approach, we wanted a conference that was innovative and different, that was both intensely practical and allowed people to consider the big picture and deeper implications. Ideas moving to action.
I kept pushing us to look at what was happening in the trenches. Let’s face it, the most interesting things happen at the points where different fields intersect and with the people working at those intersections. To me, that’s the world of litigation support and litigation support managers – right at the point of intersection of IT, client concerns and the practice of law.
So, we’ve been turning over that idea and working it into form.
Litigation 2.0
Yesterday, we decided that this area would be the focus of the next public LexThink conference in early Spring 2007.
We absolutely did not want to do another electronic discovery conference that academically covered Zubulake and the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. There’s plenty of room for those and many of them are quite good. But that’s not our territory.
We want to explore what the changing environment means for people who need to make decisions and get things done in the real world and have excellent insight into where all of this is taking us. It’s best to focus on these topics in ways that help people do their work better, make their lives easier, and help them learn together and form communities with people facing the same issues.
That’s a discussion that has to happen. And it needs to involve lit support managers (in law firms and corporations), lit support and electronic discovery vendors (the tool makers), the helpers and consultants, the clients, judges, and lawyers too. I’ve long wanted to participate in that discussion, but now I believe that we can facilitate it as well.
Litigation 2.0
As usual, the discussion came down to deciding on a name that was big enough and broad enough (and short enough) to hold what we wanted. Using “electronic discovery” or “lit support” is too limiting. We’ve always had the idea of “summit” floating around this project, but, yesterday, even that didn’t feel right.
It’s a big change in the process of happening – not necessarily moving into new territory but recognizing that the territory we inhabit has already begun to change. Think of “paradigm shift” in the classic Thomas Kuhn sense of the term.
Announcing Litigation 2.0 – the conference, the concept and the conversation.
Details to come.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Comments

  1. Jeff Carr says

    Dennis — couldn’t agree with you more. I’m weary of the Zubulake apparition. Down in the trenches, we need real world, cost effective, and technology driven solutions to ediscovery issues. I’m even more weary of the vendors in lit support and law firms making promoises for their clients that they can’t deliver and salivating over the fees and expenses that they yearn to reap. Instead of focusing on the cost per page of records we need real world ai solutions to reduce that numnber of records where expensive humans are paid to review and catalogue. I actually heard a respectecd federal judge argue the other day for production in TIF image format as opposed to pdf or native format because, in his view “that’s the best and truest original”. Since those cannot be indexed or search except manually that postiion simply feeds the monster. I say use the actual content, metadata, and embeded data and ai-empowered tools to seach and categorize without human involvement. Will somethign be missed or lost — of course, but the technique will be less expensive and may reduce the tyrannous blackmail of cost of outrageous defense settlement of meritless cases. Let’s stop the maddness!