E-Discovery Roundtable Podcast/Transcript Covers Important Territory

If you’d like to get a good survey of the big picture and trends in electronic discovery from a variety of perspectives, let me recommend that you check out a new podcast (and downloadable transcript) that Xerox has posted on the Big I, little t Blog. It’s a fascinating discussion that I was invited to participate in, but, unfortunately, unfortunately was not able to attend.
Here’s a representative sample from the transcript:

Mike Maziarka: It seems to me that something that we haven’t touched on is that there’s also employee training that’s necessary here. That, you know, I think part of this is we’ve become reliant on tools such as email as a conduit for communication rather than a truly what it is, a document creator. And that I think training needs to happen in organizations to say realize that when you use email and when you use some of these tools, you are creating a document that, you know, if you don’t want that to be read at some point in the future should never be created to begin with. And it’s not just true of email, but also IM is another area that we really haven’t touched on today that as you start to use these tools, you’re creating a record of something that has happened. And I think that that’s something that organizations are also going to have to address is we’ve become very reliant on these tools and maybe we need to back-off a little bit to the degree to which we use them.

Xerox’s Craig Freeman certainly asks some excellent questions that the rest of us should be look for answers to. There need to be many more of these kinds of conversations. The blog offers a place for continuing the discussion through comments. Highly recommended for both the content on this topic and an example of how companies can use blogs effectively.
My only quibble is that I wish that the podcast was available as a downloadable mp3 file, but providing the transcript is an excellent idea. [UPDATE: Thank you Xerox for making the mp3 download link available at the podcast link.]
Speaking of roundtables, it’s always interesting to go back to the granddaddy of all electronic discovery roundtable articles, A Gold Mine of Electronic Discovery Expertise: A Conversation Among Veterans of Electronic Discovery Battles, and see how it has stood the test of time as it approaches its third birthday. Quite well, I think. I’ve been toying with the idea of revisiting that article and doing a roundtable with the same people and adding even more experts. Let me know if you might be interested in reading a new version of that article or becoming one of the participants.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about electronic discovery at Dennis Kennedy’s Electronic Discovery Resources page.
Technorati tags:

Resisting the Temptation of Declaring Email Bankruptcy

Dealing with email can get you down. In one of the key moments in Internet history, Larry Lessig famously declared email bankruptcy, announcing that he had gotten so far behind in answering email that he was simply going to start over fresh.
It’s a tempting thought – and something I’ve given a lot of thought to lately. There are undoubtedly several of you now reading this post from whom I have an email that needs a reply. I’ve been describing my inbox as a cringe-inducing zone
However, Anne Zelenka has some great suggestions to reduce the burden and offers some promising alternatives to declaring email bankruptcy in her post “Before You Declare Email Bankruptcy.”
One of Anne’s suggestions makes the money quote:

Create a folder or label named with a date in the future, maybe a week or so, or two days if that’s the most you can stand. Move everything from your inbox into there. On that day, look at the messages. Do you need to respond to them now? Many of them no longer require a response, having been already dealt with or made obsolete by intervening events.

That’s all true, but the best advice in her post might be to open up other options for people to connect with you outside of email.
The email bankruptcy option, however, remains an enticing one, especially in weak moments.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
Technorati tags:

Green Legal Technology: Is the Time Ripe?

A bunch of us have been talking and writing about “green legal technology,” which refers to using law office technology in more energy-saving and ecologically-sensitive ways, i.e., green computing.
From turning your computers off to better power management to server virtualization to software as a service and hosted applications, many things are happening in this space. It’s definitely become one consideration that should be on your list as you consider your technology options inside and outside your office. I recently saw a blog post about a new computer bag that was covered with solar cells so you could charge your notebook computer and accessories. There are philosophical and economic rationales for green computing.
As an interesting (at least to me) aside, I was doing some research for a new page on green legal technology resources I want to add to my website (and for a future Strongest Links column Tom Mighell and I have been discussing) when I found, to my surprise that a Google search on “green legal technology” had zero hits. I believe that I’ve officially coined a new term.
It’s funny how Google has changed the landscape for neologisms. If you think up a new term and “google it,” and you get no results, you really do feel like you’ve coined a new term.
Admittedly, I’m no Denise Howell, who coined the word “blawg,” but I’ve come up with the occasional new term over the years, at least according to my Google searches at the time the terms appeared to me in a burst of light.
Who can forget my classic “Blawg City USA“? I really liked my terms “fourth generation legal technology” and “4G legal technology,” both homages to John Robb, and subjects that I want to revisit and write about in depth one day soon.
In the past year, I hit on the new terms “electronic discovery 2.0,” “edd 2.0,” and “litigation 2.0,” quite a run. I was the #1 result on “e-discovery 2.0″ until recently. I’m not sure that I coined that one last summer too, because I don’t like to use the term e-discovery, but the reference in this post suggests that maybe I did. While I wish I would have coined “Law 2.0,” I first saw that from The Wired GC, so I like to give him credit whenever I can.
Ah, if as a result I could amass even 1/10 the fortune Denise Howell has earned from coining the word “blawg” . . . .
Yes, that’s an inside joke that I’m sure Denise will appreciate (listen to an earlier audio version of same joke).
I suspect that of all my clever new terms (blawgilicious, blawgadelic, the list goes on . . . unfortunately), it’ll be Blawg City USA that I’ll be most known for. The other ones seem to get thrown into the conversation (a good thing) on a regular basis and it’ll be easy to forget where they came from – or, maybe not, thanks to Google’s servers. See Mark Cuban’s interesting take on that point. It’s the conversations that the terms start that matters most.
I seem to have let this post drift away from “green legal technology,” but I’ll follow-up on that idea soon. “Green legal tech”? Just checked – I got that one too. What new terms should you be coining?
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
Technorati tags:

A Good Introduction to PowerPoint 2007 for Lawyers (and Others)

Brett Burney is one of my favorite reviewers of legal technology products. He has a new article on PowerPoint 2007 that serves as a great introduction to the new version of PowerPoint, PowerPoint 2007 Takes on the Fear Factor. Brett highlights the features, developments, and issues that will most interest lawyers.
The money quote:

When you give a presentation, most people plug a projector into their laptop. When you launch your PowerPoint presentation, a carbon copy image shows on both your laptop screen and the projected screen. This may be fine for most folks, but the Presenter View can make you look like a superstar. While the projector continues to beam your formal presentation, the Presenter View on your laptop screen shows you a) the current slide, b) the notes you’ve written for that slide, and c) the next several slides coming up. You can jump to any slide without having to exit out of your presentation, and the Presenter View displays a big, fat timer to keep you honest.

Good article, with lots of good illustrations – something to keep in mind for your next PowerPoint presentation. The article is also notable for one of the rare links from a Law.com article to one of my articles (and my most popular article ever, at that). It’s nice to see legal publications link outside the family every now and then.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
Technorati tags:

Are Lawyers Doing Work That Should Be Done By Machines?

Good question. Important question. Maybe the Big Question.
Ron Friedmann offers his insights into the question in a post about an article in which Cisco’s Mark Chandler raises the question in the context of document review in electronic discovery.
The money quote from Ron:

I’ve written previously that the choosing the best document review approach – US contract lawyers, offshore lawyers, or software – is an empirical question. Chandler adds anecdotal evidence that computers do better than humans, at least considering cost.

I ruminated a bit about the question outside the context of electronic discovery in one of my favorite posts on this blog from 2006.
The money quote from that post was:

At TECHSHOW 2005, Marc Lauritsen was reviewing the histroy of legal technology and made a comment about tasks that it made sense for computers to do and tasks that it made sense for humans to do. It struck me then, and does even more so today, that part of the reason we see dissatisfaction and burnout in the legal profession is that, arguably in many cases, lawyers are still doing work as humans that should at this point be done by computers, [rather than having computers do the work to free them up] to do more of the creative things that play such a big part in being a lawyer. Properly understood, we should be trying to use technology to enable us to move in that direction.
In his email, Gates says: “In this New World of Work, repetitive, uninteresting tasks like moving data from one system to another will be automated and employees will focus much more of their time and creative energy on work that generates real value and growth.”

Important question. Maybe a Law 2.0 question.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
Technorati tags: