Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Data Visualization Works — And When It Doesn't

An article by Jim Stikeleather posted on the Harvard Business Review.  This article looks at the effective use of "Visualization" models to analyze "Big Data" sets.  The article points out vital factors that need to be considered when creating visualization diagrams to view patterns within data sets.

The article explores three main reasons to use visualization techniques, which the author defines as: Confirmation; Education and Exploration.  The author then discusses factors to consider in order to effectively use visualization, such as: Data Quality; Context: and Biases.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How Relying on Algorithms and Bots Can Be Really, Really Dangerous

An article by Clive Thompson posted on discussing possible dangers of relying on artificial intelligence technology to make decisions.  The article provides everyday examples of risks associated with allowing computer technology to make decisions for people.

Darpa sets out to make computers that teach themselves

An article by Robert Beckhusen posted on the website.  The article examines an effort by the U.S. government via the Pentagon's Blue-Sky Research Agency, to create computers that utilize enhanced artificial intelligence technology.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Outlook Emails Can Take Many Forms – eDiscovery Best Practices

An article by Doug Austin posted on the eDiscovery Daily Blog.  The article discusses various forms that Outlook emails can be stored in, and touches on the importance of knowing the difference between each possible classification.

Friday, March 22, 2013

When to Release a Litigation Hold

An article by John Delionado and Corey Lee appearing on on the Law Technology News webpage.  The article discusses the need to release litigation hold, and provides advice as to when it would be appropriate to do so.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Litigation 101 for eDiscovery Tech Professionals: Trial, Part 5: Presenting the Case

An article by Jane Gennarelli that is part of an ongoing series appearing on the eDiscovery Daily Blog.  This article which is part 5 of the series, examines presenting evidence at trial.  The writing focuses on the hearsay rules of evidence, and the use of leading questions.

Monday, March 18, 2013

JP Morgan Chase Sanctioned for a Failure to Preserve Skill Codes – eDiscovery Case Law

An article by Doug Austin posted on the eDiscovery Daily blog.

The article states, "Last week, we discussed how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was sanctioned for failing to comply with a motion to compel production of social media data that they had been previously ordered to produce. Now, the “shoe is on the other foot” as their opponent in another case has been sanctioned for spoliation of data.

In EEOC v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 2:09-cv-864 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 28, 2013), District Judge Gregory L. Frost granted the EEOC’s motion for sanctions for spoliation of data, entitling the plaintiff to “a permissive adverse jury instruction related to the spoliation if this litigation proceeds to a jury trial”, and denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment."  The article provides a link to the case, and discusses why the defendant was sanctioned for spoliation, and describes the data that the defendant failed to properly produce.

Friday, March 15, 2013

eDiscovery Journal on real experience with social media archiving – and my own real-life example

A post by Chris Dale on the blog eDisclosure Information Project Updates, that provides further examples of challenges regarding the archiving of Social Media content.  The post references an article by Barry Murphy, and provides further comment on that article, as well as a link to that writing.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How BYOD Can Complicate Support

An article appearing on Information Week, on the Byte webpage, written by Dino Londis.

The article states, "Advocates of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and consumerization have promised it would improve employee productivity because they can choose the device they want and access the data from anywhere they want. IT departments have resisted BYOD and consumerization, however, because their perception is they lose control of testing, the upgrade cycle, the data or even understanding fundamentally how the application works. The ease of use for the user creates an additional burden for the IT staff."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2014 Law School Rankings

The 2014 Best Law School rankings are out. The rankings of 194 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association are based on a weighted average of the 12 measures of quality described here. Data were collected in fall 2012 and early 2013.
Here are the Top 20
  • 1. Yale University
  • 2. Harvard University
  • 2. Stanford University
  • 4. Columbia University
  • 4. University of Chicago
  • 6. New York University
  • 7. University of Pennsylvania
  • 7. University of Virginia
  • 9. University of California-Berkeley
  • 9. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • 11. Duke University
  • 12. Northwestern University
  • 13. Cornell University
  • 14. Georgetown University
  • 15. University of Texas-Austin
  • 15. Vanderbilt University
  • 17. University of California-Los Angeles
  • 18. University of Southern California
  • 19. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • 19. Washington University in St. Louis
  • 21. George Washington University

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Compliance professionals overwhelmingly reject general counsel reporting structure

An PR Newswire Release from the International Business Times.

The article provides information from a recent survey and states,"Compliance and ethics professionals are overwhelming opposed to corporate counsel serving as compliance officer, according to recent survey conducted by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics® (SCCE) and Health Care Compliance Association® (HCCA). The survey found 88 percent of compliance professionals reject mingling these two different and important functions; several survey respondents noted that each are full time jobs, with different responsibilities. Compliance professionals also indicated strong opposition to having the compliance officer report to the general counsel. Eighty percent of the more than 800 compliance professionals responding to this survey opposed this structure."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Judge nixes NYC ban on big, sugary drink sales, calling it ‘arbitrary and capricious’

A state-court judge has struck down a New York City program that was to go into effect on Tuesday and would have banned some Big Apple businesses, including restaurants and theaters, from selling sugary drinks like soda pop in supersize containers.
In a blow to the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had promoted the ban, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling said it didn't make sense and issued a permanent injunction, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal
In halting the drink rules, Judge Tingling noted that the incoming sugary drink regulations were "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences" that would be difficult to enforce with consistency "even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole."
Judge Tingling also suggested that Mr. Bloomberg overstepped his powers by bringing the sugary drink rules before the Board of Health, which is solely appointed by him. The City Council, he wrote, is the legislative body "and it alone has the authority to legislate as the board seeks to do here."
"The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule," the judge wrote. (Read the full text of the ruling.)

Report: Predictive Coding Replaces Sanctions as the Big News in E-Discovery

An article appearing on the eDiscovery Search Blog written by Bob Ambrogi.

The article states, "For the last several years, year-end reports on e-discovery have highlighted sanctions as the lead headline. (For examples from this blog, see Report: Sanction Requests Rise But Awards Hold Steady for 2011 and E-Discovery Sanctions Reach an All-Time High, Survey Finds.) For 2012, however, a different story took the lead spot — the rise of predictive coding.

Such is the conclusion of the 2012 Year-End Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update published by the law firm Gibson Dunn." Links to the reports referenced are provided in the article.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

US judge sanctions lawyers for PDF production and wrongful certification

Article by Robert Hilson for ACEDS
In a case that airs broad and deep-seated confusion over federal e-discovery obligations, a US magistrate judge in Maryland has sanctioned plaintiff’s attorneys for Branhaven, LLC in a trademark infringement suit for wrongfully certifying the completeness of an e-discovery production they did not perform, review or supervise.
The lawyers for Branhaven, one of whom was a partner with 25 years of litigation experience, simply delegated the collection and review of documents to their client and trusted it to produce all relevant materials.
“This ruling is really about poor conduct,” Hugh Marbury, attorney for defendants Beeftek, BT Selection and Prime Beef Marker at DLA Piper in Baltimore, tells ACEDS. “To my knowledge, this is the first published opinion sanctioning an attorney for wrongly certifying an e-discovery production.”
Counsel’s “meaningless and arguably misleading response” showed “callous disregard for their responsibilities under the rules,” wrote US magistrate Judge Susan Gauvey in a 21-page memorandum opinion of January 4. Plaintiff’s lawyers, she said, had “no knowledge” of which documents were produced.
This withering criticism stole headlines, but it was the fine print over the form of production that is raising eyebrows and questions about the state of e-discovery knowledge among judges and the litigators who appear before them.
Judge Gauvey, who appeared to deviate from a heavy body of case law and Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, said the PDF format in which many of the plaintiff’s documents were produced did not constitute a “reasonably usable form.”
Instead, she said, the records should have been produced as Bates-stamped TIFFs, even though this form is considered of similar or inferior quality and is more expensive to produce.
The ruling is being called a throwback to discovery’s paper days because it allows, even requires, production of ESI in a “static” format. It is evoking fear that six years after amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to deal directly with e-discovery, the knowledge of e-discovery manifested by judges and lawyers in US courts is not keeping pace with technology advances.
“These sort of fights over the form of production can be as logical as reverse burning MP3s to 8-track because an attorney wants to practice law in the 1970s,” says Joshua Gilliland, and e-discovery attorney and author in Santa Clara. “We have to use 21st Century tools for our 21st Century clients.”
For the complete article click here:

Legal Sector Added 200 Jobs in February

Article by Tom Huddleston Jr for The Am Law Daily

Legal hiring rebounded slightly last month after suffering a major drop-off in January, with the industry adding 200 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary employment data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The initial estimate of February's modest gains comes a month after the BLS reported that the legal industry had shed 2,400 positions in January.  The positive news contained in Friday's report was, however, offset by a revision to the preliminary January figures that pushed that month's estimated job losses up to 3,500. (Friday's report showed the agency's December estimate holding steady at 1,900 jobs gained for the month.)

Factoring in Friday's hiring estimates, the legal sector now employs 5,000 more people than it did at this point last year and roughly 1.125 million people overall—about 50,000 fewer than it did at its pre-recession peak in 2007.

For the complete report click here: 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What the Government Spends on Legal Services

How much does the federal government spend on outside legal services? And who gets the work? Until now, the answers haven’t been clear. National Law Journal reporter Andrew Ramonas examined 67,000 records over the last year, and for the first time we lay out the scope of legal spending by federal agencies. We’ve found who wins the contracts and which vendors, including many top law firms, earned the most. Click the link above to see the results. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Does Your Agency Need Big Data? Maybe Not.

An article appearing on the FCW.Com website, written by Frank Konkel.

The article provides comments from author Bill Franks, and also from David Powner, the Director of I.T. Management for the Government Accountability Office.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Unintended Consequences of Bring Your Own Device

An article by Susan Ross appearing on on the Law Technology News webpage.

The article points out concerns regarding BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, including stating, "

The tug-of-war between convenient data access and prudent security has been going on for a long time, even on standard company-owned devices. Adding BYOD to the convenient access side of the rope might send the prudent security team tumbling to defeat.

That smartphone in your pocket (or sitting on the counter at Starbucks tempting fleet-footed thieves while you fumble for your credit card) probably offers easy access to your work email and thousands of attached files on your Microsoft Exchange server. It and the other devices you use on your home network and elsewhere may store work files the same way they store personal pictures, home movies, and other files. Should you ever be subjected to e-discovery, all of those files — not just the text or instant messages in which you discussed the merger and should have been a little more discreet, but also Aunt Pauline's recipe for zucchini bread — will be an open book. And you may have to give up the device itself for a while so that it can be examined or imaged."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence

Article by Patricia Redsicker

The latest findings from Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report show that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.” In fact, blogs rank favorably with consumers for trust, popularity and even influence.

Here are some interesting findings from the report: 
1. Blogs influence consumers purchasing decisions.Consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions.
2. Over half of consumers surveyed agreed that smaller communities have greater influence on a topic than larger ones.
3. Brands rely more on Facebook to influence.
4. We’ve seen that trust is the currency of influence and that consumers are looking for “trusted digital friends” to give them advice on what to buy and where to go.
5. When it comes to gauging the success of their campaigns, brands and influencers think differently. 

For more info:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Here's What Law Enforcement Can Recover From A Seized iPhone

Article by Andy Greenberg, Forbes

You may think of your iPhone as a friendly personal assistant. But once it’s alone in a room full of law enforcement officials, you might be surprised at the revealing things it will say about you.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union published a report it obtained from a drug investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, documenting the seizure and search of a suspect’s iPhone from her bedroom. While it’s no surprise that a phone carries plenty of secrets, the document presents in stark detail a list of that personal information, including call logs, photos, videos, text messages, Web history, eight different passwords for various services, and perhaps most importantly, 659 previous locations of the phone invisibly gathered from Wifi networks and cell towers.

We know the police have started using tools that can do this. We’ve known the iPhone retains records of the cell towers it contacts. But we’ve never before seen the huge amount of data police can obtain,” says ACLU technology lead Chris Soghoian, who found the report in a court filing. “It shouldn’t be shocking. But it’s one thing to know that they’re using it. It’s another to see exactly what they get.”

In this case, ICE was able to extract the iPhone’s details with the help of the forensics firm Cellebrite. The suspect doesn’t seem to have enabled a PIN or passcode. But even when those login safeguards are set up in other cases, law enforcement have still often been able to use tools to bypass or brute-force a phone’s security measuresGoogle in some cases helps law enforcement to get past Android phones’ lockscreens, and if law enforcement can’t crack a seized iPhone, officers will in some cases mail the phone to Apple, who extract the data and return it stored on a DVD along with the locked phone.

Big Data, Predictive Coding and Data Reuse among Top E-discovery Trends in FTI Consulting Study of Fortune 1000 Counsel

A PR Newswire Item - The Fourth Annual Advice from Counsel Study (from FTI Consulting) Shares Predictions on the Future of E-discovery

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ralph Losey of Jackson Lewis, LLP – eDiscovery Trends, Part 2

An article appearing on the eDiscovery Daily Blog by Doug Austin, consisting of an interview of eDiscovery subject matter expert, Ralph Losey, Esq.  The article is part 2 of a series in which the author's posed the same following questions to various industry thought leaders:

  1. What are your general observations about LTNY this year and how it fits into emerging trends?
  2. If last year’s “next big thing” was the emergence of predictive coding, what do you feel is this year’s “next big thing”?
  3. What are you working on that you’d like our readers to know about?

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Developments in Advanced Legal Search: the emergence of the “Multimodal Single-SME” approach

A post by Ralph Losey, Esq. on his blog e-Discovery Team.  The blog post promises to define several terms that are referenced by Mr. Losey, in an upcoming article that he will soon post.