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Tom O'Connor

Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery, Part Four

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, which we covered as part of a webcast on June 26.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the impact of millennials on eDiscovery titled Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was last Tuesday, part two was last Friday and part three was Monday, here is the fourth part.

Impact of Millennials on Legal Technology and eDiscovery

What does all this mean for the legal space and eDiscovery in particular? One commentator wrote:

The modern workforce is changing every single day.  Technology is advancing so rapidly it can be hard to keep up.

Millennials are now redefining the office. How?   Remote working, geographically distributed teams, the growing popularity of online collaboration tools—all new work methods based around technology innovations. In short, in contrast to older generations, millennials generally prefer to use apps on their phones and mobile devices to communicate instead of voicemails and phone calls.

And that’s the reality of our business world today. We already use these technologies, now we need to learn to how treat them as normal business practices.

Source: Malcolm In the Middle

When we talk about issues of mobility, social media, texting and collaboration, we are talking about the reality of modern business communications not some futuristic technology. And the reality of identifying and preserving those communications can be problematic.

An article on the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) website entitled Collaboration Apps Make E-Discovery More Difficult made the point succinctly when the author discussed the inability of employers to fully see and preserve all chat app messages, pointing specifically to a lawsuit involving a former Uber employee who alleged a colleague used a chatroom to harass. Data stores of that nature can make eDiscovery difficult, time-consuming and incredibly expensive.

How prevalent are texts?  81% of the American population texts every month.  With a total population of 320 million that means roughly 259 million people text every month.  With 8.5 billion texts per day, that means an average of 32 texts per person per day.

Of the people who text, roughly 70% uses emojis and an estimated 10% use emojis only!  Emojis have become extremely widespread with more than 700 million emojis are used every day in Facebook posts alone.  The problem is that forensics tools don’t always capture emojis. As long ago as 2016, forensics examiners were bemoaning the lack of tools to capture and analysis emojis and the problem has grown larger since then.

We’ll publish Part 5 – Conclusions and Recommendations – on Friday.

So, what do you think?  Have the habits of millennials impacted eDiscovery for your organization?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery, Part Three

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, which we covered as part of a webcast on June 26.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the impact of millennials on eDiscovery titled Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was last Tuesday, part two was last Friday, here is the third part.

Drivers for Millennials’ Thinking Today

Voting Studies

So, where do we learn more about this new generation? Most of the information we have on millennials comes from studies of their voting patterns and buying habits. In the first area the general assumption is that they are social loners who don’t vote. An estimated 31% of eligible people ages 18 to 29 voted in the 2018 midterms, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). This exceeds participation from the same age group in the 2014 midterms by about 10 percentage points but is still far below the number that voted in the 2016 presidential election, when 51% of eligible millennial voters cast a ballot.

In the 2018 midterm, a poll released the week of the election by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, found four out of 10 adults under 30 said they would “definitely vote” and in Texas and Georgia, early turnout by 18-29 year olds was up by a whopping 500 percent in the days before the election, according to The Independent.

But the fact is that millennial voting rates have never exceeded 50%, even in 2018. According to a national poll last fall, just two-in-ten of America’s young adults consider themselves “politically engaged and active.” So far, only  41% of millennials ages 18-29 are certain they’ll vote.

But are they really isolated social loners intent only on gaming and texting? Why such low turnout when in the 1800’s 80% turnout was commonplace?

Maybe the reason isn’t the generation but the society. In the mid-1800s, transcendentalist Margaret Fuller envisioned the individualistic reality millennials now inhabit. Fuller believed that “American culture was best served by the influence of the self-cultivated individual.” If individuals prioritized themselves, America would fulfill its destiny as a truly democratic nation.

But as those ideal became reality, as individualism increases, each successive generation since World War II participates less in civic duties and governmental expectations. And so to the they are political, millennials are moved by measures championing personal choice—not society, country or planet. Only half of millennials see themselves as patriotic, and less than a third consider themselves to be environmentalists. Just 19% of millennials see themselves as generally trusting of others, compared to 40% of boomers. But we support gay and interracial marriage, abortion and marijuana legalization substantially—and sometimes exponentially—more than other generations.

Political engagement has been replaced by more direct social engagement  A 2014 report on the impact of millennials revealed 87% donated money to an organization that supported a cause they supported.

Millennials do have a desire to make an impact for a good cause, they simply don’t see voting as the best mean to accomplish that.

Millennials in 2016 were significantly less likely to vote or try to influence others vote than were the ’80s generation in the 1987 survey, or the first wave of postwar baby boomers in 1967. BUT millennials display about the same level of political interest as the youngest generation did in 1987, and millennials contact local government and work with others in the community at essentially the same rates as did youth in the earlier surveys.

So, if the 1980s generation that was once considered apathetic is now, in middle age, actually more politically active than earlier generations were at that same stage in their lives then we can expect the same for millennials. The “participation gap”, which actually just appears under closer scrutiny, to be a reluctance to vote, might just indicate that “kids these days” – the millennials – just won’t participate more actively until later in life.

What does that mean for technology usage? That’s where marketing studies come in.

Marketing

We all “know” that millennials are mobile consumers tapping their mobile devices for hours each day and we’ve all seen or heard of research that indicates they spend more time interacting with their phones than other people but at the same time have short attention spans.

This may be because, as mentioned above, millennials appreciate tech as something they saw grow up while they did. They’ve seen numerous networks and devices come and go. Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr, MySpace, Vine, Google+.

Given their comfort level with technology, they tend to favor services that offer practicality, utility, convenience and even fun. In short, millennials value technology when it delivers value.

Common characteristics of millennials that marketing studies have revealed include that they:

  1. Will Embrace New Technology
  2. Want to Create Opportunities for Good Causes
  3. Want Product to Support their Creativitity
  4. Want Innovation
  5. Want Product to “Speak their Language”
  6. Want Flexibility
  7. Want Personable Company
  8. Want Passionate Company
  9. Want to Be Valued as “Real”
  10. Want to Be Recognized

What we see in these studies is that the perception as being the next “me generation” is really a focus on personal rather than social validation.  Millennials are the largest single generation in history and have become the largest influence in social and technological habits.  They value utility, effectiveness and relationship over price and are undaunted by technological innovation.

We’ll publish Part 4 – Impact of Millennials on Legal Technology and eDiscovery – on Wednesday.

So, what do you think?  Have the habits of millennials impacted eDiscovery for your organization?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery, Part Two

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, which we covered as part of a webcast on June 26.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the impact of millennials on eDiscovery titled Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was Tuesday, here is the second part.

Understanding Millennials and How They Differ from Previous Generations

Well first, let’s ask, what exactly is a millennial? Are they really, as often stated, misunderstood job jumpers who have taken control of both the workplace and economy?

What exactly is the generational breakdown? Generational analysis is difficult and often shifting and it takes time for popular and expert consensus to develop precise breakdowns, but the Pew Research Center assesses such demographics and has come up with the following chart:

  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (74-91 years old)
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (55-73 years old)
  • Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (39-54 years old)
  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (23-38 years old)
  • Generation Z (Post Millennials): born 1997 or later (up to 22 years old)

Millennials are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million while Gen X is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.

The Millennial generation growth is not just from a growing birth rate. Census figures show that young immigrants also expand its ranks. Meanwhile, boomers are aging and their numbers shrinking in size as the number of deaths among them exceeds the number of older immigrants arriving in the country.

What does this mean in terms of technical usage trends? The Millennial segment may not be “digital natives” to the degree of the Gen Z population but they have grown up during the digital revolution.  They’re tech savvy and saw firsthand the explosion in the use of mobile phones, social media and Internet-based information at your fingertips.

Compare that to my generation. As a bona fide boomer, I was born in 1950 in upstate Vermont. I grew up listening to a radio for my entertainment and getting my news from a paper. When TV entered my life, it came on at 4PM, went off at 11PM and consisted of two Lo VHF channels. One of which was from Montreal. At least I didn’t need to speak French to watch hockey.

Then came transistor radios. Portable data! I listened to the first Mercury launch, to the Beatles sing I Want to Hold Your Hand. To Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston, Bill Mazeroski homer to win the World Series in the 9th. In my own room.

Next up was a car. AM radio. Better than a transistor. But I was a teenage and on AM radio there was a nothin’ goin’ down at all. Then one morning I found a New York station and I couldn’t believe what I heard at all. I started shakin’ to that fine, fine music and my life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll. FM baby. And the next thing I know I was rolling down the window and letting the wind blow back my hair on the New Jersey Turnpike in the wee, wee hours.

8 tracks, cassette players, the Internet, IPods: all of it one big wow. But technology does not present a “wow” factor for millennials and Gen Z. Rather new technology products and apps are just another channel in the cable network world of 500 channels that is their lives. A new channel appears, they try it. If they like it, they listen more. If not, switch the channel, flip the switch, try something new.

We’ll publish Part 3 – Drivers for Millennials’ Thinking Today – next Monday.

So, what do you think?  Have the habits of millennials impacted eDiscovery for your organization?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, which we covered as part of a webcast on June 26.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the impact of millennials on eDiscovery titled Thinking Like a Millennial: How Millennials are Changing Discovery that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Here’s the first part.

Introduction

I was asked to tackle this topic after a question in a recent webinar. It seems to imply that millennials are or will be using some forms of technology that will present significant challenges to ESI preservation and production as the member of that social group enter the work force.

Paul Gentile, Senior Director, Product Marketing at LogMeIn (a.k.a., GoToMeeting) had this observation regarding millennials impact on the workforce:

The major shifts taking place in the modern workforce—remote working, geographically distributed teams, the growing popularity of online collaboration tools—can be attributed to the millennial generation’s preferences that flow into their careers.

But is that really accurate? Haven’t those changes already taken place? Aren’t millennials already part of the work force and using the same tools as the rest of us? Is there some rising tide of millennial software that will befuddle legal technologists in the coming years or are we all on the same technology flight, just some of us are sitting in first class chatting on our tablets on free Wi-Fi while the people in steerage are struggling to sign in to the Boingo signal so they can pay an outrageous fee for three hours of horribly slow connectivity?

In this paper, we will take a look at millennials, what motivates them and how they differ from previous generations and what the impact of millennials is on legal technology and eDiscovery, as follows:

  1. Understanding Millennials and How They Differ from Previous Generations
  2. Drivers for Millennials’ Thinking Today
  3. Impact of Millennials on Legal Technology and eDiscovery
  4. Conclusions and Recommendations

We’ll publish Part 2 – Understanding Millennials and How They Differ from Previous Generations – on Friday.

So, what do you think?  Have the habits of millennials impacted eDiscovery for your organization?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, Part Five

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, which we will cover as part of a webcast on May 29.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys titled (oddly enough) Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was last Tuesday, part two was last Thursday, part three was Monday and part four was Wednesday, here is the fifth and final part.

Conclusions

Finally, I asked several of our stalwarts to address the questions I posed back in the Introduction to this article.

With regards to the question “Do symmetrical cases (both parties producing comparable discovery) differ from asymmetrical cases (one side has vast majority of discovery) that much in terms of strategy?”, Craig said:

“Plaintiffs mistakenly assume they don’t have anything to preserve, process and search.  They often have much more than counsel appreciate yet lack wherewithal to deal with it.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers who fail to bring the same diligence and skill they demand from the defense to their own client’s data are easy targets for costly do-overs and serious sanctions.  Defense counsel often harbor the same mistaken assumptions about asymmetry and fail to exploit this pressure point.  That luck won’t last, so plaintiffs’ lawyers better get on the stick when it comes to defensible legal holds, collection, processing and review.”

Craig had also addressed the question “Are plaintiffs more interested in expanding the scope of production (to get more potential evidence) or avoiding the old “document dump” because they don’t have the resources?  Or does it depend on the type of plaintiff?” with his comments on shortsightedness by saying:

“… plaintiffs’ lawyers tend to rashly agree to almost anything to get something.  They accede to bad protocols, shoddy searches and dumbed-down forms of production by being in too big a hurry to get their hands-on production and start taking depositions.” 

With regards to the question “Are plaintiffs more motivated to request native files than defendants because they are more invested in using the metadata?”, all our experts agree that plaintiffs want native files more than defendants because they want the original metadata while defendants are far more likely to already have invested substantial sums in database technology into which they have loaded their data and can use that to screen their productions.

Lastly, with regards to question “Does the EDRM model seem more like a defense model than a plaintiff model, given that it is more focused on producing then presenting?  Should there be a model for requesting parties?”, our experts felt it leaned towards a defense model not because it was more focused on producing then presenting, but because the people who first originated it and later promoted it were defense oriented so that was their natural inclination.

A larger problem for plaintiffs’ attorneys beyond the EDRM focus is changing their paradigm from documents to data. As Craig Ball noted:

“Plaintiffs’ lawyers are hamstrung by paper presumptions unsuited to a digital universe. Lacking insight into modern information systems, they don’t know how to fight back like coders instead of cavemen.  So, they flail and whine that the production ‘just feels like it should be more’ without being able to articulate why and how or produce evidence to support their motions – crucially lacking the ability to educate the bench and secure relief.  Plaintiffs get run over roughshod trying to argue what they need to prove.”

So, what do you think?  Are you a plaintiff’s attorney?  If so, what are your biggest eDiscovery challenges?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Daily will resume with new posts on Tuesday, after the Memorial Day weekend.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, Part Four

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, which we will cover as part of a webcast on May 29.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys titled (oddly enough) Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was last Tuesday, part two was last Thursday and part three was Monday, here is the fourth part.

Lack of Competence Challenges

The next most popular choice for plaintiff eDiscovery pain points was lack of competence. This point was reflected in several different ways. Craig Ball stated it most directly when he called it “the big one” and noted the failings in the Plaintiffs’ bar by saying:

“Plaintiffs’ lawyers have been slow to integrate eDiscovery into their practices, so few plaintiffs’ lawyers are conversant in the argot and processes of eDiscovery.  This isn’t a slam.  Defense lawyers can call on resources unavailable to plaintiffs’ lawyers.  A defense firm will have an eDiscovery specialist or practice group to guide them and may be able to draw on resources supplied by an insurance carrier or the client’s IT staff and the client’s in-house eDiscovery workflows, tools and teams.  How many plaintiffs’ lawyers can responsibly delegate eDiscovery to their clients?  How many have eDiscovery specialists as full-time staffers?”

But clearly, he felt the Plaintiffs’ bar wasn’t picking up the slack in those shortcomings by becoming ESI proficient themselves. As he put it, “The answers are out there; but they’re not going to find the lawyers.  The lawyers have to look for them.”

Bob Eisenberg also felt it was an often-overlooked problem with the defense side, calling it a “… lack of eDiscovery expertise and interest …”

The answer tied most closely to competence was lack of tools and/or training.  Bob linked it to his answer on competence, saying that the lack of competence:

“… results, in many instances, in a failure to deploy, on an in house basis (as opposed to transactionally), necessary eDiscovery technical tools and over-reliance on outside expertise which can result in unnecessarily costly services when eDiscovery is required and problems arising from little or no in house expertise to oversee and assure both the validity and cost-efficiency of eDiscovery.”

Craig was quite specific as to the reason this was an issue when he termed it this way:

“Virtually no one offers eDiscovery training geared to the scale, needs and resources of plaintiffs’ lawyers. The Willie Sutton Rule applies.  Service providers, CLE providers, software developers, all tend to go where they think the money is, being the big firms and big corporations.  Providers shy away from plaintiffs’ lawyers out of fear of being blackballed by corporate clients and, understandably, because plaintiffs’ lawyers need more handholding and support.  Too, the collection, processing and review tools on the market are frequently priced out-of-reach to the solo and small firm practitioner and geared to the needs of producing parties.  Without tools and foundational training to explore ESI, plaintiffs’ lawyers can’t get closer to competence.”

The issue of protocols did have several mentions and was specifically called out by Jean and Drew.  Jean felt that too often protocols were misused, often being conflated with confidentiality or protective orders. Drew went even further and said that agreeing on an exchange protocol was too often “…like birthing a baby..”.

Ariana referenced the issue when she noted as her second issue “Data dumps in various formats without explanation or corresponding load files, select metadata, OCR, etc.”

For specific issues by an expert, Bob referred to a lack of understanding of their own internal IG systems by many defense counsel. Craig addressed what he called “shortsightedness” by Plaintiffs, which he described as their strong belief that “… if only they can get to the defendants’ ‘documents,’ they can make their case and prevail. But as he goes on to say, “It’s not documents so much anymore; it’s data”, an observation clearly related to the competence issue.

Finally, Ariana bemoaned: “Inexperienced lawyers who choose not to reach out to those who have the experience, acumen, and wherewithal to go toe to toe with the opponent (especially if the opponent is sophisticated and/or is using a reliable service provider) will find themselves at a serious disadvantage.”

We’ll publish Part 5 – Conclusions – on Friday.

So, what do you think?  Are you a plaintiff’s attorney?  If so, what are your biggest eDiscovery challenges?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, Part Three

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, which we will cover as part of a webcast on May 29.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys titled (oddly enough) Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was last Tuesday and part two was last Thursday, here is the third part.

Cooperation Challenges

Now let’s turn to some of the individual responses.  As I mentioned in part two, the most popular choice for plaintiff eDiscovery pain points was cooperation. Bob Eisenberg, like several others, had an answer that bordered on the protocol issue, saying that:

“… there is, it seems, frequently, an almost cavalier attitude to understanding eDiscovery technical aspects and a lack of necessary skills in connection with the subject of forms of production, for instance. This sometimes extends to eDiscovery jurisprudence, as well and leads to inefficiencies and lack of defensibility in the production of ESI.”

Drew had a similar response in saying that the lack of cooperation was often manifested in a “hard line attitude” with a common approach by defense teams of saying that their proposal was an  “…industry preferred standard” with no room for negotiation or, alternatively, wrangling over minutiae of details such as metadata or load file separators.

Both Jean and Ariana mentioned the example of a repeated insistence on the use of search terms in the blind by Defense teams. As Ariana stated,

“Application of search terms that are unilaterally selected by and applied by opponent with production that follows without QC/validation/testing and then the inevitable erected proportionality argument by the opponent that it need do no more.”

Craig had an interesting response that seemed to address cooperation so I counted it there, when he said that,

“As well, plaintiffs’ lawyers do an abysmal job of drafting requests with the specificity and precision needed to forestall successful proportionality objections.”

Finally, both Craig and Drew had an answer that addressed motion practice, Craig with his reference to the ongoing use of outdated boilerplate pleadings by both sides and Drew with his comment regarding “an increased focus by Defense teams on arguing ‘discovery about discovery’ motions, especially with regard to 30(b)(6) depositions.”

We’ll publish Part 4 – Lack of Competence Challenges – on Wednesday.

So, what do you think?  Are you a plaintiff’s attorney?  If so, what are your biggest eDiscovery challenges?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, Part Two

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, which we will cover as part of a webcast on May 29.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys titled (oddly enough) Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was Tuesday, here is the second part.

Top Three eDiscovery Pain Points Experienced by Plaintiff’s Attorneys

With regard to my question regarding the top 3 pain points in plaintiffs’ eDiscovery work, I thought that the most common answer or problem would be something technical such as exchange protocols and/or load files.  But the clear winner was actually cooperation. The issue of protocols came in behind that along with competence, followed by lack of tools.  After that each of the people responding had an answer somewhat unique to themselves.

Here are the actual answers from each of the experts regarding the top 3 pain points for plaintiffs:

  • Craig: Short Sightedness, Competence, No tools/training
  • Bob: Cavalier Attitude, No knowledge of IG, Lack of tools
  • Drew: Cooperation, Protocols, Motion practice
  • Jean: Producing party issues, Protocols, Search terms
  • Ariana: Competence, Data Dumps, Search terms

Before I look at each of the responses, I should note that Craig Ball had a very insightful overview about the general differences between plaintiff and defense firms in eDiscovery.

“The challenges faced by plaintiffs’ lawyers confronted by eDiscovery flow from structural differences in practice.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers operate as small firms and solos who finance their cases and are compensated on contingency.  So, plaintiffs’ lawyers tend toward frugality (as they are spending their own money) and shy away from capital expenditures that cannot be reliably expensed against the matter. Plaintiffs’ lawyers tend not to possess (or need) the costly in-house IT operations of large defense firms and, crucially, plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t have large support staffs for IT and litigation support because the cost of same can’t be spread across hundreds or thousands of lawyers.”

“Without in-house eDiscovery teams at the ready, plaintiffs’ lawyers are more apt to “wing it” or seek expertise only when obliged to do so on an ad hoc basis.”

We’ll publish Part 3 – Cooperation Challenges – next Monday.

Also, just a reminder that CloudNine will be the Scarlett sponsor of the Murder in the Manor charity fundraiser hosted by Oasis Discovery to be held tonight(!) at The Mansion on O Street in Washington DC (2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036).  CloudNine will be running the Speakeasy, where drinks will be available and a lot of fun will be had.  And, all proceeds from the event will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), which is the largest public, non-profit hunger and nutrition education resource in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  Click here for more information and to purchase your tickets – it’s not too late!  You can even buy tickets at the door!  And, remember, it’s for a great cause.

So, what do you think?  Are you a plaintiff’s attorney?  If so, what are your biggest eDiscovery challenges?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, which we will cover as part of a webcast on May 29.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys titled (oddly enough) Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Here’s the first part.

Introduction

Approximately 2/3 of my consulting practice revolves around issues with ESI production. Much of that work involves asymmetrical cases where one side, typically corporate defendants, has the vast majority of discovery. And since my experience is not untypical, what we see in eDiscovery practice is a heavy focus in the eDiscovery world on defense strategy, both in actual practice and educational conferences.

But what about strategy for the Plaintiff’s bar? Do they have different even dramatically different needs simply because they have less ESI?  In discussing this article, I was asked the following questions which we will consider below:

  • Do symmetrical cases (both parties producing comparable discovery) differ from asymmetrical cases (one side has vast majority of discovery) that much in terms of strategy?
  • Are plaintiffs more interested in expanding the scope of production (to get more potential evidence) or avoiding the old “document dump” because they don’t have the resources? Or does it depend on the type of plaintiff?
  • Are plaintiffs more motivated to request native files than defendants because they are more invested in using the metadata?
  • Does the EDRM model seem more like a defense model than a plaintiff model, given that it is more focused on producing then presenting? Should there be a model for requesting parties?

To research this issue, I decided to begin by asking several attorneys with Plaintiffs’ side experience, past and present, the following question, “What would you say are your top 3 pain points in plaintiffs’ eDiscovery work?”

My query went to the following attorneys:

  • Craig Ball, well known consultant, ESI expert, Special Master, former plaintiffs’ attorney and author of the Ball in Your Court blog;
  • Ariana Tadler, Managing Partner at Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman LLP & Founding Principal at Meta-e Discover
  • Bob Eisenberg, Director, eDiscovery & Information Governance at Larson Security LLC and Program Director at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (CMLaw) eDiscovery Professional Certificate Program
  • Drew Ashby, Wrongful Death and Catastrophic Injury Trial Attorney at The Cooper Firm
  • Jean Martin, head of the Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group in Wilmington, North Carolina

In this paper, we will take a look at their responses and comments regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys, as follows:

  1. Top Three eDiscovery Pain Points Experienced by Plaintiff’s Attorneys
  2. Cooperation Challenges
  3. Lack of Competence Challenges
  4. Conclusions

We’ll publish Part 2 – Top Three eDiscovery Pain Points Experienced by Plaintiff’s Attorneys – on Thursday.

Also, just a reminder that CloudNine will be the Scarlett sponsor of the Murder in the Manor charity fundraiser hosted by Oasis Discovery to be held this Thursday, May 16th at The Mansion on O Street in Washington DC (2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036).  CloudNine will be running the Speakeasy, where drinks will be available and a lot of fun will be had.  And, all proceeds from the event will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), which is the largest public, non-profit hunger and nutrition education resource in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  Click here for more information and to purchase your tickets.  Remember, it’s for a great cause.

So, what do you think?  Are you a plaintiff’s attorney?  If so, what are your biggest eDiscovery challenges?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, Part Four

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Understanding Blockchain and its Impact on Legal Technology, which we covered as part of a webcast on March 27.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding production challenges and what to do about them titled Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production? that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into four parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was last Monday, part two was last Wednesday and part three was last Friday, here’s the fourth and final part.

Recommendations for Minimizing Production Mistakes

Shawn Huston says,

The most beneficial step that any attorney can take is to talk through the production protocol and specifications prior to even collecting any data. Discuss the pros and cons of the proposed production format and what processing steps will be required to meet the protocol.

This should also include the cost of performing the tasks so there are no surprises to the client’s budget. The benefit to having the discussion prior to the time the production is due is that there may be steps that are necessary early on in the process to adequately provide the requested format, or ways to reduce cost.

Finally, the time it takes to set-up, convert to the appropriate format and export the final deliverable is vastly underestimated. The timing should be discussed with your litigation support team, whether in-house or at a service provider, so realistic expectations can be set and proper time set aside for quality control steps.

I like to start by asking did your production problem begin at the processing stage, which makes it a machine generated issue or did it happen post-processing, which is more often a human failing.

Virtually every tech expert I spoke with said redaction should be done by a tool that allows users to burn a permanent black box into an image or text.  Unless you’re redacting paper, then they recommend a good pair of scissors.

My last tip? Get documents produced in native format and forget all about load files.

No, wait, one last tip.  Get a Rule 502(d) Order. It protects against careless or otherwise inadvertent disclosure. As Judge Peck (I know, he’s off the bench now but he’ll always be a judge to me… it’s a New England upbringing thing) once said “in my mind, there is no downside to having such an order” and it may even be malpractice not to get one.

So, what do you think?  Have you experienced problems with document productions in eDiscovery?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.