eDiscovery Daily Blog

6 Key eDiscovery Tips from Master’s Conference New York


By Catherine Ostheimer

Imagine a day-long gathering of the pantheon of east coast-based eDiscovery experts, with an agenda replete with the hottest topics in eDiscovery, change management and AI, and you have last week’s Master’s Conference in New York.

Held at the midtown office of Morgan Lewis, the informative event had seven panel discussions and four breakout sessions. While we could not be everywhere all at once, we did capture salient themes and key learnings.

Here are six main takeaways:

1. Rely on legal service providers when necessary for expertise and project management. Steptoe’s Michael Scavelli mentioned that his firm prides themselves on lean staffing and gain immense value from having a third-party project manager who can be part of his case team. A core project manager can also play a critical role in gaining cooperation for a forensics collection.

2. New talent can be found in unlikely places to fill legal tech staff gaps. Sticking with the project management theme, Michael Bohner, Cleary Gottlieb cautioned that he does not see a lot of new people moving into the legal tech field. He suggested that when it comes to filling project management gaps, hiring managers and HR teams should look to sourcing hires at technology companies operating in other industries outside of legal. Aulden Burcher-Dupont, from Kirkland Ellis, echoed this sentiment, saying that all-important project managers who understand how to build dashboards and red-yellow-green status reports can be found in tech firms.

3. When it comes to tech rollout, embrace the naysayers. In a session on change management, Ashley Miller of Cap Gemini encouraged initiative leaders to include people at all levels of the organization in discussions on tech selection and roll-out. She also recommended involving the biggest critics of the initiative in discussions and tech selection, as they are the ones who will have the best questions for vendors and will share realistic concerns others may not state.

4. Newer forms of data stemming from the exploding use of chat apps, texts, and social media apps for business communications, can no longer be ignored in eDiscovery. “In courtrooms today, communications occurring via chat apps and other newer platforms are viewed as not duplicative to emails. As a result, parties are being compelled to produce this data,” shared Elizabeth Gary, Morgan Lewis. Thomas Mullane, RTX further pointed out that this type of data will only continue to grow within corporations, as every single enterprise technology, whether it is for legal, the accounting department or HR teams, now has a chat feature. Data privacy and eDiscovery visionary, Dera Nevin, summed up the new data environment for legal succinctly: “…we are not creating documents anymore, we are creating information/collaboration artifacts.”

5. Do not be caught off guard by a government investigation requiring modern data collection: know where your data is and put policies in place to manage it. Jeaneen Kappel of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stressed the importance of being proactive, and taking the time and effort to understand where more than just emails exist in your organization before an investigation take place. She also suggested having policies and processes in place to address new forms of data, to make any data collection with a deadline easier. (For more tips from Kappel on how to best work with the SEC, check out the recorded online webinar, “Navigating SEC Investigations.”) Genevieve Moreland added that for law firms and corporate teams, making sure all offices and teams have the same policy is critical to staying on top of data management. Ashley Picker of Day Pitney also discussed that all business communications need to be preserved in a reasonable way, no matter the form.

6. Identify modern data eDiscovery technology and service provider capabilities to stay in control of ongoing data sprawl. Rick Clark of CloudNine spoke of some eDiscovery platform workflows requiring converting data to documents upfront being outdated and inefficient. “It is time for a new workflow, one less reliant on data conversion for review but one involving a platform that leverages the data in near-native forms rather than static documents. You can then produce resulting data as documents.” (Note: CloudNine Analyst is the only eDiscovery solution to render data in near native format with conversation threading between applications and with timelines. It also de-duplicates on a message level across all devices without having to go through costly data processing or conversions.)

Find out how CloudNine and its range of on-premise and cloud-based solutions and services can help you across all types of eDiscovery challenges, even those that involve tricky-to-manage modern data. To learn more and schedule a time to meet, contact us today.

Catherine Ostheimer is VP, Marketing at CloudNine and has been working in the legal technology industry for 8+ years.