eDiscovery Daily Blog

Laura Zubulake, Author of “Zubulake's e-Discovery” – eDiscovery Trends

This is the fifth of the 2013 LegalTech New York (LTNY) Thought Leader Interview series.  eDiscoveryDaily interviewed several thought leaders at LTNY this year and generally asked each of them the following questions:

  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?

Today’s thought leader is Laura Zubulake.  Laura worked on Wall Street for 20 years in institutional equity departments and, in 1991, authored the book The Complete Guide to Convertible Securities Worldwide. She was the plaintiff in the Zubulake vs. UBS Warburg case, which resulted in several landmark opinions related to eDiscovery and counsel’s obligations for the preservation of electronically stored information. The December 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were influenced, in part, by the Zubulake case. Last year, Laura published a book titled Zubulake’s e-Discovery: The Untold Story of my Quest for Justice, previously discussed on this blog here and she speaks professionally about eDiscovery topics and her experiences related to the case.

What are your general observations about LTNY this year and how it fits into emerging trends?

{Interviewed the second day of the show}  The crowd is similar in size to last year’s conference.  As always, there is that buzz of activity. There is a diversity of speakers and panels.  The Judge’s panels should be informative as usual,  Ted Olsen’s keynote was an interesting and different introduction to the conference.  I’m also looking forward to the Thursday Closing Plenary Address on cyber security by Mary Galligan from the FBI.  As far as trends are concerned, based on the agenda it is clear that information governance is becoming more of an important topic.  Cyber security is also more of a focus.    Next year, I think cyber security, information governance, and big data will continue to be trends.  I think that by next year, predictive coding will be less of a hot topic.

Speaking of predictive coding, if last year’s “next big thing” was the emergence of predictive coding, what do you feel is this year’s “next big thing”?

At this point, I think that predictive coding has moved along the learning curve. Personally, I like to use the word algorithms with regard to predictive coding.  For years, algorithms have been used in government, law enforcement, and Wall Street.  It is not a new concept.  I think there will be an increasing acceptance of using them.  A key to acceptance will be to get cases where both parties agree to use algorithms voluntarily (instead of being forced to use them) and both sides are comfortable with the results.

As for the next big thing, as I said earlier,  there will probably be increased attention on information governance.  As the eDiscovery industry matures, information governance will become more of a focus for corporations.  They will realize that, while they have legal obligations (with regard to electronic information), they also need to proactively manage that information. This will not only mitigate costs and risk but also leverage that information for business purposes.  So far, I have found the panel discussions regarding information governance to be most interesting.

What are you working on that you’d like our readers to know about?

My goal this past year was to publish my book.  Reviews have been  good and I’m very thankful for that – especially given that I worked on it for several years.  The feedback has been rewarding in two aspects.  First, those in the eDiscovery industry are appreciating the book, because they are getting the background story to the making of the precedents.  Second, and even more rewarding to me personally, are reactions from readers who are not in the in the industry and not familiar with eDiscovery.  They appreciate the human-interest side of the story.  There are two stories in the book.  The broader audience finds the legal story interesting, but finds the human-interest story compelling.  I am also encouraged that readers are recognizing my story is really more about information governance than eDiscovery.  It was my understanding of the value of information and desire to search for it that resulted in the eDiscovery opinions.  As I state in my book, Zubulake I was the most important opinion because it gave me the opportunity to search for information.

Going forward, I will continue to market the book, plan events to market it and work towards getting more reviews in what I would call the broader media, not just in eDiscovery or legal media outlets.  Another one of my goals for this year and next year is to get back into the workforce in the area of information governance.  I think my Wall Street background and eDiscovery experiences are a perfect combination for information governance.  I also hope to use my book as a platform for my job search.

Thanks, Laura, for participating in the interview!

And to the readers, as always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic!

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