eDiscovery Daily Blog

The Relativity Conference was “Fest-ive” This Year: eDiscovery Trends

As I’ve noted for most of the week, Relativity Fest ’17 was held this week in Chicago at The Hilton Chicago.  Having not been to a Relativity Fest before, it was an eye opening experience.  Here are a few of the highlights.

Attendee Breakdown: According to the opening keynote (below), there were 1,003 Litigation Support attendees, 232 IT & Security attendees, 224 “Executives”, 148 Attorneys, 135 Sales and Marketing attendees, 80 Paralegals, 58 Developers, 31 Academics, 19 Press and Analysts attendees and 4 Judges (see below for those) for a total of 1,934 attendees overall.

Opening Keynote on Monday Morning: In a style and size similar to an Apple product launch, Andrew Sjeja (Founder and CEO of Relativity) kicked off the main conference with an opening keynote address that discussed the conference and (of course) covered key Relativity current and upcoming features.  As part of the 90+ minute(!) presentation, Andrew called up several clients to discuss their case study experiences with various Relativity features.  Here’s a pic of Andrew on the massive stage (I was too close to the front to get all of it):

Judicial Panel on Monday Afternoon: Not surprisingly, this panel – moderated by David Horrigan, e-Discovery Counsel and Legal Content Director at Relativity, along with Judge Nora Barry Fischer of the Western District of Pennsylvania, Judge Andrew Peck of the Southern District of New York, Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the Western District of Texas and Justice Peter Vickery of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Australia – did not disappoint.  The panelists discussed their opinions on several cases, including the spoliation case involving Taylor Swift, the Texas Supreme Court decision involving State Farm and the dispute over form of production, the murder cases involving evidence from IoT devices Amazon Echo and Fitbit, a discussion of the state of Technology Assisted Review and, of course, the ubiquitous advice from Judge Peck to always get a 502(d) non-waiver of privilege order.  Here’s a pic of that panel:

ACEDS Happy Hour on Monday Evening: ACEDS had a terrific happy hour on Monday, gave a shout out to Tom O’Connor on his birthday, and I visited with everybody from my CloudNine colleagues to Kelly Twigger to Bill Hamilton to Andy Sjeja to Tom and Gayle O’Connor to David Horrigan to George Socha to Jim Gill.  I’m sure I’m missing a few names.  But, getting a chance to better know your colleagues is always fun!

eDiscovery in the Cloud Panel on Tuesday Morning: You didn’t think I was going to forget the panel I was on, did you?  The session was moderated by David Horrigan of Relativity and we were joined by Ari Kaplan, Principal at Ari Kaplan Advisors, Kelly Twigger, Founder of ESI Attorneys and Rachi Messing, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft.  Rachi’s name is pronounced like “Rocky” and the hotel must have thought the real “Rocky was there because the temperature was like a meat locker in our session!  Anyway, we talked about a variety of topics, ranging from defining different types of cloud implementations to using the cloud to security and privacy in the cloud (spent a lot of time there, especially given the recent cases involving Microsoft).  Zach Warren of LegalTech News wrote an article about our session here (free subscription required), which I appreciate (even though there’s a typo in one of my quotes – see if you can find it!) and I was honored and excited to be part of the panel discussion.  Here’s a pic of us:

A Practical Roadmap for EU Data Protection and Cross-Border Discovery on Tuesday Afternoon: Presented by Jason Priebe and Natalya Northrip of Seyfarth Shaw.  With only about 7 months to go before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) hits on May 25 of next year, the presenters provided a very thorough discussion of the differences between the EU Data Privacy Directive and the GDPR, the requirements for GDPR, privacy rights under GDPR, requirements for a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and how (of course) GDPR will affect cross-border discovery.

Extra Stuff: Relativity provided breakfast and lunch each day and also hosted a terrific speakers’ dinner on Monday night.  From what I understand, their networking event/party on Tuesday night at the Museum of Science and Industry was a blast!  Sadly, I had to leave to come back to Houston to do a webcast on Wednesday (which is also why I don’t have any Wednesday highlights).

Suggestions for Improvement: The sessions were great, but it would be great to allow a little more time in between sessions to get to the next one.  Fifteen minutes is not a lot of time when the previous session runs long AND you need to take a bio break AND you have no idea where the next session is.  Which leads me to my next suggestion: please post the floor number next to the name of the room to help us locate the session room more quickly.  Sessions were on at least four different floors and were sometimes difficult to find.  Minor gripes in an otherwise excellent conference.

As a development partner in the Relativity ecosystem, CloudNine was at the conference and was there to provide demonstrations of our Outpost for Relativity that automatically ingests and loads data into Relativity based on your specified criteria.  If you missed it and would like a demo, please request one at info@cloudnine.com.

So, what do you think?  Did you attend Relativity Fest this year?  If so, what did you think?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Also, I’m excited to report that eDiscovery Daily has been nominated to participate in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest in the Legal Tech category!  Thanks to whoever nominated us!  We’re fading fast, but if you enjoy our blog, you can vote for it and still help it win a spot in their Best Legal Blogs Hall of Fame.  You can cast a vote for the blog here.  Thanks!

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.