Industry Trends

Ready, Set, Recover: Attain eDiscovery Cost Recovery with CloudNine

There’s a simple truth to running any business, including legal service providers and law firms: Profitability means you need to make more money than you spend. While this seems like an easy concept to follow, there are hidden or unexpected costs which can jeopardize your ability and financial performance. 

One of the biggest culprits behind your firms’ rising operating costs is legal data collection and review. As data sizes and timelines become more unpredictable so does the price of eDiscovery services. 

eDiscovery costs are on the rise for three main reasons:

  1. Exponential growth in data: As our communications have become more sophisticated, so has eDiscovery. Previously, cases including paper files now include financial transactions, geolocation, slack messages and more. This has led to an ever-expanding amount of data associated with new cases.
  2. Complex technology: Many eDiscovery solutions operate more like IT systems, requiring servers, networks, desktops, applications, etc. This requires firms who insource their eDiscovery to maintain a team of IT professionals to manage any updates that may arrive. 
  3. Complex infrastructure:  The fear of missing critical deadlines has driven system architects to prepare for extreme one-off situations versus everyday matters resulting in overbuilt and overcomplicated review solutions. 

The Most Common Cost Recovery Models

Despite the unpredictable cost of eDiscovery, nearly 82% (1) of LSPs and law firms continue to pass these costs along to their clients even though they typically recover only 77% of the costs (2).

The most common cost recovery models are:

  1. Billable hours for time spent performing eDiscovery services:  This typically results in minimal pushback from the clients since they’re accustomed to paying by the hour. 
  2. Billable hours + hosting:  Usually charged per GB, hosting fees allow you to recoup more of your eDiscovery costs but are not always accepted by clients as actual legal work. 
  3. Third-party style:  Charging fees like a vendor allow you to recoup costs for specific line items like GBs processed and hosted, analytics, and licensing fees. 

Surprisingly, 13% of LSPs and firms simply absorb the cost of eDiscovery rather than bill their clients (3).   The most common reasons for this are:

  • They practice in an ultra-competitive market
  • They honor previous agreements
  • They take on non-billable projects

To recoup more of your eDiscovery investment, read on to learn the steps you can take to optimize your cost recovery efforts or download our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery: 6 Steps to Make Your Review Process More Profitable for a more expansive look into cost recovery. 

1.  Quantify Your Current Cost Recovery Challenges

Identifying all the costs associated with your eDiscovery lets you know where, how, and when you’re losing money. A few of the factors you should assess include:

  • Total annual eDiscovery and document review costs
  • Total revenue from eDiscovery
  • Cost comparison of running eDiscovery document review solutions in-house versus outsourcing. 

2.  Re-examine the Cost of eDiscovery Insourcing versus the Benefits of Outsourcing

While larger law firms can afford complex eDiscovery technology, smaller LSPs and firms need to balance cost and functionality to optimize cost recovery. They need to consider things like:

  • What pricing model makes the most sense?
  • What technology is more economical to own versus lease?
  • What features and functionality do you need to provide your users?

3.  Right-Size Your eDiscovery Data

With data volumes increasing exponentially, you need to be smart about what data you’re hosting in the cloud. By culling your data on-premise, you can reduce your hosting costs before you move it to the cloud. 

4.  Be Strategic About Your Storage

Not every client needs a lot of data storage. Adopt a solution that allows you to adapt your storage strategy on a case-by-case basis so you’re not stuck offering a single standard storage model to clients that may need smaller options.

5.  Choose Self-Service, Easy-to-Use Tools

Your cost recovery is much easier when your internal staff can perform eDiscovery during billable hours. By adopting a solution that’s simple and easy to run, you reduce the need for additional external services.

6.  Standardize Through One Primary Vendor

The more eDiscovery vendors you engage with, the more complex things get – more contracts, more fees, more systems to learn. Look for a single self-model with lost costs, flexible storage plans, and easy-to-use tools to optimize your cost recovery.

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to improve your eDiscovery cost recovery, it’s time to go a little deeper to understand the benefits of an eDiscovery solution that’s perfectly suited to help you earn more than you spend. Click here to request a demo of CloudNine Review and learn how to make your review process more profitable. 

 

Sources

(1), (2), (3):  2019 eDiscovery Billing Survey

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Modern Data Solution?

Why a Modern Data Review Platform is Critical to eDiscovery

When legal professionals first incorporated electronically stored information (ESI) into their eDiscovery document review process, it opened the door for a variety of digital data types to be used in investigation and litigation. 

It didn’t take long for eDiscovery to begin taking in ESI like emails, documents, spreadsheets, databases, CAD/CAM files, digital images, and websites. These have remained the primary sources of digital discovery data used by legal professionals. 

However, as technology continues to evolve, new modern data types are becoming increasingly vital in litigation. These new modern data types fall under five primary categories, in addition to traditional eDiscovery: 

  1. Communication
  2. Computer/User Activity 
  3. Geo-location tracking (location tracking software)
  4. Financial Transactions
  5. Social Media

These modern data types have their own unique uses and their associated metadata allows you to create a chronological list of events and user activities so you can gain context where it did not exist in traditional discovery. 

Here are just a few examples of how it works:

  • By gathering data on computer activity, you’re able to see when individuals upload documents to Google Drive or download them onto thumb drives. 
  • Geolocation lets you determine where a computer activity took place so you know if they were at home, in the office, or at another location.
  • By using the metadata associated with different communication applications, you can track and document relevant dialogue between two parties as they carry their conversation from one device or application to another. 

With these additional data types, you’re able to tell a complete story through your legal review when combining traditional and modern data, in one unified eDiscovery platform

As more modern data forensic artifacts emerge, CloudNine is doing our part to help your eDiscovery team gain the context and confidence you need to solve your cases. Sign up to receive updates on our offerings here.

Reconstructing Digital Conversations To Unveil The Full Picture

In a modern data eDiscovery solution, you can do things that simply aren’t possible or are too difficult or costly to do in a traditional document review-centric platform. 

In a traditional legal document review platform, communication between two individuals would be collected and stored as individual documents. This means the context of the whole conversation including text before and after the individual messages could lose context in the conversation, leaving a void in the interpretation.

A modern data review platform allows you to collect data from multiple devices and applications including traditional ESI and loose files. By using the metadata associated with the collected data, you can select two individuals and review all communication between them in a chronological timeline. Now you have the context to perform the smartphone forensics and short message discovery you need to follow a conversation that began in Slack but transitioned to text messaging before concluding in WhatsApp.

Cell Phone Discovery: Reviewing Text Messages In a Modern Data Review Platform

Traditional legal review platforms are often inefficient when reviewing text messages. In a traditional platform, text threads are converted to PDF requiring each thread to be reviewed, text-by-text. In this case, five individuals in a group text messaging thread, means you’ll see the same message collected five times. This results in a lot of time and money wasted redacting large parts of the text thread, irrelevant to the topic. 

Smartphone data discovery allows you to filter duplicate messages, and remove 20-30% of the collected data.  With a simple click of a button, modern eDiscovery review allows you to select the text messages you want to advance and remove the irrelevant text from long or group threads.

Another challenge for traditional review platforms is the inability to maintain native formats for data. By relying on screenshots or PDFs, organizations using older platforms can fall victim to doctored images that could affect the course of the litigation. 

For example, in Rossbach v. Montefiore Medical Center, a plaintiff used screenshots of a text message to attempt to prove that her former employer had sexually harassed, then fired her. The message was allegedly sent to her iPhone 5 which cannot run an operating system beyond iOS 10. A forensics investigator examined the screenshot and discovered an emoji present in the image was a version not available until iOS 13 was released.

Modern eDiscovery review platforms capture text message formats (MMS and SMS) in their native format so there’s no risk of fraudulent or altered data in the review.  A unified eDiscovery platform will combine both traditional and modern data without creating documents from modern data sources.

Learn more about how your legal team can hit the eDiscovery bullseye with every data type with CloudNine Review here.

Why Organizations Are Hesitant to Commit to a Modern Data Review Platform

Some organizations are hesitant to adopt a modern data review platform because of their apprehension to change standard operations. They’re unwilling to change their review mentality from document-based to metadata-based or a hybrid of both.  After all, if it’s working, why change it?  

Many organizations are also forced to break-out their review processes among multiple platforms – one for traditional data like emails and Word documents and one for modern data like geolocation, social media and computer activity. 

In addition, there are some objections to native file production:

  • Retrieval of native files after initial document collection would mean additional costs.
  • Redaction is difficult or even impossible with some native file types.
  • Image-based productions are often accepted in court. 
  • Static images are equally useful for analysis and review of native files.
  • Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 does not specifically require native formats.

However, as modern data types become more common and important, organizations are beginning to understand that using a traditional, legacy document solution to review modern data is becoming burdensome, expensive, and slow. 

How a Modern Data Review Platform Simplifies eDiscovery

Simply put, a modern data review platform like CloudNine’s ESI Analyst organizes your data more efficiently by using metadata to sort modern data types by recipients, senders, timestamps, locations, and computer activity. 

The data is then tagged under one of the following data types:

  1. Call logs and voice mails 
  2. Chat applications (WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc.)
  3. Email
  4. Corporate chat applications (Slack, MS Teams, etc.)
  5. Text Messages (SMS, MMS)
  6. Computer activity 
  7. Geolocation
  8.  Social media
  9.  Financial transactions 

In addition, with a built-in foreign language tool, you have access to more than 80 supported languages so nothing gets lost in translation.

While legacy document review solutions are limited to reviewing documents, they miss key data points like geolocation, financial transactions, and other pertinent data that does not fit in a document-centric workflow.  The CloudNine, integrated solution allows you to filter, search, tag, and review all data in one platform.  

Let CloudNine help you integrate a modern data review platform into your eDiscovery processes. We can train your case teams quickly so they’re up and running in 15-20 minutes. To learn more about how our modern data solution can make your eDiscovery processes more efficient, drop us a line

Remote eDiscovery: Uncovering eDiscovery Best Practices From Home

When businesses and governments began shutting down due to the COVID-19 virus, it fast-tracked the slow and cautious transition to remote work begun by legal service providers

LSPs had already begun finding success operating in remote environments, using the cloud for eDiscovery data storage, processing, review, and analytics. 

However, it wasn’t until companies were forced to send their employees home to work that traditional legal departments and law firms began adapting to remote work environments. This led to finally upgrading, optimizing, and strengthening their infrastructure to accommodate this new normal. 

While this transition was a nerve-wracking experience for some, statistics tell us that remote work environments are not only possible but preferred:

  • 71% of companies have a new, positive view of remote work environments. (IDG).
  • 59% of remote U.S. workers would prefer to continue working remotely. (Gallup).
  • 69% of remote U.S. workers reported their productivity levels are the same or higher when working from home. (Citrix).

With a more productive eDiscovery solution, your LSP is set up for success. Learn about four other ways your organization can build value and boost margins in our ebook here.

The Benefits of Remote eDiscovery Tools

As foreign a concept remote working seemed to be, the benefits were obvious from the very beginning. Roadblocks were quickly reconciled, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs associated with eDiscovery

This was expedited by the realization that while personnel were becoming increasingly more dispersed, the eDiscovery data they were working with was becoming more centralized due to the cloud. Secured cloud environments allowed for a more efficient and effective workflow to collect, process, host, review and produce critical data. 

Other benefits of remote eDiscovery tools include:

  1. Lower-touch processes so you have fewer discoverable copies and less movement and enhanced control of data
  2. No geographical workforce restrictions so you can bring in the best people no matter where they live
  3. Easy scalability for near-instant provisioning or decommissioning
  4. Cost-effectiveness that allows you to shift from CapEx to OpEx

How Secure is Remote eDiscovery?

For some traditionalists, as well as others that are simply more cautious by nature, there’s a question of data security that has them hesitant to embrace a remote eDiscovery solution. However, there’s nothing to fear with the right eDiscovery solution.

Simply put, eDiscovery cloud computing provides a secured digital environment that protects the integrity of your data. To ensure this, there are certain security protocols your LSP must follow to guarantee your data security. 

  • Personnel should only use company devices or assets when working remotely
  • Data encryption must be used in transit
  • Multi-factor authentication must be deployed
  • Secured connectivity must be ensured for all employees 

With these protocols in place, your data is secure from all but the most devious and skilled cybercriminals. The only thing you’re missing is the perfect partner to provide a solution that makes sense for you and your clients. 

The CloudNine Remote eDiscovery Solution

Offering speed, security, and simplicity, CloudNine Explore empowers LSPs with a remote eDiscovery solution that allows you to investigate issues, assess risks, confirm compliance and begin early case assessment quickly and easily. 

More importantly, with CloudNine Explore, you’ll maintain the highest quality of data processing by leveraging these benefits:

  • Process as many as 1 million records per hour
  • Deploy CloudNine anywhere through a single workstation deployment
  • Easily scale up or down across multiple secured devices with mobile access
  • Effectively manage remote teams with powerful administrative and user controls
  • Remove bottlenecks by reprioritizing projects and reviewers as needed
  • Use deduplicate, filter, and search functions to reduce your data and hosting fees

Discover what CloudNine Explore can do for your remote eDiscovery team here.

Finding Value in CloudNine Explore’s eDiscovery Tool

CloudNine Explore gives you early visibility into the size and scope of your eDiscovery data so you can determine costs upfront. By insourcing your eDiscovery solution, you can cull data before you send it out, resulting in a significant ROI by:

  • Reducing costs associated with data collection, processing, hosting, and review
  • Mitigating risks by identifying problems easier and quicker
  • Opting to deploy on-premise or in the cloud

While most eDiscovery solutions only work with traditional datalike documents, emails, and spreadsheets, CloudNine now has the ability to work with modern data like:

  • Communication (texts, MMS, etc.)
  • Computer Activity
  • Geolocation
  • Financial Transactions
  • Social Media

To learn more about our modern data solutions, read the announcement on our acquisition of ESI Analyst.

By providing you with the ability to work remotely, scale quickly to take on more clients, or pivot for new types of data, CloudNine Explore allows you the flexibility to explore your options as an LSP so you can decide best practices for your organization and your clients. 

To see firsthand how CloudNine Explore can improve your remote eDiscovery solutions, schedule a free demo today.

 

No Fooling! It’s Time for the 2020 Internet Minute Infographic!: eDiscovery Trends

This is not an April Fool’s Joke!  With all of the craziness of the past few weeks, it slipped up on me, but here is the 2020 Internet Minute infographic!

Hard to believe that we’ve been looking at internet minute infographics each year for the past five years, but time flies – minute by minute (see what I did there?).  ;o)

The updated graphic shown above, once again created by Lori Lewis, illustrates what happens within the internet in a typical minute in 2020.  As always, there are a couple of different categories tracked in this graphic than last year’s, but most are the same and those that are carried forward are, once again, (almost) all up compared to last year – some more than others.  For example, people “Tweeting” is up nearly 2.5 times last year and Instagram scrollers nearly twice as much.  No word whether the current craziness (I’m not going to say the “C” word today) was factored into the Netflix increase of 10% (my guess – not), or what percentage of those Netflix viewers were tuned into the  Tiger King limited series (trust me, you can’t stop watching it).

Regardless, here is a comparison between 2019 and 2020 (we previously published the graphic for 2016, 2017 and 2018):

In her post, Lori also goes through some of her observations on the trends.  As always, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the numbers, so take them for what it’s worth.  Nonetheless, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but an infographic is worth one blog post topic (at least once a year).   ;o)

Speaking of trends, Rob Robinson’s Complex Discovery site has published its list of eDiscovery Mergers, Acquisitions, and Investments in Q1 2020.  As you can imagine, with the current climate having unfolded as the quarter progressed, M&A+I activity is down significantly in 2020 (nine total events, five of those in January) vs Q1 2019 (fifteen total events) and vs. Q1 2018 (fourteen total events).  As always, Rob provides a list of M&A+I events between November 2001 and current (419 of them), so feel free to check those out — they are always interesting.

So, what do you think?  How have the challenges of various sources of data affected your organization?  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.

Return of the eDiscovery Daily Thought Leader Interviews!: eDiscovery Trends

Let’s face it, we need something to take our mind off the COVID-19 pandemic more than ever.  So, with that in mind, the appearance of the dancing light bulb can only mean one thing – it’s time for another thought leader series!

Given that there’s not a lot of eDiscovery-specific news to cover right now with Federal and State courts closed and other eDiscovery activities limited, I thought now might be a good time to bring back the Thought Leader interviews that I conducted at Legaltech for eight years straight from 2011 to 2018.  Over the first 7+ years of our existence, eDiscovery Daily published several thought leader interviews from various thought leaders throughout the eDiscovery community, including an annual series of interviews at Legaltech New York (LTNY) from 2011 to 2018.

We would have continued doing them, but I went from managing one product at the beginning of 2018 to 5+ products now – with regard to the “+”, more on that later – and CloudNine hosted the NineForum presentations the past couple of years at LTNY, which left little time for me to conduct thought leader interviews.  Hence, the pause.

But, now we need something to talk about.  Something, anything other than COVID-19.  So, I thought it would be a great time to bring back the thought leader interviews and I reached out to several well known eDiscovery thought leaders to gauge their interest in participating (with the intent to reach out to several others as well).  At least half a dozen expressed an interest and willingness to do an interview, so it’s on!

Unlike past years when we have conducted them, I won’t be publishing a schedule in advance.  My goal will be to publish one a week for as long as I have eDiscovery thought leaders willing to be interviewed.  Hopefully, that will be at least as long as we are all “on pause” during this pandemic.  If not a lot longer.

So, what do you think?  Are you looking for other topics to read about during the COVID-19 pandemic?  Me too  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.

Here’s an ACEDS Houston CLE Event You Can Attend No Matter Where You Are: eDiscovery Education

In a normal non-COVID-19 (coronavirus) world, our chapter events for the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) Houston chapter would in-person local events and probably limited to legal professionals in Houston and surrounding areas.  But, we must adapt in the current (hopefully temporary) world of “social distancing”.  As a result, here’s a CLE event that you can “attend”, even if you’re nowhere near Houston.

One week from today, on Thursday, April 2 at noon CST (1:00pm EST, 10:00am PST), ACEDS will host the webinar Mining for Valuable Data – Collection Fundamentals.  In this one-hour webcast that’s CLE-approved for 0.75 hours in Texas, Paul Price, Vice President of Forensic Services at Xact Data Discovery will discuss collection fundamentals including: the scope of collection; how data is stored and recovered; the importance of metadata, forensic soundness and chain of custody; the risks of self-collection and other available collection approaches; and major source categories to be considered.

Let’s face it: While the left side of the EDRM (Identify, Preserve, and Collect) may be the least expensive part of the eDiscovery process, it can hold the biggest value because improper collections can result in having to repeat the entire process increasing the client’s total cost; sanctions can occur if the data is no longer available; and unnecessary legal battles may ensue to defend the decisions that were made at the beginning of the case.  If you don’t have the time to do it right, when are you going to have the time to do it over?

You’re probably asking: If the webinar is CLE approved for 0.75 hours in Texas, how does that apply to me if I’m NOT in Texas?  Well, based on CloudNine’s experience in hosting our own webcasts, we know that several states (and even one territory) offer reciprocal credit for approved CLE webinars in other states.  Reciprocal credit may also be available in these states (and territory): Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  And, these are the states we have confirmed will provide CLE credit – other states may as well (check with your local state bar on requirements in your state).

To get CLE credit in Texas after the webinar, email your name and bar number to me at my email address – daustin@cloudnine.com – and (once I confirm your attendance for the full 0.75 hours) I can record your credit for you.  To get credit in another state, email me and (after confirming credit) I can send you a certificate so that you can pursue credit in your state.  What could be easier than that?!?

BTW, don’t forget CloudNine’s next webcast – Winning the Battle on Discovery Form of Production – with Tom O’Connor and me on Thursday, April 2 at noon CST (1:00pm EST, 10:00am PST).  That’s nearly 2 hours of new CLE courses in less than a week!

So, what do you think?  Are you looking for opportunities to obtain CLE credit during the pandemic?  Well, here’s one chance to do so!  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.

Even the Coronavirus Can’t Stop Legal Tech Companies From Pushing Forward: eDiscovery Trends

Sure, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is disrupting many things from eDiscovery industry events to web teleconferencing solutions to even Federal and State court dockets.  But, at least according to one article, legal tech “vendors” are still chugging along.

According to Bloomberg Law (Legal Tech Companies Push Forward Despite Virus Disruption, written by Sam Skolnik), legal tech vendors say they are unbowed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and are so far keeping new product releases on schedule despite volatile markets and disruptions in how their law firm and corporate clients operate.

Even though some vendor executives recognize that a prolonged national emergency spurred by the virus could cause legal industry clients to reassess their need for new products and services, many in legal tech—especially larger, well-established companies—say disruptions to the pipeline to develop and implement legal technology caused by COVID-19 seem far away.  Examples:

  • Technology and legal services company UnitedLex isn’t delaying any product or service rollout as a result of the virus, CEO Dan Reed told Bloomberg Law in a statement. Digital is in our DNA and we are designed as an organization to deliver even with a primarily remote-first work model,” said Reed. “We continue to monitor and assess the situation and can wholeheartedly speak to our clients’ ongoing reliable access to business applications and information.”
  • Veritone, which offers artificial intelligence-enabled eDiscovery and transcription and translation services, said they haven’t seen a drop-off in work since the coronavirus hit. They say this is reflected by the new contracts they’ve signed with police department and advertising agency clients, as well as one legal client in a transcription matter.
  • For Ben Levi, co-founder and chief operating officer of InCloudCounsel, a legal tech provider, the outbreak has been “unprecedented” in some ways. Yet the pandemic hasn’t been as disruptive to his business as it could have been, he said, citing a strong company balance sheet and the fact that his team was already set up to work from home.  “We’re well-positioned to ride this out,” he said.
  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is still poised to roll out the next version of the Orrick Dashboard on May 1, according to partner Don Keller. The tool would enable the firm and its tech company clients to access clients’ corporate legal information and to collaborate.

CloudNine is also continuing to push forward with new software releases as well.  On Monday, we rolled out the latest release (version 1.08.05) of our Concordance Desktop product, which focuses on a brand-new document viewer (the first new image viewer in many years!) and related production and printing functions.  If you’re a Concordance Desktop client, you can download the new release here.

So, at least one thing – legal tech “vendors” churning out product releases – hasn’t changed in this very unusual time.

So, what do you think?  Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed how you use and purchase legal tech software?  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.

Here is How Covid-19 is Impacting the Courts: eDiscovery Trends

I promise that every post for the next several weeks won’t be about the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.  But, this is one more trend worth noting.  To no one’s surprise, many Federal and State courts are also closing and delaying trials because of COVID-19.

According to ABA Journal (A slew of federal and state courts suspend trials or close for coronavirus threat, written by Debra Cassens Weiss), more than 25 federal district courts are pausing jury trials, following a trend that is still gaining ground in state courts.

Several federal appellate and trial-level courts are also barring people who don’t have official court business from entering courthouses. Some are asking pro se litigants with documents to leave them in drop boxes rather than enter the clerk’s office.

One federal courthouse in Rome, Georgia, was closed by court order last Tuesday after a court security officer was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, according to Courthouse News Service. The guard had worked the week before he was hospitalized even though he was feeling ill. Results of a COVID-19 test were pending as of Wednesday, still no news reported as of yesterday.

In California’s Northern District, all four federal courthouses were closed to the public, the first mass closing of federal courthouses since the judiciary began its response to the coronavirus threat.

Dozens of states are also pausing trials statewide or restricting court visitors, according to the National Center for State Courts, which is keeping a tally. The organization reported last Tuesday that seven additional states (Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri and Virginia) had issued or expanded orders pausing jury trials or restricting court functions in just the last 18 hours. Other states pausing many jury trials include New York, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts.

Federal courts that have suspended jury trials include the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of California, the Southern District of California, the Central District of California, the Eastern District of California, the District of Colorado, the District of Connecticut, the Northern District of Illinois (civil trials suspended), the Southern District of Indiana, the Northern District of Iowa, the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Middle District of Louisiana, the Western District of Louisiana, the District of Maryland, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Minnesota, the Southern District of Mississippi, the District of Nebraska, the District of New Hampshire, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Western District of Pennsylvania, the District of Puerto Rico, the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Northern District of Texas, the Southern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Western District of Washington, the Southern District of West Virginia, the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

COVID-19 has even delayed the Robert Durst murder trial.

The Administrative Office of U.S. Courts is keeping track of the orders in this chart.

Even though we may be seeing less case law for a while, there are still several eDiscovery related case law opinions and orders available for coverage since the start of 2020 – 469 in eDiscovery Assistant so far this year.  So, we still have plenty of case law to cover during the interim period.

Stay healthy out there!

So, what do you think?  How have court closures and trial delays affected your practice?  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.

Web Teleconferencing Solutions Experiencing Challenges During COVID-19 Crisis: eDiscovery Logistics

We’re all adjusting to our “new normal” of Work From Home (WFH) during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.  But, working with increased demands on teleconferencing solutions may make us want to say “WTF” during our WFH experience these days.  Is there anybody out there?

As reported by The Register (Zoom goes boom, Teams tears at seams: Technology stumbles at the first hurdle for this homeworking malarkey, written by Kieren McCarthy – hat tip to Sharon Nelson of the excellent Ride the Lightning blog), demand for services like Zoom’s conferencing software and Microsoft’s Teams outstripped capacity and outages started occurring at 9am ET on Monday, per the article.

Zoom candidly reported that its software has “degraded performance” and its phone service had a “partial outage.”  For obvious reasons, all remote working companies are scrambling to deal with the sudden flood of users. Zoom has updated its audio-conferencing system in the background in order to allow people running the meeting the ability to change dial-in options – a sign that people who usually do not use its software are having to be guided through it by manager and meeting organizers.

Of course, Zoom has been on a media blitz recently touting their low latency, network optimization, decision to remove a 40-minute limit on free accounts and even offering free video conferencing for schools.  Whoops.  Though the free videoconferencing was a nice offering, so kudos to them for that.  CloudNine uses RingCentral (which is built on Zoom) and I have noticed a couple of issues dialing into meetings this week, but was able to circumvent them by using computer audio instead.  So, there are workarounds; however, I have heard some people have had issues with the computer audio option as well.

Microsoft, which has been heavily promoting its Teams conferencing service recently, has also had issues, which a string of outages. The service was listed by Microsoft as suffering “degradation.”

Needless to say, the COVID-19 virus crisis of 2020 is giving these teleconference platform providers a chance to stress test their systems like never before.

As you may recall, I covered a few eDiscovery related cancellations, postponements and conversions (to virtual events) in Tuesday’s post. Of course, Rob Robinson’s excellent Complex Discovery blog has a much more comprehensive listing of cancellations, postponements and conversions here, which (sadly) includes the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) show in May as well as events for The Sedona Conference and the Masters Conference.

Stay healthy out there!

So, what do you think?  Are you experiencing any challenges during this WFH time for so many?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Image Copyright © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

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.

Yes, It’s Another Story About Coronavirus: eDiscovery and World Trends

If you’re not sick from COVID-19 (aka, the Coronavirus), you’re probably sick of hearing about COVID-19.  Hopefully, the latter group will indefinitely continue to be much larger than the former group.  Regardless, I won’t bore you with what you already know about COVID-19 and how it has disrupted (and will continue to disrupt) our way of life (well, I won’t bore you much anyway).  But, since this is an eDiscovery blog, let’s talk about how it is already starting to impact our industry.  And, we’ll also talk about what CloudNine is doing about it.

With social distancing taking hold, schools closing, theme parks closing, college and professional sports leagues closing, Broadway going dark and so much more as part of the CDC warning against events of more than 50 people, life is definitely different around the world in the wake of COVID-19, with circumstances evolving continually.  Even Forrest Gump has it.  Many companies in our space have moved much of their workers to work at home status (including CloudNine, more on that below).  Here are just a few impacts in the eDiscovery and legal technology world:

  • The University of Florida E-Discovery Conference that was scheduled for this Thursday, March 19 in Gainesville, FL (and via Livestream) has been postponed. Bill Hamilton, who is a University of Florida Levin College of Law Skills Professor and has organized the conference since its inception, made the announcement “with great disappointment” and U-Fla opted to postpone the conference instead of holding it entirely online.  Those of us who attend in person every year and enjoy the collaboration and interaction with other professionals in our industry can appreciate that decision and, hopefully, the conference can be re-scheduled later this year.
  • The EDRM Summit/Workshop for June has been converted to a “innovative, inter-active virtual conference this June 25-26 instead of the live-in person at the Duke University campus”. As announced by Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad last week, doing so “will allow everyone, regardless of geography or health status, to participate, and will save participants travel time and money- it can truly be a global experience, for attendees, speakers and sponsors.”
  • And, yesterday, ILTA decided to postpone all in-person events through April 30. As they stated in an announcement yesterday, “ILTA will continue monitoring the global COVID-19 situation and evaluate our decision in the coming weeks.”  So, no change to the annual ILTACON conference in August – yet.

So, that leaves many of us to exercise our Business Continuity plans and perform our duties remotely.  And conduct our meetings via one of several teleconference services out there.  One of the more popular services out there is Zoom (which also happens to be the underlying service for RingCentral, which we use).  Leave it to Craig Ball, who has “taught classes with Zoom for years” to provide a Zoom “cheat sheet” for those who will be using it extensively over the next few weeks.  :o)

Speaking of Business Continuity plans, CloudNine has exercised ours and (as we announced to our customers and partners yesterday) most of our employees are working from home during this challenging time to do our part to minimize the spread of the virus (including me).  This isn’t the first time we’ve had to exercise our Business Continuity plan – we also did so when Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in 2017.  Back then, even though our Houston headquarters weren’t flooded, many roads leading to them were, so we instructed our employees to work from home for a week after Houston was hit by the storm.  Despite that, it was business as usual and we were able to continue to provide services and support to our customers and continue to host customer data without interruption in our data center.  So, we fully expect to be able to continue to provide the full range of services and high-quality support you have come to expect, just like we did back then (including this blog).  We’re here for you.

Stay healthy out there!

So, what do you think?  How has COVID-19 impacted you and your way of life?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

P.S. — We haven’t forgotten that it’s St. Patrick’s Day today.  Hope you have as much fun as this guy (despite the circumstances)…

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.