September 21, 2014

No Fear and Loathing at the AccessData User’s Conference in Las Vegas

Mikki Tomlinson and I were lucky to go to the AccessData Users Conference (ADUC) two weeks ago in Las Vegas.  Now it doesn’t take a great deal to get me to Vegas as I am a competitive poker player when I’m not working on the eDJ Group or the eDiscoveryJournal.  I know it was a good show because I didn’t play one hand of poker on one of the days of the show (blackjack was another story).

ADUC was held in the beautiful Wynn Hotel right on the Las Vegas strip.  This was my first time to ADUC and going to an event at the Wynn.  The venue was spot on, so kudos to the AccessData team for putting together a nice program in a wonderful location.  The layout of the event was vast with several hands-on labs running simultaneously to topical lectures.  I ran into many familiar faces and made some new friends during my time at the show…so there was an interesting mix of people from eDiscovery, corporations, law firms and law enforcement.

The first day of the conference was designed as a mobile forensics certification and bootcamp for forensic technology specialists.  I didn’t attend the boot camp, but I spoke with a previous colleague of mine, John Wilson, currently with Trustpoint International on the mobile forensics lab.  John said, “I attended the AccessData (AD) Mobile Phone Examiner Plus (MPE+) Boot camp with AccessData Mobile Examiner Certification preconference session and was pleasantly surprised by a thorough and sound introduction to mobile forensics featuring the AD MPE+ software while not limiting the scope to just the MPE+. Even though the daylong session was described as AD’s MPE+ boot camp, the lead instructor, Lee Reiber (Director, Mobile Forensics for AccessData) and Danny Garcia (Mobile Forensics, Inc Instructor) openly discussed the need for multiple tools while conducting mobile device examinations. The day concluded with everyone in attendance being eligible to sit for the AccessData Mobile Examiner (AME) exam and those who passed the test including a practical portion wherein the test subject had to perform numerous mobile device examination tasks in order to pass the exam.”  Overall I heard very positive things about the mobile forensics boot camp from several different people over the next few days.

Mikki and I took a “divide and conquer” approach to the conference as there was so much to do.  Between the key note speeches and the labs, there was just too much to do for a single individual.  Greg Harris, one of the eDiscoveryJournal contributors, did a review of Laura Zubulake’s keynote on day 2 which can be read here.  Mikki moderated a panel “Data Governance and eDiscovery” which was interesting and led to a lively discussion after the initial panel.  A couple of other panels that I enjoyed were the topics on Predictive Coding (or Technology Assisted Review) and the panel on cross border issues which is a topic near to my heart.

The folks at AccessData did a nice job of putting together panels of people that had a wide variety of experience and backgrounds.  I also have to admit that I was impressed with the amount of times I heard AccessData’s competitors names mentioned in the panels.  That is a good sign to me that a vendor event is not just a big sales pitch and there is solid content supporting the program.  AccessData did a great job bringing multiple perspectives to the table.

The social highlight of the show was the happy hour at the Encore Beach Club.  The place was packed and the music was pumping in a beautiful setting.  Even though I didn’t win an iPad, I got my fill of food and drink (note to the organizers…AWESOME MAC & CHEESE!!).  By the time I left the party, people were starting to dance and a few people ventured into the pool to lounge on the floating couches.  I would have taken a few pictures to share, but you know the adage…”what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…so no pictures were taken to protect the not so innocent.

Jason Velasco

CEO – eDJ Group

May 17, 2012

Jason Velasco

Jason Velasco, CEO of eDiscovery Journal, jason@ediscoveryjournal.com Jason Velasco is an electronic discovery industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience in electronic discovery issues and forensic investigations. During Mr. Velasco’s tenure as one of the founders of Renew Data Corp, Vice-President of Client Services at Merrill Corporation, and Director in the Forensic Technology practice at KPMG, he conducted more than 350 computer forensic examinations for civil litigators and companies. Mr. Velasco is a leading computer forensic specialist providing expert witness services related to electronic evidence topics and data preservation issues, especially in spoliation matters. Mr. Velasco has also conducted more than 700 CLE courses on topics such as e-discovery, document retention, preservation archiving, collection methodologies, e-mail archiving and compliance, effective communication with IT, and the technical aspects of electronic evidence.

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