Hello, eDiscoveryInsight Readers!
This week, we will be treating you to four posts about last week’s ILTA Catalyst 2013. As your intrepid reporter, I found the entire conference to be well beyond my capacity to cram insight into a single reasonably short blog post. Also, the Twittersphere is already rife with links to ILTA round-ups and ILTA-themed tweets.
I have decided, then, to focus on what I personally found to be the four most catalyzing (?) experiences for me.
To temper your expectations up front, know that none of those experiences will have anything to do with anything specific to Las Vegas. (Except I’d like register this complaint: my room had neither mirrored ceiling nor centrally-located hot tub.)
The experiences, rather, actually had to do with substantive (yawn) exchanges of information by information professionals. Those exchanges were for me, relatively new to this role, exciting. There will be a certain logic to how I roll these out, so please stick with me:
- Mobile eDiscovery 101
We at AccessData, as you may recall, are very interested in the discovery of ESI from mobile devices. The degree to which mobile phones and tablets have already transformed our daily lives cannot be overstated. If survey after survey are accurate, this is not a momentary shift in our cultural attention but a natural progression, if not a complete paradigm shift. As others have said and we have echoed: “Mobile is here, and it is hot.” Nearly everyone, from my toddler to her great-grandmother, has access to and skills basic enough to receive and transmit sensitive information from devices small enough to fit in their hands.
“Everyone”, naturally, includes litigants and prospective litigants.
So, it was a pleasure and an honor to have been awarded a “Solution Spotlight” session on the first full day of ILTA 2013 to spotlight our solution to mobile e-Discovery, MPE+. Our VP of Mobile Forensics, Lee Reiber, one of the most passionate product evangelists this blogger has ever had the opportunity to hear, spoke to a full hall about, first, the need for mobile discovery, and, then, about our solution for it. Reiber spent the first half of his presentation describing the data at play: emails, texts, voice mails, apps and app data, photos and their metadata, et cetera. When he presents this material, as I’ve seen a number of times, Reiber does not do so with a canned speech or index cards or a script: he does so with passion. He believes in the importance of this information and actively engages his audience with an interactive immediacy that always results in feedback and participation. This presentation was no exception; more town hall meeting than product pitch.
And then came the live demo. For the second half of the presentation, MPE+ was the star as Reiber demonstrated to the audience exactly what he had described. Using his own personal phone as the guinea pig, Reiber presented “deleted” text messages from his daughter, explored “empty” space on his phone’s drive and, yes, (to audible gasps of surprise in the room) played back recovered voice mails. He also declined to share some messages that were uncovered live … this was, indeed, his personal information.
At the close of the session, at least two things were evident: Lee could have continued for the rest of the day without losing his focus or intensity, and those who surrounded him with questions afterwards could’ve continued listening as well. [Please click here for a copy of the white paper distributed at the session.]
2. The Future of Legal Technology
The next day, I was asked to attend a project update on behalf of AccessData. We are one of six sponsors of ILTA’s new initiative to see into the future: Future Horizons.
Using desk research & telephone interviews, a team led by author, scholar and futurist (and ILTA 2013 keynote speaker) Rowit Talwar of FastFuture “to identify key forces shaping business and the legal profession, to create a 10- to 15-year timeline of possible IT developments and to compile case studies examples of legal enterprises deploying IT advances effectively. “
Telephone interviews with ILTA members — “CIOs, thought leaders, futurists” — and with members outside ILTA and the legal profession have been conducted and more are planned. Talwar and his team are collecting thought leadership perspectives about the longer term, so interviewees have been asked to comment on a draft projected timeline and to offer suggestions or additions.
In addition to the phone interviews, a workshop held at LegalTech Asia (see this write-up by our friend Chris Dale) resulted in the creation of two surveys which have circulated on-line among members. Those surveys considered (1) how law firm workflows will be affected by technology transformations and (2) which of 50 technologies are possibly going to be the most transformative.
Please check out the surveys here and here if you want a say in whether or not developments in artificial intelligence will decrease our demand for attorneys or whether or not attorneys “entering the courtroom will have a range of wearable technologies and augmented reality applications”!
This is an exciting project in an always exciting field (if you’re into this kind of thing) and I’m personally gratified that AccessData has played such major role in getting the project of the ground. One of the things I value most about this organization is its overall commitment to forward motion – to improving workflows, to increasing the power of its tools and to empowering its users to investigate and utilize their digital information.
The report will be published in November and we will certainly be making a lot of noise about it then . . .
The following day, enough of our analyst briefings and technology demonstrations had been done that I actually had time to attend a couple of panels of my own choosing before embarking on my desert journey back to the airport . . .
Since I joined AccessData, there have been two story occupying much of time – mobile, as discussed above – and security, specifically law firm cyber (in)security. We sponsored the inaugural ILTA LegalSEC Summit and have written much on this blog and elsewhere about the now-surfacing crisis.
And, yes, I just said ‘crisis’ and maybe that’s alarmist but maybe it’s not.
We’ve all heard of the numerous FBI warnings this year alone that “hundreds” of firms are being targeted, at this moment, and that client data ostensibly held securely in their counsel’s vault is popping up on the other side of the world. The threat is real and I haven’t heard anyone in the industry stand up for the position that we should not be concerned. Yet, I have also not heard a great deal about what we should do to address it. Which is why the formation of LegalSEC is so important and why this panel update was so important.
Officially published on the day that ILTA 2013 opened, the results of LegalSEC’s survey are (pun intended, Las Vegas) sobering. I could, and may yet, spend an entire article’s worth on the findings of the survey alone but I’d rather you read it yourself. Here it is again. Please, read it. And, while you’re at it, please take some time and review the presentations from the LegalSEC Summit. And, here is the PowerPoint presentation from the update.
Essentially, the update can be boiled down to: we have made a great start. Each of the three track leaders reported progress and the completion of a great deal of work. (Importantly, ILTA Members, please see the ILTA resources pages for the first templates and checklists created for an attorney or IT to review in advance of doing a security audit of themselves or of a third party vendor.) What is also evident, is that there is a LOT of work left to be done.
For those who are just coming to grips with the idea that law firm security is now their problem, I direct you to this excellent introduction from the LegalSEC Summit.
4. Discovery Solutions: The Selection Process
Finally, I want to draw your attention to one final two-session block, available now: Discovery Solutions 1 and 2. I encourage anyone reading this to follow the link and download the handouts from both sessions as they will be immediately useful to you. These are extensive checklists for what your e-discovery provider should provide. My credibility, as a “marketing” figure for this site’s company, should be questioned. You are right to second-guess me: I am trying to sell you something.
But I hope you will realize by following the link here again that my confidence in our products is profound. These presentations will give you everything you need us to test us and to test our competitors. I want you to test us. These presentations will tell you how.
In summary: thank you ILTA for a great week. We will see you next year.