eDiscovery & Records Management - Legal Technology - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in eDiscovery & Records Management Category

Digital Footprints That Small Law Firms Should Track

Before the internet age, discovery was a matter of digging through endless paper files. But the problem is that paper can be shredded, torn, burnt. In today's digital world, electronic forensic evidence abounds in every nook and cranny -- sometimes with great overlap.

Small firms must use some creativity to know where to look when dealing in the digital discovery game. These days, it helps to know exactly what digital footprints you should be tracking.

SCOTUS Citation Raises Concerns Over Potential 'Link Rot'

The recent SCOTUS decision of Utah v. Strieff was notable in at least two ways. First it was noteworthy because of Justice Sotomayor's almost Scalia-esque (in terms of passion, if not form) dissent. Some have called it the Court's "Black Lives Matter" moment.

But the Strieff opinion is also noteworthy because it may be the first time in the Court's history in which a URL-link "shortener" was used in place of the real address. Justice Kagan's separate dissent included a citation to http://goo.gl/3Yq3Nd, and that leaves some worried.

Switching to Macs in Your Law Practice: The Basics

According to a recent survey by the Legal Technology Resource Center at the ABA, approximately eight percent of responding lawyers reported that they used a Macintosh in their practice (Macbook, Air, etc.). That doesn't sound like a lot, but it sounds more impressive when you note that the number used to be a little under six percent in 2014 when the same survey was taken.

That means the number is growing, but it's still surprisingly low. Here are a few tips for you to get started switching to Macs in your practice.

Once eDiscovery seemed like a whole separate world from traditional discovery. But now that so much of our work and lives are digital, eDiscovery is quickly becoming the standard mode of discovery in many practice areas. If a former employee claims emotional distress after an injury, check his emails and text messages. If a debtor claims insolvency, look into her social media accounts along with her bank accounts.

But as common as eDiscovery has become, it is hardly a settled field. The eDiscovery world continues to evolve, with new technology, new standards, and new ways to make eDiscovery work better for you. To help you get a handle on all the developments, here are our seven top eDiscovery updates, from the FindLaw archives.

BYOD policies, or Bring Your Own Device policies, allow employees to use and access company information on their personal devices. You can send messages to coworkers on your personal phone's Slack app, between right swipes on Tinder. Instead of staying at the office all night, you can download corporate reports onto your home computer.

For many, BYOD policies are great. They give employees a bit more freedom to work where and when they want, on the device that's most convenient. For employers, the policies eliminate the need to provide workers with dedicated work phones and laptops. But when it comes to eDiscovery, BYOD policies can start looking like a very B-A-D idea.

The NSA wants it, eDiscovery professionals are obsessed with it, and your files are secretly full of it. It’s metadata, the data about data that’s kept in most electronically stored information. And it’s had a major impact on the legal field over the past several years.

So when it comes to metadata, you’ll want to make sure you know your stuff. With that in mind, here are our top metadata explainers and tips, from the FindLaw archives.

Quick Tips for Guarding Your eDiscovery

According to seasoned in-house counsel attorneys Scott Herber and David Moncure of VIA and Shell Oil Co., respectively, lawyers can no longer turn a blind eye to highly sophisticated threats to their data management and data. This applies to their highly sensitive e-discovery as well.

Now that we're on high alert after the recent hospital hacks, we thought it was a good idea to start getting attorneys back in their "alert" mode when it came to their international eDiscovery.

If you wanted to transfer real property in England a thousand years ago, you would have to publicly present the buyer with a clod of dirt from the land, symbolizing the transfer of title, and record the exchange in the local shire-book or church-book. One thousand years later and the clod is gone, but the rest of the process is very much the same: transfers of real property are still recorded with the local county's recorder of deeds, the modern equivalent of the shire-book. It's an effective, but not a terribly efficient, system.

Blockchain technology, some propose, can bring that antiquated system into the contemporary age. Blockchain technology could create a widely distributed, indecently verifiable, and largely incorruptible record of property ownership that bypasses the centralized system of county offices and recorders of deeds, or so the thinking goes. It's as though everyone could have their own personal, inscrutable Domesday Book.

Managed Services in Electronic Discovery: Our Digitized Future

Just when finally found the time to catch up with the latest technological development, another one comes up. Technology is moving at such a brisk pace that even those in the tech fields have trouble keeping up. So, how can you -- a busy lawyer -- hope to stay on top of everything?

Realistically, you can't. And developments in ediscovery case management are the latest concern you have to deal with. But with just the smallest investment of time, you can at least ensure that your small to mid-sized firm doesn't get blindsided by unseen factors in ediscovery.

Boost Productivity by Using Digital Documents

For a profession that is pretty much defined by documentation, it's a bit mystifying to see the legal profession's continued resistance to the digitization of legal documentation. Your can boost productivity by digitizing a large percentage of your documentation. You'll be doing your office a favor.