Don’t be intimidated by legal technology

Synopsis Part 1: Don’t be intimidated by legal technology

data discovery interview – Steve Lilley, CEO of WorkProducts, (Part 1 of 2)

Steve Lilley is the founder and CEO of WorkProducts, the creator of MatterSpace®, a market-leading Evidence Life Cycle Management solution. Steve has more than 20 years of experience in founding/building leading companies in the litigation and electronic discovery space, including serving as SVP for iLumin (acquired by CA) and founding Data Imaging, Inc. (acquired by Document Technologies).

WorkProducts will be at LegalTech – Booth 3610

By Joshua Konkle writing for

Joshua Konkle: In your work with corporate legal counsel how do you help them synchronize their policies and their IT, what is the mood of legal counsel out there? 

Steve Lilley: First, we help legal and IT bridge the gap by providing IT products and services that support legal and IT processes and are workflow driven.  We do this through Evidence Lifecycle Management (ELM), and a software and hardware appliance, MatterSpace®, which is process and technology that understands current IT systems and policies and marries that with the realities of reactive eDiscovery requests for electronically stored information (ESI).  Naturally, IT understands process-driven technology far better than legal does, while Legal understands data relevancy for legal issues far better than IT.  Bridging this gap is a must for eDiscovery.

The mood with legal counsel is still one in which they feel a bit intimidated by the information technology jargon that is thrust their way by eDiscovery.  Their comfort zone rests in writing a document (e.g., retention policy management) that they believe should be taken literally.  Of course such documents should be followed to the letter.  However, when a CEO, CFO, or VP Sales has to save a document to a thumb drive so that it can be removed from the corporate IT environment in order to finish and get it out at 11:30 p.m. to close the last deal of the quarter that will allow the company to meet its financial forecast, then guess what happens to the particular retention policy that states that such documents shouldn’t be stored on thumb drives–it gets ignored. Technology can’t totally be harnessed by written policy, so getting legal and compliance to concede this point is “half of the battle” when coming up with reasonable retention policies.  The other is sustainable processes and technology for reactive investigations and litigation.

Joshua Konkle: There seems to be a disconnect between retention policies as written by legal counsel and technology capability.  What is your experience as a technology provider? 

Steve Lilley: Technology changes much faster than retention policies, with many policies not overly inclusive of all technology capabilities and business use cases, such as the example above.  To task legal, IT, and increasingly Information Security to rewrite and/or update retention policies to be inclusive of all technology capabilities and user behaviors is unrealistic.  Consistent education of users regarding the retention policies that currently exist, coupled with user awareness of specific technologies the company has put in place to monitor such retention policies should result in a more compliant user behavior.  However, there are no absolutes here.  That’s why the first phase of litigation readiness during the Meet & Confer stage of a litigation should consist of reviewing the corporate retention policy and any outliers. This should be facilitated by the use of a data map that contains all data custodians and all data sources–as supplied by IT from LDAP Directories, Active Directory, and other sources–as well as data custodian awareness of where their resident and non-resident data resides (e.g., Yahoo! mail, thumb drives, and other data not on corporate servers).

Joshua Konkle: How are you dealing with the forensic collection of Enterprise Blogs and Wikis?

Steve Lilley: A MatterSpace collection will allow detailed analysis and culling of Blog and Wiki content to help determine the level of forensic collection necessary.

Part 2 of our interview with Steve will cover “Evidence Lifecycle Management (ELM) and Educating Legal and IT”  I’ll be publishing that entry from LegalTech in New York later this week.

you would like to communicate with him directly, he can be reached at or by calling WorkProducts at 1 703 203 2868. publishes weekly interviews with legal professionals; click here for more eDiscovery interviews or sign up for the feed.

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