Electronic Discovery: Legal counsel’s mood and can we handle blogs and wikis?

Synopsis Part 1: Electronic Discovery: Legal counsel’s mood and can we handle blogs and wikis?

data discovery interview –  James “Jim” K. Wagner Jr., CEO and Co-Founder, DiscoverReady LLC, (Part 1 of 4)

Jim Wagner is a co-founder of DiscoverReady LLC, a national provider of
integrated discovery management services, and is a frequent public
speaker on best practices for effectively gathering and reviewing
electronic discovery.  Jim is responsible for many of DiscoverReady’s
strategic initiatives, including the development of its
industry-leading PrivBank™ application and its progressive i-Decision™
process. (more)

By Joshua Konkle writing for dcig.com

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?

Jim Wagner: There is a lot of confusion out there, among legal counsel and IT alike.  Legal counsel may follow their clients in taking an “IT first” approach, assigning IT to the issue of solving the eDiscovery business process.  Typically, the firm’s IT staff will have software tools for collecting data, but they have less documentation and understanding of some of the legal components required for the electronic discovery process, particularly at the point of review and production.  Thusly, organizations will allocate resources from within the legal group to act as a steward of process.  The process steward will collaborate with IT to help develop the technical solutions to support the organizations legal risks and challenges.

Furthermore, organizations’ legal counsel and IT teams in the process of “getting up to speed,” or making technology investments, need to be careful when taking the advice of eDiscovery “shamans”.  In a positive context, a shaman is a helpful guide.  In the eDiscovery world, though, some shamans have used scare tactics and limited knowledge of client bases to instill fear and uncertainty about the eDiscovery process, generally for their own gain.  For example, a few years ago DiscoverReady had a conversation with a lawyer who needed high-level help understanding the basics of eDiscovery.  Three months later, he was listed on his firm’s website as the eDiscovery practice leader.  DiscoverReady recommends legal counsel be aware of self-proclaimed experts and stay deeply involved in the eDiscovery process.

Interview note: recommended reading Davis, Seth. “New Practice Area May Be Emerging; the Future Looks Bright for Attorneys Who Specialize in eDiscovery.” 28 National Law Journal S7 (July 17, 2006)

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

Jim Wagner: The collection process is not particularly difficult for these systems.  The exception includes the dynamic nature of the underlying content and whether mechanisms are in place to capture each iteration, or version of the content.  Alternatively, the question is whether the changes are lost as the sites outlive their daily purpose.  The review and production of enterprise blogs, wikis, SharePoint, etc. is a difficult component of the process.  Traditional litigation support applications do not manage the rendering of these sites well, so traditional litigation support applications may need substantial modifications to accommodate Enterprise Blog and Wiki review and production.

Part 2: Educating IT and Legal on legal risk management

you would like to communicate with Jim directly, he can be reached at
info(at)discoverready.com or by calling DiscoverReady at 1 212 699 3960.

www.dcig.com publishes interviews with legal professionals; click here for more eDiscovery interviews.

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