Taking an Agnostic Approach to Legal Technology

By |2021-02-03T20:01:24+00:00February 3rd, 2021|Categories: Data, eDiscovery, Information Governance, Intelligence, Technology|

Early on in my career as a consultant in the eDiscovery space, I felt it important to have an agnostic approach and be independent with my recommendations for solutions, technologies, and providers. Even in my earliest days running the advisory practice at Renew Data where we had our own technology and service offering, there were many situations where I advised clients to go another direction because of the specific scope of a project. As much as this frustrated our salespeople, I understood that there is plenty of business out there and it was good karma.   In 2010 Barry Murphy, Greg Buckles, and I founded the eDJ Group, a boutique analyst firm covering the electronic discovery and information governance space. The eDJ Group stayed above the fray at all cost looking at what was really in the best interest of a client based on their specific scenarios. We tried our best as analysts to take an agnostic approach.  I founded the eDiscovery Advisory practice on the same agnostic approach to technology and providers. That means passing up the lucrative referral or sales relationships with technology and service providers that pervade our market. Maintaining the integrity to advise clients based on their needs is key to the eDiscovery Teams strategic vision and achieving our desired state of KinDato (Knowledge and Intelligence through Data).  As the eDiscovery Advisory team continues to build on this agnostic approach, I had the opportunity to reunite with my previous business partner and very independent consultant, Greg Buckles.  Greg still runs the eDiscovery Journal as well as the eDJ Group consulting practice.    JV: You and I have spoken many times over our careers about really taking more of an agnostic approach to looking at legal technology and legal service providers. Maybe we could start at the beginning by sharing why you chose to be independent and your experiences working independently.  GB: In my role as a corporate buyer of eDiscovery technology and services at El Paso Corp., I started finding conflicts inherent within the relationships between my service and tech providers. I would find out they would get points off a deal or if I chose a piece of technology, the sales rep would get 7.5%.    When I went from there to being a product manager, everybody around me was selling technology except for me. I was the person who owned the development of the technology, [...]

Knowledge & Intelligence through Data: The KinDato Innovation Lab

By |2020-12-03T17:53:46+00:00December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Announcements, eDiscovery, Technology|Tags: , , , , , |

One of the unique opportunities I have as an advisor working with organizations looking at data information governance and eDiscovery issues is that we have an opportunity to look at the strategic use of data within an organization. Over time what we have learned is that organizations get value and reduce risk from data by making sure there is a combination of Knowledge and Intelligence that is driven by Data, or as we call it…the state of “KinDato”. As part of that effort to improve the use of technology and gain value from data within an organization we built the KinDato Innovation Lab, allowing us to assess and leverage multiple technologies through integration and workflows. In the context of eDiscovery and data management, we look at integrating numerous tools in an agnostic way since we don't have a specific relationship with any specific tool or provider. Our goal is to create effective integrations within a client’s environment particular their technology stack. Every organization that we work with uses different types of technologies to manage both their knowledge and data across their organization. From an eDiscovery viewpoint, this is challenging especially when trying to identify sources of relevant information as well as understanding the value and risk of that data.  At the core of things, it is really all about data and understanding that data from various stakeholder perspectives. The KinDato Innovation Lab is completely agnostic to the technology used in our innovation.  For example, we work with mid-size organizations on leveraging the technology they have in-house specifically around Microsoft M365 Advanced eDiscovery solution. Many organizations can’t spend the money or effort on complex eDiscovery technologies.  They simply want to be able to have an easy to use and defensible workflow for things like third party requests and data subject access requests (DSARs).  The KinDato Innovation Lab worked with the built-in Microsoft tools using PowerShell, Graph API, SharePoint and other automation techniques to build a system within the Microsoft Teams environment to create a defensible workflow for these types of cases.  More complex eDiscovery matters that require a greater effort will of course have a different workflow, but this approach will save clients a significant amount of money and effort allowing them to [...]

Remembering eDiscovery Defensibility in a Crisis

By |2020-07-08T00:30:15+00:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: eDiscovery, Technology|Tags: , , , |

Notwithstanding containment efforts, the coronavirus has spread worldwide.  According to a recent McKinsey & Co. report, the U.S. economy could be in a state of recovery until as late as 2023. The hardest-hit sectors – commercial aerospace, air & travel, and oil & gas – might not even restart until sometime in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a massive impact on a wide range of industries, including the eDiscovery space. However, despite the global crisis, litigation has not stopped and the eDiscovery process continues. Data is being collected, preserved, reviewed, and produced, hopefully in a cost-effective manner and fully-defensible manner. Pandemic-Proofing Your eDiscovery Defensibility Covid-19 has vast potential to expose flaws in the eDiscovery workflow, making the need for a defensible process more critical than ever. Here are some ways to strengthen your procedure: Collect data defensibly. Data collection from a custodian’s laptop may not be possible with social distancing guidelines unless remote enterprise-level forensic technology is available. Work with your outside and in-house counsel to formulate and document a plan ranking critical custodians’ availability. Then prioritize available network sources like file shares and email servers while deprioritizing physical media until collection is deemed safe for both collectors and collectees. The active data collection approach will vary from data source to data source, so work with your outside counsel and collection specialist on the best practices for a data source type. If your organization uses Microsoft O365, it might be time to develop a plan and approach for using the eDiscovery & Legal Hold modules in the Security and Compliance Center to streamline and document your collection efforts from Microsoft systems. Document your chain of custody. As the data transitions from its original source (e.g., Exchange, file shares, SharePoint, etc.) to the collection destination such as a [...]