Implementation Of Law: A Word Of Wisdom





We have laws for just about everything from personal laws to commercial, contractual, e-discovery, and list goes on and on…

What’s important is to understand the ‘implementation’ of such laws! In my experience, as an attorney, I have come across hundreds of laws from all the way from legislation to the point when they are repealed! Laws have been around for a long time, yet we regularly find instances/cases where person suffered illegal detention, false imprisonment, and so forth.

The litigation hold in the process of e-discovery can be summed up in the following definition:

A litigation hold is a written directive advising custodians of certain documents and electronically-stored information (ESI) to preserve potentially relevant evidence in anticipation of future litigation

Well, easier said than done! In the NuVasive, Inc. v. Madsen Med., Inc., No. 13cv2077, 2015 WL 4479147 (S.D. Cal. July 22, 2015) case, simply implementing a legal hold was not enough to satisfy a party’s duty to preserve. Instead, the party must take affirmative steps to implement the hold, follow up with custodians to ensure data preservation, and also ensure that the hold covers all forms of data, including text messages and other emerging data formats.

Well, that seems like and, in fact, is a daunting task. In today’s computing scenario, where majority of the time the workforce is mobile, and not to mention the influx of mobile devices each of us have an use – then we try to remember “Where in the world did I save/store that document” – you get the point.

Within the realm of e-discovery, litigation can be reduced by providing an indispensable, seamless, and a fully collaborative platform/solution so that documents, text messages, and voice can be saved in repositories. Proactive approach towards data compliance will reduce costs in the long run for corporations!

The Information Governance Model (IGRM) Reference Guide at E.D.R.M does a fairly decent job at presenting a model.

While the future of e-discovery may rest on the foundation of information governance, a wise and proactive approach with special emphasis on building efficient processes, and more importantly automating those processes within the organization must be adopted to reduce legal complexities.

Here’s a sample tutorial of what SharePoint/Office 365 Compliance Center can help you achieve!

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Predictive Coding In E-Discovery: The Game Of Convenience

Back in 2012, Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck’s decision in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Group, 287 F.R.D. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), officially gave the green signal to start utilizing TAR in e-Discovery. The same Judge recently issued an opinion in Rio Tinto PLC v. Vale S.A., 14 Civ. 3042, 2015 WL 872294 (S.D.N.Y. March 2, 2015), titled “Da Silva Moore Revisited”, and stipulated sharing of “seed sets” between parties.

Importantly, the opinion reiterates that “courts leave it to the parties to decide how best to respond to discovery requests” and that courts are “not normally in the business of dictating to parties the process that they should use”.

Importantly, Judge Peck instructed that requesting parties can utilize other means to help ensure TAR training, even without production of seed sets. For instance, the honorable Judge suggested statistical estimation of recall towards the end of the review to determine potential gaps in the production of documents.

Yet, in cases such as Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Prods. Liab. Litig., NO. 3:12-MD-2391, 2013 WL 6405156 (N.D. Ind. Aug, 21, 2013), for example, the court declined to compel identification of seed set, however, encouraged cooperation between parties.

So, where are we going with TAR?

According to the Grossman-Cormack glossary of technology-assisted review with foreword by John M. Facciola, U.S. Magistrate Judge, seed set is “The initial Training Set provided to the learning Algorithm in an Active Learning process. The Documents in the Seed Set may be selected based on Random Sampling or Judgmental Sampling. Some commentators use the term more restrictively to refer only to Documents chosen using Judgmental Sampling. Other commentators use the term generally to mean any Training Set, including the final Training Set in Iterative Training, or the only Training Set in non-Iterative Training”. The important thing to know about seed sets is that they are how the computer learns. It is critical that a seed set is representative and reflects expert determinations.

With this in mind, in one of my articles back in April 2014 titled “E-Discovery Costs vs. Disseminating Justice – What’s Important?” I concluded that technology must strictly be used as a tool in aid to the due-process of law.

As an attorney, I love a good argument corroborated as well as substantiated by solid precedents. Use of TAR in e-Discovery invariably is becoming a matter of “convenience” between both parties in trying to resolve issues. Well, we have arbitration laws for that matter!

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What’s Wrong with Outsourcing? Really?

A company’s existence is directly linked to its profit-making capabilities. This includes employing the most gifted workforce, running optimized operations, having excellent quality controls in place, just to name a few. There is an invisible force, however, constantly acting behind this entire process – the force of ‘laws of economics’ – principles of demand and supply.

The word ‘globalization’ is not a new buzz word anymore. However, its relation to economics is where the dilemma of outsourcing and offshoring lies. Gone are the days when corporations had loyal employees working for them, the technological advancement has disrupted not only how we work but how we think – Yes! We think Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and for the most part have become dependent upon technology.

So, what impact does technology have on driving profits for a company? Look around you – things have changed, human behavior has changed, our thinking process has changed – we have become victims to this unstoppable monster.  As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, rightly said “There is nothing permanent except change”. As a result, companies who adapt to the changing environment remain at the forefront, and those who resist potentially may bear the grunt. In any case, the objective remains to make profits for shareholders.

We all are aware of the exponential growth of technological innovations and big data. What should companies do to maximize their profits in this dynamic environment? Outsourcing seems to be the logical solution. The single biggest advantage is reduction in existing costs. Consider a simple scenario related to e-Discovery industry:

“Company A is looking to hire Document Review Attorney for its e-Discovery project. What could possibly be the lowest per hour rate for a first pass review? How does 20 dollars per hour sounds! In today’s economy, believe it or not, you will find qualified, experienced, and certified individuals who would be willing to work. In the US, this rate is certainly peanuts for an attorney, but in India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Bangladesh, for example, 20 dollars per hour would fetch a luxury lifestyle”

With the advent of cloud computing, developing countries now have access to all the latest technologies, learning tools, methodologies, norms, usages etc. Workforce has truly become global and cloud computing is driving costs further down. As buyers influx the marketplace searching for low priced efficient technologies, sellers lower their costs to remain competitive. Consequently, companies may not afford or attract high paid workers. To bridge the gap, various outsourcing models fit the puzzle, providing same services at a drastically reduced price. Companies now have access to equally qualified workforce available in the cloud. To top it off, Ivy League universities now offer Bachelors and Masters level degrees online. So, for example, I could obtain an MBA degree from an Ivy League business school, while residing anywhere in the world, and provide expertise on a project via the cloud.

Having said that, profitability, principles of demand and supply, and cloud computing technologies are factors exerting pressures on US companies to find alternative ways to increase profitability. Microsoft and Amazon provide secure state-of-the-art data storage centers, and with SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS technologies, allowing for data security. A good example is of WordPress – majority of their employees are virtual. Similarly, Microsoft with its launch of Office 365 and allied products is evidently cloud based, and a qualified professional could administer, manage, and support Office 365 from anywhere in the world!

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Outsourcing


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

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7 Tips for Implementing E-Discovery Best Practices

E-Discovery best practices begin with making data management as part of daily routine and business operations. Attorneys cannot achieve this objective without the help of IT department, and IT personnel cannot properly maintain data without guidance from attorneys about what should be kept or destroyed. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure related to e-Discovery and keeping up with changing law in the area is a good start, however, knowing and understanding how to put these lessons to practically work in practice is the key to implementing and conducting e-Discovery successfully. Planning ahead plays a pivotal role as it sets the standard for effective relationships between internal and external legal and technical resources. Below are few tips for implementing effective best practices for both inside and outside counsel.

  1. Be proactive and have a formal document retention policy in place with rules for saving and destroying electronic documents.
  2. Increase company-wide awareness of litigation readiness, and train employees to organize documents in an organized manner. Better yet, implement an effective document management solution such as M-Files – which includes e-compliance module.
  3. Effectively cater to big data and effectively implement strategy for later archival, identification, and production in a timely fashion.
  4. Train IT personnel to act as a deposition witness as per rule 30(b)(6).
  5. Preserve potential evidence when necessary while effectively train and involve key legal and IT personnel as soon as litigation is imminent.
  6. Must have adequate knowledge about client’s information systems and operations to effectively define e-Discovery parameters, ensuring smooth functioning with opposing counsel. Try to minimize disruption of clients operations.
  7. When a document request is received, be a partner in the data retrieval process – not just a messenger.

While harmony, effective communication, and smooth functioning between attorneys and IT personnel can prove to be beneficial for the organization, keeping current with latest technology and how it can streamline the e-Discovery process is equally important. After all, the purpose of technology is to act as a tool to handle complex e-Discovery in a speedy and cost efficient manner.

e-Discovery best practices

e-Discovery best practices


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

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E-Discovery Costs vs. Disseminating Justice – What’s Important?

In e-Discovery, courts, attorneys, e-Discovery consultants, and other industry veterans emphatically deliberate proportionality and predictive coding as major apparatuses for reducing e-Discovery costs. First, Rule 26 – “duty to disclose; general provisions governing discovery” of FRCP encompasses, in entirety, matters relating to initial disclosure, time, scope and limits, pretrial disclosure, limitations, parties conference, sanctions, etc., In other words, the legislative intention behind Rule 26 is to ensure and streamline e-Discovery governance matters.

edrm

Secondly, e-Discovery costs can easily escalate to millions of dollars. For instance, on average a Gigabyte (GB) contains 15,000 documents. An average collection of 50 GB entails 750,000 documents which need to be sifted through for relevant details pertaining to specifics of case for defensibility purposes. To give you an idea in terms of costs, reviewing those documents could cost as high as $2 per document or 1.5 million dollars! If 60% were culled down using technology assisted review (TAR), costs would still be as high as $600,000 dollars! E-Discovery budget calculators can be found here.

Here’s the catch! These 750,000 documents are culled down in order to identify potentially relevant documents. The traditional e-Discovery approach is to process all data to TIFF or native for full linear review, whereas, newest and advanced method entails indexing, culling, legal first pass review, and process data for review. With the advent of ‘Big Data’ technology introduced (TAR) or predictive coding as a tool for handling e-Discovery in an efficient cost effective manner.

Statistics plays a pivotal role in TAR, and courts have endorsed usage of TAR in one way or other. However, there may be pitfalls as I explained in one of my earlier posts relating to the limitations of precision and recall in TAR.

Has our justice system become dependent on technology?

Technology is great, however, it must strictly be used as a tool in aid to the due-process of law. As an attorney, I would argue against our justice system’s inclination towards dependability on technology. There are other ways to reduce costs such as global talent acquisition, outsourcing, dual-shoring, offshoring etc., and numerous law firms and corporations have adopted such business models, documenting additional 60% reduction in e-Discovery costs. While reduction in e-Discovery costs are essential, the opportunity cost may undermine defensibility.


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

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7 Things E-Discovery Auditors Must Do

U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) require organizations to look at the ability to respond in a legally defensible manner to discovery requests. Moreover, as organizations expand globally, they need to be ready at all times to provide information that could be requested as evidence in a legal proceeding. Internal or external auditors are in the best position to recommend policies and best practices that can prepare organizations to respond to a data discovery request. The auditors must:

  1. Determine the effectiveness of the e-Discovery communication plan

  2. Document the IT environment

  3. Regularly review backup, retention, and data destruction policies

  4. Review compliance with document destruction procedures, when a litigation hold is issued

  5. Document the steps that will be taken to respond to e-discovery requests

  6. During litigation, determine whether employees are preserving the integrity of relevant material

  7. Review existing backup controls, reports, and inventories of media stored off site

Failing to prepare for an e-discovery request can result in sanctions. Organizations need to have a litigation readiness policy and plan in place to effectively deal with lawsuits. Auditors play a pivotal role in managing litigation risks and help organizations take a proactive approach to e-Discovery by recommending strategies that address key data preservation, storage, destruction, and recovery disquiets. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and M-Files, for instance, offer e-Discovery and content management solutions to cater to these needs.

e-Discovery auditor

e-Discovery auditor


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in E-Discovery Industry

Triple Bottom Line

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a management concept in which companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. The basic definition according to Wiki:

“Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms”

CSR is best incorporated with the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ (TBL) approach, which is essentially an accounting framework incorporating three dimensions of performance: financial, social, and environmental.

Triple Bottom Line

Triple Bottom Line

A triple bottom line measures the company’s economic value, ‘people account’ – which measures the company’s degree of social responsibility and the company’s ‘planet account’ – which measures the company’s environmental responsibility. While CSR indoctrination within the e-Discovery industry may be prevalent, only a handful of companies may actually have developed and adopted CSR.

Adopting to a mindset of a good corporate citizen, at ClayDesk, we have initiated the development of a CSR program with a goal of embedding CSR practices in our business. The foremost area of focus for CSR initiatives are directed towards promotion of legal education, e-Discovery laws, Pro-Bono legal work, sponsor a student, and steps towards a paperless (go-green) environment. These steps will bring about positive change and improve the quality of life of members of the society.

Some of the core CSR issues relate to: environmental management, eco-efficiency, responsible sourcing, stakeholder engagement, labor standards and working conditions, employee and community relations, social equity, gender balance, human rights, good governance, and anti-corruption measures. Denmark, for instance, has CSR Law in place which mandates companies to report their CSR initiatives. Apart from providing charity and sponsorship, CSR concept goes beyond by allowing companies the opportunity to become a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen.

CSR

ClayDesk’s committment to CSR


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

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Outsourcing or Insourcing? The Balanced Score Card approach

Outsourcing is now a common phenomena among businesses. Essentially, you contract out a business process to a third party, both foreign and domestic contracting – at times relocating a business function to another country. Traditionally speaking, companies having financial difficulties didn’t have much choice but to restructure, lay-off employees or incur additional debt to cover short term obligations. Outsourcing of redundant business processes came as a sigh of relief for many, especially large corporations with humongous overheads. The incentive to outsource may be greater for U.S. companies due to unusually high corporate taxes and mandated benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Now that you have successfully outsourced and established a cordial relationship with your vendor, industry trends may change that require you to focus more on certain business segments.  Insourcing has been identified as a means to ensure control, compliance and to gain competitive differentiation through vertical integration or the development of shared services (commonly called a ‘center of excellence’).

But wait a minute! It seems like you require both in order to attain a lean and optimal cost effectiveness business model.

E-Discovery Industry:

For the last decade or so, e-Discovery industry has experienced tremendous growth in terms of outsourcing mainly due to escalating costs. The result – growing number of captive centers all over the world, especially with abundant labor resources such as India, Pakistan, and Philippines. The biggest cost driver in e-Discovery is document review – over 60 percent of total costs, one of the main reasons of influx of captive offshore centers or outsourcing. Recently, however, law school graduates in the US, for instance, have been accepting employment at all time low wages – making it increasingly competitive for e-Discovery vendors.

What’s an optimal solution?

According to Balanced Score Card Institute, “The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals” Using this tool helps an organization to identify, understand, and evaluate core business processes, resulting in best practices of utilizing outsourcing and insourcing strategies.

e-Discovery | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
info@claydesk.com
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Managed Review vs. Staffing Model

There are two standing industry models for outsourcing e-discovery document review projects – the managed review and the staffing model. While selecting a review solution – either staffing of managed, the solution should reflect an approach suffused in an understanding of applied best practices. Having said that, the following sets forth a minimal, standardized, framework which can and should be adapted to meet the needs of specific cases.

Project management

· Ensure a project plan is specifically designed and crafted to the specifications and requirements of counsel

· consistent with best practices

· Deliver a key set of documents or review protocol that govern the execution and project

· management of the review process along with workflow design

Team selection and training

· Staff personnel with expertise in specific area of laws relating to project. Develop specific job descriptions and define a detailed protocol for recruiting, testing, and selection

· Ensure conducive environment as well as conduct reference and background checks

· Preferably engage experienced personnel

· Ensure the review team receives comprehensive substantive and platform training

Workflow

· Design processes, assignments and quality assurance steps specifically tailored to the project’s requirements

· Demonstrate compliance with key security and quality standards while maintaining acceptable pace

Quality control

· Adhere to six sigma principles

· Develop effective quality control processes to achieve key project goals

· Test first review work product using sampling method, targeted re-review, and validations searches

· Conduct statistics to ensure the highest quality end result

· Maintain auditing and track performance of reviewers

Communication

· Develop a formal schedule of communications with counsel adhering to laid down schedules

· Calibrate initial review results, seeking counsel’s guidance to confirm or correct results and to conform review protocol and training materials to insights gained

Reporting

· Deliver regular, comprehensive reports to monitor progress and quality and to assist counsel in managing the review process

Productions and Privilege Logs

· Prepare privilege logs in accordance with specifications set by counsel

e-Discovery | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

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