As the snow began to fall again in Denver, Falcon Discovery’s ACEDS certified Project Management team retreated to the sunshine of Hollywood, Florida to share ideas and insights with industry leaders and e-Discovery certification experts at the annual ACEDS conference.
For those who were unable to attend the conference this year, we’ve posted our notes from day 1. Please visit again this week for regular updates on each day at ACEDS 2012.
Session 1: Succeeding in Catastrophic Cases
Speakers: John Bagby (Penn State), Stephen Fernelius (Fernelius Alvarez, LLC), Ervin Gonzalez (Colson Hicks Eidson), Jeffrey Jacobson (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP)
Moderators: Charles Intriago and Helen Bergman Moure
- Since many catastrophic cases cross borders, cooperating and understanding other sovereigns’ laws and rules will allow you to meet regulatory agency requests and court obligations (Jeffery Jacobson).
- Best practice is to have scheduled meetings with the judge or magistrate, for example every Friday, to deal with discovery issues, which allows discovery to move forward productively since each side will need to report to the judge frequently.
- A discovery team should be made up of:
- Expert on e-Discovery Process
- Trial lawyer
- Key Client Representative
- Vendor Technology Team
- In-house Counsel
- In-house IT Representative
- Plaintiff and defense counsel should be in agreement that cooperation is important to both sides.
- You need to know the way people speak in the industry, and understand where and how long the data is stored by your client.
- You need to be able to create and iterate specific search terms that will retrieve the documents that will prove your case.
- Many defense counsel believe that being cooperative allows the plaintiff to save money without compromising their case.
Session 2: Harnessing Social Media
Speakers: John Bagby (Penn State), Jett Hanna (Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange), Noah Lang (Reputation.com), Seth Row (Holland & Knight)
Moderators: Dale Beauchamp and Helen Bergman Moure
- Understand and discuss the dangers of social media with your clients.
- Work with your clients to create training programs for the use of social media.
- Weigh the business implications of prohibiting social media use during litigation. This does not destroy any information; rather, it hinders opposing counsel’s ability to regularly review your client’s material, and it limits what your client is saying out in the public domain.
- The use of social media brings ethical issues into consideration, including inappropriate contact with opposing parties.
Session 3: Special Maters; referees, liaisons and neutrals
Speakers: John Barkett (Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP), Robert Barth (US District Court for the Western of Pennsylvania Clerk), Seth Row (Holland & Knight), John Upchurch (Upchurch Watson White & Max)
Moderators: Steve Fernelius and Ervin Gonzalez
- The decision to request a Special Master should be made on a case-by-case basis.
- The Western District of Pennsylvania is the only district that has developed ground rules regarding Special Masters.
- Pennsylvania ground rules include creating ways to certify Special Masters and the creation of a list of experts who may be considered for the position.
- Special Masters are needed when parties can’t agree and the court needs to appoint someone to make decisions on open issues. If parties CAN potentially agree, a neutral should be put in place to mediate rather than using a Special Master.
Session 4: E-discovery Knowledge Nirvana
Speakers: 50 Great E-Discovery Service Provider Subject Matter Experts
- ACEDs has grown and is more widely accepted. Certain e-discovery firms now require that their project managers become Certified E-discovery Specialists (CEDS).
- The conference has more than doubled in size since last year.
- Over 50 experts were given an opportunity to share one best practice.