Author Archives: Bob Ambrogi

Bob Ambrogi

About Bob Ambrogi

A lawyer and veteran legal journalist, Bob advises Catalyst on strategic communications and marketing matters. He is also a practicing lawyer in Massachusetts and is the former editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal, Lawyers USA and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. A fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, he also writes the blog LawSites.

Podcast: Innovating Technology in E-Discovery

esibytes_logo_electronic_discovery_educationCatalyst founder and CEO John Tredennick is a featured guest on the latest episode of Karl Schieneman’s ESI Bytes podcast, where he talks about the challenges of introducing innovative technologies to the legal community. Also on this episode are Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and  Jay Lieb, a founder of NexLP.

In this episode, both Schieneman and Judge Facciola serve as the interviewers, asking questions of Tredennick and Lieb, with Judge Facciola also sharing his own insights. Schieneman explained his intent in choosing the topic of innovating technology:

Every year the most popular CLE program in the country is LegalTech so one would think the desire to learn new technology is rampant among lawyers. Experience in the field would tend to suggest otherwise. We thought it would be interesting to have two entrepreneur technologists on the show to talk about their perspectives on gaining adoption of new technologies in the legal space.

You can listen to or download the podcast here.

Judge Peck’s Latest: TAR Now ‘Black Letter Law’; CAL Reduces Significance of Seed Set

It is has been three years since U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck issued the first court decision approving the use of technology assisted review in e-discovery, Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Grp., 287 F.R.D. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) (Peck, M.J.), affd, 2012 WL 1446534 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 26, 2012). “This Opinion appears to be the first in which a Court has approved of the use of computer-assisted review,” he wrote then.

Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck

Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck

Now, in an opinion released yesterday, Judge Peck says that, in the years since Da Silva Moore, “the case law has developed to the point that it is now black letter law that where the producing party wants to utilize TAR for document review, courts will permit it.” Continue reading

California Considers Ethical Duty To Be Competent in E-Discovery

By | This entry was posted in Ethics, Uncategorized and tagged on by .

Many attorneys still consider e-discovery to be a niche area of law practice, one they would prefer to stay well away from. But do lawyers have an ethical responsibility to be knowledgeable about e-discovery and competent in its practice? In California, the answer could soon be, “Yes.”

A proposed ethics opinion of the State Bar of California (Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 11-0004) would require attorneys who represent clients in litigation either to be competent in e-discovery or associate with others who are competent. The bar is accepting public comments on the proposed opinion until April 9, 2015. Continue reading

For Our Readers: Discounted Registration for Arkfeld eDiscovery Conference

 

Judge Scheindlin

Judge Scheindlin

The fourth annual ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Evidence Conference takes place March 11-13 in Tempe, Ariz., and we are happy to be able to offer this blog’s readers a 30 percent discount on registration.

This annual conference — produced by noted e-discovery attorney and educator Michael Arkfeld and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University — features three full days of programs presented by some of the leading judges, practitioners and educators. Continue reading

Forbes Interviews Catalyst’s John Tredennick and Mark Noel on Technology Assisted Review

ParnellForbesInterview2

What is the impact of data and technology on the modern law firm and lawyer? This was the question Forbes contributor David J. Parnell set out to answer when he recently interviewed John Tredennick, Catalyst’s founder and CEO, and Mark Noel, Catalyst’s managing director of professional services.

At one point in the wide-ranging interview — which was published on Forbes last week – Parnell asks Tredennick about some of the major changes in legal technology he has witnessed over the years. In response, Tredennick says that the legal industry is currently in the midst of a major transition with respect to technology assisted review.

Suddenly technology has come where you take a million documents in review—and for any big firm lawyer that’s a big smile on their face because with junior associates reviewing at 500 docs a day, you’ve got your year made—and somebody comes along and says, “You know, with a wave of a wand and a couple training docs, we’re going to cut that million documents down to about 50,000 docs that are probably important.” Maybe 95% of those billable hours go away. That does not make the lawyers smile. That does not make you smile.

But I’ve seen this for 30 years. The innovation comes out; the billable hour suffers; but you always have a few law firms that are not at the top, and then they say, “We don’t have 50,000 associates. Let’s go outsmart them. We’ll lead the way.” And they start taking business away from the big guys. And the corporate entities listen and change happens.

Elsewhere in the interview, Noel tells Parnell that technologies such as TAR are helping to ease the work of lawyers, but will never replace them.

Many people are realizing that they have to change the way they work. And tools like technology assisted review are changing the way attorneys work. But it’s not going to replace them. TAR tools can quickly analyze millions of documents for subtle patterns, but only humans can decide what’s important to the case, or what stories the documents can tell. So these systems are hybrids: The machines do what they do best, and the humans do what they do best. There will be plenty of work to go around for skilled practitioners who know the tools and have the right skillsets.

Read the full interview at Forbes.

Download our Free E-Book: ‘TAR for Smart People’

book_tar_for_smart_peopleIn her column today for the popular legal blog Above the Law, technology writer Nicole Black says that one of the best items of swag at this year’s LegalTech New York was the new book from Catalyst, TAR for Smart People: How Technology Assisted Review Works and Why It Matters for Legal Professionals.

At LegalTech, Catalyst handed out the book in hard copies. But for those of you who did not make it to LegalTech (or who just don’t want to kill any more trees), the e-book edition is now also available. To get your own copy, download it here free. It is available in both PDF and Epub versions.

The book was written by Catalyst founder and CEO John Tredennick,  with contributions by Dr. Jeremy Pickens,, one of the world’s leading information retrieval scientists and senior applied research scientist at Catalyst; Mark Noel, a lawyer who is managing director of professional services at Catalyst; and me, a lawyer and technology writer and director of communications at Catalyst. It features a forward by internationally known e-discovery lawyer Ralph Losey.

Starting from the premise that TAR is a sophisticated process that draws on science, technology and law, the book explains the basics of TAR while also exploring advanced issues and applications. The book serves as a practitioners’ guide to TAR, with a focus on the newest TAR protocol, Continuous Active Learning (CAL).

Screening and Panel in Denver Feb. 19 to Look at Past, Future of E-Discovery

Decade of Discovery Denver Feb 19 15

The Decade of Discovery—an acclaimed documentary that chronicles the impact of the information explosion on the courts and the government during the years 2002 to 2012—will be screened in an exclusive Denver-area showing on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the University of Denver, Davis Auditorium.

The documentary tells the story of a government attorney on a quest to find a better way to search White House e-mail, a teacher who takes a stand for civil justice on the electronic frontier, and the resulting revolution in the way law is practiced and the government operates. It was written and directed by Joe Looby, a lawyer and forensic technology expert.

The free screening will be followed by a discussion by an expert panel that will include the government attorney depicted in the documentary, Jason R. Baron, now of counsel to the law firm Drinker Biddle. Baron served 13 years as the first appointed director of litigation at the National Archives, and prior to that as a trial attorney and senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as counsel of record in lawsuits involving the preservation of White House e-mail.

Other legal experts on the panel will be:

  • Craig B. Shaffer, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Colorado.
  • David Thomson, professor, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
  • John Tredennick, founder and CEO of Catalyst.
  • Kelly Twigger, principal, ESI Attorneys.
  • Francis Lambert, information governance expert.

The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Catalyst and the Denver chapter of ARMA International.

More information is available on the Catalyst website or through the law school’s site.

Join Catalyst and Partners for a Rockin’ LegalTech Concert

LegalTechConcertIf you are attending LegalTech New York this week, don’t miss this first-of-its-kind event: a LegalTech rock concert, “15 Years of E-Discovery, What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been.”

(Read on to learn how to get VIP access and drink tickets.)

The concert kicks off Wednesday night, Feb. 4, at 9 p.m. and continues until midnight. It will be held in the West Grand Ballroom at the Hilton, so you don’t even have to go outside and face the elements.

The concert will feature your favorite LegalTech musicians and there will be a few suprises thrown in as well. It promises to be a fun party, with music and dancing, VIP guests, and one very special tribute.

All registered LegalTech attendees are welcome, but stop by the Catalyst booth at LegalTech (#1411) for special VIP access and drink tickets.

Catalyst is sponsoring the event, along with co-sponsors ALM, Brainspace, Ricoh, DSicovery and MarkLogic.

Catalyst CEO to Release New Book at LegalTech, ‘TAR for Smart People”

If you follow this blog at all, you know that Catalyst’s founder and CEO John Tredennick is a prolific writer on e-discovery and, in particular, on technology assisted review. Now, he has written a book about TAR, TAR for Smart People: How Technology Assisted Review Works and Why it Matters for Legal Professionals, and it is being released tomorrow at LegalTech New York.

Recognizing that TAR is a sophisticated process that draws on science, technology and law, Tredennick set out to write a book that explains the basics of TAR while also exploring advanced issues and applications. The book serves as a practitioners’ guide to TAR, with a focus on the newest TAR protocol, Continuous Active Learning (CAL). Continue reading

An All-Star LegalTech Plenary on TAR (and How to Get VIP Seating)

Catalyst is proud to be sponsoring an all-star plenary session at LegalTech New York next week, Taking TAR to the Next Level: Recent Research and the Promise of Continuous Active Learning. The session, which takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 12:30, will feature a panel of internationally known e-discovery experts, and will be moderated by Catalyst’s founder and CEO John Tredennick.

The panel will discuss the latest research on protocols for technology assisted review, focusing on newer methods and, in particular, on Continuous Active Learning, which has been shown to identify relevant documents more quickly and with less human effort, thereby further reducing review costs. Continue reading