What’s on the minds of in-house litigation teams? Legal holds, mobile devices, and a little bit of Slack. Those topics would dominate my “word cloud” after attending the 2019 PREX Conference successfully spearheaded by Zapproved (reviewed in the Legal Operations Field Guide). The sub-title for the event was “actionable strategies for in-house eDiscovery” which suitably placed the emphasis on practical education for in-house legal teams struggling and scuffling with eDiscovery challenges.
I mistakenly assumed that most attendees coming to PREX were already well-versed in juggling eDiscovery duties but to my surprise, the “eDiscovery 101” sessions were well-attended and extremely helpful. In one session, a variety of legal professionals took the podium and simply shared helpful lessons they had learned in their experience.
One of the most helpful tips was “get to know your IT teams.” The speaker emphasized the importance of inviting your IT team to software demos and meetings. It always a challenge in bridging that gap, but the speaker suggested you could “buy your IT team Krispy Kreme donuts every day” and they might actually start to like you.
It’s a Mobile World and That’s a Little Frustrating…
One universal topic across several sessions was how to properly collect and preserve relevant ESI from mobile devices. One speaker bemoaned the fact that they have employees turn in phones, but only after they had performed a full reset, effectively rendering the phones as “bricks.”
Another speaker reported they’ve been having so much trouble getting employees to turn over their phones, they are seriously considering switching from a BYOD (bring your own device) policy to a COPE (corporate-owned personally-enabled) approach simply so the corporation has more control over the devices and data they store.
Next to mobile devices, Slack was the major headache discussed. One speaker commented they have groups that just start using the service to communicate with team members and do a complete end-run around corporate approval.
Please Hold my Legal Hold
No surprise that legal holds were a strong topic at an event run by a company that provides legal hold services … but Zapproved knows their audience and this is absolutely a high-priority topic for attendees.
The session covering the “New Sedona Legal Holds Commentary” was very well attended, and provided helpful insight into how the process has changed and morphed over the last several years. First published in 2010, the “The Sedona Conference Commentary on Legal Holds: The Trigger & The Process” was recently updated in June 2019. All of the panelists on the session were members of the Drafting Team and reported that all of the previous 11 Guidelines stayed the same, and the only addition was a Guideline directing readers to be “mindful of local data protection laws and regulations.”
The Rest of the Story…
The opening keynote helpfully discussed AI in the legal environment and more specifically in eDiscovery contexts. One of the most helpful comments from this session was Dr. Ben Herndon providing a balanced description of AI: “training a machine to mimic a human is nothing new … AI is NOT your IT system, and it’s NOT an appliance, it’s a fixed set of algorithms that we can train to help us in our daily workflows.”
Zapproved also had some interesting announcements during the conference including a “technology partnership” with Nuix to allow Nuix customers to use the ZDiscovery platform (the two companies have collaborated before).
Zapproved also announced their ZDiscovery Platform can also now connect to Google Vault much like they already do with Microsoft Office 365. This is critical news – anytime that I work with a corporation on eDiscovery and IG aspects, they are either dealing with Office 365 or Google Vault on the backend, and so having the ZDiscovery Platform connect to either platform is important.