EDT Breaks Out of the Echo Chamber with Think Tank Meeting before LEGALWEEK NYC Conference
Commentators have bemoaned the fact that legal technology conferences are becoming mostly about solutions for and discussions between the world’s largest law firms and corporations. Bob Ambrogi made that point in his column in Above the Law: Legal Tech For The Legal Elite: Observations Of Two Conferences but added in an additional point.
Bob noted a tweet from Jeffrey Carr, General Counsel of Univar, that said…
“... how about asking what the customer wants - not what residents of #LawLand want or need? Customers want results & outputs — not activity and inputs. They want Delivered Value — Effectiveness + Efficiency + Experience (customer’s) - Focus on DV!
He then went on to say that about the legal system as a whole that “...we need to find ways to bring together all the stakeholders.”, quoting legal scholar and economist Gillian K. Hadfield from her book, Rules for A Flat World, where she says…
“Innovation of better legal infrastructure also needs to be a challenge taken on by a broad and diverse group of people and organizations. It cannot be left to lawyers. Not because lawyers aren’t smart and capable of being creative. But because discussions among lawyers take place in an echo chamber.”
Well, EDT was delighted to know that they were addressing this issue with their annual Think Tank meeting scheduled for the afternoon before the start of LEGALWEEK NY conference. During that meeting, industry thought leaders facilitated discussions about challenges and emerging technologies in our profession. The agenda of topics included:
- Detection and Management of Privileged Communications
- Applying eDiscovery Methodologies and Technologies to Criminal Matters
- Client Case Study: Adoption of New Technology and Managing Change
- Document Protocols and Electronic Hearings
- EDT’s AI Lab: R&D and introduction to the Active Learning Prototype (Augmented Review)
The format was facilitated discussions, collaborative presentations, and interactive demonstrations. Facilitators included Carolyn Anger, eHearing & Litigation Technology Expert & EDT Consultant, Lorenz Berner, Manager, Evidence & Legal Technology at the Alberta Securities Commission, Linda Cowan, Head of Information Systems at Capital Markets Authority, and Andy Joyce, Manager, Technology and Evidence Control at the British Columbia Securities Commission.
The seminar itself was a forum with free-flowing discussions among peers from similar organizations, and collaboration with the EDT team to help direct their future development priorities in alignment with specifically articulated client needs. Two of the more involved discussions were those with Andy Joyce and Linda Cowan about implementing new technology and the Document protocols conversation led by Carolyn Anger.
Andy and Linda had a detailed and thoughtful presentation about how to implement a new litigation support program into an existing legal agency, using their own experience as the example. They laid out the process they went through in the following steps:
a. Aging software
b. Increased stability and security issues
c. Limited functionality
d. Ongoing support issues
e. Agency needs (the CSC Tribunal had been doing fully electronic hearings for about 14 years and wanted to remain a leader in that space)
2. Evaluating the new product
a. Proof of Concept (POC)
b. Selected EDT as a partner
c. Conducted a POC in hearing rooms to identify new requirements in the product
3. User adoption
a. Change Management challenges
b. Slow implementation introducing the new system while old system still running
c. Held “mock” hearings to guide staff through the new software
d. Initially stuck to the basic functionality and addressed the advanced users with advanced functionality separately
a. The new technology was a good fit with existing infrastructure
b. Better exhibit metadata tagging
c. Much better Search functionality
Carolyn Anger, former head of eDiscovery and Litigation Support at a national Canadian law firm , has decades of experience in eDiscovery and electronic hearings including the development of many court document protocols which form the foundation for effective information governance throughout the litigation or investigation life cycle. Her discussion focused on how she is currently working with some of EDT’s strategic government clients to develop vendor and platform neutral document protocols to facilitate effective document management during eDiscovery. That focus quickly shifted to the US based Meet and Confer issue of native file production vs TIFF with extracted text.
All in all, this was an exciting afternoon of discussion with clients and consultants regarding real world problems and needs. Just the sort of “outside the echo chamber” that Bob Ambrogi commented on. And we look forward to doing it again next year.