101 Bow Ties

My 101st post is different than any of my other postings to date: Here is the story behind the Bow Tie Law Blog and my thoughts on the practice of law.

I have an amazing career.  While I was at CT Summation, I traveled to Alaska, across Canada, met with judges and saw classic Americana with witnessing the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza and the dying of the river green in Chicago.  My adventures have continued with D4 LLC, including a visit to Niagara Falls after one seminar and I am publishing this blog while I am in US Virgin Islands for a full day e-Discovery event.  VI 074-publish

Stay tuned for a new webinar campaign this Fall, Paraben’s 2nd Annual Forensic Innovation Conference and a mock trial with the Beverley Hills Bar Association. 

Reasons for the Bow Tie Law Blog

I love the law.  I also love the intersection between law and technology.  This began in law school studying the pilot program for PACER and as a research assistant for Professor Fred Galves on his article Will Video Kill the Radio Star? Visual Learning and the Use of Display Technology in the Law School. For the record, I came up with the homage to the Buggles.

I started the Bow Tie Law Blog in December 2008.  While it was not the best of times (I had been laid off by a litigation support vendor), BTLB provided me an opportunity to discuss current cases and e-Discovery issues.

My First Litigation Support Software

I first used CT Summation LG Gold 2.6 and Trial Director on a project that was originally supposed to be three months.  It lasted thirteen.  The case went all the way through motions in limine before we settled. 

I learned a lot on that case.  First, it was easier to search through a database then climb into a document repository.  Second, a small firm that can “command evidence” with a litigation support database can take on a larger firm with a small army of associates on a case.

One thing I learned about scanned paper: Get the project OCR-ed.  We had thousands of TIFFs that we had to search and annotate without the benefit of optical character recognition processing.  We could have saved hours if we had the ability to search the text of those TIFFs.  Auto Coding would have been Heaven. 

The Future for Lawyers

Technology’s effect on how we live our lives is told in glowing hymns by Don Tapscott in grown up digital and negative thunderbolts by Mark Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation.  Regardless of whether you agree with these authors, people are walking ESI generators. 

There are 160,000 active lawyers in the State of California (217,000 if you count the inactive members).  All must consider electronically stored information since the enacted of the California Electronic Discovery Act on June 29, 2009 and the California Rules of Court 3.724 requiring ESI to be discussed in the meet and confer process. 

The immediate future for lawyers in California, the Federal Courts and nearly every state in the Union is to understand electronically stored information.  Lawyers must be aware of requesting cell phone photos after a car accident; Lawyers must be aware of how to review ESI with litigation review software; and lawyers must know how to effectively communicate litigation holds to their clients and be able to intelligently discuss ESI with their opponents and the Courts.

These challenges are not insurmountable, but will require an active effort to learn about forms of production, work with trusted vendors and educate their judges on their clients’ electronically stored information. 

A Big Thank You

I look forward to my next 100 blog postings and appreciate everyone following me on Twitter, Gabe’s Guide, The Posse List and Complexd.

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