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“Kangaroos don’t move backwards” – Chilli IQ eDiscovery Summit overview

June 25th, 2014

Last week in Sydney I attended the Chilli IQ 8th Annual Information Governance & eDiscovery Summit. The 2014 Summit gathered together some of the world’s leading experts in the field over two days to discuss and debate what is happening with Information Governance and eDiscovery.

The event continues to evolve each year, with the level of discussions becoming more in-depth on issues that are facing us all in the industry.

Leveraging the technology

The opening keynote was Jason R. Baron, Of Counsel for Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP who looked at how technology can be leveraged in Information Governance to reduce time and costs. He emphasised how the tools can also be used for Information Governance and business intelligence, not just for eDiscovery.

“data volumes double every 18 months” – Jason R. Baron

One point that did hit home was that our data volumes double every 18 months, which make any manual methods no longer an option.

For me, Jason R. Baron came out with the great takeaway line of the Summit – “Kangaroos don’t move backwards”. He outlined how we need to move forward and embrace the tools and practices to help us navigate the challenges of the proliferation of electronic information. We cannot be stuck relying on manual practices to address new problems.

Predictive Coding is a process

Judge Peck delivered the opening keynote on the second day, looking in detail at search methods and Predictive Coding. For the very few that don’t know, Judge Peck gave one of the leading judicial endorsements on the use of Predictive Coding in document review in his Da Silva Moore vs Publicis Groupe case.

Judge Peck reinforced that search methods have had to evolve as we can no longer manage today’s data volumes in the same way as we did in the paper based days of the past. He emphasised how keyword searching is flawed, and as a result we have to turn to more sophisticated options.

One of the key takeaways I took from Judge Peck’s session was his emphasis that Predictive Coding is a process – like any other search method. The workflow around Predictive Coding is essential. eDiscovery itself is a process and is all about iteration.  It is still important to invest time testing and sampling the approach.

Not just Information Governance and Predictive Coding

Further points that I took away from the Summit included –

  • The value of investing more time at the outset of a matter for all stakeholders to plan the most effective discovery strategy.
  • How much the industry moves on year on year – important for all involved to be aware of the practices and tools.
  • The days of manual processes are over if we really want to reduce the cost and burden of discovery.
  • Only a few documents will be truly relevant, but how do we get to those documents – and do so quickly, cheaply and accurately?

Healthy debate

There were some interesting opinions expressed by a couple of speakers about the costs of the technology and the providers in the industry. These comments maybe outlined the detachment from the awareness of the options now available. The technology and costs of providers is insignificant when compared to the manual processes many law firms still persist with – and the hours spent by lawyers reviewing documents. The technology is there to aide the process of trying to remove the costs of the discovery process.

We also saw the impassioned plea from Jo Sherman for the industry to do something about the cost of transcripts in the Australian Courts. I will wait to see if anything comes of this as it was opinion shared by many during the Summit breaks.  

For a more comprehensive review of the Summit I direct you to have a look at the review by Jenny Katrivesis of Chilli IQ. Jenny’s overview is available here.

Growing interest by sponsors

Once again the Summit was well supported by a number of sponsors. Sponsors this year included, Nuix, Equinix, FTI Consulting, EDT, Kroll Ontrack, Law In Order and NuLegal.

Many of the sponsors have been regular supporters of the Chilli IQ Information Governance and eDiscovery events for many years. However this year also saw further organisations supporting the event where there is increasing recognition that participating in these industry events is crucial.

In an upcoming post I will report back on some further happenings to come out of my many meetings with Australian eDiscovery software and service providers.

A Summit doesn’t organise itself

Credit again must go to Chilli IQ for once again producing such an enjoyable and informative event. I know from my experience of organising the NZ eDiscovery Conference for the past two years the considerable work that goes into organising these events.

It is impressive to see an event like this evolve year on year, with the subject matter being relevant to anyone faced with the challenges of the proliferation of electronic information.

We all have to continue to move forward – Kangaroos don’t move backwards !



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