A Lawyer Walks into an #eDiscovery Presentation…

MP900422817 Last night, I did a one-hour presentation, "How to Lose an eDiscovery Case in 30 Days", to a room full of seasoned lawyers – and a couple of judges – for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Inn of Court.  I've been a member of this group for approximately two-and-a-half years and, having discussed eDiscovery at length with the members over the usual cocktails and dinners, I tailor-made my 20-slide talk to focus on what I believe they wanted – and needed – to know.

Slide #1 was my nine-point outline of what I would cover over the hour.  Forty minutes later, I was still on that slide.  The Inn of Court uses an open-question format.  Unfortunately, in our space, one question opens a can of worms, which spawns multiple follow-up questions.  Obviously, it's a good thing that there were so many questions – and the attendees can always read through my presentation at their leisure – but, as someone who is always observing those who are observing me, it illustrates how much farther there is to go.  I could have easily stretched the talk to two hours and still would have likely run out of time.

When I present at the CalBar Solo and Small Firm Summit June 24th, I may have to switch to the despotic method and hold questions until the final ten minutes.  It's a tough call.  Every question I was asked last night was substantive and important – and deserved an answer.  The problem is, with only an hour available, the best one may hope for is completing an overview.

To put it another way, I made it through the meal, but didn't get my dessert.