Category Archives: eDiscovery 101

e-Discovery 101: ALSP L.A. Chapter Inaugural Lunch

The Association of Litigation Support Professionals (ALSP) opened a Los Angeles Chapter and I was invited to their inaugural lunch earlier today, which was attended by approximately 65 people.

I like to go to these events to take the temperature of what’s going on out in the e-discovery universe and also as a reality check to make sure that I’m delivering relevant information to you.

This was a basic presentation, heavily weighted toward forensic recovery (very few attorneys were present).  I thought it was a great basic template, although I think the presenters went afoul of some of the legal aspects (e.g., when the SEC subpoenas data from 40 board members’ laptops – as was the case in their theoretical scenario – there is no reality in which a particular board member may image his or her own laptop and submit it (do I hear ‘fox guarding the henhouse’, anyone?)

With civil and/or criminal penalties at stake, an independent party to authenticate the process and serve as a testifying witness would be required.  But hey, that’s what we lawyers are here for, right?

All in all, a good presentation.  Congratulations to ALSP!

Jurors take the Law, PDAs – and e-Discovery – into their Own Hands

j0314263 Coming soon to a courtroom near you; sequestering with no access to electronic devices, and all movement and correspondence monitored – for the entirety of every trial.  Got any better ideas?

On the heels of my post late last week about “Juror Jonathan“, comes the following story from the New York Times about jurors ignoring their judges’ admonishments and conducting their own online research during trials.

Courts have always operated on the honor system when it comes to non-sequestered juries.  We hold out hope that when a judge issues jury instructions, they will be taken seriously and followed to the letter of the law.  Unfortunately, we also know that individuals violate these rules all of the time.  Sometimes they’re caught – sometimes not.

Now, virtually every PDA comes equipped with the ability to access the internet, so jurors can conveniently misbehave on their breaks!  If our system of jurisprudence can’t get a handle on how to control juror misconduct, here’s the next place they’ll be getting a ‘handle’ on them:

ca. 2002 --- Motel Room Toilet --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis


“Juror Jonathan” Gives Proceedings the ‘Bird’

This 29-year-old juror in Arkansas obviously didn’t read my post yesterday.  He sent ‘tweets’ during a trial in which his jury awarded two Plaintiffs $12.6 million.

When I said evidence can be used for purposes most people don’t think about, this is exactly what I meant.  In this case, the Defendant is making an argument of bias on the juror’s part as a basis for a motion seeking a new trial.

Actually, they raise a fascinating question of law (for people like me, anyway):

“Arkansas law requires defendants to prove that outside information
entered the jury room and corrupted a verdict — not that information
from the jury room made its way out.”

But does it really matter whether the motion is granted or denied?  Look at the mess this juror has caused; in time, cost and possible (although unlikely) reversal.

Let’s face it – “Juror Jonathan” is out of his tree.

e(rotic)-Discovery Insights: Thoughts on Valentine’s Day ‘Sexting’

Schleprockj0438796…something to think about while you plunk down twice the usual price for dinner and a dozen red roses…

Although I run the risk of being designated the official ‘Schleprock’ of Valentine’s Day, this seems like the perfect time to remind you that those steamy ‘sexts‘ you intend to exchange with your wife/husband, or girlfriend/boyfriend, or significant other – or your wife/husband, your girlfriend/boyfriend and your significant other – may become public (I admit, that did kinda make me sound like a wet blanket…it’s the heavy burden I carry trying to keep you out of trouble).

And please…get a room!