Category Archives: Law

Did Mikey Like the New, Improved LTWC 2013? Day One…

Mikey Likes It!I've just returned from day one of Legaltech West Coast.  I'd hoped to attend both days this year because my Calbar LPMT colleague, Andy Serwin, presented the keynote this morning,  Alas, it wasn't meant to be…

Leading up to the conference, the meme was that this is the new, improved LTWC with the addition of, "The California Lawyers' Track".  Makes sense.  Depending on which statistic you consult, approximately 20-25% of the lawyers in the United States reside in California.  So, how did all this measure up to their most hard-to-impress critic, Mikey?

(It's me…it's me…I'm talking about ME!)

First of all, it not only makes sense, it's smart.  I'm the first one to admit that virtually all of the programs I present contain at least 50% Ethics content – not only because it's great as far as addressing educational issues that attorneys need to know -  but also because Calbar has a mandatory requirement that California attorneys attain four hours of specialty credit in Ethics every three years.  The specialty credits are notoriously hard to come by and it always results in higher attendance at my events.  I'm sure the gurus at LegalTech understand this factoid.  They also worked in our other specialty credit requirements: Bias & Substance Abuse.  However, three out of the four were presented on the final day
(incentive to entice California attendees to stick around for day two, LegalTech?  Well played…)

If you attended all specialty sessions over two days, you'd satisfy one-hour Bias, one-hour Substance Abuse and two-hours Ethics.  That's four out of a total of six hours required!

Advantage:  LegalTech

Ok, great; the potential is there.  But none of that matters if the programs aren't substantive.  Were they?  If you've been reading me for a while, you know I don't dole out compliments much, but I have to say that I found the content of the three sessions I attended to be excellent; and the final session of the day may have been the best I've ever attended at any conference.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get there early enough to see the keynote speaker, D. Casey Flaherty (and I regretted missing him even more after attending his program in the final session of the day – see below), so I started with "A Panel of Experts: A Candid Conversation".  Judges Jay Ghandi and Suzanne Segal (no relation) discussed the challenges brought by eDiscovery.  If you follow my Twitter feed, you saw the money quote from that session.

Mid-day, I went another direction.  Owen Byrd from Lex Machina was presenting on his article, "Moneyball for Lawyers: How Data and Analytics are Transforming the Practice of Law".  This was also the title of an article Owen wrote for our LPMT Committee publication, "the Bottom Line", which will be published in a week or two.  He showed us how they're using data in whole new ways to give attorneys every advantage in a case.

To end the day, it was back to the judges (or so I thought) with, "Judges' Panel: The Current State of the ED Market".  At first, I was disappointed because the "judges'" panel had only one judge, presenting via Skype.  That ended up working out just fine.  The live panel included one big firm eDiscovery attorney and the aforementioned Casey Flaherty, Corporate Counsel for Kia Motors America.  Here's the deal.  Mr. Flaherty walked us through the painstaking process he followed to procure the best eDiscovery vendors for Kia that he could find.  What did I think?  Read my assessment at the LexisNexis "Matters of Practice" Blog.

Well, that's a wrap for this year.  See you next year at LTWC 2014!

ReInventLaw Silicon Valley: GoldenState & the Three Bears

RILSC 2013
What the hell was that???

I’m speaking of the all-day ‘experiment’ (that’s what I’m calling it), ReInventLaw Silicon Valley 2013 conference this past Friday.  Is that a criticism?  Not at all.  This was the kickoff event of a collaborative effort; law students, professors, technologists, investors, inventors, attorneys and everything in-between, all convening in one place (The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, to be exact) to talk about the future direction of law practice.  Approximately 40 speakers in all.  You read that right; 40 speakers in a single day (enough to make an LPMT Chairman cry).

And what did we see?  Good talks, bad talks, decent talks, shameless sales pitches, moderately-shameful sales pitches.  Terrible speakers with outstanding messages, outstanding speakers with terrible messages & mediocre speakers with mediocre messages.  Speakers who went on too long, speakers who didn’t go on long enough and speakers who were juuuust right (yes, this was the LPMT-equivalent of the Three Bears…).

And of course, live streaming Tweets hosted on a PC with an IP-address conflict (DHCP, my friends; old school!).  There were funny tweets about there only being five ties in the room (I happened to be one of them).  My response was to create the hash tag, #thesmartesttiesintheroom.

In other words, I had a great time!  It’s very easy to criticize something like this, I suppose, but the organizers were able to land many hard-to-attain speakers while simultaneously coaxing approximately 350 people (by my rough count of how many actually showed up vs. the 500 tickets that were distributed) to convene in one location for a healthy exchange of ideas.

I gotta go…my porridge is getting cold…

California’s SB 1303 Shines a Red Light on Challenging Traffic Camera Evidence as Hearsay

MP900401489Folks, I think this post is as simple as having you read this excerpt from Senate Bill 1303(3):

“(3) Existing law,
known as the hearsay rule, provides that, at a hearing, evidence of a
statement that was made other than by a witness while testifying at the
hearing and that is offered to prove the truth of the matter stated is
inadmissible, subject to specified exceptions. Existing law provides
that a printed representation of computer information, a computer
program, or images stored on a video or digital medium is presumed to be
an accurate representation of the computer information, computer
program, or images that it purports to
represent.
This bill would provide
that this presumption applies to the printed representation of
computer-generated information, video, or photographic images stored by
an automated traffic enforcement system. The bill would expressly state
that the printed representation of computer-generated information,
video, or photographic images stored by an automated traffic enforcement
system does not constitute an out-of-court hearsay statement by a
declarant.”

Did Netflix CEO Violate Regulation “FB”?

MP900422415If you've already seen the headlines, you know that Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has received a Wells Notice from the SEC.  They're considering taking action on a violation of Regulation FD due to an alleged 'material' disclosure on Facebook that Hastings posted to his 200,000+ subscribers back in July 2012.

The gist of the issue?  The SEC claims that those subscribers received an unfair advantage because they had access to the information in advance of the general public; and presumably traded based on that information.  Naturally, Hastings' view is contra.

Is it a violation?  I dunno.  We're going to see more of these issues arise as social media continues to wend its way into the corporate mainstream.

v-Discovery Insights: Robert Brownstone of Fenwick & West LLP Discusses his Top 3 Concerns in Data Security

Robert Brownstone has been my friend and colleague for many years.  In fact, he was Chairman of @CalBarLPMT two years prior to me.  We recently appeared on a panel together called, "Under Fire: Defending and Challenging a Motion against Technology-Assisted Review – A mock Meet and Confer (26f) hearing".  He played the role of the Plaintiff's attorney and I the Defendant's.  Robert was a late addition to my panel and I was delighted to present with him again!

 

eDiscovery California: USDC – Northern District of California – Publishes New ESI Guidelines

MP900400507This news is so important to me – and most likely, to you as well – that I actually dropped what I was working on so I could bring it to you asap!  I wanted to make sure you’re aware of the implementation of these new ESI guidelines, which took effect yesterday.  Here’s the press release, and here’s a direct link to the guidelines page which includes a checklist and model stipulated order.

eDiscovery California: Social Media Laws Take Effect Jan. 1, 2013

CTD - LaptopWelcome back, all.  I hope you had a nice holiday and are fully rested so that you may now spend the rest of the season…at the mall!  We're getting close to the New Year and as is true each time we approach January 1st, we have a bunch of new laws taking effect.  California employers and post-secondary institutions should take note of two of them; AB 1844 and SB 1349.  Both were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown back on September 27th, 2012.

Although the language in each bill is different, essentially, AB 1844 prevents employers (also potential employers) from demanding, using or exploiting an employee's (or potential applicant's) social media passwords and information.

SB 1349 is substantially similar, except that it applies to post-secondary institutions; both public and private.

There is speculation in the media about the necessity of these types of regulations.  Many believe that a substantial risk of invasion of privacy doesn't exist.  Maybe not; but moving forward, I believe the risk will increase exponentially.

What's next – bionic mannequins???