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.
Folks, 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
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
If 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.
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!
This 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.
Welcome 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.
I always chuckle when I hear people refer to California as the 'land of fruits and nuts' and loudly proclaim that it's a 'liberal state'. I concede, the state is blue – at least when one examines it at surface level – but when you drill down a little further, it's not quite that simple.
Example? As far as privacy is concerned, you'd have better luck in Ohio (State v. Smith)…
Based on two events that took place this week, it's clear that California (or more accurately, the Governor of California) and the Federal government appear to be in lockstep re their attitude toward location privacy; they don't believe you're entitled to it.
Politics? Of course, that always plays a role. Lack of understanding of technology? Let me put it this way; a lot of the arguments I see in support of the position against requiring a warrant go something like this:
"People are aware that their cellular devices disclose their location and, therefore, have no expectation of privacy." Yes – in the same way that people who drive cars know how to rebuild the engines. It's a self-serving argument, at best. For the average Joe, a more honest side-by-side comparison is that people know how to plug in a charger about as well as they know how to insert a gas nozzle.
If you're worried about location privacy, I have two words for you – coarse location.
An IT Executive Turned California eDiscovery & Litigation Attorney and Consultant Shares his Personal Insights.