Respected eDiscovery consultant and blogger Chris Dale provides us with a romp through the eDiscovery highlights of April, touching on GDPR; Ministry of Justice failures; contract management; the Panama Papers; social media as evidence; the internet of things; TAR or predictive coding?; and the ILTA 2017 scholarships in honour of Browning Marean.

The GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation takes effect in just over a year. April began with anecdotal reports of organisations somehow thinking that Brexit will make it unnecessary for them to comply with the terms of the GDPR. That is nonsense for two reasons – one is that the GDPR will take effect before the earliest possible date of Brexit; the other and, perhaps more important reason is that the UK will become relegated to the status of a third country on leaving the EU, and will have to show that it ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data. In practical terms that will mean that it must effectively comply with the terms of the GDPR in order to remain a conduit for EU data.

Ministry of Justice IT failures

The Register reported that “hundreds of millions” was wasted on the UK court digitisation scheme and described the MoJ’s common platform programme as “vapourware.”

Contract Management

The management of contracts put itself forward as an increasingly important use of IT and legal resources. The point, as with so much, is not just the anticipation of compliance and other problems, but the uncovering of value within contracts.

Panama Papers

The repercussions of the Panama papers investigation continue to spread ripples. Quite apart from the financial and political implications, the investigation provides a first class example of the use of eDiscovery tools and skills for activities (in this case journalism) which may seem remote from eDiscovery.

Social Media as evidence

The judgment in Green v Marston illustrated the importance of social media in eDiscovery. One of the defendants was found to be a shadow director of the failed company because, among other reasons, his LinkedIn profile described him as corporate finance director.

Internet of Things

The Internet of things continued to attract attention as a source of potentially discoverable data. In the US, a husband’s story about his wife’s murder by an intruder was apparently contradicted by the evidence from her Fitbit which showed her still walking around after the time of the alleged attack.

TAR or Predictive Coding?

As discovery analytics embrace ever-wider tools and become second nature for many lawyers, it becomes increasingly important to differentiate between the wider set of tools embraced by the term “technology-assisted review” and the narrower term “predictive coding” which refers (or should refer) to the use of a form of artificial intelligence to decide whether a document is relevant or not.

ILTA Scholarships

ILTA, the International Litigation Technology Association, announced its 2017 scholarships in honour of Browning Marean, a partner at DLA Piper US and a man who did more than perhaps anybody to encourage the spread of legal technology and proper discovery practices. The scholarships, one for a recipient living and working outside the US and one for someone from within the US, covers all the registration fee for ILTA’s annual conference and for associated travel costs. http://iltacon.org/about/scholarship?ssopc=1

Chris blogs on all things eDiscovery and tech at The eDisclosure Information Project