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The Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) just announced  that its widely anticipated draft eDiscovery/eDisclosure Core Competency (ECC) Learning Plan will be released at LegalTech New York to LTC4 members for peer group review. The launch will take place on Wednesday 3rd February, 5 – 7 PM at Le Parker Meridien 119 West 56th Street, New York. Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ltc4-ediscovery-competency-launch-party-tickets-20913301247

The ECC Learning Plan is the 10th learning plan to be released by LTC4, and is the culmination of an 18-month collaboration of legal industry eDiscovery experts and thought leaders from the US and UK. LTC4 will also be seeking members who are interested in tailoring the draft ECC Learning Plan to Hong Kong, Canada and other countries’ eDiscovery/eDisclosure standards to advance world-wide understanding of evolving best practice principles.

ECC Learning Pod members drew inspiration for the scenario-based training modules from the Amended Comment on Rule 1.1 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct’s Formal Opinion No. 2015-193, and the U.K’s Solicitors Regulation Authority’s new competence-based approach to continuing professional development. Pod members also referenced the Electronic Discovery Reference Model’s (EDRM) framework for e-Discovery tasks, recognizing EDRM’s widespread industry acceptance around the world.

UK ECC Pod member Andrew Haslam said “2016 sees the first change in 30 years to the way in which solicitors in England and Wales are trained. Gone forever is the concept of earning a certain number of Continual Professional Development ’points’ over a year, as it was recognised some points were being earned by attending training/lectures without any knowledge necessarily being gained. Julie Brannan, the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) Director of Education and Training, has explained that the new competence based-system is designed to provide a more flexible and modern approach to training. To demonstrate competence, solicitors and their employers will need to show that they have reflected on what education and training they need, recording the thinking processes, the actual learning and some self-assessment.”

US ECC Pod Member Janice Jaco (eDiscovery Project Manager at Keesal Young & Logan) added “While US industry governing organizations are starting to develop guidance as to what ‘competence’ actually means, particularly in the nine areas identified in the California State Bar’s Formal Opinion No. 2015-193, there is work ahead to help lawyers recognize exactly what those tasks are, and whether they need to be able to perform the task themselves, or they just need to be able to competently supervise others performing the tasks. The ECC Learning Plan is an attempt to identify real-life tasks in common scenarios in eDiscovery so lawyers can competently execute the tasks, either on their own, or with the help of an eDiscovery expert. The opportunity to develop this knowledge on-the-job and at their own pace should enable more legal professionals to pursue training and possibly an eDiscovery certification.”

In recognition of the vastly differing views on eDiscovery competency among industry professionals around the world, the ECC Pod Members were in unanimous agreement that an “open-source” comment period was mandatory for the long-term acceptance and success of the ECC Learning Plans in the US and UK. The comment period for both versions begins immediately following LTNY and will end April 30, 2016. LTC4 members in the US and UK are encouraged to comment on what will ultimately become two separate ECC Learning Plans, each tailored for their country’s particular standard workflows and governing organizations’ expectations for legal professionals.

To join, visit www.ltc4.org or email [email protected]. If you are interested in helping develop an eDiscovery learning plan for another country, please email [email protected].