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LegalTech New York – the Day 2 & 3 roundup

Now recovered from information-overkill, JoAnna Forshee of InsideLegal in the US reports on the final two days of LegalTech New York

Big data, bigger problems. Of course, big data ruled the LTNY roost – in buzz, content sessions, tweets, and overall conversation. We attended three great big data sessions on Thursday produced by ARMA

LTNY13 BigData PanelCaption: ARMA’s Melissa Ebert w/Big Data Panelists – Barry Murphy, Julie Colgan, Galina Datskovsky, Eric Hunter, Rich Vestuto

Big Data-Big Hype or Big Opportunity + Big Data in Practice + Does Big Data=Big Risk?

While we are committed to providing a series of in-depth big data profiles and articles within the next several months, what we learned about big data should raise many an eyebrow

…big data is not ‘just’ an eDiscovery problem?   …   big data does not mean business intelligence and analytics only   …   big data is a massive challenge for corporations and law firms alike because of the dreaded dark data (old stuff we keep around ‘just in case’)   … opinions differ on who should drive the BD bus — the chief compliance officer? CIO? CISO? or maybe even the CMO, especially if the big data benefit is better client segmentation and profiling   …   big data can be structured and unstructured, the key issue is what to do with it, how to handle it and how to police it.

You get the picture, this topic is filled with intrigue and ARMA’s sessions helped underscore the associated threats and opportunities. Big data is the next buzzword that will definitely not fizzle or fade for a while to come.

Emerging legal roles to keep an eye onOn a recent webinar hosted by One North Interactive and Goodwin Procter’s marketing director, we were introduced to the emerging legal interactive marketing role of content curator and content merchandiser (organize and manage legal content like your grocery store products). That started us thinking about what additional ‘new’ job titles we’d encounter in New York.

The CISO-chief information security officer (not to be confused with Cisco (NASDQ: CSCO), Sysco (cafeteria food) or Sisqo (thong song)) is evolving into one of the key folks in the board room, especially as cloud deployments, big data, mobile lawyering, and security in general continue to gain relevance in the legal environment. The CISO, currently more typical in corporate settings, is responsible for information-related compliance handling everything from information security, to risk management and disaster recovery/business continuity.

The other title we saw and had not heard much about is the data scientist or chief data scientist, not an evil doer in a white lab coat, but an oft numbers (and algorithm) obsessed smart guy (or gal) who likes to tinker with analytics and artificial intelligence. Of course, this is an incomplete description, but in legal, these guys are being hired by forward-thinking technology companies (mainly eDiscovery vendors) looking to advance their technologies and their clients ability to use them (and profit from using them). Data scientists interest us so we’ll be profiling this persona a bit more in future posts.

Vendor Notables.A tradeshow like LTNY couldn’t happen without the support from the 224 exhibiting companies. With the help of some number crunching, friends in high places sharing the scoop on the LTNY ‘wow factor’ and our own observations we came up with some notables…

While big data dominated the sessions and overall show content, we (only) counted five vendors that centered their exhibit and booth presence around big data – IBM, EMCStoredIQ, Content Analyst and Nuix. The last 3 of these are eDiscovery vendors.

The largest non-EDD vendor category was by far practice management (we counted 15 vendors) including 4 newcomers per LTN – AgilePoint Inc.CLM MatrixDoculogix Inc. and New Zealand-based ActionStep Software.

The buzz of the year in terms of vendor promotions goes to Symantec, with the eDi$covery Cab, a takeoff of the Discovery Channel’s hit game show, the Cash Cab which challenges players to answer a series of progressively difficult questions. LTNY attendees were able to test their eDiscovery knowledge in Symantec’s eDi$covery Cab with Cash Cab host, Ben Bailey. In addition to the eDi$covery Cab, there was a food truck hosted by Symantec with free food for all who received coupons in the Symantec booth.

Returning after a few years outside of the industry, was former CaseLogistix CEO, Roe Frazer with his new company, cicayda, a cloud-based eDiscovery supplier. The former CaseLogistix gang (Roe, CTO Jason Cox and Operations Guru Suzy Mills) is all about simple and easy to use interfaces (like what they did with CaseLogistix) and price disruption in the complicated world of eDiscovery pricing. At LTNY, cicayda launched their first product fermata, their secure, cloud-based legal hold product with simple, $5 per hold LTNY pricing as well as a 30-day free trial.

The prize for ‘is this really legal tech’ in my book goes to, a service that enables court appearances by phone for attorneys and judges alike. The service (making phone calls) greatly simplifies the process of court appearances without attorneys phyically being there. Maybe traffic in some parts is so bad, calling in a (legal) friend, is the best way to go.

Technology-assisted eDiscovery selection. As most InsideLegal readers know, we have been tracking the proliferation of eDiscovery vendors at LTNY for the past 6 years and have statistically verified their impressive ‘dominance by numbers’. With countless ‘e-something’ vendors trolling the legal seas for clients (91 of them exhibited at LTNY 2013), how can a law firm or corporation find what they are looking for? While the old school printed ‘buyer’s guide’ is collecting dust next to CDs and external hard drives, a new generation of online supplier search tools is emerging. We heard about 3 while in NY:

George Socha’s Apersee website boasts a database of 1,200 eDiscovery providers that anyone looking for eDiscovery, litigation support or simply a Aperseeshoulder to cry on can access and request service quotes. Providers can bid on jobs and projects, but based on what Socha told us, the early bird gets the worm with typical inquiries yielding 30+ responses within the first hour of posting. In addition to product/service listings, the site includes a ‘news & events’ section that features industry news, a press release posting section and an EDD event directory. At a minimum, interested companies should complete the free provider profile, which will add them to the database.

Well-respected UK consultant Andrew Haslam of Allvision Computing, in conjunction with Legal IT Insider (which was recently consolidated and redesigned if you haven’t seen it) is launching a free  Buyer’s Guide to Litigation Support Systems. According to Charles Christian, the guide will “combine practical advice on system selection with the most definitive collection of vendor and software information in the UK …” We met with Andrew in NYC and he mentioned that the final stages of compilation are now under way and that the PDF guide will soon be available as a download from the Insider website. If you haven’t submitted an entry, email Andrew immediately.

Lastly, the eDiscovery Matrix powered by the EDJ Group is a trusted resource for eDiscovery professionals and customers to quickly find, follow and compare legal technology software and services listed across a wide array of categories in an unbiased, moderated environment. The site states it is a transparent, dynamic research tool that should be in the arsenal of anyone in the eDiscovery industry.  eDiscovery MatrixBeing listed in the eDiscovery Matrix is free and can be completed here. We briefly spoke with EDJ’s co-founder and principal analyst Barry Murphy about this and learned that free registration is the starting point to not only being recognized as an industry player, but also advantageous when working with him and his colleagues.

Keynote fatigue. In our day-one recap we pondered whether the traditional keynote might be on it’s way out the door and after having witnessed day 3’s key address as well, I have to say it may be so. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a thought provoking, intriguing, ‘rally the troops’ sort of kick-off but with some of these speakers and topics I really wonder what the motivation is. While Tuesday’s senior law firm partner bored us with US justices factoids, Thursday’s main act spent a mere 25 minutes talking about habits and motivation/rewards, an intriguing presentation, but too short. New York Times investigative reporter and author Charles Duhigg got us all excited with cute examples and videos of how changing habits can get the best out us, only to end it (with us hanging) upbruptly and saying his goodbyes. I still wonder if these hit the mark. If the idea is to motivate, excite, and give attendees a good reason to get up early after long hours at the bar, I don’t think LegalTech’s keynotes were the answer.