Northern Kentucky E-Discovery Symposium Post 01

Fantastic turnout at the Northern Kentucky Law Review’s Spring Symposium entitled “E-Discovery: Navigating the Changing Ethical and Practical Expectations.” I just assumed that this was for the general public’s consumption, but it looks like the entire student body of the Chase College of Law turned out. Someone mentioned they were limited to 180 seats in the conference room and they were all full.

I am very encouraged by this turnout. I know that most of the law students were probably “highly encouraged” to attend, but this is the future of the profession, and these are future litigators, and if they can get exposed to e-discovery basics while they are still impressionable as students, then that gives me hope that the profession of law will eventually appreciate a comfort level with the world of technology.

First up with the obligatory “intro to e-discovery” presentation was Roland Bernier from Forensics Consulting Solutions Inc. Mr. Bernier did a tolerable job of setting the foundation for the two following panels.

After defining a few terms and running through the EDRM, Mr. Bernier had a couple of great points that I’ll paraphrase:

Most lawyers consider “data” to be something only generated by accounting programs or spreadsheets or something similar. But today there are so many automated processes that constantly create relevant data that are never considered.

From a distance, the worlds of IT and law should have a lot in common – they are both built on logic and established structures. But these two disciplines have so much trouble communicating. Actually, IT is a mix of multiple disciplines and the legal world many need may need individual disciplines for each litigation matter.

Mr. Bernier referred several times to George Paul’s excellent book “Foundations of Digital Evidence” and repeated Paul’s point that established canons such as the “best evidence rule” are broken when it comes to pure digital evidence.