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The eDiscovery Paradigm Shift

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

StoredIQ Reinvents Itself in a Big Data Way

Over the past five (5) years StoredIQ has had more than its fair share of ups and downs.  Founded in 2001, venture backed StoredIQ began to establish itself as a "next generation" player in the eDiscovery software market around 2005.  However, after being overlooked for a large consolidation move in 2009, StoredIQ seemed to loose its way and couldn't figure out if they were in the Information Governance market competing with Autonomy, IBM and Symantec or in the eDiscovery Early Case Assessment (ECA) market competing with Clearwell Systems.

2010 became a pivotal year as they brought on Phil Myers as the new CEO.  With 29 years of experience in the technology industry and having managed three successful start-up companies, Phil made adjustments in personal, mission and strategy and got StoredIQ back in the game.

In 2011, Phil hired Tom Bishop as The new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).  Bishop was the former chief technology officer of IBM Tivoli. After Tivoli, Bishop served as CTO of VIEO, Inc., where he was named “Chief Technology Officer of the Year” by InfoWorld magazine vice president and CTO at BMC Software where he was responsible for product vision and direction, including advancing Atrium, the company’s innovative open-architected foundation for Business Service Management solutions.  Tom was the right technology leader at the right time to figure out what the market wanted StoredIQ to be and how to get them there technically.

Throughout 2011, StoredIQ executives met with customers, prospects and other industry thought leaders to try and establish their corporate identity.  More importantly, they tried to figure out if they were going to build product to compete in the Information Governance or eDiscovery markets.  Where they ended up may surprise some of you.

Named by Gartner as a 2012 "Cool Vendor" in Risk Management, Privacy and Compliance, StoredIQ ended up in the middle of "Big Data" with its new mission to enable organizations to actively manage their vast and ever-increasing amounts of unstructured data.  So, with a slight twist on the approach and who they are now selling to, StoredIQ actually ended up in both Information Governance and eDiscovery.  You see, at the root of any Information Governance or eDiscovery project or process is the ability to identify, collect, index and analyze Big Data.  And, that's what StoredIQ is now doing.
I had the pleasure of spending an hour today with Phil Myers, StoredIQ's CEO and Amir Jaibaji, Vice President of Product Management for StoredIQ.  They walked me through their "new strategy" and gave me a quick demo of DataIQ, their recently announced data analytics module that provides users with an exceptionally unique visual overview and approach to analyze unstructured data.  It’s very visual, fast and provides an abundance of information that you probably didn’t even know that you had about your data.  Whether you are an analyst in the Information Technology (IT) department managing storage utilization, a risk manager looking for “open shares” in SharePoint or a General Counsel trying to forecast the cost of pending litigation, DataIQ is just what you have been hoping for. It was impressive to say the least and  if it is any indication of where Myers and Bishop have taken StoredIQ, they have not only reinvented themselves, they had established themselves as a formidable player in the Big Data analytics market.

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan  to spend more time with StoredIQ and will report on what I find.  My expectations are very high.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Professionalism and eDiscovery: Going beyond ethical considerations

During the last few years, there has been much discussion, and even some interesting debates, about ethical eDiscovery issues.  Much focus has been on the topics of duties to preserve records, duties to disclose records, and the state Rules of Professional Conduct.  But, I believe it is not sufficient to consider only the ethical issues involved.  We must also focus on the professionalism of eDiscovery.  Some of these professionalism issues are raised in discovery generally, but others are unique to eDiscovery.

I believe it nearly universally true that the most professional and ethical lawyers are usually the best lawyers.  They have either long ago abandoned, or never acquired a taste for, unprofessional conduct.  They have mastered their craft and find no use for unprofessional behavior.  The same could be said for business leaders; if they are not professional, others would rather do a business deal with someone else.

Attorney Civility Rules

Some states have developed civility rules that are guidelines only.  These rules are not intended to be enforced against lawyer conduct the way that the Rules of Professional Conduct are enforced.  However, these are excellent guidelines for ensuring that lawyers maintain professionalism in eDiscovery.

Included in New York’s Standards of Civility rules are standards are obligations to be “courteous and civil in all professional dealings with other persons.”  This includes a requirement that lawyers “should act in a civil manner regardless of the ill feelings that their clients may have toward others” and “[l]awyers can disagree without being disagreeable.”
The New York Standards of Civility also state that “[a] lawyer should not use any aspect of the litigation process, including discovery and motion practice, as a means of harassment or for the purpose of unnecessarily prolonging or increasing litigation expenses.”  ESI requests are particularly prone to abuse in this area as it can be used to harass and increase litigation expenses.

Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten
In Robert Fulghum’s popular essay about what he learned in kindergarten, he discussed a few basic principles that both lawyers and businesses should abide by.  Included among those are basic professional principles like “share everything,” “play fair,” “don’t hit people,” “clean up your own mess,” “don’t take things that aren’t yours,” “say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody,” and “live a balanced life.”  A healthy dose of these basic ideas would serve the lawyer well in eDiscovery practice.  Although the pressing matter may seem most important at the time, conduct will create a reputation, and an unprofessional reputation is difficult to lose once it is gained. You can play fair while vigorously representing your client.

What Professionalism Should Govern eDiscovery Practice?

In eDiscovery circles, there is much discussion taking place about “proportionality.”  Essentially, this is an issue of reasonableness.  I believe reasonableness is also an issue of professionalism.  Recall that the scope of discovery is what is “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 26(b)(1).  By narrowly tailoring requests to what is reasonable will enhance eDiscovery professionalism. eDiscovery costs should never be used as a way to bludgeon the opposing party into submission.   If ESI the scope of a request can be narrowed without harming a client’s case, then it should be narrowed.  The New York Rules of Civility state that “[a] lawyer should avoid discovery that is not necessary to obtain facts or perpetuate testimony or that is designed to place an undue burden or expense on a party.”

While many crack jokes about the professionalism and ethics of lawyers, most lawyers I know take both ethics and professionalism very seriously.  I believe that the best lawyers are not only ethical but highly professional as well.  Some clients act professionally as well, while others may will push for unprofessional practices.  It is the lawyer’s job to reign in his or her client.  While a lawyer must zealously advocate for a client, no case or client is ever worth squandering one’s reputation.  Never allow a client to cause you to do something unethical or unprofessional.

Lawyers involved in eDiscovery should strive for not only meeting the basic Rules of Professional Conduct but also the Rules of Civility.  By doing so, we serve the judicial system, our colleagues and our clients with integrity.

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X1 Discovery and the National White Collar Crime Center Partner to Fight Cybercrime with Cutting Edge Support and Training for Internet and Social Media Investigations

Potential evidence of white collar crimes is becoming more prevalent in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  In fact, industry analysts indicate that electronic evidence generated from social networks is relevant to just about every criminal and civil legal matter and therefore must be routinely addressed by law enforcement, regulatory agencies, law firms, and corporate risk professionals.

In a recent LexisNexis survey of 1200 law enforcement professionals focusing on the rising prominence of social media evidence, 67 percent of respondents believed social media evidence helps solve crimes more quickly. However, the respondents also pointed to lack of training and technical familiarity as preventing their more widespread access to social media evidence.

X1 Discovery, the leader in software solutions for social media and website evidence search and collection, along with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), an internationally recognized leader in education and support in the prevention and prosecution of high tech crime, have announced a strategic partnership to provide training curriculum and support to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies worldwide, as well as to legal, corporate discovery and risk professionals. The partnership will focus on promoting best practices and advanced techniques for website and social media evidence collection and analysis, based upon the X1 Social Discovery software.

This curriculum will provide best practices and new methods to collect, search, preserve and manage social media evidence from social media networking sites and other websites in a scalable, instantaneous and forensically sound manner. Participants will learn about specific cases involving critical social media data; find out how to collect and index thousands of social media items in minutes; understand and identify key metadata unique to social media; learn how to better authenticate social media evidence in a safe and defensible manner; and more. The X1 Social Discovery software is designed to effectively address social media content from the leading social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, it can crawl, capture and instantly search content from any website. Unlike archiving and image capture solutions, X1 Social Discovery provides for a “matter-centric” workflow and defensible chain of custody from search and collection through production in searchable native format, while preserving critical metadata not possible through image capture, printouts, or raw data archival of RSS feeds.

The use of social media as the preferred form of communications for all business both legal and illegal is going to grow at an accelerating rate. Therefore, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies worldwide, as well as to legal and corporate HR and  risk professionals are going to have to be prepared to collect and analyze this electronic information. The partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center and X1 Discovery is definitely a ray of hope for those organization that are in desperate need of assistance to deal with this growing problem.

You may view the press release on Reuters announcing this partnership at:

For more information about X1 Discovery, you can visit their website at:  For more information about the National White Collar Crime Center, you can visit:

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