Giving E-Discovery the Finger
Hey, I see all the eye rolling, but before you think I'm just another geek who's slavishly joined Jobs' conga line, understand that I'm not talking about the iPad per se. Sure, it's a gorgeous piece of digital hand candy and, like the Kindle, it will influence technology's trajectory in a powerful and insidious way. But, I think the influence on e-discovery will spring less from the device as from widespread acclimation to its ingenuous gestural interface on a page-sized scale.
What's been missing most in e-discovery (besides lawyer competence) is the ability to emulate some of the best features of paper records, especially the ability to flip pages fast and riffle documents to gauge their consistency or relevance. Reviewing and sorting e-documents at a workstation just doesn't feel right, and it makes lawyers long for bankers boxes. But if you could flip through evidence on an iPad and use natural gestures to, say, propel non-responsive docs off-screen with a dismissive gesture or slide docs in other directions to sort them as responsive or privileged, document review would feel as natural and efficient as leafing through a stack of paper.
It won't be the iPad circa 2010 that changes the face of e-document review; but, it's the device we'll remember as the one that started it all--the device that unshackled review and let us forget it's not paper.