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Law Firm Management

July 06, 2012

Cowen Group "Critical Trends" 2Q Report Shows EDD Surge

CowenGT11Good news from The Cowen Group: Thursday, the headhunter/research consultancy released its "2012 2Q Critical Trends" report, showing a huge surge in electronic data discovery workload at both law firms and corporate counsel offices -- to the tune of 70% and 77% respectively.

That's not all the good news -- according to the 88 respondents, both types of shops are pullin' out checkbooks and buying or upgrading tech, and hiring.

Check out the story here.

Image: Monica Bay

April 24, 2012

The Elephant In The Room

RalphandelephantThe Rand Corp. has conducted an in-depth study and produced a report on the high costs of e-discovery review — concluding that it takes 73 cents out of each e-discovery dollar. One of the more provocative comments in the report concerned how certain law firms have a financial interest in the status quo of over-review of electronically stored information.

I call that the elephant in the room, which I happened to have a chance to be photographed with this weekend! For more on the interesting Rand report, check out my blog post, “Where The Money Goes” -- a Report by the Rand Corporation.

Image: Courtesy of Rollins College.

August 18, 2011

LEDES E-Discovery Codes See Initial Vendor Adoption

Bridgeway Software, Datacert, Mitratech, and TyMetrix are the first wave of law technology companies to endorse the LEDES/UTBMS e-discovery billing codes -- that's the latest from Cathi Collins of Bridgeway, who chairs the group's e-discovery subcommittee. The codes were ratified last month, posted online this week, and will be discussed in detail at next week's International Legal Technology Association conference in Nashville. The LEDES organization itself is also on the ILTA discussion agenda.

May 02, 2011

Reed Smith Hires David Cohen, Launches EDD Unit


Reed Smith
today announced that it has established  a new practice group that focuses on e-discovery and records management, lead by David Cohen, who joins the firm today as a partner. He previously was co-chair of K&L Gates' e-discovery and technology practice group.

Dcohen "With the increased prominence of e-discovery issues in litigation, we determined that the addition of an e-discovery practice group would both complement our existing litigation practice and provide additional value to our clients," said Colleen Davies, chair of the firm's  global litigation department.

Cohen is based in the firm's Pittsburgh office, and will now serve as national discovery counsel in many cases, represent companies in complex litigation matters and counsel clients on records management and litigation readiness, the firm explains.

He is past chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association's Technology Utilization Committee and past chair of the litigation technologies subcommittee of the litigation section of the American Bar Association. He serves on the advisory board of Georgetown's Advanced E-discovery Institute.

See also: Reed Smith Creates E-Discovery Practice With Hire of K&L Gates Partner (The Legal Intelligencer)

Photo: Reed & Smith


April 26, 2011

Yeah, Right: EDD Took Down Howrey

Ruyak_robert_06 Our former ALM colleague, Ashby Jones, has been tracking Howrey's implosion for the Wall Street Journal on its Law Blog. A recent post caught my eye, with the headline "CEO Ruyak Partly Blames Contingency-Fees, Discovery Vendors, for Howrey's Fall."  Whaaaaat? 

Jones reports that his colleague Vanessa O'Connell interviewed Robert Ruyak (right) last March, shortly before the firm voted to dissolve. The firm, at its peak, had a roster of about 750 lawyers, and used the slogan "In Court Every Day," to frame itself as a "go-to" lit and IP practice in the U.S. and Europe, she reported.

Ruyak said the slowdown in the litigation market in 2008-09 brought swings in firm profits, triggering defections, and with clients looking to trim costs, the firm tok on more contingency cases, she noted. Another factor was the rise of third party EDD specialists offering lower rates. With the firm's urban operations, it couldn't compete, he told O'Connell.

Commenters weren't kind:

"Shouldn't the Journal be analyzing some of these answers? If what he says in true, every big firm would be collapsing."  —dc

"Funny, I thought it was these big firms that hired the e-discovery consultants." —Utilto

Continue reading "Yeah, Right: EDD Took Down Howrey" »

June 06, 2008

"Sell Your Tech," with Doug Caddell

Caddell

A slight diversion from EDD, if you will indulge me for a moment, to share my excitement about a great program and podcast:

Our June edition of Law Technology Now podcasts features Doug Caddell, CIO of Foley & Lardner, who discusses "Sell Your Tech" -- how law firms can no longer just market their lawyers, they must use their technology tools as well to win, and keep, clients.

Caddell wrote this cover story last year, on this topic, which will also be the cornerstone of our upcoming "FutureTech" track at LegalTech West Coast. The FutureTech track will also include a Green Law panel; and a "TomorrowLand" (with a hat tip to Disneyland) program featuring six industry leaders, whose presentations will be recorded for a special "six-pack" Law Technology Now podcast series in July.

Bluearc_4 The FutureTrack program, as well as the June and July podcasts, are sponsored by BlueArc, a San Jose, Calif.-based company that offers

Continue reading ""Sell Your Tech," with Doug Caddell " »

June 02, 2008

Can You Adapt?

Cover Story: Law Technology News
June 2008

By Monica Bay

Adapt Electronic data discovery is not just raising havoc with trial strategies, risk management decisions, litigation budgets, and document retention policies, it’s also uprooting traditional support staff job descriptions in law firms, corporate law departments and vendor shops.

With EDD now a $2 billion industry that is expected to double by next year, according to the 2007 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey, there's a lot of chaos as organizations try to select and use the sophisticated new technology that is necessary to conduct discovery in almost any litigation. Many trial lawyers and paralegals simply do not understand technology (and don't want to), while many IT professionals do not understand the nuances of law.

But for firms and their clients to succeed, there is no choice — they simply must adapt — and that includes redefining responsibilities. Traditional support staff roles that segregate tasks into legal (paralegals who handle document coding, deposition summaries, managing exhibits) and IT (harnessing the hardware and software) are about as useful today as floppy disks. Roles are blurring, and new titles are showing up on business cards. And there is a lot of opportunity for the ambitious.

Over the last five years, one definite trend has emerged: new roles for lawyers — as trial support staff. Firms are hiring non-partner-track staff attorneys to oversee EDD operations; using partners as ombudspersons to interface between trial lawyers and support staff; establishing e-discovery practice areas; and even spinning off subsidiary EDD companies.

Phoenix consultant Michael Arkfeld,* a former federal civil litigator, says many trial lawyers are eager to delegate anything to do with e-discovery. They are relying upon vendors, consultants and designated staff attorneys "to provide the magic wand to make it happen properly," he says. "Generally, every firm has at least one or two attorney 'champions' they rely upon to handle EDD matters. They are extremely valuable and rare."

David Baker*, chair of Chicago-based consultancy Baker Robbins & Co. (www.brco.com), is among the many observers who see more lawyers jumping to EDD management roles in law firms. What's in it for the firms? Trial lawyers want consulting-level assistance, not just technical information, he explains. They want their trial support team to understand the litigation process, deadlines, and strategies.

Continue reading "Can You Adapt? " »

April 30, 2008

A Bit Off-Topic But $$ Always Interesting!

MoneyOur Incisive colleagues in London have created a blog in the wake of Linklaters' decision to hike it's pay bands, and other UK firms resistance to following suit. New associates are now up to  £66K.

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