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October 12, 2012

How to Walk Upright With Digital Evidence

1012ltnp21From time to time, LTN columnist, trial attorney, and E-Discovery Special Master Craig Ball likes to rail at his fellow travelers who have passed the Bar that their legal education is far from over.

In this month's "Ball in Your Court column," Ball traces what he sees as the necessary evolution from barrister as bare, forked creature who trafficked in paper and banker's boxes, Homo Erectus, to legal starchild of the digital age, "Homo Electronicus" (cue tympanies) — who not only totes a tablet but knows exactly where the data entered into it resides (and what to do with it). Once again, it's time for attorneys to get schooled in technology.

Continue reading "How to Walk Upright With Digital Evidence" »

July 11, 2012

Profiles & Pontifications

Christy Headshot for Trustee Photo (00003796)Many thanks to Christy Burke, (left) president of New York City-based PR and marketing firm Burke & Company, for inviting me to participate in her series of essays about/from industry leaders that has been running in Burke's "Legal Technology Observer" blog. Burke's blog is part of the Legal IT Professionals website.

Her series of guest observers — some write, some are interviewed — includes attorney/consultant/special master Craig Ball (LTN's EDD columnist); attorney/consultant Robert Ambrogi (LTN's "Web Watch" columnist and Lawyer2Lawyer podcaster on the Legal Talk Network); Randi Mayes, ILTA's executive director; and many other luminaries, including Jeffrey Brandt, Mary Abraham, Ron Friedmann, Kevin O'Keefe, Sharon Nelson and John Simek. Next week, Burke, will post a "time capsule PDF containing all the posts" that will be available for free download.

For my essay, Burke send me a list of questions and then opened the starting gate. Here's the end result, with themes you will probably recognize from some of my prior rants commentaries.

Meanwhile, speaking of the Legal Talk Network, Lu Ann Reeb and the gang have created a "Featured Lawyers" section its website, with mini-podcasts and profiles of the attorneys who host podcasts. Already produced: Tom Mighell, Dennis Kennedy, Jared Correia, Marsha Kaazarosian, and moi; others will be added in the near future.

Image: Christy Burke

April 06, 2012

Ball in Arkfeld's Court: Notes on Forensics

Racket_ballCraig Ball, computer forensics and EDD special master and author of LTN's "Ball in Your Court" column, was guest lecturer for the latest session of Arkfeld's Online E-Discovery and Digital Evidence Course. In addition to fielding questions and comments, he delivered a fast-paced and informative PowerPoint primer on computer forensics and electronic evidence.

Here are some quips and insights:

• Sometimes there's no loss of "information payload" producing images in .tiff, especially for "unsophisticated clients who have a lot of money to waste ... if you don't mind the bloated format."

• When Arkfeld mentioned that even when both sides agree under Rule 34 to produce in PDF or .tiff, many courts still frown upon it. Ball offered his own Rule 34 observation, "Just because two lawyers agree they can fly doesn't mean they should head for the roof."

Continue reading "Ball in Arkfeld's Court: Notes on Forensics" »

February 06, 2012

How Over-Preservation Starts and How to Stop It

Email_police_line400"Let's keep it anyway, just to be safe." According to Craig Ball, this simple but mistaken mantra for lawyers is a password to open the door to over-preservation.

Looking at email preservation, Ball details how understanding the mechanics of the process can jump-start proportionality in e-discovery before parties ever enter a courtroom. Ball looks at several options parties take when preserving email — from doing nothing and relying on message journaling or archiving systems to custodial-directed holds to "grabbing all mail" in one fell swoop — and weighs their attendant risks, benefits, and potential costs.

What's your firm's approach to email preservation? If your answer is "I don't know," read this month's LTN "Ball in Your Court" column, "What Causes Lawyers to Over-Preserve?" to persuade you to change your response.

Image by biscotte

December 01, 2011

The Tyranny of the Outlier


In his December column in Law Technology News, Craig Ball addresses over-production demands and how to combat them.

"Cooperation in e-discovery doesn't mean bowing to your opponent's demands for over-preservation. Instead, cooperation entails communicating relevant, reliable and specific information about systems, sources and forms to enable the other side to make responsible preservation demands … even if they won't do so."

Read the article here.

P.S. Today is the fifth "birthday" of the amended  EDD federal rules. Blow out the candles with Craig Ball here.


October 04, 2011

Craig Ball: Dancing in the Dark

Dancing Resolving form disputes early can avoid litigation missteps, says Austin-based trial lawyer and forensics/e-discovery special master Craig Ball, in the October issue of Law Technology News.

He offers suggestions on how the parties -- and the court -- can come to agreements on document productions and identify problems early, before they become costly. 

Image: Getty

August 06, 2011

Ball in Your Court: "Cloud Cover"

Clouds In the August edition of Law Technology News, our e-discovery columnist Craig Ball says "the cloud is re-inventing electronic data discovery in marvelous new ways while most lawyers still grapple with the old. The cloud will make EDD easier and cheaper while improving the quality and efficiency of preservation, search, review and production."

Check out the article, here.

Do you agree? Disagree? Hit "Comment" and let us know!


July 27, 2011

Awards & Accolades

 Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 7.32.11 AMGood news! Our Law Technology News team has been honored in three competitions! We just heard that we won two silver awards in the American Society of Business Publication Editors' Northeast Regional 2011 contest — for our EDD Showcase (special section) and Craig Ball’s “Ball in Your Court” (contributed column — his seventh ASBPE!). Art director Shane DeLeer’s wonderful “Help, Please!” cover also is up for a national ASBPE design award that will be announced next week at ASBPE's national convention.

LTN also received our first award for digital reporting — a bronze "Tabbie" from the Trade Association Business Publications International competition, in its "Online Feature" category for my report from New Orlean’s “Green Matters” conference about the intersection of legal, government, and corporate forces in efforts to combat global warming.

Fastcase50Badge And we were delighted that Fastcase has named Web Watch columnist Bob Ambrogi and moi to its inaugural “Fastcase 50” roster. The list, says Fastcase (a national legal research service), “recognizes  today’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders in the law.” The Washington, D.C.-based company invited the legal community to submit nominations and then chose their first winners. Our former colleague Ashby Jones (now at the Wall Street Journal), and LTN board members/regular contributors Catherine Sanders Reach, Ernie Svenson, David Whelan, and John Waters also made the list!)  

Humble thanks to the organizations for the very appreciated recognition of our team's work!

June 21, 2011

Congrats to Craig Ball - 7th ASBPE

We just got word that "Ball in Your Court," by Craig Ball, is a finalist in the 2011 American Society of Business Publications Editors awards. (We won't know until the ceremonies later this summer whether he took gold, silver, or bronze in the Northeast region, "Regular Column, Contributed" category.) Here are links to the two columns we submitted in the category: "Ubiquitous Databases," (December 2010) and "Is it Malpractice," (November 2010).

This will mark Craig's seventh ASBPE, and he also has won three similar awards from the Trade Association Business Publications International competition. Congrats!

Our October "E-Discovery Showcase" also is a finalist for best "Special Section" (Northeast region). The showcase was lead off by Anne Kershaw & Joseph Howie's "Crash or Soar," addressing whether the legal community would accept "predictive coding" (a hot topic that will be explored in our August 2011 issue as well). It also included Ball's über-delicious take on the aburd machinations that Judge Paul Grimm had to address in Victory Stanley II ("Blow Out"); as well as Kenneth Jones' "Choose Wisely," on selecting EDD vendors, and Ball's BIYC column, "Executing E-mail."

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 9.39.18 AMWe are also thrilled that Shane DeLeers' July 2010 cover is a national finalist in the "Tabloid Cover" category. (He also won a design award from GD USA for our December, 2010 cover!)

Image: LTN

June 01, 2011

Double Exposure

Ballcraigsmall Craig Ball gives advice that might surprise some of his regular readers: In his June 2011 Ball in Your Court column in Law Technology News, the Austin-based litigator/attorney says firms can perform single drive imaging with minimal risk. It's a ministerial task when performed by a a reasonably competent person, says Ball, left.

Intrigued? Read the full story here.

Photo: Monica Bay

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