E-Discovery Is More Costly, Burdensome Than You Think

Once upon a time, it was widely believed that electronic discovery would streamline litigation, making it faster, easier, less burdensome, and less expensive. So, now that we are some years into the e-discovery experience, has the prediction come true? Sadly, not necessarily.

While it is true that it can be easier to retrieve information electronically by using search terms, rather than sending teams of associates into warehouses to rummage through boxes of documents, that is just the tip of the iceberg when considering the overall e-discovery effort. And even if vast quantities of electronic information can be brought up based on a simple search, that information had to be harvested at the front-end, and ultimately will need to be reviewed at the back-end.

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When Should An Attorney Dump His BlackBerry For An iPhone?

I have a confession to make: I am addicted to my BlackBerry. Indeed, the term “CrackBerry” certainly applies in my case. Ever since my wireless signal was established years ago, I have been mainlining my BlackBerry on a relatively constant basis.

There was a time that BlackBerry really was the only real PDA game in town at my firm. However, more recently, we have opened up the iPhone option, and as time passes, more and more of my colleagues have been weaning themselves off the BlackBerry and migrating to the iPhone. What’s more, some of my colleagues have been encouraging me (rather strenuously) to change my PDA drug of choice, turn my back on my beloved BlackBerry, and go the iPhone route myself.

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Second Circuit Addresses DMCA Safeharbor in Landmark Case

A new Second Circuit decision could change the way some service providers conduct business on the internet, imposing a greater burden to assess specific infringing activity.

In Viacom v. YouTube, Viacom sought $1 billion in damages for direct and secondary copyright infringement based on claims that its users improperly uploaded thousands of Viacom’s videos. The district previously held that YouTube was protected against claims of copyright infringement under the DMCA safe harbor primarily because it had insufficient notice of the particular infringement at issue. Essentially, it held that under the DMCA, service providers did not have a responsibility to identify which of its users’ postings infringed a copyright.

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Nationwide Electronic Surveillance Plan Revived In UK

The UK is working on proposals for national electronic surveillance that could monitor every electronic message sent and received by its citizens.

This follows the 2008 abandonment of a gigantic government database that would have tracked UK phone and email communications, the AP reports. It appears that the UK government is back at it now, but perhaps with a somewhat different approach.

Recent plans were reportedly disclosed to the Internet Service Providers’ Association by Britain’s Home Office. The Home Office has not said much other than to say that an announcement would initially need to come from Parliament — and perhaps relatively soon. There have not been disclosures about how a new government surveillance service would function, or whether it would be subject to judicial oversight.

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Online Dating Sites Vow To Protect Users From Sex Predators

According to press reports, online dating websites eHarmony, Match.com and Sparks Networks have entered into a joint statement of business principles to protect users from sexual predators and to help prevent identity theft and other scams. California Attorney General Kamala Harris followed up on this development by stating that “consumers should be able to use websites without fear of being scammed or targeted,” in apparent recognition that a woman was assaulted on a date that came about through an online dating site.

The companies reportedly have agreed to use national sex-offender registries to check on subscribers, to quickly respond to reported abuses, and to give Internet safety guidance to members. The dating sites will also provide reports of suspected criminal activity to the Attorney General’s office.

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FTC Released its Final Report Today on Best Practices for Businesses to Protect Consumer Privacy

Today, the Federal Trade Commission released its final report titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations For Businesses and Policymakers.” http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/03/privacyframework.shtm

The report details best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of consumers. Recognizing the burden on small businesses, the FTC says that the framework should not apply to companies that collect and do not transfer only non-sensitive data from fewer than 5,000 consumers a year.

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E-discovery Taxation Costs Slashed by the 3rd Circuit

Previously, we reported that a federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania held that the two prevailing defendants may recover more than $365,000 in e-discovery costs because such costs are the modern-day equivalent of duplication costs. That decision has now been vacated and remanded back to the District Court to re-tax costs. According to the panel, only the scanning of hard copy documents, the conversion of native file to TIFF and the transfer of VHS tapes to DVD involved taxable “copying” costs, which are recoverable.

Domain Name Disputes Set All-Time Record

One might think that as the Internet matures, domain name disputes might dissipate. Not so!

Indeed, an all-time record 2,764 cybersquatting cases pertaining to 4,781 domain names were filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO) in 2011.

These filings were made in accordance with procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and represent an increase of 2.5% and 9.4%, respectively, above previous record levels in 2010 and 2009.

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Landmark E-Discovery Ruling Approves Computer-Assisted ESI Review

It’s happened: In a landmark e-discovery ruling, a federal judge has explicitly approved of computer-assisted review, also known as predictive coding (the use of sophisticated algorithms to enable a computer to determine relevance based on training by a human reviewer), to search for potentially responsive electronically stored information, or ESI.

Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck, of the Southern District of New York, concluded “that computer-assisted review is an acceptable way to search for relevant ESI in appropriate cases” in Monique Da Silva Moore, et al. v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Group, a gender-discrimination case.

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Is Your Company At Risk For A Security Breach?

Business want to know whether they are potential targets for security breaches, and if so, they seek to identify the types of electric records that may be at risk.

The Trustwave 2012 Global Security Report sheds some light on these concerns by identifying top data-security risk areas. Highlights of the report include the following findings:

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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