Legal tech companies do a pretty good job of getting angel funding, but sometimes it is harder for them to get interest from venture capitalists. Even so, the more important task for most in the sector is “access” to the market, based on interviews with several of those familiar with the current environment.
When asked about the investment climate, Roland Vogl, executive director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, said the best way to describe the current climate for legal technology companies is “sporadic.”
“There is no trend towards investment in legal tech,” he told Legaltech News. “It has always been a somewhat exotic category from a VC [venture capital] perspective, and it continues to stay that way. However, angel investors with a deep understanding of the legal space are investing in legal tech, and can get really good returns.”
“I think the outlook for legal start-ups to attract angel funding are pretty good,” he added. “There is a growing number of investors that I have met who had successful legal tech exits themselves, or were law firm managers or senior execs at the large legal information companies. I am trying to connect the start-ups with these investors, because they bring really smart money to the equation. These investors can help the start-ups tremendously not only with their investment, but also with their industry insights and connections.”
VCs, though, may not jump into legal tech startups. “For a variety of reasons there is hesitance among VCs to invest in legal tech companies,” Vogl adds. “Frequently, VCs with no background in the legal space need to be educated about the significant size of the opportunities in the legal market.”
Moreover, Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, said VCs “really don’t understand the legal tech market, but do understand the big opportunity for automation.”
“Technology is making it possible to automate almost any human job that requires thinking and analysis,” he added. “For better or worse, computers are now developing the ability to do this better than humans. So there are immense opportunities.”
He advised entrepreneurs starting legal tech companies “to position this as a disintermediation opportunity and explain the size of the market.” He also added, “VCs look for growth and sizeable markets. They look for companies that enter existing sectors and disrupt.”
From Wadhwa’s vantage point, the outlook for investment in legal tech companies is “excellent—as in many other fields.”
In addition, Vogl recalls that panelists at a Jan. 12 CodeX “Building the Legal Start-up” program explained that “lawtrepreneurs pitching VCs have to have a good explanation on the total addressable market (TAM) for VCs. The VC business model only works if it’s a very sizable market and they can make a multiple of their investment.”
“One of the legal tech investor panelists, Miriam Rivera [of Ulu Ventures], also pointed out the following: If legal tech start-up founders are lawyers that don’t have a technical background which they can leverage to build the product, they should also have a technical co-founder to increase their chances of attracting VC funding,” Vogl said.
Similarly, Jules Miller from Hire an Esquire has highlighted the necessity for legal tech companies to try to get to sales and revenue without VC funding, Vogl recalled. Perhaps, he said, they will have “a bit of friends and family/angel funding.” Under this scenario, they go to VCs to “scale and build out the business.”
“That makes a lot of sense for legal tech start-ups,” according to Vogl.
When asked about investment in legal tech startups, Joshua Kubicki, president of the Legal Transformation Institute, pointed out that generally it takes longer for legal tech startups to find their niche. “The market is still heavily fragmented,” he said. There tends to be a good amount of angel capital and seed funding available for legal tech startups, he explained.
Between the educational sessions, plethora of exhibitors, and informal receptions and gatherings, Legaltech New York can be exhilarating yet overwhelming for a first-time attendee. But with just a little preparation, you can make the most out of this unforgettable experience.
With two weeks until the conference begins, now is the time to create your strategy for maximizing your time in New York. The following 20 tips will help you take advantage of everything there is to offer while maintaining your sanity.
Set goals. The most important step you can take before you arrive is to determine what you want to learn. Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to accomplish all of your goals, so prioritize one or two.
Do your homework. Make sure you know which vendors your firm or organization uses, and ask other lawyers, IT, and staff for their thoughts on their performance. Assess their strengths and weaknesses, and identify any questions that you and your team would like answered. While at the conference, you will have access to vendor representatives who can talk you through problems and address gaps in their service.
Strategize your vendor approach. Don’t wait until you’re in the wilds of the expo hall to decide which booths to visit. With more than 170 exhibitors, it’s essential to choose your targets in advance. This way, you can make sure they align with your needs, and you’ll have enough time to learn about their products and solutions. Don’t forget to collect sales literature and business cards (and swag!) so you can follow up.
Schedule product demos. Legaltech offers a wonderful opportunity to experience new software and tools firsthand. Given the time required for the demos, try to set these sessions up in advance, if possible.
Choose your educational sessions in advance. Study the track schedule carefully and calendar all three days before you arrive. Don’t limit yourself to just one track, as there is often subject-matter crossover between tracks.
Have a back-up plan. You’ll often find that multiple interesting sessions are scheduled at the same time, so keep your backups in mind in case the one you select doesn’t live up to your expectations. Sit in an aisle seat so you can make a quick escape if necessary. Your time is too short to spend in a session that doesn’t meet your needs.
Go to the keynote panels. With so much going on, it may be tempting to skip the general sessions, but this year’s lineup promises to be exciting. More importantly, these sessions are what most attendees will be talking about, given the incredible list of speakers.
Chat with the presenters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the presenters. Many will hang around after their session for in-depth discussions.
Divide and conquer. If you’re attending Legaltech as part of a team, strategize as a team so you can cover the most ground. Debrief at the end of each day, reconfiguring your plans as necessary.
Talk to as many other attendees as possible. Some of your best resources at Legaltech will be your peers. Make time to meet them at lunch, in the expo hall, before and after sessions, or even in the elevator. Find out about their best practices and chosen tools and techniques. You never know who might be facing similar challenges or have creative solutions to your problems.
Put yourself on the A-list. Many receptions are private, though some are mentioned in the Legaltech brochure and are open to all registered attendees. Don’t be afraid to ask potential or existing vendors whether they are hosting an event.
Take notes. Whether on the back of a business card, in a voice memo, or on your tablet, record what you’ve learned. You’ll be bombarded with information, and it will be difficult to sort it out by the time you leave.
Follow the conference on social media. Stay on top of developments and alert others to your learning by posting updates on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Use the conference hashtag, #LTNY16, to join in the conversation and build connections with other attendees.
Orient yourself. Either the night before or morning of, make sure you understand the lay of the land. Know where all the sessions that you plan to attend are, as well as their backups, so you can walk around efficiently.
Bring extra business cards. You will meet more people than you expect, and you’ll want to keep in touch with many of them. Exchange cards and connect on social media, so you can make plans to meet again next year.
Dress comfortably. The days are long, and you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers in case the temperature varies from room to room.
Leave extra time for the unexpected. In years past, attendees have had to wait for hotel elevators for 15 to 20 minutes at peak times of the day. Plan accordingly.
Get some fresh air. If you need to take a break, the Hilton is near a number of other attractions: for example, you can stroll half a block to the Museum of Modern Art or half a mile to Central Park.
Get enough sleep. Each day is action-packed, and you won’t want to snooze through a session. Parties can go late into the night, but know your limits.
Reflect. While Legaltech is still fresh in your mind, create a list of to-dos so you can continue the conversations you began during the conference. Set new goals based on what you discovered, and share what you learned with the rest of your team.
Coming to Legaltech with a focused plan of attack will help you tame the chaos and ensure that you not only survive but thrive.
Amy Juers is the CEO and founder of Edge Legal Marketing.
Editor’s Note: The following article is written by one of the winners of “Call for Papers” associated with the Fifth Annual Arizona State University-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Evidence Conference. The conference hosts a competitive annual “Call for Papers” which address the progress, challenges, and future of e-discovery, digital evidence and analytics. The article below was accepted as one of four 2016 winning papers. John William Speros, author of this winning paper, will be a presenter at the conference on March 9-11, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona, at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Those interested may sign up for the conference, where until Feb.19 you can take advantage of early-bird rates.
Predictive coding and TAR technology (PC/TAR) help ameliorate a problem that denigrates civil litigation: extortion by discovery when discovery costs “ force settlements for reasons and on terms that related more to the costs of discovery than to the merits of the case.”
More specifically, when searching some particularinformation, in some particularcircumstances, as employed by someparticular people who are pursuing some particular objectives, using someparticular technologies, PC/TAR works well in some particular ways.
The problem is that while PC/TAR has been patented and promoted, it remains void of any particular definition of what it does, how to make it work and its particular limitations.
Interestingly, even without such definitions, some courts express more confidence in PC/TAR than PC/TAR’s own proponents. In the highly influentialDa Silva Moore opinion and order, for example, the court quotes a law review article [emphasis added]:
“Technology-assisted review can (and does) yield more accurate results than exhaustive manual review, with much lower effort.”
Nevertheless, the court bypassed the underlying study’s many significant constraints—not only those mentioned in the article but identified by various experts—and ignored the article’s title which was reiterated as the key conclusion [emphasis added]:
“The results support the conclusion that technology-assisted review can achieve at least as high recall as manual review…”
Therefore, idiosyncratically, the court’s opinion of what PC/TAR technology “does” was more optimistic than the article upon which the court relied.
Normally in its “gatekeeper role”—pursuant to many states’ Frye standard and the federal FRE 702,Daubert, and Kuhmo Tire—courts determine whether evidence is reliable. In Da Silva Moore, however, the court ruled that:
Federal Rule of Evidence “702 and Daubert simply are not applicable to how documents are searched for and found in discovery…”
That conclusion was criticized by various commentators and MJ Waxse, et. al, whose law review article presented his and other judges’ views that:
“[Federal] Rule [of Evidence] 702 and the Daubert standard should be applied to experts with technical expertise or knowledge pertinent to a party’s ESI search and review methodologies and who provide the court with evidence on discovery disputes involving these methods.”
In time this critical legal question will be resolved.
Assuming that PC/TAR’s reliability will be subject the courts’ Daubert review, the first question is:What is PC/TAR? After all, a common definition of PC/TAR consists of using one or more undefined strategies to pursue one or more vaguely defined objectives.
What are PC/TAR’s purported capabilities?
What are PC/TAR’s known limitations?
But even if those definitions are established, PC/TAR’s reliability faces inherent challenges akin to fingerprint impression and bullet fragment analysis which:
Jason Atchley : Legal Tech News : IoT Raises New Legal Challenges for Business
IoT Raises New Legal Challenges For Business
Privacy, security, and data ownership issues surrounding Internet of Things devices are creating a host of new legal questions and problems. Here’s what’s happening now, and what you need to know.
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Drones, wearables, the Internet of Everything: As more and more data about individuals and businesses is collected and combined, new waves of litigation and lawmaking will follow.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices represent potential points of security failures, and the data they generate or collect is raising new privacy concerns. In addition, since the IoT involves an entire value chain of hardware, software, and services, data ownership issues may arise among different parties, including the device manufacturers, software providers, service providers, end users, and others.
“As of today, information collected via devices generally can be used for almost any purpose, which is pretty scary as a consumer. It’s also scary for businesses, because there are a wide variety of instances where issues can arise,” said James Goodnow, a partner at law firm Lamber Goodnow, in an interview.
For example, some businesses are encouraging employees to use Fitbits or other health wearables. Those companies are often focused on the positive aspects of device use, such as wellness (which can potentially reduce the healthcare premiums they pay and reduce the number of sick days employees use). However, the same organizations may not have considered the potential risks of embracing such devices.
“Right now, it’s probably not a good idea for employers to collect that information, because the laws are unclear and you may be setting yourself up for problems,” said Goodnow. “If you’re collecting health information and it’s decided the person needs to be terminated, you’ve exposed your company to liability. The information you’ve collected may show a disability by tracking heart rate or activity or that someone isn’t as healthy as they should be.”
If it is determined that the employee is a member of a protected class, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then unlawful discrimination allegations may arise. So, before being seduced by the potential benefits of IoT devices, make sure you also understand the potential risks.
More Data, Less Privacy
There is no shortage of gadgets generating and collecting data. In fact, Gartner estimates that 6.4 billion “things” will be used worldwide in 2016. In the rush to introduce the latest and greatest devices, manufacturers may not have adequately contemplated privacy and security issues.
For example, VTech is being sued in Illinois for fraud and deceptive business practices, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, breach of implied warranty, and negligence. Its product was allegedly vulnerable to a SQL injection attack that allowed hackers to steal the personal information of 2.8 million parents and children.
New classes of devices, including wearables and drones, are collecting information that may not have been available previously, or may not have been cost-effective to procure, particularly in a persistent way, in the past.
“Consumers are going to be providing information to products in a new way that companies have not thought of. Those companies may not have thought about privacy the same way an Internet-facing line of business in the same organization would,” said Nicholas Merker, co-chair of the data security and privacy practice at law firm Ice Miller, in an interview. “If you’ve never captured information in your product and you want to start now, you’re going to have some of the problems folks had in the Internet era when they started doing the same thing.”
Disclosure — explaining how the information generated or collected by the device will be used — is another consideration device manufacturers and their customers may be overlooking.
“Disclosures are about what [the product] is and how to use it, and not focused on how data is used and how it’s collected,” said Paul Bond, co-leader of the information technology, privacy, and data security group at law firm Reed Smith, in an interview. “That’s especially true for devices that have no keyboard or interface, so the thought is, it’s not collecting [personally identifiable information].”
Further, the data generated or gathered by IoT devices may be demanded in a lawsuit as part of “any electronically stored information,” which is why companies should consider whether they want to store such information in the first place — and if so, what the potential risks might be.
“If you’re forking information over about your employees, you’re going to have some pretty unhappy employees and potentially more liability arising from that,” said Goodnow.
And, of course, IoT devices are a new playground for hackers — cars, medical devices, and even guns are potentially vulnerable. In some cases, those devices may be used as a way of infecting other connected systems, which means companies may find themselves liable for issues they didn’t even anticipate.
For its 2015 IT Risk/Reward Barometer, nonprofit IT industry association ISACA surveyed 7,016 of its members in 140 countries in August and September 2015. The vast majority of IT professionals polled (77%) said that the IoT has benefited their company. However, 73% do not believe IT industry security standards sufficiently address the risks. Further, 49% of respondents said they do not believe their IT department is even aware of all the connected devices in their organization. Those are the kinds of vulnerabilities that can expose companies to potential liability.
Data Ownership Rights May Arise
Individuals like to think they own their own data, but in the US, consumers and business users are freely trading it for the privilege of using a product or service. Contracts, including end-user license agreements (EULAs), define who owns the data — which is another reason not to mindlessly rip open a package or click on an “I agree” button.
And, because IoT devices operate as part of an ecosystem, and many of the devices are being designed to communicate with each other, data ownership can become a very real issue. In fact, even farmers are being advised to understand data ownership issues before negotiating contracts with drone manufacturers.
Is your organization encouraging employee use of IoT devices? Would you want to work for a company that asks employees to wear Fitbits or other health trackers? Is your company aware of the legal issues involved in collecting personally identifiable information from employees or customers? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
Lisa Morgan is a freelance writer who covers big data and BI for InformationWeek. She has contributed articles, reports, and other types of content to various publications and sites ranging from SD Times to the Economist Intelligent Unit. Frequent areas of coverage include … View Full Bio
The plaintiff sued the defendant in 2013, stating that he suffered dizziness and seizures after an automatic sliding glass door improperly closed and struck his head as the vessel approached Honolulu. After a two-week trial in October, a jury awarded him $21.5 million.
However, the matter did not end there. Approximately two weeks after the trial concluded, the defendants were approached by the plaintiff’s former personal assistant who informed them that the plaintiff had deliberately sabotaged the defendants’ pre-trial discovery efforts, alleging that he: (1) Deleted and/or failed to disclose the existence of emails that he knew were relevant to this lawsuit, (2) Tampered with witness testimony, (3) Fabricated and/or exaggerated the extent of his alleged injuries, and (4) Testified falsely at trial.
Through witness testimony and supporting documents from the personal assistant at an evidentiary hearing held in December, the following allegations were made:
The plaintiff panicked when he learned that he would have to produce emails responsive to certain terms and began searching for and deleting those emails over “several days”;
He instructed her to delete all email correspondence between the two of them from her computer and phone, which she proceeded to do;
He discussed hiring someone to “scrub” his computer and that claimed he had used a large magnet to damage his home office computer’s hard drive; and
He had a second personal email account that he used while she was employed as his personal assistant, but that he did not disclose this account to the defendants.
In support of her testimony, the defendants produced copies of 60 emails that she was able to recover from her computer and/or phone after she deleted them, approximately 1/3 of which contained search terms that should have triggered their production. In one of the deleted emails, the plaintiff wrote to his assistant to say he was sore after spending most of the day on a 10-foot ladder using a fire ax to chop ice that had built up over the front porch of his house, contrary to his claim of vertigo after the incident.
The plaintiff conceded that he did not produce those emails and that nearly one-third of the emails contain the Court-ordered search terms, but claimed the failure to produce these emails was not the result of misconduct on his part, but simply as part of his routine practice of clearing out his inbox.
In making her ruling, Judge Rothstein stated that “the credibility of Ms. Mizeur and Mr. Hausman is at the heart of this motion: Ms. Mizeur charges that Mr. Hausman intentionally sabotaged Defendants’ discovery efforts and is lying to cover his misconduct; Mr. Hausman charges that Ms. Mizeur is a bitter ex-employee who is lying because she wants to wreak havoc on his life. Thus, this Court must assess the credibility of Ms. Mizeur and Mr. Hausman.”
Finding the former assistant’s explanation regarding a check that she wrote to herself from the plaintiff’s account as an approved expense as “credible”, Judge Rothstein stated “[i]n short, this Court finds Ms. Mizeur to be a truthful witness.”
As for the plaintiff, not so much.
“The same cannot be said for Mr. Hausman”, Judge Rothstein stated. “As a witness, he came across evasive and untrustworthy. He appeared to weigh each answer, not for its truthfulness, but to assess whether it would damage his case. Mr. Hausman also seemed to capitalize on his alleged brain injury when it was convenient for him. He was confused or claimed memory loss when confronted with a question or exhibit that appeared to undermine his claims, yet was animated and full of information when his testimony supported his case.”
Finding “that Plaintiff did not meet his burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence that the withheld information was inconsequential”, Judge Rothstein concluded “that a miscarriage of justice occurred in this case”, vacated the judgment entered in the case and ordered a new trial.
So, what do you think? Was this sanction excessive? Is it ever too late to sanction a party for intentional spoliation of data? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.
A new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reminds business to avoid “exclusionary” or “discriminatory” uses of big data analysis. Listing many sample questions, the new report, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues,” looks at how big data is used after being collected and analyzed. The study was released this month and comments are being made in response.
“The FTC has delivered a sweeping review on how today’s data-driven marketplace poses serious risks to consumers,” Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, told Legaltech News. He added, “The commission’s message is clear—companies must proceed with caution as they use consumer surveillance tools made possible in today’s ‘big data’ era. Every consumer should be alarmed about the host of little publicly- known practices that can harm our credit, employment and privacy.”
With the new report, the FTC “is bringing a much needed 21st century update on how it will enforce important consumer protection laws,” according to Chester.
Still, he said the FTC should be encouraging Congress to update the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other laws to prevent “high-tech discriminatory profiling…. Even with Congress unlikely to do anything that opposes the powerful business data lobby, the FTC should have acknowledged that it doesn’t have the regulatory clout to really protect consumers.”
Basically, the study looks at risks that “could result from biases or inaccuracies about certain groups, including more individuals mistakenly denied opportunities based on the actions of others, exposing sensitive information, creating or reinforcing existing disparities, assisting in the targeting of vulnerable consumers for fraud, creating higher prices for goods and services in lower-income communities and weakening the effectiveness of consumer choice,” according to an FTC statement.
The study also includes several questions companies should be asking themselves. Ones on legal compliance include:
If you compile big data for others who will use it for eligibility decisions (such as on credit, employment, insurance, housing, government benefits), are you complying with the accuracy and privacy provisions of the FCRA?
If you receive big data products from another entity that you will use for eligibility decisions, are you complying with the provisions applicable to users of consumer reports?
If you are a creditor using big data analytics in a credit transaction, are you complying with the requirement to provide statements of specific reasons for adverse action under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act?
If you use big data analytics in a way that might adversely affect people in their ability to obtain credit, housing, or employment, are you treating people differently based on a prohibited basis, such as race or national origin?
Do your policies, practices or decisions have an adverse effect or impact on a member of a protected class, and if they do, are they justified by a legitimate business need that cannot reasonably be achieved by means that are less disparate in their impact?
Are you maintaining reasonable security over consumer data?
Are you undertaking reasonable measures to know the purposes for which your customers are using your data?
If you know that your customer will use your big data products to commit fraud, do not sell your products to that customer. If you have reason to believe that your data will be used to commit fraud, ask more specific questions about how your data will be used.
If you know that your customer will use your big data products for discriminatory purposes, do not sell your products to that customer.
In the report, the FTC also predicted that big data “will continue to grow in importance, and it is undoubtedly improving the lives of underserved communities in areas such as education, health, local and state services, and employment.”
“The Commission will continue to monitor areas where big data practices could violate existing laws, including the FTC Act, the FCRA, and ECOA, and will bring enforcement actions where appropriate,” the FTC added. “In addition, the Commission will continue to examine and raise awareness about big data practices that could have a detrimental impact on low-income and underserved populations and promote the use of big data that has a positive impact on such populations. Given that big data analytics can have big consequences, it is imperative that we work together—government, academics, consumer advocates, and industry—to help ensure that we maximize big data’s capacity for good while identifying and minimizing the risks it presents.”
Furthermore, the FTC asked businesses if their data model account for biases. “Companies should therefore think carefully about how the data sets and the algorithms they use have been generated. Indeed, if they identify potential biases in the creation of these data sets or the algorithms, companies should develop strategies to overcome them,” the FTC said.
In one instance, Google changed its interview and hiring process to ask more “behavioral” questions and focus less on academic grades after discovering that replicating its existing definitions of a “good employee” was resulting in a “homogeneous” tech workforce, the FTC noted.
It’s crunch time in January leading up to Legaltech New York—do you have what it takes to stand out in the crowd? Below is a compilation of seven legal technology marketers’ ideas on how you can be heard above the noise to have a successful Legaltech.
Valerie Chan, Founder, Plat4orm PR:
1. Review your LTNY game plan to see where the holes are. Are your messages compelling? Did you figure out each logistic? Is there a backup plan in case something fails?
2. Schedule LTNY meetings now. Don’t wait until the last minute. By mid-January, LTNY attendees know whom they are going to meet with, and available time slots have been filled. Reach out now to have the most productive schedule.
3. Get your most important news out in January. Don’t let your news get lost at LTNY. LTNY attendees often backfill their dance cards with the most “compelling” vendors by checking out the news before the show.
4. Analyze the competition to stand out. What are the holes in their marketing messages? What do you need to tweak to differentiate yourself?
5. Have a post-LTNY plan. Make sure your hard work pays off. After LTNY, if you plan correctly, leads turn into conversions.
Amy Juers, Founder and CEO, Edge Legal Marketing:
With a plethora of exhibitors at Legaltech one might find it hard to overcome another’s hype and noise, but here are a few strategies and tactics to help raise above the noise.
Get started early: Before the show let your targets know where to find you and what you’ll offer to them at Legaltech. Make sure your company’s content and “elevator pitch” is clear and succinct. Put your editorial plan together for blog and social media posts as well as email campaigns. Write all your content in advance. Schedule meetings with your clients, prospects, vendor partners and the media now.
At the show: Set high priority to the people that bring the most to your company. Bring a lot of business cards! Make sure everyone knows the pitch and is comfortable demonstrating your software. Take notes when talking to people, be sincere and do something to make their visit to your booth memorable.
Afterwards: Categorize your leads and assign them to a salesperson. Implement a post-show campaign and make sure it includes a personal touchpoint. Some ideas for post-show communications include inviting them to a webinar or product demonstration, sending a white paper that addresses the tech issue at hand or explains your product or service more, or a simple hand-written note demonstrating the lost art of communication.
Christy Burke, President and Founder, Burke & Company:
“The secret to standing out amid the noise at Legaltech 2016 is not really about noise, it’s about focus. Communicate with the people who matter most to your business and use the show as a magnet to draw them in closer.
Before Legaltech, reach out to customers, prospects, suspects (who may become prospects) and the media. Tell them what will be new or interesting about your software and services at the show. Invite them to a demo, meal or coffee during Legaltech to touch base so you can educate them more. LegalTech buyers are sophisticated consumers, so the more they know about your technology and the people behind it, the better. Then, be sure to follow up with them thoroughly and promptly after the show. Then, you can make plenty of noise when you close a bunch of deals resulting from your efforts at Legaltech 2016.”
Andrea Johnson, Marketing Consultant:
Whether you are a marketing manager planning your company’s tradeshow booth or an LTNY attendee, your goals are probably similar: meet new people and build business relationships that lead to sales. However, the true test to close business happens after the show.
Use analogies for the most memorable recall. Analogies are memory triggers, helping create a connection with prospects. The more connections you make, the more memorable you become. For example, I might emphasize the pronunciation of my name, “Hi. I’m Andrea – pronounced ‘On-drea’ like ‘On-track’ – not ‘AND-rea.’” When following up, I’d say, “Hi, this is Andrea from Ontrack.” Simple name and company pronunciation makes you more memorable.
Another way to implement this approach is creating a connection between your company and something out of the context of your day-to-day work life. For example, create a card game to demonstrate how your technology works.
Remember, analogies – “I’m X, like Y, you’ll remember that!” – can help draw mental connections for a successful LTNY follow-up!
Ed Colandra, Vice President and Senior Consultant, Legal Vendor Strategies:
1. Come a day early and enjoy a bit of NYC. Besides great food, there are several terrific plays on Broadway now. Go to the TKTS booth by the Marriott Marquis Hotel for “leftover” tickets for that day’s show at half price.
2. It’s difficult to find a spot for a quiet meeting at the Hilton. The restaurant at The London NYC on 54th Street is a good choice. Reservations are recommended.
3. Feed your social media audience with a few updates daily, and then a summary of your experience as a blog for your website and LinkedIn.
4. Bring business cards and keep them in your badge holder. On your interlocutor’s card, write down what you talked to them about to remind you why you even have the card when you get home.
5. Network constantly – at lunch, at sessions, at booths, at receptions. Break out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
Ari Kaplan, Legal Industry Analyst, Ari Kaplan Advisors & Member, Legaltech Advisory Board:
1. Efficiently schedule meetings. There is so much to learn and so many people to meet that the best thing you can do at the conference is to efficiently manage your calendar. I usehttp://YouCanBook.me, which allows me to send a unique link to colleagues and permits them to book any open slot on my calendar.
2. Attend the editors’ and bloggers’ breakfasts. Not only will your attendance at these two free events give you access to ALM’s dynamic editorial and leadership teams, but it will expose you to thought leaders in technology, innovative entrepreneurs, and savvy media experts from around the world.
3. Write about your experience. Whether for an article, a blog post, a LinkedIn group update or even a series of Tweets, write about what you see and whom you meet. They will appreciate the recognition and it will give you a great opportunity to follow up.
These are some tips to maximize your ROI for LegalTech:
1. Set goals early. There are multiple paths to achieving ROI, from networking and pitching potential clients to speaking and building marketing lists. Each path has a different return horizon, so do not limit yourself to one.
2. Invest in your brand. Use your knowledge of the competition to stand out. From business cards and marketing collateral to booth and tchotchke design, always put your best foot forward.
3. Use the media list. Contact reporters to pitch actual news, not something insignificant or inherently self-serving.
4. Leverage social media. Create content to share during LegalTech. Build Twitter lists with reporters, speakers and sponsors attending LegalTech. Then interact.
5. In your quest for ROI, remember to have fun! Feel free to mingle and celebrate all of your hard work. However, make sure to get your hustle back in the morning!
The following article is part two of a two-part series.
“You can’t just retrofit the status quo.”
In part one of this article (Legaltech News, December 2015), new entrants explained why stories about the inexorable consolidation and commoditization of the e-discovery market are misleading. Instead, they identified an ossified market ripe for disruption. Homogeneous service providers offering the same software at the same price can be displaced by the cloud-based, consumerized technologies that cut out the middle man and solve many of the pain points associated with traditional e-discovery.
But the Goliaths in this “David and Goliath” showdown have their own perspective. First, they welcome the competition.
“The new software providers are approaching the market in interesting ways. They come in with angles that the incumbent did not necessarily think about,” says Andrew Sieja, founder of kCura, maker of Relativity. Sieja points to the ways the industry has responded in years past to paradigm challenges like Clearwell’s emphasis on early case assessment or Recommind spreading the gospel of predictive coding, “You know what, it was smart. The whole industry evolved. The new guys are focusing on do-it-yourself. It’s stuff that people want, and they are bringing it to the forefront. More people are asking us about it. And we’ll address it. That’s good for the industry.”
John Tredennick, founder of Catalyst, concurs. “I think consolidation begets new entrants to the market. The consolidators hope to damp down competition by reducing the number of competitors. But the market often thwarts those plans with new entrants. I say that is great. It offers choice and keeps everyone on their toes. When this new crop shakes out, there will be even newer entrants. It is what makes being in business fun.”
The fun, however, is not in watching the new entrants gain market share but in responding to the challenge they and the evolving market pose. Continues Tredennick, “As volumes increase, technology finds newer and better ways to manage it. Any vendor worth its salt is looking for ways to automate data handling and to find newer and better ways to provide e-discovery services. Over the past 15 years, we have switched technology and essentially reinvented our processes about every 18 months or so.”
When asked if on-premise software providers can innovate at the same speed as pure play SaaS providers, kCura’s Sieja responds, “Check out our release notes.” He explains, “There is a fresh, new version of the software that comes out every month. No one has innovated more than Relativity in the last 5 to 6 years. Our job as a company, as a software organization, is to continue to innovate.” This job of innovation extends to Relativity’s channel partners. kCura makes Relativity’s API’s public. Ultimately, Sieja wants Relativity “to get to the point where our technology is invisible.”
He identifies Iris’s Arc as an example of a vendor taking Relativity in its own, branded direction. For Sieja, Relativity is “not a piece of software, it’s a platform. It’s an ecosystem. There’s only so much innovation you can do. Imagine when you can galvanize hundreds of companies to innovate on the same platform. It’s magical. And it’s happening.”
One of the places the innovation is happening is the cloud. The cloud does not exist in unchartered territory marked with “here be dragons.” Relativity has been ported to AWS and Azure. Catalyst has been in a private cloud since 2000. Kroll Ontrack has been operating their cloud-based, do-it-yourself ediscovery.com since 2011. Kroll Ontrack’s CEO Mark Williams comments, “The cloud is not just a place for newcomers; even the established players need to constantly innovate, leveraging the flexible benefits of the cloud. A well-rounded e-discovery provider recognizes that not every case is the same, and offers an array of technology options. Sometimes a cloud-based tool is what is needed; sometimes traditional hosted solutions are better for the volume of data or the timelines associated with the review. Likewise, sometimes data cannot leave the facility and an onsite solution is the only option. Established providers can serve as ‘utility players’ to make sure there is a technology option for every different matter’s requirements.”
Kevin Jacobs, DTI’s vice president of service strategy, accentuates the point about options. Traditional providers are familiar with the cloud. They are also familiar with their largest clients’ objections to the cloud.
“We’ve had 34 onsite security audits this year alone. We wouldn’t have passed any of those if an AWS or Azure component existed in our pipeline. The banks still won’t consider it for discovery,” Jacobs explains. “Some manufacturers, particularly those with security breaches in their past, are forcing even higher standards of security, data isolation and dedicated equipment.”
In addition, Jacobs warns that the cloud does not always represent radical cost savings, “Also, don’t miss the hidden cost of cloud processing from many of the providers you mention. It’s cheap in, cheap short term, then you have to start paying for storage of processed data. Deleting processing data is tough, given the need for dedupe and iterative searching throughout the lifecycle of the case—meaning that the price points start to normalize over the almost two-year average we see on cases.”
Kim Taylor, CEO of software provider Ipro, drills down on the question what clients really need. Taylor asserts, “The cloud in of itself does not solve pervasive customer challenges. The cloud is simply a delivery mechanism. Established companies have been offering document review via the web for over a decade. It’s an efficient delivery mechanism, and we and our service provider partners definitely take advantage of it. However, as a technology innovator (startup or established), to grow your customer base, you must work to solve the hardest and most pervasive problems head on. The hardest problems aren’t easy to solve. And the hardest problems aren’t delivery. Our industry has grown over the years to meet the ever-increasing growth and complication of data, and in doing so has adopted complicated and disconnected workflows. If you aren’t decreasing processing time, preventing errors from happening, reducing the human capital requirements, and lowering customers’ overall costs you aren’t solving the problems that really matter.”
The Big Data report also included these Questions for Legal Compliance:
If you compile big data for others who will use it for eligibility decisions (such as credit, employment, insurance, housing, government benefits, and the like), are you complying with the accuracy and privacy provisions of the FCRA? FCRA requirements include requirements to (1) have reasonable procedures in place to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information you provide, (2) provide notices to users of your reports, (3) allow consumers to access information you have about them, and (4) allow consumers to correct inaccuracies.
If you receive big data products from another entity that you will use for eligibility decisions, are you complying with the provisions applicable to users of consumer reports? For example, the FCRA requires that entities that use this information for employment purposes certify that they have a “permissible purpose” to obtain it, certify that they will not use it in a way that violates equal opportunity laws, provide pre-adverse action notice to consumers, and thereafter provide adverse action notices to those same consumers.
If you are a creditor using big data analytics in a credit transaction, are you complying with the requirement to provide statements of specific reasons for adverse action under ECOA?
Are you complying with ECOA requirements related to requests for information and record retention?
If you use big data analytics in a way that might adversely affect people in their ability to obtain credit, housing, or employment:
*Are you treating people differently based on a prohibited basis, such as race or national origin?
*Do your policies, practices, or decisions have an adverse effect or impact on a member of a protected class, and if they do, are they justified by a legitimate business need that cannot reasonably be achieved by means that are less disparate in their impact?
Are you honoring promises you make to consumers and providing consumers material information about your data practices?
Are you maintaining reasonable security over consumer data?
Are you undertaking reasonable measures to know the purposes for which your customers are using your data?
*If you know that your customer will use your big data products to commit fraud, do not sell your products to that customer. If you have reason to believe that your data will be used to commit fraud, ask more specific questions about how your data will be used.
*If you know that your customer will use your big data products for discriminatory purposes, do not sell your products to that customer. If you have reason to believe that your data will be used for discriminatory purposes, ask more specific questions about how your data will be used.
Obviously Big Data is growing and apparently legal risks will grow as well.
Jason Atchley : Legal Tech News : 5 eDiscovery New Year’s Resolutions!
Photo by Alycia Monaco/ABC via Getty Images
Five E-Discovery New Year’s Resolutions
January 5, 2016
Editor’s Note:The authors of this post are, respectively, Reed Smith’s Practice Group Leader of the Records & E-Discovery Group, and an E-Discovery Attorney in the Pittsburgh office of Reed Smith.
By David R. Cohen and Courtney A. Murphy, Reed Smith
The New Year is upon us, and you know what that means: New Year’s resolutions! It can be easy to make resolutions but tough to keep them. So this year we have opted to take the easy way out and make some New Year’s resolutions for you to keep!
I resolve to increase my e-discovery knowledge
2015 was an eventful year in the e-discovery space, with numerous changes that affect litigators. Perhaps the most notable development was the adoption of amendments to the Federal Rules of Procedure (effective December 1, 2015), several of which directly implicate e-discovery. E-discovery also continued to be a focal point for ethical analysis, including the State Bar of California’s formal ethics opinion issued on June 30, 2015, including e-discovery awareness and knowledge as an integral part of an attorney’s duty of competence. If litigation discovery is part of your practice, resolve to sign up for at least one CLE this year that focuses on the new Federal Rules, ethics in discovery, or both!
I resolve to update my discovery approach
Discovery has become increasingly expensive, a reality that triggered some of the Federal Rules reforms. It is also spurring advances in predictive coding and is increasingly prompting members of the judiciary to demand that parties approach discovery in a reasonable and cooperative way. No longer is discovery about whatever may be relevant or lead to relevant evidence – now it is properly limited to what is reasonable and proportional to find the evidence necessary to resolve disputed issues. Rather than trotting out those boilerplate discovery requests or responses, resolve to take the time to truly analyze the case so you can restrict your requests to what you really need, and object only to requests that truly go beyond the bounds. Make good faith efforts to confer with opposing counsel to develop a cooperative discovery plan that is reasonable and acceptable to all involved. Where disagreements persist as to scope, consider phasing discovery to start with what is most important and defer any disputes about what further discovery may or may not be needed until both sides have the benefit of seeing what is found from the most promising and accessible sources.
I resolve never to make unqualified discovery representations to opposing parties or the Court.
Electronically stored information (“ESI”) is sneaky; it is everywhere but can be difficult to find if you do not know where and how to look; it replicates itself with alarming ease but just as easily can be lost through automated processes or technological glitches. It can be inexpensive to store but, particularly in large quantities, quite costly and time consuming to identify, preserve, collect, process, analyze and produce. In any matter involving ESI in any amount – which you can assume is every legal matter, in this day and age – the odds are stacked against perfection. Even with good faith efforts, your clients will not be able to identify, locate, and produce every discoverable document, let alone do so as quickly as you, adverse parties or a court think they should. Never promise that “all discovery will be complete within ___days” or certify that “every relevant document has been produced…” Instead, promise and deliver reasonable efforts, producing information on a rolling basis starting as soon as practicable, and making proportional and good faith efforts to find and produce relevant and responsive information.
I resolve to seek a 502(d) order in every case
Some Judges have been saying it for years, and this year, the Federal Rules have made it official (in amendments to Rule 16(b) and 26(f)) – FRE 502(d) orders are important! The reality of large-scale document review is that nobody is perfect and the size and scope of e-discovery make the inadvertent disclosure of some privileged information all but inevitable. While other protections exist under Federal Rule of Evidence 502, only court orders under Rule 502(d) can maximize privilege waiver protection. Resolve to incorporate appropriate FRE 502(d) orders into your discovery orders.
I resolve to consult e-discovery experts early and often
Virtually every significant litigation matter has the potential to involve large-scale e-discovery. But, how many experienced litigators also have the time to become and remain proficient in e-discovery? This area of the law is developing rapidly – it is vastly different in 2016 than it was in 2011, and will only continue to evolve. The surest way to achieve optimal results is to consult, early on, someone who concentrates his or her practice in e-discovery. Just as you would bring in co-counsel when dealing with a very specialized area of law that is not your main area of practice, consulting with an e-discovery expert early, and on an ongoing basis, can help craft an effective and cost-sensitive discovery strategy while avoiding the many hidden pitfalls waiting to swallow you in this complex area of practice.
Make and keep these resolutions, and they will help you and your clients enjoy a happy, productive, and sanction-free 2016!