Upcoming ACEDS symposium explores 'e-Discovery and Beyond'

The volume of electronic data continues to grow exponentially while data privacy rights continue to expand as more government bodies seek to regulate access to personal information. As a result, parties to civil litigation often find themselves between the Scylla of liberal discovery rules and the Charybdis of data privacy regulations. How can litigants effectively manage the growing volume of data while also meeting their discovery obligations and their data privacy obligations?

These questions will be the topics of discussion at the 4th Annual ACEDS Detroit Symposium, 2019 Midwest e-Discovery Conference to be held on September 27 at Detroit’s Greektown Hotel – Grand Ballroom.

At this year’s Symposium, titled “To e-Discovery and Beyond,” will be keynote speaker and acclaimed e-Discovery thought leader Maura Grossman, J.D., Ph.D. Dr. Grossman is a Research Professor and Director of Women in Computer Science in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and a faculty affiliate of the Vector Institute. She also is Principal at Maura Grossman Law, an e-Discovery law and consulting firm in Buffalo, N.Y. Previously, Dr. Grossman was Of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where, for 17 years, she advised the firm’s lawyers and clients on legal, technical, and strategic issues involving e-Discovery and information governance, both domestically and abroad.

One of the key Symposium topics will be how civil litigants can fulfill their discovery obligations and protect data privacy rights through leveraging technology. Using legal technology, a party can sift through massive quantities of data and carve out what is most likely to be relevant in a reliable manner that is more cost-effective than “eyes on” review. Through the use of TAR software, a computer can “learn” what is and isn’t relevant from a small set of human-coded documents, and dependably extrapolate that learning across a much larger data set, saving time and money. The thought of using computers to identify and select documents for production in discovery until very recently sounded in science fiction. Now, courts and parties are becoming comfortable with the science behind “machine learning” and the use of TAR is on the rise. No court has mandated its use, but that’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.” As Dr. Grossman explains: “Analyzing e-Discovery data sets is just scratching the surface of AI’s potential in the legal world. As it evolves, it will continue to automate legal processes once reserved solely for humans.”

Another key Symposium topic will be a judicial panel discussion on the significant changes to Michigan’s Civil Discovery Rules which are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The panelists include three of Michigan’s highly respected jurists,  Kent County Circuit Judge Christopher Yates, Wayne County Circuit Judge Patricia Fresard, and Oakland County Circuit Judge James Alexander. The amended rules direct both counsel and the courts to focus on reducing the burdens of discovery, especially as it concerns electronic data. One way the amended rules do this is through the adoption of “proportionality.” To be discoverable, information will have to be both relevant to a party’s claims or defenses AND proportional to the needs of the case. As explained by Kent County Circuit Court Judge Yates: “The two most significant innovations are the addition of a proportionality requirement and the obligation of courts and attorneys to handle discovery proactively.  The proportionality concept will enable judges to prescribe a discovery plan that is suited to needs and economics of each case.  More broadly, innovations in the forms of discovery planning and initial disclosures will impel judges and attorneys alike to take a proactive approach to discovery in order to enhance efficiency in case management.”   

    Other Symposium topics will include:

•    Update on Data Privacy Laws (Nationally and Internationally) - What can organizations expect now that the EU General Data Protection Regulation is in effect and with the California Consumer Privacy Act going into effect next year?

•    Robots and the Law: A Practical Look at Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Field - Artificial Intelligence is reshaping how legal services are delivered, but what is the practical impact on your job and your future? 

•    In-House Counsel Panel Discussion - In the corporate law department, what are the “best practices,” what is trending and what does the future hold in the areas of information governance, data privacy and eDiscovery?

For more information and to register for this event, please go to www.aceds.org, click on the “Community” tab at the top of the screen and select “Live Events.” From there you can access the information/registration page for the 4th Annual ACEDS Detroit Symposium – Midwest e-Discovery Conference. Discounted “early bird” rates are available through August 30.


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