Attorney Daniel Cummins and staff reporter Ben Present discuss the emerging issue of social media law. In this installment, the two discuss the differences between Facebook and Twitter, and whether Twitter posts can be discoverable.
According to a recent survey of 180 in-house departments by the CEB (which works with 1,150 legal departments around the world),
“Litigation is often the largest area of the in-house legal budget and it’s important to budget for these costs and give them close oversight … Leading departments continue to pick apart the law firm service bundle, taking administrative…[hardcopies and document services]…or information-intensive activities…[e-Disclosure and forensics]…away from law firms. Legal departments are most likely to use non-law firms for litigation work, and the proportion of legal departments using these providers nearly doubles to over 50 percent once litigation grows past 15 percent of the total legal budget”
So what are the benefits of working directly with a litigation support company?
1. Cost Saving
The first and most obvious benefit is in the potential for cost saving at each stage of the pre-litigation process. At the outset, a litigation support company like Altlaw can ensure that costs to your company are kept to a minimum by identifying only that information which is relevant to your litigation needs. This reduces the need to engage fee earners in time consuming but unnecessary work.
2. Early Case Assessment
Industry figures have shown that up to 70% of the data can be filtered out as irrelevant at the Early Case Assessment phase. This avoids the traditional need to send the entire contents of your company servers to your chosen law firm and greatly reduces the cost of the action. This process also importantly allows you to determine the relative strength of your case before you make a decision on whether to engage outside counsel at all.
3. Cost Certainty
For in-house legal departments, cost certainty is almost as important as cost saving. Another clear benefit of engaging a litigation support firm directly is that in-house counsel can keep tabs on the specific costs of each stage of the eDisclosure work through detailed information direct from the service provider, safe in the knowledge that there is no unexpected premium mark up applied by the intermediary law firm who, in many cases would outsource the work to a litigation support company anyway.
4. Safe Use of Data
Considering the importance of the data you are entrusting to the law firm, knowing exactly who subsequently has access to this data is of the highest importance. Maintaining full control over which specialist litigation support firm is engaged in the process, also gives you peace of mind when it comes to knowing who exactly will be dealing with your vital data. With fewer third parties involved, in-house counsel can rest easy in the knowledge that the potential for misuse of their data is minimal.
5. Technical Expertise
The process of eDisclosure is necessarily a technical one. With this in mind and in order to minimise errors, in-house legal departments will naturally want those whom they consider most qualified and reputable and who have the most up to date equipment for the job at hand. Why then, should they rely on a law firm, whose core competency is ultimately the practise of law, to make a decision on which litigation support provider is used in the process of building a case? By using a litigation support company to focus on the technical side and while using your own lawyers or outside counsel on the legal side, you can be confident that you have the best chance with your litigation.
6. Employ the Latest Industry and Legal Standards
In recent times, there have been a number of significant changes to the Disclosure and eDisclosure process. These include the introduction of a new eDisclosure Practice Direction and the soon to be implemented Jackson Review reforms, which will put eDisclosure at the centre of the litigation process. When you engage a specialist litigation support company, you can be safe in the knowledge that when you choose to conduct litigation, their experts will ensure that your eDisclosure protocols are in line with the latest industry and legal standards, saving you time and money, as well as guaranteeing that you are well prepared for any future changes.
Why Use Altlaw?
Altlaw offers technological expertise in all facets of electronic litigation support and legal document services, providing specialist products and services, coupled with proven techniques. Altlaw has capabilities across the full range of Electronic Data Services, including Forensic collection and investigation, early case assessment, Electronic data disclosure and Secure online review.
Since Altlaw has been operating, it has proven that it deserves its place as the first port of call for those requiring litigation support services. With over 100 years worth of combined experience of working in the industry alongside law firms and in-house counsel, its knowledge of the intricacies of the industry is extensive. Altlaw is well established and is well on its way to reaching a significant milestone; its 15,000th successfully completed job. Despite this success, we are careful to ensure that we continue to offer a personal service. We know that no two cases are the same, so we make sure that we are responsive and offer bespoke solutions for all your litigation support needs.
By way of example, Altlaw’s recent work includes:
- Acting on behalf of a high end US firm based in London, Altlaw overcame massive time constraints to complete a large data protection order for a complex IP theft case. With very little warning, a team of fully equipped, qualified Computer Forensic Investigators from Altlaw were dispatched to capture 11 terabytes (11,000 Gigabytes) of data at the contentious client-site location (a well known transnational industrial production company) from various production and backup servers, workstations, laptops, personal computers, mobile phones and various other media in a very short three day window. The location proved hugely challenging due to the office being operational throughout the collection.
- Specialist Computer Forensic Investigators from Altlaw were asked to appear as expert witnesses in court proceedings involving the Serious Fraud Office, which revolved around issues of insider trading.
- Altlaw completed a multi-terabyte data collection project in one afternoon by dispatching forensic data collection specialists to the Channel Islands via private aircraft. This enabled analysis and processing of the data to commence on the same evening, a distinct advantage for the legal team under a tight deadline. Announced earlier this year, this unique e-discovery service not only enables rapid deployment of experienced technicians in time sensitive matters, but also significantly improves logistical efficiency within complex, geographically dispersed matters that cover a number of locations.
- In a case brought by multinational banks against the alleged negligent advice of three contractors, Altlaw was tasked with investigating and collating various types of transactions and communications for use in the litigation process.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7490 1646
Altlaw Limited, London’s litigation support specialists, and Capita plc, the UK’s leading provider of business process outsourcing, have developed a £10 million, state of the art review center in Kraków, Poland. Kraków, just over two hours flight time from London, has a highly educated population, producing more than 40,000 university graduates each year, many of whom will graduate in legal and technological disciplines. In addition to Polish, English and Russian are widely spoken and there can be no doubt that Kraków is a fertile breeding ground for the brightest and best candidates seeking employment.
Since opening in 2012, the European Litigation Document Review Center has already proved its worth and capability, with 85 reviewers conducting the review of circa 2 million documents in a construction litigation case on behalf of Altlaw clients. Other notable points of interest include:
- The Center provides Legal Process Outsourcing within the European Union (EU), by a UK company, at half the cost, while providing equal, if not better, than onshore quality.
- Altlaw has a depth of experience in supporting trans-Atlantic litigation in compliance with European Union Data Protection Rules.
- Kcura Relativity is used as the Center’s document review platform, enabling efficient joint use by attorneys based in the United States and other jurisdictions.
- Tiered network security with each individual review project sitting on its own individual network, allowing the center to accommodate a large number of spontaneous reviews, as well as the established reviews.
- Poland became an EU member in May 2004, five years after joining NATO and 15 years after the end of communist rule. Subsequently, its economy has boomed and it now has the sixth largest economy in the EU.
- Altlaw leverages the power of the Nuix eDiscovery Platform for evidence processing, data minimization, information governance and seamless integration with Relativity for document review and production.
- The Center can accommodate up to 550 reviewers capable of 460 docs each per day with 98.5% accuracy.
- First pass review and document summary services are also available in other European languages.
Further information on Altlaw’s European Litigation Document Review Center is available by calling +44(0)20 7490 1646 (UK) or +1.917.463.4800 (US), emailing email@example.com or by scheduling a meeting with a member of the Atlaw team at LegalTech® New York 2013 being held January 29-31, 2013 at the Hilton New York.
Altlaw is a strategic partner of Global EDD Group.
- London Calling! Altlaw Litigation Support – Europe’s Premier eDiscovery Specialists – To Attend LegalTech New York 2013 (altlaw.info)
- Altlaw Litigation Support – Europe’s Premier eDiscovery Specialists – To Attend LegalTech New York 2013 (legaltechtoday.com)
- Altlaw Litigation Support and Capita plc Announce Strategic Tie Up for Legal Process Outsourcing (altlaw.info)
- PARTNER UPDATE: Altlaw Litigation Support and Capita plc Announce Strategic Tie Up for Legal Process Outsourcing (legaltechtoday.com)
If you believe in God, you don’t need a prophet’s wisdom for this: God won’t be apologizing any time soon for His sometimes devastating Acts (of God). At least until now, that has not been His practice. While it might be intriguing indeed to sense remorse from the Divine for having visited upon humanity a hurricane or a plague, or even a holocaust, for now, we must look inwardly for soulful relief if any is to come. God doesn’t take blame — it’s not a strategy; it’s just the way it plays out.
Suppose, however, that people or corporations are seen by man’s law as the direct or proximate cause of a disaster — a disaster for which God doesn’t seem to be “responsible.” For circumstances where blame is finally affixed at their doorstep, or even before blame is assessed or likely, we wonder about the real value (or, contrarily, the frequent dubiousness or inefficacy) of an apology — even when the apology may seem exquisitely sincere and heartfelt. Of course, confession, perhaps in the form of an apology, is good for the soul. Still, will it advance one’s legal position?
Two months before the first lawsuit was filed in what has become a multi-district case docket titled the National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law a bill dubbed the “Safety in Youth Sports Act.”
The legislation was designed to help prevent serious head injuries in student athletes and strengthen education on the risks of head concussions.
Was the timing coincidental? Was the proposed change in Pennsylvania law an eerie prediction of things to come?
After all, it wouldn’t be long until a civil case would be initiated by a handful of former professional football players who allege the NFL fraudulently concealed the long-term health effects of head concussions sustained on the playing field?
Whatever the relationship, it can’t be denied that the NFL court case is having an effect – be it directly or indirectly – on the sports world, from children’s after-school activities to the professional turf.