Monthly Archives: December 2012

Publishing for Dummies

I still manage a wry smile when I see a reference to the “Dummies” series.

At the first Legal Tech I attended a copy of “eDiscovery for Dummies” was thrust into my hand as I passed through the exhibition halls and I have been hooked on the series ever since. That particular publication was produced by RenewData who describe themselves as a leading provider of services for the discovery, archiving and governance of electronically stored information (ESI).

In order to emphasise how seriously they take the subject I was amused to see that their publishing and editorial staff are divided into those responsible for “Technology Dummies” and “Consumer Dummies”. The content of the booklet I received appears none the worse for that!

Now I see that there are two new “Dummies” published by Symantec and Recommind on predictive coding, a subject which my (two or three) regular readers will know is close to my heart. This is not because I have become a computer geek ( heaven forfend) but because, increasingly, law firms are asking about it, there is a sharply rising trend of law firms taking it up as evidenced by the work we are actually carrrying out for the and because the courts are becoming interested in the process. This last matter is not because courts in general or even particular judges are keen to endorse a particular product but because we are starting to see decisions by judges who think that this is one tool in the litigators’ armoury which needs to be considered in appropriate cases.

Continue reading

The bigger picture

Everyone will have heard about the prank perpetrated by two Australian DJs which went so tragically wrong. There has been so much noise out there about all aspects of this tragedy that I have thought long and hard whether I should add to it.

In keeping with the tradition of this blog, I have no intention of entering into the realms of political debate on the subject, but it occurs to me that there are lessons to be learned from the affair just as there are/were from the unreasonable Twitter hammering of Lord MacAlpine. I hope that it goes without saying that the tragic and untoward death of the nurse who was duped into putting through the call from the Aussie radio station should never have happened and while nothing can bring her back, all people of goodwill will have thought much about the her and her grieving family.

All I will say on the political front is that with the publication of the Leveson Report and the heated debate about whether he is actually calling for state regulation or statutory control of the press, this awful affair could not have come at a worse time for the media in general.

Collyer Bristow partner and Head of Defamation and Reputation Management, Dominic Crossley, who represented the Core Participant Victims at Leveson has drawn my attention to an article on media law website Inforrm where, by emailing your support, he hopes to demonstrate that a significant number of lawyers, inter alia, support the Leveson recommendations:  Media Lawyers and Leveson – A Petition in support of the Recommendations – Dominic Crossley.

Continue reading

Christmas Cheer

If you are one of those people who enjoys the flurry of articles at this time of year containing predictions for 2013 and beyond, you will not want to miss the SCL’s Predictions 2013, and beyond: Part 2, Masters of Legal IT.

To quote from the opening paragraph – “When you get Charles Christian, Jan Durant, Andrew Haslam and Charles Holloway in one predictions posting, the combined weight of experience and perception threatens to imbalance the Internet. We decided to risk it.”

To be mentioned in such exalted company is praise indeed and should the Internet suddenly become imbalanced, at least you will know who to blame!

Who owns email?

The answer depends on what actually is email.

Most of us now send and receive emails every day but how do you define email? The simplest definition I have seen is in the Free Online Dictionary:

“A system for sending and receiving messages electronically over a computer network, as between personal computers/a message or messages sent or received by such a system.”

But is email property in the legal sense? This is what the High Court had to decide in the recent case of Fairstar Heavy Transport NV v Philip Jeffrey Adkins and Claranet Limited.

I am grateful to my colleague, Millwright, for pointing me to the judgement and to the helpful commentary in a article entitled Beware – emails are not property in CMS Cameron McKenna’s Law-Now newsletter of 26th November, 2012.

Stuart Hohnen writes as follows (I reproduce his complete piece): Continue reading