Publishing for Dummies

By | 20th December 2012

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.

There are three well known cases in the US Courts about which I have written in the past  (Da Silva, Global Aerospace and Kleen Products) and the Hooters case in Delaware (whose cumbersome full title is EORHB, Inc.,et al v HOA Holdings, LLC CA No 7409-VCL (Del. Ch. Oct 15 2012) which I profiled in my What Did Delaware? post last month and which has also featured twice recently in Chris Dale’s blog: Judicial activism: Delaware judge orders both sides to use predictive coding [1st November, 2012] and at Standing back from the Delaware predictive coding case [5th December, 2012].  There are undoubtedly other less well reported cases on the subject both here and in the US.

In this jurisdiction we await the first judgment of significance on the point which I suspect will come in the months following the introduction of the new e-disclosure rules next April, although we should not forget the Goodale judgment in 2009 where Senior Master Whitaker said:

“Indeed, when it comes to review, I am aware of software that will effectively score each document as to its likely relevance and which will enable a prioritisation of categories within the entire document set.”

On this occasion, I am indebted to Feedblitz for the information about the new “Dummies” books on predictive coding and Sharon Nelson’s incisive commentary in Ride the LightningA Review of Two Predictive Coding “Dummies®” Books. I have not read either book so I cannot comment on the conclusions reached by Sharon but both publications may be downloaded from the internet so if predictive coding is on your Christmas list, there is no time to lose!