Oct 8

After losing the server on a cloud service which contained my docreviewmd blog posts, I am attempting to update my blog site with what I have from the collection saved on my hard drive.  Then like a re-issue of a CD collection in a box set, I am updating the liner notes with new introductions.   I believe more than ever that the thesis of this post pointed out in my Legal Hydra article published in Forbes remains true today.  Lawyers are still trying to solve technology problems with law.  This is one reason we launched the Predictive Coding Thought Leadership Series tour in 2013 to teach lawyers how to measure the effectiveness of predictive coding results through sampling.

This blog post is also eventful right now because Jason Baron just left his government post and joined up with some good friends of mine at Drinker Biddle.  I expect that Jason will continue his good work though the billable hour may curtail his ability to continue preaching the gospel.  Let me be the first to say that I hope it doesn’t.  But good luck Jason with your new position and best of luck.  …..


Originally posted on January 15, 2012

I wanted to post a more personal supplement to my recent article in Forbes, Legal Hydra? Top Ten Tips To Become More Proficient with Machine-Assisted Review.  The purpose of that article was to convince lawyers they have to do more to embrace technology.  Yet there are good examples of this type of work occurring in the legal community.  This blog post attempts to rebalance the story to tell a few of the stories in more detail.  There are plenty of good examples of lawyers and technologists working together and making huge contributions to the field.  Some public examples are all the work that Maura Grossman and Professor Gordon Cormack have contributed both from published articles and public speaking in a relationship that came out of TREC.  Even before Maura and Gordon you could look to the work that Herb Roitblat, Patrick Oot and Anne Kershaw have done with the Electronic Discovery Institute.  Jason R. Baron is another great example (winner of the 2011 Emmett Leahy Award), who I mentioned in the article.

Although Jason has collaborated with many academics including a number of wonderful articles with Professor Doug Oard, Dave Lewis, PhD, and others through their pioneering work with TREC, one of Jason’s other recent and less promoted projects has been his work in bringing together lawyers, academics and technologists is a partnership with the International Conference on AI and Law “ICAIL, in the so-called “DESI workshops,” focused on the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information.  This effort captures the essence of deep collaboration between technologists and lawyers so I wanted to give it more ink than I did in the article.

The history of the DESI Workshops is as follows: DESI I <http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/%7Eoard/desi-ws/> , was held in Palo Alto as part of ICAIL 2007 where a wide http://web.archive.org/web/20080414173119/http:/www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/S.Attfield/desi/ of individuals came together, in many instances for the first time to foster engagement between e-discovery practitioners and a broad range of research communities.  The DESI II <http://web.archive.org/web/20080414173119/http:/www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/S.Attfield/desi/>  was sponsored by the University College London in 2008 and DESI III  http://web.archive.org/web/20080414173119/http:/www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/S.Attfield/desi/<http://www.law.pitt.edu/DESI3_Workshop/>  was held in Barcelona and part of ICAIL 2009.  These two DESI workshops broadened the scope of this discussion to include comparisons of requirements between different national settings and different legal contexts. They also led to a special ediscovery issue being published in the AI and Law Journal (Winter 2010) (available through Springer Press).

Finally,  DESI IV

<http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~oard/desi4/>  was held at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law and was part of ICAIL 2011 with a goal to build off of prior DESI efforts with an emphasis on standards-setting or benchmarking for e-discovery searches.  I held an impromptu picnic for conference participants at DESI IV at my house and was amazed at all the technologists who are not household names outside of the electronic discovery world who gathered for this event.  We even did an ESIBytes podcast with both Jason Baron and Doug Oard called Standardizing Search and Retrieval; Recap of DESI IV Conference where we covered some of the ideas which emerged from the conference.

Jason, Doug Oard, and Dave Lewis also planned and were present at a first-ever ediscovery SIRE workshop at the world gathering of PhDs in information retrieval known at SIGIR 2011, held in Beijing this past July.   Jonathan Redgrave, Conor Crowley, Patrick Oot and Bill Butterfield were among a contingent of US e-discovery celebrities who also made it to Beijing.

I have it on good authority that Jason and Doug Oard are planning more interdisciplinary workshops in the next year, including possibly at SIGIR 2012 in Portland Oregon this coming August, as well as at ICAIL 2013, in June next year, in some exotic place in Europe (I’m told Rome or Paris are among the possible venues).  So stay tuned!


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