US Magistrates, renowned experts to headline eDiscovery, digital evidence conference
The practical and cutting-edge issues affecting the discovery and admission of electronic information in litigation is the focus of the Second Annual ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Evidence Conference, March 13-15, at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.
The conference will bring together leading jurists, attorneys and other legal professionals on a wide array of eDiscovery issues including legal hold analysis, computer-assisted search, predictive coding, project management, competency, and proportionality, among others.
“eDiscovery – The present and the future,” hosted by the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, in collaboration with Michael Arkfeld, Director of the ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery Program, is open for registration at law.asu.edu/ediscovery. Up to 15 hours of CLE, including three ethics credits, will be available to attendees.
An early-bird registration fee, until Feb. 28, is available for $549, and the first 80 registrants will receive a free copy of either Arkfeld’s Best Practices Guide: Information Primer for Legal Professionals or Arkfelds’ Best Practices Guide for ESI Pretrial Discovery – Strategy and Tactics. Other tuition rates: $599 (after Feb. 28), $499 (ASU law school alumni), $349 (government employees), $299 (non-attorneys), and $69 (current students).
“I think one of the most egregious competency issues for lawyers is their lack of understanding of how to discover and admit electronic evidence in their cases,” Arkfeld said. “I think 99 percent of lawyers don’t understand the basic legal and technological issues affecting digital information and how it applies to their cases.”
The American Bar Association expects all lawyers to understand the benefits and risks associated with technology, he noted.
“The fact that the College of Law at ASU is hosting the conference emphasizes their recognition of the importance of electronic evidence, which not all law schools do,” Arkfeld said.
“The list of speakers is quite impressive,” he said. “More than 30 of the top eDiscovery experts in the world will be here.”
The keynote speakers are the Hon. John Facciola, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of Columbia, who is one of the nation's most prominent jurists and educators on eDiscovery, and the Hon. Craig Shaffer, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of Colorado.
In his keynote address, titled “Halls of Justice: Only Rich and Poor Need Apply,” Judge Facciola will discuss ways to maximize the value and minimize the costs of eDiscovery. Many experts, including Judge Facciola, are concerned that new eDiscovery tools are available only to the wealthy.
“It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of electronic evidence in courts,” said Judge Facciola, who headlined last year’s inaugural eDiscovery conference at the College of Law. “Ninety-eight percent of all communications in the world today are electronic.”
Trying to bring costs of technology down, and educating current students on how to properly use and stay up-to-date on digital information, should be a priority at any law school, he said.
“As a younger generation enters the workforce, the legal system needs to change to cope with these new digital forms of evidence,” Judge Facciola said.
He said the Center for Law, Science & Innovation, together with the ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery Program, are among the leaders in the field, adding that the College of Law is at the forefront in thinking about eDiscovery issues.
Judge Shaffer, a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars on electronic discovery, will lecture on “Where, oh where, have the trials gone?”
Other presenters at the conference include noted eDiscovery thought leaders Scott Kane, Maura Grossman, Browning Marean, Robert Singleton, Cecil Lynn and many others. They have a wealth of practical and legal expertise to share about effective best practices to competently handle electronic discovery within corporate, government and nonprofit environments, said Josh Abbott, Executive Director of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation.
“With so many eDiscovery experts, students and professionals gathered in one place, this annual conference creates a learning environment with tremendous energy,” Abbott said. “Opportunities to learn and network abound for anyone dealing with electronically stored information in a legal setting.”
The conference is being sponsored by Document Control Group, LexisNexis Litigation Solutions, TERIS, VeDiscovery, Kroll Ontrack, eLit, Legal Hold Pro and Catalyst.