In New York City this past week, H5 sponsored the final BNA roadshow presentation of Joseph Looby’s documentary film, the Decade of Discovery. Braving the cold to attend, an energetic crowd sampled hors d’oeuvres and wine before taking their seats, popcorn in hand, to watch the film and hear a lively panel discussion, moderated by Joe Looby and including panelists (and movie stars) Jason R. Baron and Judge Scheindlin, along with Judge Andrew Peck, Julie Brickell from H5 and Karin Scholz Jenson from Baker Hostetler.
The documentary takes a look back at the past decade in discovery and the forward-thinking players who realized the impact that escalating volumes of ESI would have on litigation and investigations. Driving the film narrative forward were Jason Baron, former director of litigation for the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and now of counsel at Drinker Biddle & Reath (see his True North blog post here), the late Richard G. Braman, founder of The Sedona Conference®, and Judge Schira Scheindlin, whose rulings in the Zubulake v UBS Warburg case served to set a new standard in addressing the consideration of ESI in litigation.
The film explores their aim to ensure equal access to justice by adapting the process of legal discovery to the imperatives of the burgeoning data world, and, as Richard Braman said in the film, “bring integrity and candor to the court.” It also follows Jason Baron on his quest for a better way to search large volumes of information—a quest that led him to Douglas W. Oard, a Professor in the College of Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. Their collaboration eventually resulted in NIST’s TREC Legal Track studies, which have been crucial in both evaluating the efficacy of search methods in the context of litigation and raising awareness that accuracy can, and should, be measured.
The movie included interviews with jurists James Francis IV (U.S.D.C. Magistrate Judge), John Facciola (District of Columbia), Paul Grimm (Maryland), David Waxse (Kansas), and Nan Nolan (retired, Northern District of Illinois). Andrew Peck (Southern District of New York), who contributed but did not appear in the film, was present to participate in the panel discussion.
Although progress has been slow, the efforts of these individuals have most certainly raised the awareness of both bench and bar and helped shape the eDiscovery landscape, as evidenced by rules changes, standards development and enhanced tools.
With litigation often stymied by the weight of discovery, the film emphasizes—as did the panelists—the need for both practicing lawyers and the upcoming generation of legal talent to understand evolving technologies and the ways in which they can be leveraged to preserve, identify and review information.
The movie also included excerpts from the H5-sponsored thought leadership summit, And Justice for All, in which some of the same star players, with the notable addition of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, opined about the impact of the electronic age on access to justice. You can watch more extensive coverage of that event here.
Although the BNA-sponsored showings have ended, the film will continue to be shown in other venues. There will be a special showing of the film in Washington D.C. on the evening of Tuesday January 27, in the McGowan Theatre at the Main Archives building on the Mall, an event which will be announced on the public calendar for January on the NARA website www.archives.gov. There will also be many screenings of the film in selected cities, at law schools and other selected venues, throughout 2015. Joe Looby has posted two so far, one on January 20, 2015, at the University of Florida Levin School of Law in Gainesville and at the University of Denver Law School on February 19. Other events will include a screening at Loyola Law in Chicago (April 15), as well as events at various stages of planning in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Northern New Jersey, Minneapolis, and Wilmington, as well as in London and other cities around the globe. If you would like to be part of sponsoring an event in one of these venues or at a law school or other venue in your hometown, please contact Joe Looby (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jason Baron (Jason.Baron@dbr.com).
Finally, here’s the link to where you can rent the film for individual use at Vimeo:
Enjoy the show!
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