Posts Tagged ‘discovery’
Friday, December 14th, 2012
Legal and IT teams don’t communicate with each other all that well, a new Deloitte poll suggests. Only 8.1 percent of executives surveyed think their company’s IT and legal teams fully understand each other.
“Legal and IT teams have been working together more closely each year, responding to litigation or regulatory investigations. These fast-paced, complex efforts to locate, collect, preserve and analyze electronic data—evidence, really—are crucial to defending corporate reputations, legal claims and more,” said Mark Michels , a director in the discovery practice for Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP.
Michels adds, “Unfortunately, each year there are cases that hit the headlines in which poor legal and IT cross-team communication and collaboration results in electronic discovery omissions.”
Not collaborating well
Nearly 1-in-5 respondents (19.3 percent) says their organizations’ IT and legal teams do not collaborate well.
“Sometimes the first step to improving legal and IT teams’ collaboration is simply to network within your organization,” continued Michels.
“In my experience, finance, risk and compliance teams who work with legal and IT separately can really help the two groups bridge the organizational gap between them. Teaming with other departments can be invaluable in shifting discovery efforts away from fire-fighting mode into a streamlined, repeatable process.”
CIOs and General Counsels sometimes bridge the gap
When asked whether the experience of a chief information officer (CIO) and general counsel (GC) enabled them to bridge the gap, 20.2 percent of respondents report that their company CIO and GC do not understand each other’s field.
However, 16 percent indicated they have experience in each other’s fields; 4.5 percent report their CIO has some knowledge of the law and 5.9 state their GC has some knowledge of technology.
“Industry aside, in-house legal teams commonly rely on IT leaders as expert witnesses in court or regulatory hearings to describe how electronic evidence was located, collected, preserved and analyzed,” continued Michels. “Having these teams work together now can only benefit everyone involved.”
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Just as technology has reshaped how we communicate and do business, it also is making a significant impact on the practice of law. A just-released industry report from Robert Half Legal explores how emerging technologies are affecting management strategies in law firms and corporate legal departments, and changing how legal services are delivered.
The report, Technology’s Transformation of the Legal Field, is part of Robert Half Legal’s 12th annual Future Law Office project, which also includes video interviews with leaders in the legal profession.
For its annual Future Law Office project, Robert Half Legal surveys lawyers among the largest law firms and corporations in the United States and Canada, conducts research to assess how legal organizations might operate in the future, and obtains the insights of key Robert Half Legal staffing and recruiting professionals throughout the company’s branch network in North America.
- Law firms are making a greater investment in IT. Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) lawyers interviewed for the Future Law Office project said their law firms will increase spending on technology in the next two years. Law firms plan to purchase software (79 percent), hardware (72 percent), desktop PCs (62 percent), laptops (49 percent), tablet PCs or handheld computers (44 percent) and smartphones (41 percent).
- Web-based tools are improving client communication and the delivery of legal services. Lawyers surveyed said their law firms used e-filing systems (83 percent), meeting or audio-conferencing tools (79 percent), document storage sites (58 percent), collaborative or information-sharing sites (51 percent) and client portals or extranets (30 percent).
- Law firms’ office footprint is shrinking. With mobile devices and wireless networks enabling lawyers to work remotely from any location, law firms are reducing the size of their offices and reconfiguring workspaces.
- Technology is leveling the playing field. With firms of all sizes now using similar products, services and tools, small firms and solo practitioners are able to establish a bigger presence online and, in some cases, better compete with larger firms.
- Corporate legal departments are using tech tools to manage higher workloads. Nearly one in three in-house counsel (30 percent) interviewed said their legal department’s greatest challenge is reducing budgets/controlling costs. They are utilizing technology solutions to streamline communications with outside counsel and improve efficiencies.
- Technology has dramatically changed the realm of discovery. As the amount of electronic data grows exponentially, e-discovery remains both a growth area and a challenge for law firms and their corporate clients.
Law Firms Take a Strategic Approach to Technology
“Technology has changed the practice of law – from the way legal teams prepare for trial and present cases, to how they communicate with clients and colleagues,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “Knowledge-sharing platforms, portals and intranets are being used by an increasingly mobile legal workforce. These systems, along with laptops, tablet computers and smartphones, have become essential to law firm productivity.”
A growing number of firms are marketing their professional services to different audiences via social media, the research found. However, law firms using these online networks, as well as cloud computing-based services to store data, must address new privacy concerns regarding the security of privileged information. This has prompted many firms to allocate additional resources toward protecting their systems and safeguarding confidential data.
Corporate Legal Departments Use Technology to Reduce Costs
Software designed to monitor expenses and improve the work process is gaining in popularity among corporate legal departments, the research showed. “Many companies are using project management tools to track spending, and streamlining workflow with group calendaring and online collaboration tools,” Volkert said.
Technology is influencing the type of work being assigned to outside counsel, as well. “While litigation and e-discovery projects are typically outsourced, if internal teams have access to the same software programs and systems as their law firms, general counsel might keep certain matters in-house to contain costs,” Volkert said.
The full report is available to download.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
A new report from analyst firm Juniper Research forecasts that revenue from mobile search & discovery will reach $15 billion by 2017, nearly three times the revenue it expects to be generated by these markets in 2012, with ad space in these markets representing prime real estate for advertisers.
Highest Rates in Mobile Advertising
The report found that clickthrough and cost-per-click rates for search & discovery, including web search, local search, augmented reality search and discovery apps, are some of the highest in mobile advertising due to the fact that users are in the market for a discrete group of products or services, and can therefore be accurately targeted by advertisers.
Local Search: Web versus Apps
Leading search engine providers, including Google and Microsoft, say a large percentage of web searches on mobile are localised, but the report highlights that local search apps arguably represent a greater opportunity for advertisers because of more relevant results and better UI (User Interface) optimisation.
According to report author Daniel Ashdown: “web search results, by their very nature, are more generalised, despite the local parameters search engines offer. Furthermore, the websites linked-to in search results are often not optimised for mobile devices.”
Juniper’s report notes that with local search apps like Poynt, Qype and Yelp, the search experience is mobile-optimised from end-to-end – which is crucial if the user is to be led through the whole process, to reaching a purchasing decision.
Other key findings from the report include:
Google’s domination of the mobile web search space means other players need to find ways to differentiate their products in a largely commoditised market.
Augmented reality search is increasingly being deployed as an add-on feature, rather than a stand-alone product.
Adoption of discovery services for apps is driven by the high number of applications on leading storefronts, but faces challenge from big brands (with Apple acquiring Chomp, and Facebook launching app centre).
The whitepaper, ‘A World of Search & Discovery!’, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the study ‘Mobile Search & Discovery: Web, Local, AR & Discovery Markets 2012-2017’.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Many Americans know Columbus Day as the U.S. national holiday commemorating the Italian-born explorer’s arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492.
However, the holiday is about more than the discovery of the Americas, it’s also a day set aside to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans, people who are willing to buck conventional thought and take the risk involved in discovering their dreams.
For that matter, you could make a case that Columbus himself was an entrepreneur, back when taking risks meant more than maxing out your credit cards.
Some of the American discoveries highlighted by the infographic include:
- Electromagnetic Motor: 1830 by Joseph Henry
- Telephone: 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell
- Gasoline-powered Car: 1892 by Frank and Charles Duryea
- Television: 1927 by Philo Farnsworth
- Pong: 1972 by Noland Bushnell
- World Wide Web Consortium: 1994 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
These inventions have changed the way that Americans function in their daily lives, paving the way for new companies and creating American jobs. They also can be quite fruitful for the inventors and companies responsible for the new technologies, especially when they secure a patent for their work.
With 76 percent of startup executives stating that patents are essential to their funding efforts, and patents taking an average of 33.5 months from time of application to decision in 2011, entrepreneurs often must take a big risk in funding their startup and it will be several years before they see that risk pay off. With the average startup costing about $30,000 to get off the ground, business owners often rely on the following sources for funding, as found through a survey of female business owners:
- Business credit card (59 percent of respondents)
- Personal/family savings (44 percent)
- Line of credit from a financial institution (38 percent)
- Personal credit card (34 percent)
- Business loan from a financial institution (26 percent)
“These Americans take a huge financial risk to follow their dreams,” said Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey. “They are willing to put it all on the line to see their dreams come to fruition and help create new jobs in their community. They make real sacrifices every day; sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but when it does, the entire nation reaps the benefits.”
So, what is the payoff of the entrepreneurial spirit that is continued to be embraced by Americans—approximately 3 million jobs, which are created by new firms every year. That’s a reward to be celebrated.
For a larger version of the infographic below, see: www.creditdonkey.com/columbus-day.html