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Liz McMillan

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Second Annual Electronic Discovery Event for Government Sector

IE Discovery's eElectronic Discovery Symposium for government agencies attracts record attendance

IE Discovery presented its 2009 Electronic Discovery Symposium for Government Agencies on October 6, 2009 at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The second annual symposium was devoted solely to government agencies and departments. More than 215 attorneys, paralegals, chief information officers, records managers and information technologists -- from 35 different government agencies and departments -- were in attendance. IE Discovery's goal in putting together the symposium was to bring together representatives from a variety of government agencies -- as both attendees and speakers -- to share experiences and expertise.

The program theme was "In the Age of Transparency" and was specifically designed to provide the information and tools necessary to help government agencies understand the discovery process and properly discuss their process with judges and adversaries, including at meet-and-confers. The faculty for the one-day event included experts in electronically stored information from IE Discovery and various government agencies, including The Honorable Paul W. Grimm, Chief United States Magistrate Judge for the District Court of Maryland and Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation, National Archives and Records Administration.

Judge Grimm's luncheon presentation, titled "Playing Nice in the Sandbox: A Judicial Perspective," centered on the dichotomy between attorneys' ethical duty to act as a zealous advocate and the advantages of a cooperative approach to electronic discovery.

In his remarks, titled "The Road Ahead for Federal Agencies in an Increasingly Sunny but Partly Cloudy World," Mr. Baron highlighted both "out in the sunlight" transparency requirements under the Obama administration and the challenges posed by "cloud computing," specifically lack of clarity on where information actually resides. Mr. Baron also discussed Web 2.0 challenges, such the ephemeral nature of data in text messaging, wikis, blogs and virtual worlds and called for a "Rosetta Stone" -- a collaboration legal, IT and records management to tackle these issues.

The program agenda also included panel discussions on "Diverse Approaches to 'E-Discovery,'" "E-Discovery and Katrina Litigation" and "Meet & Confer." Additional faculty included Anthony Ciccone, Program Manager, United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for the U.S. Attorney's Office; Holly R. Frost, Deputy Assistant Director, Technology & Information Management, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission; and Thomas N. Ledvina, Associate General Counsel (Litigation) and Director, Navy Litigation Office.

IE Discovery's CEO, Chris May, presented "What's New in Technology and Why You Should Care" which highlighted future trends in technology. "Corporations and government agencies are using these new technologies which are creating much more information and affecting how this information is stored, used, backed up and destroyed," said May. "At the same time, new technologies such as content analysis tools and cloud computing also provide the opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce risk throughout the discovery process."

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