UF Law dives into data-driven discipline

UF Law plunged into the electronic discovery arena this spring with a major conference and activation of an initiative linking the law and software development.

During Electronic Discovery for the Small and Medium Case, national experts discussed how to competently and cost-effectively handle e-discovery and shed light on the latest developments in Florida and federal e-discovery rules. The conference featured demonstrations of the latest e-discovery software and tools for each phase of the e-discovery process, for matters ranging from the most humble lawsuit to a mega-case.

Conference-goers gave the event positive reviews, noting the depth of e-discovery knowledge relayed by speakers. “It was an incredibly thorough way to provide attorneys at all levels of e-discovery experience with the tools to educate themselves and then implement processes to protect their clients when they encounter a case that will require some level of discovery of (electronically stored information),” Tiffany Fox, a Nashville contract attorney, wrote on www.lawdable.com.

William Hamilton, UF Law’s new executive director of the International Center for Automated Information Research and the UF Law E-Discovery Project, said this conference has distinguished itself by addressing practical applications of e-discovery in the types of cases lawyers deal with on a daily basis.

new_Ediscoverytop_revised

“We were very excited to host this innovative conference,” said Hamilton, a partner at Quarles & Brady, LLP. Hamilton is a UF Law adjunct professor and dean and chairman of the Department of E-Discovery at Bryan University. “As we live more and more of our lives online, e-discovery is quickly becoming an inevitable part of any litigation practice. Even the most routine cases today involve more digital data than some of the largest and most complex cases of just a few years ago.”

The Florida conference had 82 in-person registrants, and 150 live online participants (including organizations, so Internet viewership was higher). The entire conference was streamed live, and online attendees could ask questions of panelists via email. The conference also was recorded. Users who sign up for the recorded version can download all tools and resources. To register for the online, archived conference, visit www.law.ufl.edu/academics/ediscovery-conference. The conference will be available online for 11.5 CLE credits until April 2014.

The conference was part of the UF Law’s E-Discovery Project, and is underwritten by the International Center for Automated Information Research, a University of Florida foundation established to promote innovation in information technology. The UF Law E-Discovery Project is a multidisciplinary endeavor to support the civil litigation process through electronic discovery law courses, research, the development of information retrieval methods and tools, and skills training to practicing attorneys and litigation support professionals. The project is sponsored by the privately funded ICAIR — a law school center founded in 1999. In addition to the e-discovery conference, the E-Discovery Project is collaborating with the UF Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering in the college of engineering to develop an innovative e-discovery search application that integrates advanced information retrieval technologies. More information on the UF Law E-Discovery Project is available at www.law.ufl.edu/academics/institutes/icair.