Tom O’Connor Speaking at the San Diego ESI Forum On Dec. 14th

December 8, 2017



Friends and Colleagues,

Here’s a link to the flyer for the December MCLE event in our 2017 series. We are honored once again to present Tom O’Connor, the nationally-known authority on issues that we all face. He’s even been accused of being a “thought leader”! He publishes regularly on his blog “Techno Gumbo” and tweets from @GulfLTC.

The topic of his presentation evidences the breadth and value of his comments and opinions.

Please forward a copy of this flyer to anyone else who might be interested.

If you still need to sign up on the Forum’s webpage, please go to and enter your email in the MCLE box. While you are there, check the list of forthcoming programs and calendar their dates.

Follow our LinkedIn group as an additional way to stay informed. Just click on this link of the LinkedIn symbol on the Forum’s home page.

Please join us for another excellent and timely presentation. Free and informative, as always.




William N. Kammer| Solomon Ward | 401 B Street, Suite 1200 | San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619.238.4809 | Fax: 619.615.7909 |


Tom O’Connor Joins Craig Ball, Ralph Losey, Maura Grossman and Judge Peck Speaking On EDiscovery Day

November 30, 2017

OK, I’m joining all of them in much the same way NBA player Al Attles used to say “I once combined with Wilt Chamberlain for 117 points in a game.”  On March 2, 1962, Wilt scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks, still the NBA single game scoring record.  Al scored 17.

Likewise, I will be speaking tomorrow, Friday December 1,  on eDiscovery Day. But only in the same arena with those other speakers not actually WITH them.

EDiscovery Day is a profession-wide event exploring issues around electronic discovery. Sponsored by Exterro,  it involves some live events and a number of webinars throughout the day covering issues across the eDiscovery spectrum.  This year is the third annual event and in case you wondered if people are taking it seriously, here is the reaction from E-Discovery Day Panelist, Blogger and Craig Ball, “To me, every day is E-Discovery Day; but, now the world will know when to hang the e-discovery stockings and serve the e-discovery wassail!” (E-Discovery Leaders Look to Methodology, Not AI, To Update Toolkits )

Perhaps his fellow Attorney, Blogger and E-Discovery Day Panelist, Ralph Losey, said it better in the same article when he noted “It is important to remind all attorneys of the significance of electronic discovery and the timely preservation of electronic evidence. Almost all documents today are electronic, and if relevant, will be part of any litigation. Lawyers and Law Departments need to master this subject to adequately represent their clients. This means constant education, which this program should assist.”

To that end, E-Discovery Day will include seven different webcasts covering topics ranging from e-discovery case law, social media, and FRCP revisions. Many of the scheduled webcasts offer CLE credit. Webcast speakers come from a variety of backgrounds, including two judges, multiple attorneys, and many influencers in the e-discovery industry.  And me.

Full details on each webinar topic and speaker information can be found at the following site: .  The two I am speaking on are Authentication of Social Media Evidence: A New Twist on the Old Rules with Gayle O’Connor, Marketing Manager of sponsor Social Evidence  ( ) at noon Eastern time and then at 1PM Eastern time Murphy’s eDiscovery Law: How to Keep What Could Go Wrong From Going Wrong with Doug Austin, VP of Operations & Professional Services at sponsor Cloudnine  ( )

In addition, there are two sessions I highly recommend for their compelling content. The first is at 3PM Eastern and features Judge Andrew Peck speaking on a subject that is near and dear to him, Is it Malpractice Not to Get a FRE 502(d) Order? Judge Peck brought this up at Relativity Fest in the Beer and Basics session when his informal survey of the attendees disclosed only a handful who were even aware of this option.  I can’t recommend this session enough for people who aren’t using FRE 502(d).

And the very last session of the day features three of my favorite speakers.  Mary Mack, the Executive Director of ACEDS will be joined at 5:30 Eastern time by Bill Hamilton, the Executive Director of the U of Florida Law Ediscovery Project and last but certainly not least Judge John Facciola (Ret) to discuss Top 5 E-Discovery Process Improvements Legal Needs to Make (But haven’t made yet…). These three will have observations that are both cogent and well expressed and I can’t say enough about the value this panel should provide.

So there you have it.  All day, all free education about ediscovery by some of the top thinkers in the field, on subjects that are as practical as they are educational.  Make some time to listen to some of these sessions and you’ll come away with some great tips for improving your ediscovery


November 1, 2017


Software giant Relativity held their annual user conference this week in Chicago at The Hilton Chicago.  A total of 1,934 attendees at Relativity Fest ’17 broke down into 148 attorneys, 1,003 litigation support staff, 232 IT & security people, 224 executives, 135 sales and marketing staff, 80 paralegals, 58 developers, 31 academics and 19 members of the press.

A legal track of 11 sessions was organized by David Horrigan, ‎E-Discovery Counsel and Legal Content Director at Relativity and those sessions ranged from a judicial panel to discussions of the Internet of Things and Social Media.  They were all well attended save one.

On Monday afternoon, David moderated a panel called The Future of Pro Bono and Public Service for the Legal Community. The speakers were Monica Bay, a fellow at CodeX: THe Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and James Sandman, the Director of the Legal Services Corporation.  Mr. Sandman gave the best speech on the current state of our profession that I have ever heard.

Mr. Sandman is not a LSC veteran. He has been with them since 2011 and before that practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years, serving as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. He was named one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by the Legal Times in 2008 and The University of Pennsylvania Law School has honored him with its Alumni Award of Merit and its Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award.   He understands the law and lawyers.

He began his talk by discussing what he called “.. the invisible issue in American society”, the underrepresentation of people in civil litigation.  Consider, he said that 15% of Americans live below poverty level and are thus dependent on legal aid for their representation.  Yet 2/3 of all people appearing in a domestic case in the US have no attorney.  And in housing court cases, 90% of tenants appear with no attorney.

Why is this?  Certainly low funding and program concentration in urban areas are issues , but Mr. Sandman set out what he said were ten key barriers to adoption of more pro bono and public service opportunities. They are:

  1. Lawyers administer the system: a self-governing system is rarely innovative
  2. 50 different state authorities decentralizes any attempt to standardize
  3. Insufficient capital, both public and private
  4. Continued reliance on the billable hour
  5. Law firm partnership structure based on billing hours
  6. Malpractice insurance carrier hesitations about nontraditional activity
  7. A legal system based on precedent not forward-looking decision making
  8. A legal education based on outmoded training concepts
  9. A system based on lawyers doing case by case evaluations
  10. The fact that lawyers are predominantly risk averse

Now Mr. Sandman felt that these barriers were not insurmountable and stated that efforts by agents of change such as court administrators and client groups could have enormous influence. And academia could help, he said, by training lawyers to think like clients and not medieval lawyers.

Unfortunately, his message was not heard by most of the 2000 attendees. Unlike other sessions which had overflowing rooms, this session drew 10 attendees. Which, as I noted in a tweet from the session, said everything about the main reason we have an access to justice issue.  It’s not technology, it’s indifference.

Should Litigators Think Like Investigators When Using Technology?

September 29, 2017

Tom O’Connor chats with Jo Sherman, Founder and CEO of legal software company EDT, about the best strategies for attorneys using technology. Listen to the entire conversation on the EDiscovery Channel, now available at

Join Tom O and CloudNine for A Webinar On ED Workflow After the Case Is Filed

September 21, 2017

Holy ****, The Case is Filed!  What Do I Do Now?

Next Wednesday I’ll join Doug Austin of CloudNine for a free webinar to discuss how to handle, as Doug put it,  “… the various issues to consider and decisions to be made to help you meet your discovery obligations in an efficient and proportional manner.”

Check in here for all the details: manner/the-case-is-filed-what-do-i-do-now/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=ediscoverydaily 


If You’ve Been Affected by the Recent Storms, CloudNine Wants to Help

September 12, 2017

My friends at CloudNine in Houston have an offer to help anyone in a hurricane affected area get back on their feet with their data needs. Here is their announcement: 

Mother Nature has dealt this part of the world a tough couple of weeks.  First, Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast, causing major damage and flooding in Houston and other areas.  Then, this past weekend, Hurricane Irma has caused major damage in the Caribbean and in Florida and is continuing to wreak havoc to other parts of the country as we speak.

In Houston, our CloudNine family was very fortunate and blessed.  None of our team members experienced any significant damage from Hurricane Harvey.  Our platform continued to be available to our clients throughout the storm and its aftermath and our office remained up and running; though, because there was so much flooding throughout the city and driving was discouraged, most of our team members worked remotely throughout that week.  Despite that, we were business as usual, providing software and services to our clients.

However, most (if not all) of our team members have family members or close friends who were affected – either by suffering damage in their homes and businesses or being evacuated (or both).  Many of us at CloudNine, like many others in the Houston area and elsewhere, have helped to pitch in and help our neighbors recover.

As Craig Ball noted in his recent blog post regarding the disaster in Houston, the loss of property for law firms and other organizations extends to digital devices and media and potential loss of data on that media.  When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans years ago, Tom O’Connor coordinated an effort to help firms in that area and others (such as Craig and Rob Robinson) assisted in that effort.  Both Tom and Craig have discussed plans to undertake a similar effort to help those affected this time and I will certainly be happy to help in any way I can, including to help get the word out as more information is known about that effort.

Recovering the data is one challenge (and several organizations are offering to help there), recovering an organization’s IT infrastructure is another.  Many firms will have to replace workstations, servers and networks.  Doing so won’t be cheap and may not happen overnight.  With that in mind, CloudNine is offering to host data for firms and organizations affected by the recent hurricanes for FREE for up to six months to enable those firms and organizations to be able to access that data while they rebuild.  If your organization has been affected by these storms and you need the ability to access your data for a period of time while you rebuild, or to save costs in hosting for a case so that you can apply those savings to rebuilding your infrastructure, CloudNine can help.

To learn more, please contact us at and mention the FREE six month hosting offer.

And, if you’re interested in helping those affected by the hurricanes, here are a couple of resources to do that:

  • Houston Texans football player J.J. Watt has established the Houston Flood Relief Fund for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which is (as of Monday morning) up over $31 million in donations. To donate, click here.
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has also established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which accepts donations for flood relief victims. The organization will accept checks, money orders, bank wire transfers, stock, corporate bonds and other marketable securities. For donation instructions, click here.
  • GlobalGiving’s Irma Relief Fund is accepting donations here. It vets the local organizations it helps fund and, according to The New York Times, is well-regarded by charity watchdogs.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the recent storms.

What Exactly Is Case Management Software? Come to Our Webinar and We’ll Discuss It

September 6, 2017

At CaseManagerPro’s recent appearance at ILTACON17, we were all quite surprised to hear how much misunderstanding there was about case management. The confusion with document management, evidence management, time management and cost management was widespread across all firm sizes and types.

We had a great conversation with Ari Kaplan about why this is and you can watch a video of that disucssion by clicking here.


Now that ILTACON is over, we decided to take the opportunity to continue that disucssion and discuss the components of what comprises a robust case management system.  The true efficiencies of case management can only be achieved when all of those pieces work together, regardless of firm size or case complexity.

Join Chuck Cole, Director of Client Engagement as he talks with me on Oct 4th about how case management should work if properly designed. We’ll even give you some secrets to implementing a good CMS system for maximum efficiency and profitability. This is a great discussion for anyone who might be looking to increase their knowledge on just what a case management system can do.  Once we define it that is!

Click here to register.