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Discovery: The DISCO Blog

Kent Radford

Kent Radford brings 15 years’ experience as an attorney at Vinson & Elkins, Pillsbury Winthrop, and Hogan Lovells to his writing on discovery issues and more, from the litigator’s perspective. He’s on the front lines, working with our law firm clients, listening to their concerns and offering practical advice to help them be more productive at less cost. Most of all, he helps make practicing law and winning cases as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

Recent Posts

What Should the Supreme Court Actually Be Deciding?

Posted by Kent Radford on Apr 14, 2016 4:44:25 PM

DISCO creates cutting-edge software for the legal industry, which means that most of my blog posts end up discussing the finer points of software's role in ediscovery.  However, as DISCO was founded by lawyers, and many of us at DISCO are still lawyers first and foremost, it seems appropriate to talk about a topic currently trending near the top of the public’s perception of the legal world: an evenly split Supreme Court.

With the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court has naturally received a significant increase in media attention.  In particular, there is concern about the possibility of a dysfunctional Court: what happens when major issues can’t be decided because of a tie?  This agitation, at least superficially, seems well-founded since the Court has recently deadlocked on two cases: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn. , 578 U.S. ___ (2016) and Hawkins v. Community Bank , 577 U.S. ___ (2016).  

Relax, though.  All is not lost. In fact, I suggest that having a vacant seat provides some much-needed breathing room and an opportunity to determine whether the Court should even be deciding certain contentious cases.  More specifically, some cases may involve political questions (as defined by the political question doctrine) more correctly addressed by other branches of the government.

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Topics: ediscovery, Disco, Supreme Court

Do You Really Want Your Judge Engaged in eDiscovery Before a Dispute? - Part 2

Posted by Kent Radford on Nov 19, 2015 7:10:00 AM

In Part 1 of this topic, I listed a number of steps parties can take to get increased judicial intervention in discovery issues and left open the question of whether those steps are actually desirable.  In this Part 2, I explain that my opinion is that lawyers should not be engaging in most of these behaviors. Instead, we should embrace technology and our professionalism.

Certainly discovery costs are an important factor for everyone to consider in litigation, but steps parties can take to increase judicial intervention in order to reduce costs generally seem to impose unjustified limits.  I believe that the new amendments to the Federal Rules (and most active litigators’ mindsets) are based on knowledge of and experience with antiquated and expensive ediscovery technology.  In essence, these amendments view limits on what people can do as a more effective approach than embracing ever improving technology.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the suggestions mentioned in my last post...

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Topics: ediscovery, Legal Industry, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Disco, Technology, discovery, Rule 16, Rule 26

Do You Really Want Your Judge Engaged in eDiscovery Before a Dispute? - Part 1

Posted by Kent Radford on Nov 10, 2015 10:23:38 AM

I was listening to a speech about the upcoming changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the speaker relayed some research suggesting that something like 87% of the federal judiciary are reactive instead of proactive when it comes to ediscovery; they do little to nothing until the parties bring a discovery dispute before them.  The idea was that increased judicial activity could help manage the cost and scope of discovery.  The speaker encouraged the audience to get judges more engaged in ediscovery early in the case, but he didn’t elaborate on how to follow his suggestion.  I think it is worthwhile to consider some ways to engage the judiciary before a discovery dispute arises, but more importantly, I think it is worthwhile to consider whether such engagement is a good idea.

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Topics: ediscovery, Legal Industry, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Disco, Technology, discovery, Rule 16, Rule 26

Strengthening Our Legal DNA - Welcome Trevor Jefferies

Posted by Kent Radford on Oct 14, 2015 6:42:00 AM

CS Disco is pleased to announce the hiring of Trevor Jefferies away from his AmLaw 200 practice.  Trevor’s addition strengthens DISCO’s already-deep legal DNA. With extensive litigation knowledge and experience, Trevor joins DISCO from Arnold & Porter, where he was working on matters arising from a wide variety of cases in jurisdictions across North America and Europe, including commercial and patent litigation. While at Hogan Lovells, Trevor was a founding member of that firm’s Electronic Information Group, where he led the development of the firm’s internal ediscovery collaborative knowledge base and was a core member of the ediscovery compliance team.

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Topics: ediscovery, Legal Industry, eDiscovery Industry, Disco, Technology

Innovate or Die: The Challenges of Being a Litigation Boutique

Posted by Kent Radford on Sep 24, 2015 1:31:14 PM

I’ve worked in large firms and litigation boutiques; I much preferred a boutique practice.  Little things like a relaxed dress code (jeans every day if I chose) and more intimate relationships with every employee, and bigger things like greater flexibility in case selection and the ability to take on cases with the potential for broad social impact but no real financial gain (think file-sharing litigation) made a boutique better for me. Most importantly, the boutique experience showed me how a person can innovate in the law quickly and with dramatic results.

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Topics: ediscovery, Legal Industry, Litigation Boutiques

Expectations Versus Reality in Discovery Software

Posted by Kent Radford on Aug 14, 2015 4:16:00 PM

I recently participated in a webinar with Neil Etheridge, our VP of Marketing, as we discussed the common problem in discovery -- when clients feel that their reasonable expectations of use and service are not met when working with discovery products. The reality of what they receive is oftentimes quite different from what marketing, webinars, demos or advertisements would lead them to expect.

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Topics: Webinar, eDiscovery Industry, Disco Philosophy, Disco, Software