Category: Technology Developments and Issues
On February 2, 2016, the EU Commission and U.S. Department of Justice announced the framework of a deal to allow transatlantic data transfers between the EU and U.S. without running afoul of Europe’s strict data protection directives. It was appropriate that the announcement came on Groundhog Day, because we have been here before.
Attorney competence is currently one of the most-discussed issues in e-discovery. Not surprisingly, much attention has been paid to the proposed ethics opinion issued last year by the State Bar of California that addresses an attorney’s ethical duties in the handling of the discovery of ESI. (See e.g., our previous blog post summarizing topics addressed at the Gibbons Eighth Annual E-Discovery Conference.) In response to several critical comments received during the public comment period, the California Bar’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct met in December 2014 and issued a revised version of Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 11-0004 (ESI and Discovery Requests). The public comment period for the revised version of the proposed opinion ends on April 9, 2015.
On December 5, 2014, Gibbons hosted its Eighth Annual E-Discovery Conference. The day’s first session discussed the year’s significant developments and featured panelists Michael Arkfeld, Principal at Arkfeld & Associates, and two Gibbons E-Discovery Task Force members; Director Jennifer Hradil and Associate Michael Landis.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a conviction for unlawful transfer of a false identification document (a forged birth certificate) because the district court abused its discretion and committed error in admitting a Russian social media page — akin to Facebook — that the government failed to authenticate as required by Federal Rule of Evidence 901.
As the world becomes more interconnected, data breaches and cyber-attacks are increasingly becoming an unfortunate reality for many organizations. The stakes are high: a data security breach can disrupt a company’s operations, damage the business’s reputation, cause its stock price to fall, lead to the loss of business, and attract government investigations, agency action, and class action lawsuits. Complicating matters is the fact that a patchwork of state and federal laws can apply to the same data security breach incident.
The International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) is forming a new e-discovery committee tasked with the development of standards for e-discovery processes and procedures. The international standard “would provide guidance on measures, spanning from initial creation of [electronically stored information] through its final disposition which an organization can undertake to mitigate risk and expense should electronic discovery become an issue” according to a draft committee charter.
As followers of this blog know, we often bring you updates regarding the ever-changing world of social media, in particular, how it affects attorney ethics or judicial proceedings, or how it is used by financial services industry participants. Here, as the closing ceremonies for this year’s London Olympics have recently ended, we pause to reflect how the popularity of social media has “changed the game,” resulting in the world’s first “Social Media Olympics.”
Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were updated in 2006 specifically to deal with electronically stored information (“ESI”), Bankruptcy Courts and Bankruptcy practitioners have had little bankruptcy-specific guidelines for managing ESI and electronic discovery issues. As a result, the ABA commissioned the Electronic Discovery (ESI) in Bankruptcy Working Group “to study and prepare guidelines or a best practices report on the scope and timing of a party’s obligation to preserve [ESI] in bankruptcy cases.” On March 15, 2012, the Working Group published their interim report on ESI in bankruptcy cases in an effort to invite and stimulate comments from a wider audience regarding how ESI issues should be handled in (i) large Chapter 11 cases; (ii) middle market and smaller Chapter 11 cases; and (iii) Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, thousands of internet companies including Google and Wikipedia protested against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) proposed by the House and its counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). For example, Wikipedia blacked out its website while Google collected over 7 million signatures for its anti SOPA and PIPA petition. Since the high profile protests, key House and Senate supporters have withdrawn their support, questioning the viability of both bills.
On the heels of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, the second panel discussion at the Fifth Annual Gibbons E-Discovery Conference dealt with pressing issues involving cybersecurity and their effect on private industries. Moderated by Gibbons Director and senior E-Discovery Task Force member Jeffrey L. Nagel, Esq., the panel opened with a presentation by Erez Lieberman, Esq., Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit and Chief of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section, Office of the United States Attorney, District of New Jersey. Mr. Lieberman discussed several cases of high profile cybersecurity breaches in recent years and the government’s role in those cases. Mr. Lieberman identified the various types of cybercrimes affecting businesses and provided the audience with a unique understanding of the interaction and coordination between his office, the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and private companies. Mr. Lieberman also addressed the effect of data breaches on the public sector and the impact of public perception on the business.