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June 14, 2006

My Dinner With Janet Reno

Former Attorney General Janet Reno delivered the keynote address at an Executive Briefing and dinner sponsored by Guidance Software.  Guidance manufacturers the enCase application (among others) which is a standard with law enforcement agencies around the country for forensic examination of computers and hard drives.  The evening's topic was the implementation of the new ediscovery rules that will go into effect in December as part of the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Scott Carlson of Seyfarth Shaw spoke on mitigating costs involved with ediscovery compliance, and addressed policy issues regarding the organization, preservation, and processing discovery requests for electronic data.  Jon Blair, Director of Guidance software Professional Services Midwest, also spoke on streamlining the process of ediscovery compliance.  Part of the problems both speakers addressed is the diffuse locations of potentially relevant data.  Copies of emails may be on back-up tapes, archives on networks (with branches in multiple cities), and local hard drives.  The presentations also touched on the trend towards sanctions in situations where data was not preserved even in inadvertent circumstances.

Miss Reno's speech covered broader issues relating to the legal process.  She described education as the key to solving a host of problems.  She noted the expertise in the room and said it was important to for children to learn technology, even at an early age.  The Internet and technology has become so pervasive that technological skills are essential to navigating through life.  She related this to legal practice, mentioning the Innocence Project as an example.  Expertise with DNA has cleared a individuals of serious charges.  Moreover, technical expertise in the courtroom could prevent miscarriages of justice from happening.  The assembled guests gave Miss Reno a standing ovation at the conclusion of her remarks.

Guidance has hosted similar briefings in other cities featuring luminaries such as former Senator Bob Dole and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.  All in all, it was a splendid evening at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.  For more information about Guidance, visit their web site here.

June 14, 2006 | Permalink

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