Do We Have a Need for BASIC eDiscovery CLE Webinars?: eDiscovery Trends

After the ACEDS #caseoftheweek video broadcast that eDiscovery Assistant’s Kelly Twigger and I conducted yesterday (where we discussed the massive DR Distribs. v. 21 Century Smoking ruling from last month which I covered here and here), I began to wonder if we need more basic Continuing Legal Education (CLE) webinars.

Sure, we have webinars on latest trends on topics like Artificial Intelligence (AI), remote work during the pandemic, the latest index in place technologies, data privacy trends and best practices and cybersecurity trends and best practices.  We discuss the importance of information governance and getting rid of your redundant, obsolete and trivial (R.O.T.) data within an organization to keep data volumes.  These are all important and timely topics.

But it seems with those topics that we’re trying to reach people who already understand the basics of eDiscovery.  Have we left behind the people who haven’t learned it yet?  There are a lot of lawyers out there who don’t even know how to execute a proper legal hold.  Or the importance of conducting custodian interviews and what questions to ask.  Or that unmanaged self-collection by the client is often not a good idea.  Many don’t even know about the EDRM model and the phases of eDiscovery.  Clearly, based on cases I’ve covered, there are a lot of lawyers who still don’t seem to know about the FRCP rules updates from over five years ago in 2015.

It seems like it’s time to go back to the basics here and conduct a “what lawyers need to know about eDiscovery in 2021” basics CLE webinar.  It may be redundant to a lot of you who read this blog, but there are clearly a lot of lawyers out there that still need a class like this.  A few years ago, I conducted such a webinar with a colleague – it was one hour and covered Federal rules, the EDRM model and other topics.  Maybe it’s time to “dust it off” and update it.  If there’s one out there already, please let me know.

Just a reminder that Today, ACEDS will host the webinar The Potential Promise of Proportionality: Platitude or Progress? at 1pm ET (noon CT, 10am PT).  In this webinar, you’ll gain insight into:

  • The judicial perspective on proportionality and what is expected from practitioners
  • The interplay with early scoping and assessment, data minimization and targeting, and privacy requirements
  • How to leverage proportionality to maximize future results

This webinar has something for everyone interested in making discovery more proportional – not to mention fans of alliteration!  😉  And, I’m excited to be participating in this panel with four experts on the topic of discovery and proportionality, including Judge Christopher P. Yates, 17th Circuit Court Judge, Specialized Business Docket, Michigan; Jonathan Wilan, Partner, Baker McKenzie LLP; Martin Tully, Founding Partner, Actuate Law, LLC and Mandi Ross, CEO, Prism Litigation Technology and Insight Optix LLC.

BTW, if you’re wondering why the blog is late this morning, it’s because I’m one of the 4.2 million Texans that have been without power during the unprecedented winter storm that has hit our state.  Hotels are full, most restaurants are closed, supermarkets have reduced hours (and are running out of supplies, to boot).  It’s not fun.  I’m operating on battery power and mobile hotspot.  Yet, the blog marches on — somehow. Bear with me.


So, what do you think?  Do you think the legal profession needs an eDiscovery basics CLE webinar?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.


  1. Hi Doug. It is great to see that you are able to post in spite of your circumstances. I definitely agree that more CLE courses are necessary. In October 2019, a colleague and I taught a CLE course in Massachusetts “eDiscovery in the Smaller Case” covering eDiscovery basics, including vendor selection and ethics rules/responsibilities.

  2. Doug: Totally needed. I’ve been doing ED basic and ED for SMall Cases webinars for years now and have never stopped. Demand is as high now from local bar associations as it ever has been. Have several slide decks and happy to collaborate on a program if you’re interested

  3. Doug, FIRST … stay safe! The blog can wait a day while you dig out from under the snow 🙂

    Second, ABSOLUTELY!! I’m happy to geek out about AI, TAR, NLP, analytics and the like, but I’ve been preaching for YEARS that the vast number of lawyers just need a basic understanding of what e-discovery involves and entails. After all, e-discovery is really just a tiny sliver of an overall litigation project (although it usually accounts for the most cost!).

    Thrilled to see the marvelous Tom O’Connor post here, since he published the “Ernie Challenge” after Craig Ball posted the “EDna Challenge” Look at the years on those publications!! And we are STILL in need of basic e-discovery instruction.

  4. Thanks, everybody! Tom and Brett, I’ll reach out to you when things calm down for me. I had a feeling that you two would have some thoughts about this! 🙂 And, thanks, Maureen and Ariadne, for your comments as well!

  5. Doug – glad to hear you’re making due in some rather dire circumstances. I have family in Texas enduring similar pains, but they just got their power back – so hoping your next!

    I couldn’t agree with you more. While many law schools are thankfully teaching eDiscovery courses these days, that still seems to be somewhat of the exception rather than the rule. And, of course, that doesn’t help the, shall we say, long-past-law-school professionals out there.

    So, there are still a lot of legal professionals (not just attorneys) who are starving for a more basic education across the entire EDRM spectrum. And that’s even more true now that corporations are looking for their internal teams to handle more and more eDiscovery tasks internally.

    Indeed, we routinely offer onsite courses (pre-COVID anyway) and online webinars (CLE and otherwise) on a variety of topics to our corporate and law firm clients, as well as through organizations like ACEDS (although those tend to be on the more advanced topics) and it is somewhat surprising how many requests we get for the basic topics. Sure, there are some that ask for the more advanced topics that we offer across each phase of the EDRM, but hands down, the highest demand still is around the basic introductory courses more than anything else.

    We’ve always believed that an educated client is the best client (and an educated industry…), so we’re right there with you on this. If you’d like, we’d be happy to provide you with people and resources for any webinars you put together too.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery from the storms!


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