364 Days a Year, I’m a Bear. Thursday, I’m a Gator: eDiscovery Best Practices

If you know me well enough (or participated in any Zoom meeting over the past year with my background off), you probably know that I am a graduate of Baylor University and (therefore) a Baylor Bear.  But, for one day a year, I am a Florida Gator* and this Thursday is that day.  Why?  Because it will be time for the 8th Annual University of Florida Levin College of Law E-Discovery Conference!

As I noted last month, the conference is completely online and free for all attendees!  So, how many of you are registered so far?  Only 2,635 (as of yesterday)!  If you’re not registered, you should probably ask yourself “why not?”, because it seems like everybody who cares about eDiscovery will be there!  If you don’t believe me, check out the agenda below.  But, first, here’s the link to register – again, it’s FREE, so don’t miss out!

The agenda represents an entire day of CLE-accredited topics, running the gamut of all things eDiscovery.  Here is the agenda (note: all times Eastern time):


8:30 – 8:40 AM: Conference Opening and Welcome

  • William Hamilton, Senior Legal Skills Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal
  • Laura Rosenbury, Dean and Levin, Mabie, and Levin Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law

8:40 – 9:00 AM: Keynote Presentation: The New ESI Paradigm: What’s Required in 2021

  • The Honorable William Matthewman, United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of Florida

9:00 – 9:50 AM: The 2021 Judicial Panel: Perspectives on the Core Components of E-Discovery

In his 2020 Florida Law Review Article, Towards a New Paradigm for E-Discovery in Civil Litigation: A Judicial Perspective, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman proposed 10 “Core Components” to help legal teams cope with the challenges presented by rapidly changing technologies and occasionally abusive discovery tactics. The 2021 Judicial Panel of distinguished Florida federal judges will examine some of these components and offer perspectives on important issues affecting you and your clients in e-discovery, including the role of judges and how active they should be in policing the e-discovery process, the technical competence of legal teams, just how much discovery there really needs to be, and more.

  • David Horrigan, Discovery Counsel and Legal Education Director at Relativity
  • The Honorable Patricia D. Barksdale, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Florida
  • The Honorable Gary R. Jones, United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Florida
  • The Honorable William Matthewman, United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of Florida
  • The Honorable Mac R. McCoy, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Florida
  • The Honorable Julie Sneed, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Florida

10:00 – 10:50 AM: What the Courts Told Us: An eDiscovery Case Law Chat

On issues from the legal ethics of data self-collection to how email threads should be included on privilege logs, Florida federal courts have had a big impact on e-discovery law over the past year.  Join us for a fireside chat as the bench and bar review significant e-discovery case law decisions. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Jones (N.D. Fla.) provides a Florida perspective and U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez (W.D. Tex.) joins us for analysis from beyond the Sunshine State. David Horrigan of Relativity and Kelly Twigger of ESI Attorneys and eDiscovery Assistant will bring the lawyers’ perspective, teeing up cases for the judges’ analysis.


  • David Horrigan, Discovery Counsel and Legal Education Director at Relativity


  • The Honorable Gary R. Jones, United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Florida
  • The Honorable Xavier Rodriguez, United States District Court Judge, Western District Texas
  • Kelly Twigger, Principal of ESI Attorneys and Founder and CEO of eDiscovery Assistant

11:00 – 11:50 AM: Effective Search from Keywords to AI

With no “one size fits all” solution, throughout the life of your case your search strategy should be guided by your overall goals and requirements, available data. This panel will discuss strategic and tactical capabilities of searching across various technologies throughout the life of your case.


  • Rose Hunter Jones: Partner, King & Spalding


  • Joy Murao, Founder and CEO of Practice Aligned Resources
  • Tom O’Connor, Director at Gulf Coast Legal
  • Christine Payne, Partner at Redgrave LLP
  • George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal

12:00 – 12:50 PM: E-Discovery Nuts & Bolts

Our well-received short e-discovery presentations returns again this year. Our faculty will keep you riveted (get it?).

Five Life Lessons I’ve Learned from E-Discovery

  • Craig Ball, President of Craig D. Ball, P.C.

Legal Tech Jobs: Before and After the Pandemic

  • Jared Coseglia, Founder and CEO of Tru Staff Partners

Founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners, the world’s only fully dedicated data privacy, cybersecurity, and eDiscovery staffing agency, will take students and attendees on a whirlwind tour of the legal technology job market pre- and post- Covid pandemic. This presentation will speak not only to the evolving ecosystem of employment opportunities within legal technology, but also to how the community’s approach to interviewing and staff selection has adapted and changed because of the pandemic. Expect a full explanation of how remote and contract hiring modalities have shaped the current landscape and why now is the right time for talent to matriculate between legal disciplines.

Eight E-Discovery Trends in 10 Slides

  • Doug Austin, Editor of eDiscovery Today

Doug Austin, Editor of eDiscovery Today, will discuss findings from eDiscovery Today’s 2021 State of the Industry Report (sponsored by EDRM).  The 2021 SOTIR report includes survey results regarding key trends of 183 legal industry professionals (with breakouts by law firm, service/software provider and consultancy respondents) and observations from 20 industry thought leaders regarding these trends.  Doug will discuss findings from the report and what they could mean for your eDiscovery practice.

Paths & Ladders: Take Initiative to Move Your eDiscovery Brand Forward

  • Maribel Rivera, Senior Director of Community Relations at ACEDS

With the power of continuous efforts and a good mix of tactics, you can build a brand that will help you move your career forward. In this fast-paced mini-session, we will discuss a few resources and tools you can leverage to help you build a brand and differentiate yourself.

1:00 – 1:50 PM: Leveraging Search During Review

The process of reviewing your client’s data prior to production or reviewing a production that just came in requires a meaningful approach leveraging search and other technologies to get to the heart of what you need to review faster. This session will build on the strategy outlined in the search session and show you how to use search and other technology to get to what you need faster instead of using traditional linear review.


Canaan Himmelbaum, Global Director at Consilio LLC


  • Ian Campbell, President & Chief Executive Officer of iCONECT Development LLC.
  • Suzanne Clark, Legal Project Management at Discovery Counsel at eDiscovery CoCounsel, PLLC.
  • Jessie G. Torres, Discovery Team Manager at Berger Singerman, LLC
  • Kelly Twigger, Principal of ESI Attorneys and Founder and CEO of eDiscovery Assistant

2:00 – 2:50 PM: Proportionality in Practice: Experience from the Trenches

The burden and expense of e-discovery can be both a weapon and a shield. Few subjects have engendered more debate than proportionality. Rule 26(b) was amended in 2015 to expressly require consideration of proportionality when assessing the scope of parties’ discovery obligations. But proportionality has been a consideration in discovery for decades.


This panel will address these questions and more, and provide a practical proportionality framework to assess the burden and cost associated with proportionality. Valuable practice pointers related to the “proportional to needs of the case” requirement will also be highlighted.


  • Mike Quartararo: President of Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)


  • Tessa Jacob, Partner at Husch Blackwell LLP
  • Scott Milner, Partner and Co-Leader, eData Practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Mandi Ross, Founder and CEO of Prism Litigation Technology
  • Ariana Tadler, Founding Partner of Tadler Law LLP

3:00 – 3:50 PM: Challenges in the Collection and Analysis of Short Messages: From Slack to TEAMS

Short messages are emerging as the primary communication vehicle in many corporations and businesses. These platforms create immense problems in terms of collection, processing and analysis. How can completeness be assured? What constitutes a “document”? Where does relevance begin and end? Who is the custodian? How can short messages be integrated in a full picture of corporate communications involving short messages, emails, text messages, and document editing? Our Panel will provide practical guidance and real world experience in how to address short messaging in discovery.


  • Farrah Pepper, Chief Legal Innovation Counsel at Marsh McLellan Companies


  • Martha Louks, Director of Technology Services at McDermott, Will & Emery
  • Scott Milner, Partner and Co-Leader at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, eData Practice
  • Daniel Regard, President and CEO of iDS
  • Gina M. Sansone, Partner and Manager of Litigation Support at Axinn, Veltrop, and Harkrider LLP

4:00 – 4:50 PM: Privacy Pandemic! The Impact of Privacy Law Changes and Global COVID-19 on E-Discovery

Recent data privacy law changes in the European Union and in the State of California have impacted information governance and e-discovery in many ways.  Our panel of privacy experts will start by explaining some basic principles of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Protection Act.  Next we will discuss the further impact on data privacy and e-discovery during the last year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting cyberattacks and data breaches.


  • Chris Dix: Shareholder, Smith Hulsey & Busey


  • Brian Corbin, Executive Director, Assistant General Counsel, Litigation Department at JPMorgan Chase
  • Kenya Parrish-Dixon, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Empire Technologies Risk Management Group
  • Taylor Hoffman, Senior Legal Counsel-Head eDiscovery Management (SVP) at Swiss Re
  • Debbie Reynolds, Founder, CEO, and Chief Data Privacy Officer of Debbie Reynolds Consulting LLC.

5:00 – 5:50 PM: Social Justice: The eDiscovery Community Responds Programs and Opportunities, Paid and Pro Bono

This panel will discuss existing and proposed programs from the perspective of service organizations, corporations, law firms and service providers.  Opportunities for technical, legal/technical, paralegals and attorneys will be discussed.  Programs open for students, paid and unpaid, will also be highlighted.  We will share resources, challenges and opportunities to connect to make a difference.


  • Mary Mack, CISSP, CEO and Chief Legal Technologist at Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)


  • Ian Campbell, President & Chief Executive Officer of iCONECT Development, LLC
  • Rose Hunter Jones, Partner at King & Spalding
  • Scott Milner, Partner and Co-Leader of eData Practice at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Kenya Parrish-Dixon, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Empire Technologies Risk Management Group

5:50 – 6:00 PM: Conference Closing and Wrap-up

  • William Hamilton, Senior Legal Skills Professor at University of Florida Levin College of Law

See what I mean?  How could you miss all of this great eDiscovery educational content with such great speakers?

So, on Thursday, for one day, I’ll be a Gator.  Then, the South Region #1 seed Baylor Bears will be playing in the NCAA basketball tournament on Friday and I’ll be back to being a Bear.  Oh, and they could meet up with the Florida Gators in the Elite Eight if both teams make it that far!  I’ll be a Bear then too!  😉

*With all due respect to my mother-in-law Hilda, who graduated from Florida State… 😉

So, what do you think?  Are you one of the few who aren’t attending the University of Florida E-Discovery Conference?  If not, why not?  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.

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