It’s “year-end list season” (did I say that already?). So, I’m looking back and forward over the next couple of days starting with 5 legal tech trends of 2022!
Here are the 5 legal tech trends of 2022 that I’ve observed:
eDiscovery Has Become Routinely a Part of the Headlines
eDiscovery isn’t just part of the cases that nobody’s ever heard of (outside of the eDiscovery bubble, that is). It’s now a central theme of stories in the headlines. Whether it’s Alex Jones, the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial, the January 6th capitol insurrection or the “Wagatha Christie” scandal across the pond, eDiscovery is a major part of the story.
Collaboration Apps Have Arrived as a Regular Source of ESI in 2022
In the 2022 eDiscovery Today State of the Industry report, three in ten of respondents (30.6%) identified discovery of collaboration app data as the biggest eDiscovery related trend for 2022. Looks like they knew what they were talking about! We saw three notable cases in 2022 involving discovery of Slack data, including this case involving adverse inference sanctions for changing the retention period for Slack after a reasonable anticipation of litigation and this case involving a “smoking gun” Slack message! What will be the top trend of 2023? You’ll find out in a couple of weeks!
Data Privacy Fines are Ramping Up
That escalated quickly! We’re seeing more fines for data privacy violations and the fines are continuing to have more teeth. GDPR fines almost doubled in the first half of 2022, compared to the first half of 2021. Two of the three largest fines ever (both for Meta, which also just had a proposed privacy settlement rejected by a judge). Maybe it’s because they have no idea where your data is? Cookies once again left a bitter taste in regulators mouths’ and even Australia got into the act, with a fine for Google over misleading Android settings. With new laws going into effect for four states in 2023 and a Federal data privacy bill possibly picking up steam, it’s only going to get worse.
Cyber Incidents Are More Prevalent Than Ever
If personal data isn’t being misused, it’s being hacked or made vulnerable – more often than ever. Notable examples include: 1) a healthcare breach of over 3 million patient records, 2) ransomware that destroys 666 bytes at a time, 3) a guy who got drunk and lost the data for an entire city, and 4) a hack of Costa Rica that literally reduced them to pen and paper! Not to mention (but I will anyway) perhaps the largest data breach ever, involving 1 billion people! Remember, it takes an average of 287 days for security teams to identify and contain a data breach (and notify affected parties) – meaning a breach that occurs today may not be fully contained until October 4, 2023! Don’t believe me? Here’s an example that exceeds that timeline.
Lawyers Continue to Insist on Keyword Searches, Even Though Many Don’t Understand Them
This final trend could apply just about any year, though we continued to be reminded of that in 2022. We only have to go back to the January 6th attack on Congress and this list of really bad search terms that the House select committee submitted to former Trump lawyer John Eastman – which is not a political statement, but a “bad eDiscovery practices” statement (in my experience, Democrats and Republicans have shown an equal ability to be inept when it comes to crafting good eDiscovery search terms 😉 ). Technology Assisted Review (TAR) has been approved by Courts for over ten years now. Take a look at this search, which is just one of 25 searches in a case I covered earlier this year:
((“trade show” OR “tradeshow” OR “dental show” OR “AACD” OR “AAO” OR “CDS” OR “DLOAC” OR “GNYDM” OR Hinman OR “Lab Day East” OR “Lab Day West” OR “Pacific Dental Conference” OR “Yankee Dental” OR “IDS” OR “ADA” OR “CAD/CAM Conference” OR “California Dental Association” OR “CDA” OR “Greater New York Dental “ OR “Southwest Dental Conference” OR “Academy of General Dentistry” OR “AGD” or “Smiles at Sea” or “Mid-Continent Dental” OR “MCDC” OR “Rocky Mountain Dental Convention” OR “RMDC” OR “YDC” or Midwinter OR “CDS” OR “Pacific Northwest Dental Conference” OR “PNDC” OR “Star of the North” OR “TDA” or “NODC” OR “AAOMS” OR “Kois”) w/7 (itero OR “IOS” OR scanner* OR Invisalign OR Cadent OR aligner OR competit* OR trios OR 3Shape OR 3-shape OR promo)) /25 (“USA” or U.S.A. or “US” or U.S. or “United States” or “North America” or America* or “NA”)
Is TAR really more difficult to understand than that? Hopefully, more legal professionals will consider the use of TAR in 2023!
So, that’s my list of 5 legal tech trends of 2022 that I think are notable. Tomorrow, I will discuss 5 legal tech predictions for 2023! Stay tuned!
So, what do you think of my list of 5 legal tech trends of 2022? What do you consider to be the most notable trends of 2022? 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.