EDRM workshop launches TAR, cross-border projects

May event brings 50 e-discovery experts to Duke Law


More than 50 e-discovery experts, lawyers, and judges gathered May 15-17 for the annual EDRM Workshop, held for the first time in EDRM’s new home on the Duke University campus at Durham, N.C. The workshop included a welcome session led by EDRM’s director Jim Waldron and co-founder George Socha, breakout drafting sessions, and several networking and social events.

During the drafting sessions, three teams of EDRM members began work on the TAR project, which aims to develop industry guidelines for the use of TAR (technology assisted review) in e-discovery. Led by Michael Quartararo of Stroock, Stroock & Lavan and Adam Strayer of BDO, the TAR project ultimately will provide a thorough review of TAR technology – what it is (and isn’t), how it is used, use-case examples, potential benefits and pitfalls, and product-agnostic TAR workflows.

“Of course, one of the best benefits of attending an EDRM workshop is the opportunity to network with colleagues that also work in e-discovery and share ideas, and this workshop was no exception,” wrote Doug Austin of CloudNine in a post-workshop blog post. “Speaking personally, this was the most enjoyable EDRM workshop I’ve attended in some time and I enjoyed seeing a lot of new faces at this year’s workshop getting involved in thought leadership in our industry.  That’s what EDRM is all about.”

The TAR project group is planning to have a draft ready for public review and comment by early fall. Their work also will inform a major Duke conference, led by the Duke Center for Judicial Studies, Sept. 7-8, in Arlington, Va. That conference will bring together 15 federal judges and 85-100 lawyers who will work together to create best practices for the use of TAR in litigation.

At the workshop, another group of EDRM members worked to lay the foundation for a new project focused on cross-border discovery and the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is scheduled to take effect in May 2018. The EDRM group, led by Deena Coffman of BDO, discussed the opportunity to submit a proposed code of conduct for consideration by the EU Supervisory Authorities and will conduct research to determine likely conflicts among data privacy laws and where EDRM can best contribute its expertise and resources.

Participants said a highlight of the workshop was opportunity to network with colleagues from all corners of the e-discovery world. By bringing together the people who create and sell e-discovery software, the lawyers who use or hire people to use e-discovery systems, and the judges who must monitor the use of e-discovery in litigation, EDRM aims to develop educational tools that provide well-rounded and practical guidance for the most effective and efficient e-discovery practices. Events like the spring workshop are an opportunity for EDRM members to share insight and expertise in a collaborative and productive setting.

“The DUKE EDRM conference was a great way to open up valuable discussions about the evolution of the legal industry in terms of technology and best practices,” said Carolyn Young, vice president of discovery services for FRONTEO USA. “The membership of technology professionals, attorneys, and judges made for a great meeting of the minds to help educate and establish standards in the industry based on true experiences and knowledge from all professional perspectives.”

All current EDRM members are eligible to participate in the TAR and cross-border projects. To learn about membership opportunities, visit http://www.edrm.net/join/ or contact EDRM@law.duke.edu for more information on how to get involved.