Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Lotus Notes resource

Lotus Notes is often misunderstood, even by those who should know better. Vendors will happily convert NSF's to PST's without once bothering to check if the NSF's are even mail files, let alone examining them for custom email fields.

Truth is, Lotus Notes is a database which is used for email, calendars, tasks and all that good stuff just like Microsoft Outlook. But it is also designed to serve as the basis for many other database-oriented applications.

Need a CRM system? Notes can do that. Need a web-based customer service centre? Yep, Notes can do that too. Or rather, Lotus Notes application developers can do that. It's not as if Notes does it all by itself . . .

Anyway, I wanted to let you all know that Intechgration now has a new sister website -, created and carefully monitored by Intechgration's very own Steve Treible who has over a decade of experience in Lotus Notes and is both a certified Lotus Notes Administrator and Lotus Notes Developer.

So if you have any questions about your Notes-based eDiscovery, drop us a line using the form on, and watch the site for updates!

Technology Hares and Legal Tortoises

I was at an after-work seminar this evening sponsored by Commonwealth Legal that featured the renowned Michael Arkfeld who is well-known in the litigation support community for being one of the (too few) lawyers who truly understand eDiscovery.

His presentation covered a number of points, mainly with a US focus, but one thing he touched on really jumped out at me. He was talking about the US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in particular Rule 26(b)(2)(B) which states "(a) party need not provide discovery of electronically stored information from sources that the party identifies as not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost".

Now, many lawyers, when this rule first came out, took this to mean that there was no reason to worry about backup tapes any more. After all, we all know that backup tapes cost a small fortune to restore, index, get data off, and generally use for discovery purposes. But that was back in 2006. Since then, Index Engines has come out with technology that indexes tapes without having to go through all the pain and trouble of restoring them. (See here for an interesting blog post on their product).

In other words, Index Engine's technology has made reliance on some case law which specifies backup tapes as being "not reasonably accessible" a dangerous thing to do.

So this raises an obvious question. How can lawyers (who are rarely comfortable with technology anyway) hope to keep up with the fast pace of technology? For every problem that eDiscovery throws at the IT world (and legal professionals) someone will come up with some kind of solution to make it faster, cheaper and easier.

Michael Arkfeld's suggestion was to have some kind of eDiscovery technology clearing-house, which is not a bad idea, although perhaps difficult to implement. My suggestion, until Mr. Arkfeld gets his Technology Clearinghouse up and running, is to at least try to read industry publications (not just law firm technology publications - Information Week is also a surprisingly good source of eDiscovery trends from an IT perspective) and go to a trade show once in a while. LegalTech NY is probably the best for checking out who is doing what in the eDiscovery world.