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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
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The Storm Is Coming

The explosion in volume of electronically stored information and the complexity of its discovery overwhelms the litigation process and the justice system. Technology and efficient processes can ease the impact of electronic discovery.

The quote above is from a website created by something called the Electronic Discovery Institute.

It seems we've entered the era of extreme legal irony.

Remember the good old days, when boxes of physical-world litigation files were stored in warehouses? Remember how wonderfully hopeless it seemed?

Then came the digital age and all those files were stored in little computers or banks of big ones. It was supposed to solve the problem.

It didn't.

Now all that data in the machines is so vast and so complicated that law firms are spending enormous amounts of money on programs to sort through it.

The more things change ...

It's going to get worse, too. I see some delightful litigation turns in our collective future.

If opposing counsel, using expensive, sophisticated computer programming, sifts through a figurative mountain of data to reach a conclusion you don't like, aren't you obliged to challenge the programming?

Either you hire your own geeks to sift the data to your liking or you haul their geeks into court for coding cross-examination.

A computer may be needed to judge the outcome.

I'm recommending arbitration via World of Warcraft challenge matches. The client with the best computer jocks wins.

I have another legal weather forecast: cloudbursts.

The electronically trendy thing to do these days is to store data in clouds. You'd think data would get wet up there, but apparently the term is just a simile. (I know metaphor fans are going to argue with me over this, but nobody says a data cloud is a moisture cloud.)

You know what clouds do - they rain.

(OK, that was pretty metaphor-like. By the way, is the term "metaphor-like" a simile? I know I need to stop worrying about these things ...)

What happens when all that data you've stored in clouds precipitates through the electronic atmosphere? What if the storm is so severe that the cloud self-destructs?

The obvious result is a tornado of litigation.

And since all the data is gone, we'll be looking at warehouses full of files.

You read it here first.

Eye-Catcher. Never underestimate the power of a good headline. This one, from a press release issued last week, sucked me in: "As U.S. Supreme Court Holds SB 1070 Hearings Today, Controversial Anti-Immigration Wrestler RJ Brewer Prepares for His Epic Battle Against Legendary Mexican Luchador Blue Demon, Jr."

Naturally, I'm picturing a match in front of the justices at the Supreme Court. The justices could surround the ring like lumberjacks.

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. It turns out, though, that there's a character in a U.S. version of Lucha Libre (Mexican professional wrestling) who crusades against the illegal immigration of wrestlers who take the jobs of American wrestlers.

If you go to the Lucha Libre USA website, you can see a video of RJ Brewer, who claims to have a powerful mother in Arizona, explaining his position - while a couple of guys in costumes and masks sneak through a hole in a fence behind him.

Oddly, this patriotic guy is classified as a "rudo" or bad guy.

Patriotism isn't what it used to be.

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