Cultivating Ediscovery Excellence

September 25 – 27, 2018  |  Portland, OR

Cultivating Ediscovery Excellence

September 25 – 27, 2018  |  Portland, OR

What’s on the legal and political horizon?

Introducing this year’s featured keynote speaker

Jeffrey Toobin is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the Supreme Court. Toobin is the chief legal analyst for CNN, along with being a critically acclaimed author of multiple best-sellers, including “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court” and its sequel, “The Oath.” Toobin’s latest book, “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst,” was released to considerable acclaim in 2016.

The rate of technology growth and capability presents numerous challenges for businesses and governments, and the law is typically far behind the capabilities of today – how can the judiciary evolve to more quickly keep pace with the rapidly-changing tools that alter business practice on a scale of months, not years?

For better or more likely for worse, the judiciary is not going to change a great deal. The judges will remain middle-aged and older. The real challenge is going to be for the lawyers who are making their cases. They are going to have to be innovative and creative in using technology to make technology comprehensible for the less-computer-literate judges.

Though political scandals aren’t new, ones that are related to the integrity of the U.S. election process clearly raise the bar for citizen concern. Ediscovery practice typically faces challenges of how to collect relevant, unaltered information from disparate data sources – given the stakes involved with the current collusion investigation, do you think it’s important that more stringent standards for retention, collection, and deletion of election- and government-related data be established as a check against abuse of power?

The security of computer data in every form and in every setting is one of the major challenges for American business and government. Perhaps the greatest initial challenge is the creation of a widely accepted standard to determine when data security has been violated, and what that means. Journalists frequently report on breaches — that, for example, x million records have been compromised. But even today, most people (including me) don’t know what that means — and what consumers should do about it.

With the recent European implementation of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and increased concern about the gathering, use, sales, and security of online personal data, do you see any evidence of political or judicial responses in the U.S.?

Not much of one. Members of Congress are great at holding hearings and expressing outrage — but they are less skilled at presenting solutions, especially to complex technological problems. In a partisan era, this is not an especially partisan issue; neither side has much idea about how to address these problems.

With the addition of Justice Gorsuch in 2017, the Supreme Court makeup is weighted towards conservative justices. With a Republican White House and Congress, how is political coordination between the three government branches aligning for longer term conservative goals?

I think things are aligning quite well for conservatives. There will be less regulation in general and certainly fewer restrictions on polluters. Unions will shrink even more. Restrictions on voting will increase. Advances for gay rights will stop. Abortions may be regulated out of existence in many states. Taxes will continue to go down. The larger conservative goal of paring back the regulatory state is in reach.

The current administration had made multiple moves to remove various immigrant groups from the U.S., including eliminating DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Though courts have blocked some of these moves, in your opinion, will any of these initiatives be upheld in the long term? What do you see as the longer term goal of these actions and how is it linked to political strategy?

This is a tough one. On immigration, the Trump coalition is fighting both the Democratic Party, which has embraced comprehensive immigration reform, but also establishment Republicans who have always supported few immigration barriers. A stalemate seems most likely on this issue.

To hear about Jeffrey Toobin’s views on the inner workings of the Supreme Court and its influence on the upcoming elections, register for this September’s PREX.

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