[EDRM Editor’s Note: This article was first published April 4, 2023 and EDRM is grateful to our EDRM Global Advisory Council Leader, Monica Harris of EDRM Trusted Partner, Cellebrite Enterprise Solutions, for permission to republish.]
Legalweek 2023 was a resounding success, and one of the key takeaways from the conference was the growing importance of mobile data in eDiscovery. Over the past year, the legal industry has been grappling with the question of including mobile data in their cases and investigations. However, the conversations at Legalweek 2023 shifted from “what” to “how,” indicating that the industry has reached a tipping point in terms of mobile data.
The increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices has led to a proliferation of electronic data generated outside companies’ traditional IT infrastructure. This data can be incredibly valuable in eDiscovery cases, as it can provide critical evidence that might otherwise be missed.
However, collecting and processing mobile data presents some unique challenges. For example, data on mobile devices is often highly fragmented, with information stored in multiple locations and formats. Additionally, mobile data can be encrypted or otherwise protected, making it difficult to access without specialized tools and techniques.
To overcome these challenges, legal professionals must have a deep understanding of the intricacies of mobile data and be equipped with the right tools and technology. This includes specialized software that can preserve, extract, and analyze mobile data, as well as trained experts who can navigate the complex legal and technical issues surrounding mobile data in eDiscovery.
While mobile data is an important part of eDiscovery, it is just one of many topics that were discussed during Legalweek 2023. And something important to note is that while virtual conferences have their place, there is nothing quite like talking to people in person. The global pandemic has had a major impact on the annual conference circuit.
Attendance at conferences has dropped off precipitously, with many organizations having to make the difficult decision to shift their events to hybrid or even digital formats. While this has been necessary to keep participants safe and healthy, it, unfortunately, lacks the face-to-face networking opportunities that can be so crucial for building connections and doing business.
The in-person nature of the conference provided a great opportunity for legal professionals to learn about the latest trends and technologies in eDiscovery. Whether it was a five-minute chat in a hotel lobby, clinking glasses at a networking event, sharing an appetizer at a dinner, or viewing a product demo in a booth or suite; in-person conversations prove to be the most fruitful conversations as there is a sense of camaraderie you get which you can’t otherwise foster during virtual meetings.
It should also be mentioned how important it is for teams to attend such conferences together. It ensures that team members are on the same page when it comes to the latest in tech and knowledge, placing them in the best position for success moving forward. The most fruitful meetings included entire teams with representation from those that worked on the right side of the EDRM, the left side of the EDRM, and those who were EDRM adjacent. Having so many minds with different perspectives can help to ensure everyone can learn from each other and provide holistic solutions to industry pain points.
Furthermore, conferences provide a unique opportunity for professionals to gain insight into specific topics or fields of interest that they may not have access to through other channels. As such, a full recovery of the conference industry could prove to be invaluable both personally and professionally. Attending conferences like Legalweek 2023 provides opportunities to build relationships with others in the industry through networking with peers and meeting with vendors, which can lead to collaboration and partnership opportunities in the future for shared visions and goals.
Overall, while there is still much progress yet to make until we reach our pre-pandemic state of affairs when it comes to conferences—we have faith that this will occur by 2024. After all, human connection is key when it comes to achieving success in any field: having a strong network is what allows individuals or teams to be able to create something truly remarkable together.