Electronic Discovery Jargon Galore

Every year in the electronic discovery industry a “hot new something” happens that causes a stir and the next thing we know that “hot new something” is all everyone in the industry is talking about. All of the bloggers start blogging about it to share their pro or con opinions. The annual conferences start lining up speakers to talk about that “hot new something”. Regional litigation support organizations with monthly meetings start planning to have panel discussions to discuss that “hot new something”. Service providers schedule webinars with yet more speakers to discuss that “hot new something”.

The “hot new something” will be discussed ad nauseum for approximately 18  months. Around the 1 year mark, we litigation support professionals begin wishing that we never have to hear about that “hot new something” ever again.

Some people refer to these as “the buzz word of the year”. New people to the industry will start hearing the buzz word and decide that they need to learn as much as they can about it. Of course, there are plenty of articles to help with that mission. The positive for this plan is that if someone asks about “the buzz word”, the newbie is somewhat informed. The negative for this plan is that “the buzz word” is almost a distraction. There are so many other things that a newbie could be focusing on to really learn the industry.

Some examples of “hot new somethings” in the past have been related to (1) new software, (2) new rules, (3) new certifications, (4) new pricing structures, (5) a new technology, (6) a new workflow process or (7) a landmark litigation case.

My advice for newbies is to try your best to decipher which knowledge is related to the “hot new something” of the year and which knowledge has been around for years and will continue to be around for more years. Focus most of your time on the latter and a smaller percentage of your time on “the buzz word of the year”.


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    • <– Newbie reporting for duty. Predictive coding seems to be the buzz word right now. Great webinar yesterday!

      • LitSuppGuru

        Ding! Ding! Ding! Give that student a gold star! Thanks Chris. What was your “ah ha” you took away from the webinar?

    • Scgroves

      Thank you for the webinar yesterday, it was very informative!  
      Predictive coding is definitely the hot topic for this year, a few years ago if memory serves me right, legal software programs supporting unicode was the hot topic and who could forget the beginning of  ECA???

      • LitSuppGuru

        I love getting the feedback regarding what people learn from the webinars. I want everyone to have at least one takeaway or “ah ha” moment.

        You are correct, ECA (Early Case Assessment) was the buzz word a few years ago.

        •  Which brings up another point. I’ve been in this industry for 17 years now and it is almost guaranteed that 4/5 people talking about the latest buzzword don’t fully understand it, but that doesn’t stop them from yammering on about it. ECA was particularly troublesome in this respect.

          • LitSuppGuru

            Unfortunately, you are correct, John. There are individuals that simply use the buzz words to impress.

    • LitSuppGuru

      Ha, I totally understand the desire to know everything now. Unfortunately, there was a technical glitch and the recording we attempted to make didn’t happen. I will be making the PPT slides available in the next day or so.