Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Latest sign of the e-discovery apocalypse

We're all used to sports stars endorsing soft drinks, cars, or breakfast cereals. But I just saw what I suspect is a first: a sports star flacking for an e-discovery vendor. For the uninitiated, e-discovery is the process whereby parties retrieve and exchange electronically-stored information ("ESI" to pros) in litigation. Given the huge volume of email and other electronically stored documents that corporations generate today, e-discovery can be an enormously complex and expensive process. And a scary one, too: every attorney who defends big corporations lives in mortal fear that his or her case will be sunk by revelations that his client erased -- even unintentionally -- ESI that the law requires to be saved and produced to the other side. (Yes, the law has protections for those who make innocent mistakes, but the fear remains.)A huge industry of consultants and other vendors has arisen in recent years to handle massive e-discovery jobs, and I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that they are acting just like every other industry, seeking out popular sports figures to make their case. Thus I just saw an ad on CNBC for major e-discovery vendor FTI Consulting, Inc., featuring Irish golf champ Pádraig Harrington hawking e-discovery services, comparing his 2008 British Open win to...well, e-discovery, through some vague metaphor about "game-changing." (Sorry, I couldn't find the video online.) A banner at the bottom helpfully directs readers to I guess Michael Phelps must have been unavailable...


  1. That is friggin' hilarious.
    I can see the tag line now...
    "When I'm ready to tee off in the final round of a PGA tour major, I know that my securities fraud litigation documents are being produced by the best...."

  2. My uncle Jim was a fellow member of the Garda (Irish for police) with Pádraig Harrington’s pappy in Cork and the manager for my college basketball team is now the SPIC receiver in the Madoff scandal – so I find the Pádraig advertisement “friggin' hilarious.”

    By the way my BSEE degree was signed by the project manager for ENIAC, thee US gummermint computer during WWII.

  3. Now that we're in 2014, did the electronic discovery apocalypse go down or is that still looming over us?


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