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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #165: the long and the short of it

Legal hold software and a cost metric for law departments. Consider an item from KMWorld, Feb. 2012 at S12. “BIA’s legal hold compliance SaaS solution costs less than $2 per user per month.” Does that mean per employee or only per employees who are “custodians.” If that metric can serve as a lodestone for evaluating the cost of other solutions, it will help general counsel make decisions on which solution to license (See my post of Feb. 9, 2012: an award for litigation hold software.).

Another sip of coffee wisdom. According to Bloomberg Bus.Week, Feb. 27, 2012 at 84, pacing and timing are key to the most effective ingestion of coffee: “The first coffee of the day should be the biggest, and drunk the fastest for a big bump. The rest of the day’s doses should be smaller and ingested more slowly.” Chuck the first venti, then tipple (See my post of March 3, 2011 #4: coffee and collaboration.)

Mapping the interconnected features of the brain. The Economist World in 2012 at 153, introduces readers to the Human Connectome Project. The Project has set itself the task of mapping neural features down to around a cubic millimeter of brain tissue, each of which contains hundreds of thousands of nerve cells. “In the cerebral cortex there are about 50 areas for which good maps already exist, but they cover only about a third of the cortex.” Over the next two decades, neurology will be able to contribute to how general counsel hire, evaluate, train and motivate legal staff (See my post of Feb. 28, 2012: Brodmann 10 area.).

Involved in e-discovery? A judge can find you liable for mis-handling it. “Courts are increasingly holding in-house counsel responsible to ensure that the e-discovery process is done properly Swofford v. Eslinger, (Sept. 28, 2009); Phoenix Four, Inc. v. Strategic Res. Corp. (Aug. 1, 2006).” This quote comes from a Feb. 2012 issue of a magazine, at S13, in a piece by James D. Shook of EMC’s e-discovery and compliance practice. This opens the lid on malpractice insurance, indemnification, and other unpleasant topics. The cases referred to are Swofford v. Eslinger, 671 F. Supp. 2d 1274 (MD Fla., 2009); and Phoenix Four, Inc. v. Strategic Res. Corp, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32211 (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 2006). Have there not been any cases in the past three years?

The steady march toward internet databases of knowledge. The George Mason Law and Economics website has a post by Josh Wright on February 22, 2012 about an interview with Google’s Senior VP Amit Singhal on where search technology is headed. In 2010, Google purchased Freebase, a community-built knowledge base packed with some 12 million “canonical entities.” Google has invested dramatically to “build a huge knowledge graph of interconnected entities and their attributes.” Google now has “north of 200 million entities” Over the coming years, massive online accumulations of information will help in-house counsel (See my post of May 21, 2009: Wolfram Alpha.).