Georgetown Law’s eDiscovery Training Academy – Supported by Guidance Software – Wins 2012 Award for Professional Excellence

Patrick Burke

Michael Arkfeld and Mark Sidoti at the 2012 Georgetown Law eDiscovery Training Academy.

Georgetown University Law Center’s “eDiscovery Training Academy” – supported for the past two years by Guidance Software – has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Award of Professional Excellence by the Association for Continuing Legal Education. Kudos to Georgetown Law’s Assistant Dean Lawrence Center and his phenomenal staff for this achievement recognizing the uniqueness of the Academy.

I can’t say enough about this year’s Georgetown Law E-Discovery Training Academy, held this past June 3-8, 2012. My prior blog on this year’s event focused on the masterful technical training of Craig Ball, with an assist from Guidance Software’s David Neal. And it’s always tempting to write about the inspiring presentations by US Magistrate Judges John Facciola and Paul Grimm, or the great presentations by Maura Grossman of Wachtel Lipton and Tom O’Connor of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center. But I’d like to focus on two fantastic faculty who give a flavor of the caliber of the week-long training: Michael Arkfeld and Mark Sidoti.

Arkfeld is one of the deans of e-discovery law. His treatise “Arkfeld on Electronic Discovery and Evidence” – cited in Zubulake – is the official textbook for the Academy and is unique for going beyond case law and covering technology and process issues as well (I use it in the e-discovery class I teach at Cardozo Law School). At this year’s Academy, Michael covered legal holds, triggering events and the scope of discovery, and joined Judge Facciola and Tom O’Connor on sanctions, third-party discovery and project management.

Mark Sidoti is from my hometown, NYC, where he is a Director at Gibbons P.C. and is known not only as a thought leader in e-discovery but a go-to advisor for companies planning defensible processes and a first-rate business litigator. He was counsel for plaintiffs in the well-known Treppel v. Biovail case which resulted in several published decisions including what many consider the leading e-discovery decision of 2008 concerning the duty to preserve. Mark spoke on limitations and protections in producing ESI.

"We’re all very proud of Larry and his staff on their receipt of this recognition from ACLEA,” Mark told me. “The Georgetown Academy provides a unique hands on, interactive immersion into the technology and legal issues surrounding this essential and evolving area of the law, and the students in this year’s program have been eager, fully engaged and a pleasure to interface with. I look forward to continued involvement in this terrific program."

The Academy attendees I spoke to raved about the faculty and their engagement showed – they showed no hesitation to pose tough questions to the faculty, which made for a high level of discussion. They came from corporations, federal and state agencies, law firms and e-discovery vendors from the US, Canada and Europe. There were 77 Academy participants this year.

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