December 20, 2007
My InsideCounsel Column on Technology Counsel
My next column is available at InsideCounsel, which explores the emergence of the Office of Technology Counsel. I've been hearing and indeed have engaged in more and more discussions in the legal market about how most companies are still nowhere near where they need to be in their litigation readiness. While it is improving somewhat, slowly, and likely under the pressure of sanction avoidance, the lawyer/IT gap is still a major challenge, as is the capacity of their interdisciplinary teams to handle both their regular day jobs along with these increasing duties.
Add into the mix recent case developments such as the Qualcomm vs. Broadcom imbroglio, and it's easy to see where communications and overall e-discovery coordination are still breaking down between the team players. I think those companies experiencing the most pain, and more importantly, those willing to learn from it, will be exploring additional organizational changes. We've already seen this in the wake of SOX and other regulatory requirements with the establishment of compliance offices. Those seeking to understand an Office of Technology Counsel's place in the organization can refer to my mission quote from the column:
"In short, this office’s mission is to transform the organization from one of reactive fire drills and ad hoc processes into a well-oiled machine to enhance repeatability, accountability, predictability and overall risk management. When done well, this translates into enhanced defensibility."The article includes a bullet list of related duties, some caution when developing the Office's reporting structure, and help on where you can find a suitable Technology Counsel candidate.