Electronic discovery and its transformational consequences have been a defining feature of 21st century litigation. The sheer proliferation of data and associated complexity has necessitated the development of specialized software to manage and catalog this information. Data have become so complex that protocols surrounding metadata, i.e., data about data, have become a regular aspect of the discovery process. Agreements regarding the use and discoverability of electronically stored information (ESI) are commonplace in any case with a sufficiently large volume of documents. Continue reading ›
In the April 2021 Young Lawyers Issue of Law Practice Today, Kandis Kovalsky wrote “Zoom Court Appearances: Rising to the Occasion While Seated”
On March 13, 2020, a national emergency was declared in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instantly, courts across the country were shuttered. Many courts, particularly the federal courts, quickly rallied and embraced Zoom as a means to continue to hold hearings and move the many criminal and civil cases on their dockets. Some lawyers reveled in the courts’ embracement of Zoom, as the legal profession is often criticized as being somewhat of a dinosaur. Others were initially less excited about having to use a webcam and embrace modern technology, and while appearing in court, no less. Indeed, some lawyers even exclaimed that using Zoom (e.g., the technology) is more stressful than participating in the hearing itself. Continue reading ›
In light of the increasing spread of COVID-19, lawmakers continue to push legislation to allow the conduct of remote business despite the pandemic and various shelter-in-place and similar restrictions. As we have experienced, the use of teleconferencing platforms such as Zoom has exploded over the last weeks, with everyone from students, business people, and government officials using these platforms to communicate with others while respecting the needs for social distancing, isolation and even quarantine. In the last week, the State of New Jersey has passed two such bills, A3861 and A3850, which allow important meetings to be held via remote communication methods, as well as introduced another, bill A3903, which would allow remote notarial acts if it is passed into law. Continue reading ›
In the March 19, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Time to Reconsider Remote Depositions in the Age of COVID-19”
Remote depositions allow the deposition to proceed even though the witness is not in the same room as some or all of the other participating counsel and other persons entitled to be present.
As social distancing, travel limitations and working from home have become the norm due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), lawyers should give renewed consideration to conducting depositions by remote means. Remote depositions allow the deposition to proceed even though the witness is not in the same room as some or all of the other participating counsel and other persons entitled to be present.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4) and similar state rules authorize remote depositions by stipulation of the parties or court order. Having conducted several depositions through remote means recently, including expert depositions, our firm attorneys believe the benefits of taking remote depositions far outweigh the perceived limitations. Continue reading ›
In the November 27, 2019 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Changing Consumer Data and Protection Regulations for Companies and Their Counsel.”
Although a European regulation, the GDPR has affected American companies and, as it appears, has also begun to shape American law and policy. GDPR’s strict regulations and rules do not simply apply within the EU and the European economic area—it affects anyone who does business with a person living in those countries.
Last year, I wrote an article that discussed the implications of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (commonly referred to as GDPR), which came into effect last May. GDPR’s goal was to create and to ensure the rights of European Union and European economic area citizens to protect their personal data. In the wake of numerous data breaches and many company’s morally gray handling of their customers’ personal data, the implementation of the GDPR gives people the chance to understand better and control the dissemination and use of their personal data. The regulation also insists upon a high level of care from any data handler so that personal information is better protected.
In the March 21, 2019 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward Kang, Managing Member of Kang Haggerty wrote “IT Security and Policy: Why All Lawyers Must Care About It.”
Several years ago, my insurance broker suggested I get cybersecurity insurance for my firm. It seemed a cybersecurity insurance policy was unnecessary, not much different from having an undercoating for a new car. That was then. Now, the benefits of having a cybersecurity insurance policy are not reasonably in dispute these days. In addition to having the security of insurance, another (and more important) benefit of getting a cybersecurity insurance policy was the requirement that I have an IT security and breach policy that deals with how to prevent a security breach and what to do if there is a security breach. While getting a cybersecurity insurance policy may still remain an option for many, having an IT security policy describing detailed procedures to protect against a cybersecurity attack (and what to do when the system is breached) is a must.
Need for Cybersecurity Measures
Social media continues to grow as the powerhouse of information flow in modern times, and while it often seems no one is policing the content and fact and fiction are often indistinguishable, the SEC is policing the statements of at least one social media influencer, Elon Musk. After Musk tweeted in August of 2018 that he had secured financing to take Tesla private at $420 per share, the SEC filed a complaint alleging that his tweets comprised a series of “false and misleading statements” to his millions of followers. The resulting court-approved settlement, reached in October, stipulated that Musk had to seek pre-approval of any written communications – including social media posts – that contained or reasonably could contain information material to Tesla or its shareholders. In connection with the settlement, Tesla and Musk were each required to pay $20 million to the SEC.
Just days ago, Musk was back under scrutiny, having tweeted, “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019” without pre-approval from his counsel and for that, the SEC filed an enforcement motion seeking to have Musk held in contempt. Continue reading ›
Emoji overload? Billions of emojis are sent each day by family, friends, colleagues, co-workers and companies. With nearly 3,000 emojis in the Unicode Standard, it is difficult to stay fluent in emoji, which some experts have described as “the birth of a new language.” Edward T. Kang, Managing Member of Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt LLC (“Kang Haggerty”) and Kandis L. Kovalsky, Associate at Kang Haggerty are working to shed light on the significance of emojis in business and in law.
At the end of September, Edward, Kandis and Jacklyn Fetbroyt, Member of Kang Haggerty, joined hundreds of other lawyers at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (“NAMWOLF”) to promote diversity in the legal profession through meetings, sessions and CLEs. Kang Haggerty presented a hit CLE to a full room titled “Emojis Speaking Louder Than Words? The Import of Emojis, Emoticons and Hashtags as Evidence at Trial and Beyond #😊.” Joined by five other panelists and a moderator, Edward discussed evidentiary and ethical issues involving emojis, social media and technology and why lawyers should care about emojis and hashtags.
By explaining how emojis can be used as critical evidence at trial, Edward and the other panelists helped practicing lawyers from all over the country understand that emojis are in more than a millennial’s social media feed. Emojis have found their way into courts through a variety of suits. Continue reading ›
Although emojis have been included in smartphone operating systems for more than a decade, they are just starting to make their way into the world of litigation. While Apple’s emoji debut consisted of 54 emojis, made up primarily of different yellow smiley faces, iPhone now offers its users a broad range of hundreds of emojis, representative of different races, genders, cultures and religions. Today, there are close to 3,000 emojis in the Unicode Standard. As such, people can communicate a lot more through emojis, if they choose. And, the data shows this is what people are choosing. Over 10 billion emojis are sent each day throughout the world. Approximately 92 percent of all people who communicate online or through text messages on a smartphone use emojis, with more than one-third of them using emojis daily. Analysts have referred to the uptick in emoji use as “watching the birth of a new language.”
In 2015, emojis were mentioned in 14 federal and state court opinions. This number increased to 25 in 2016 and 33 in 2017. With the rules of the profession (Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules of Evidence) changing—slowly, albeit surely—to address the advent of social media and electronic communications, it is important to understand how emojis fit into the current legal landscape.
In the June 21, 2018 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward Kang, Managing Member of Kang Haggerty, and Kandis Kovalsky, Associate of Kang Haggerty, co-authored “Self-Authentication of ESI Under Federal Rule of Evidence 902.”
In a recent annual Federal Bench Bar Conference in Philadelphia, a U.S. District Court judge warned of the perils of allowing clients to perform their own data and document collection.
In a recent annual Federal Bench Bar Conference in Philadelphia, a U.S. District Court judge warned of the perils of allowing clients to perform their own data and document collection. As the judge wisely pointed out, this can be problematic as the lawyers owe a duty to the court to represent truthfully and accurately. If, for example, a client performed the data collection without proper supervision, the lawyer could not accurately represent that all responsive documents have been collected and produced. The 2015 amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 provide dire consequences for failing to preserve electronically stored information (ESI), including monetary sanctions, dismissal of a claim, judgment in favor of the prejudiced party, suppression of evidence and adverse inference instructions. The recent changes to Federal Rule of Evidence 902, which addresses self-authenticating evidence, and is routinely relied on by civil trial lawyers, raises additional concerns with clients performing their own data collection.
Self-authenticating evidence under Rule 902 is evidence that requires no extrinsic evidence to prove that it is what it purports to be. Common examples of self-authenticating evidence include newspapers, periodicals, signed and sealed public documents, and official publications. While the amendments to Rule 902 were created to address the unnecessary expense and inconvenience associated with having live testimony from multiple witnesses solely to authenticate electronic evidence, they also provide guidance on ESI collection and resolving authentication issues relating to ESI before trial.