When you buy a book from Amazon, the company comes right back with suggestions of more things you might like to buy. That’s very much like what e discovery is doing these days, only it’s called technology assisted review. The computer uses an algorithm to figure out what will be useful to you, as if you told the computer, “Find me more like this.” It’s getting so even 60-year-old lawyers can understand it.
Brian Clark embraced e-discovery early on because he saw it as a way for a younger attorney to get involved in a case. “Facts win cases and if you want your facts to win you’ve got to navigate e-discovery,” he said. One key to success is settling the ground rules with the other parties, especially when it comes to preservation of evidence stored in computers.
In case you’re skeptical, Clark says that studies show that the old-fashioned kind of document review, involving human beings and highlighters, usually only produces a fraction of what was wanted.
Clark is spreading his good news via teaching, CLE presentations and the MSBA Electronic Discovery Working Group.
He also has a busy national antitrust practice. Just for example, he is a discovery team leader in Kleen Products v. International Paper, where his opponent is the second-largest defendant. Naturally, it invoves dozens of depositions and gazillions of documents. He’s involved in other complex litigation and environmental cases, including the Central Corridor Light Rail Porject.
Since he works for Lockridge Grindal Nauen, it was unsurprising that some political figures came to be clients. He was on the team that represented Gov. Mark Dayton in the recount after the 2010 election. That required managing millions of documents since Republican candidate Tom Emmer requested “every shred of paper,” Clark said, acknowledging that at least he did not have to look for hanging chads.