Presented by ALM, publisher of the American Lawyer and the National Law Journal (among others), the 2012 Litigation Summit and Exposition brings together thought leaders in litigation and litigation technology. The program this year featured five different tracks and was book-ended by industry relevant keynote speakers. However, there were two words that were heard more than any other during the two-day event, as they came up in seemingly every session and conversation: Sandy and e-discovery.
Even through the conference took place in Washington, D.C., the effects of Hurricane Sandy were easily noticeable. A number of registered attendees were unable to make the trip due to the storm. Relying heavily on attendance from the east coast, many attendee badges unfortunately went unclaimed. Here’s hoping all those affected by the storm, conference attendees and otherwise, return to a sense of normalcy safely and soon.
Everyone who did make it to the conference could choose to attend a number of different sessions, all dealing with recent legal and regulatory developments in various substantive areas. From the keynote session on economics of litigation to the closing session on unethical and rogue employee activities, and in nearly every breakout session in between, the clear hot button issue for the audience was e-discovery. It wasn’t always in the session title or even in the description but it inevitably came up. Even conversations outside the session–during meals and in the exhibit hall–often focused on e-discovery. That wasn’t a big surprise though, given that a good number of conference sponsors were were in the e-discovery arena.
It remains to be seen if e-discovery will be as hot of a topic when this event takes place in 2013. It’s too bad that so many people missed the opportunity to learn about and discuss this important topic due to something completely out of their control. Whatever the hot topics happen to be next year, conferences like this will develop programming that addresses them in as much detail as it did for e-discovery this year. Let’s just hope Mother Nature is more cooperative in 2013.