Anecdote

January 29, 2024

eDiscovery Channel

It was an honor and pleasure to be interviewed by Rachi Messing and Tom O’Connor on the eDiscovery Channel. The interview is posted on Mike Berman Chats with Rachi and Tom (youtube.com). eDiscovery Channel – YouTube discusses a wide range of topics in the eDiscovery space.  The Channel explains that “Tom interviews […]
December 29, 2023

My Top Blogs From 2023

I posted 104 items this year.  Several that may be worth re-reading are: How to Read a Load File More on “Modern Attachments,” “Pointers,” or Hyperlinked Documents – Humpty Dumpty and “Usability” Possession, Custody, or Control – Part II Don’t Be Too Nice When You Send a Preservation Notice Relevance Redactions Revisited […]
December 4, 2023

What is Double Spacing?

A federal court had to define double-spacing.  It apparently wasn’t happy about it.  See Debra C. Weiss, Ruling in double-spacing kerfuffle, federal judge observes lawyers don’t need ‘more words on a page’ (abajournal.com) (Nov. 29, 2023). The dispute reminds me of the very funny You Tube video of a deposition called “What […]
November 29, 2023

And When I Die….  What Happens to My Social Media?

Like most other States, Maryland has enacted the “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.” The statute permits the “user” of “digital assets” to authorize a designee to access specified digital assets after the user’s death or disability.  It is codified in Md. Code Ann., Est. & Trusts Art., Title 15, Subtitle 6 […]
May 13, 2023

Thank You to Computer Services Limited and Web interactive Technologies

This is a thank you to Kevin Spargo, Vice President of Computer Services Limited, and Navid Raoofian, President, Web interactive Technologies. My wife and I sponsored a Ukrainian family whose home and business were bombed and destroyed in Bakhmut.  They arrived here about a week ago under a U.S. government program. I […]
April 28, 2023

Book Review:  Any Ship Can Be a Minesweeper – – –  Once

When it comes to electronically stored information, Tom O’Connor is a national treasure.  He has a wealth of litigation-related ESI experience, helped run the prestigious Georgetown E-Discovery Academy, lectures on recent cases and developments in the law, has published several books and blogs, and is a consultant.  He has generously shared his […]
December 22, 2022

A Rose by Any Other Name?

The voters of Maryland passed a Constitutional Amendment changing the name of the Court of Appeals of Maryland to the “Supreme Court of Maryland.”  It also changed the name of the Court of Special Appeals to the “Appellate Court of Maryland.” The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure issued a […]
November 21, 2022

A Juror’s View of Impeachment Using Deposition Testimony

A juror in an insurance coverage case described the impact of impeachment of the plaintiff using inconsistent deposition testimony.  Dan Rodricks: Was it a hack or just a ride between friends? A Baltimore jury — with me on it — decides. | COMMENTARY – Baltimore Sun (Nov. 19, 2022). Plaintiffs, a mother […]
September 26, 2022

Pouncing on Little Ambiguities Leads to Discovery Sanctions

A recent ABA article describes a court sanctioning a litigant for pouncing on “any little ambiguity” to obstruct discovery and delay production of “obviously responsive materials.”  Debra Cassens Weiss, Judge criticizes [law firm name omitted] and [litigant’s name omitted] for alleged effort to ‘obstruct and delay’ discovery (abajournal.com) (Sep. 16, 2022).  According […]
May 25, 2022

Historical ESI Highlights – Part II – Zubulake

In Part I of this series, I quoted Judge Facciola’s observation that The Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin’s 1999 law review article sparked a revolution.  However, Judge Scheindlin’s subsequent Zubulake decisions were also pivotal.  Everyone practicing law at that time heard of them. Zubulake was a series of cases.  Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, […]
May 18, 2022

“The Checklist Manifesto” and the Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) Conference

“The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right,” by Atul Gawande, M.D.,[1] is a fascinating analysis of the history and uses of checklists. In a nutshell, the thesis is that there are many areas where we have sufficient knowledge to solve problems; however, we fail to apply it correctly.  “Getting the steps […]
February 18, 2021

Email: “It seemed like a neat idea.”

“Ray Tomlinson is quoted as saying he invented email, ‘Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea.’ No one was asking for email.”  M. Bellis, “The History of Email” (ThoughtCo. Aug. 4, 2017).
February 17, 2021

Who Invented the Mouse a/k/a the X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System?

It is often amazing how little we know of the history of everyday devices. Who invented the telephone?  We all know the answer. What about the mouse that is sitting next to your hand right now? The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart.  J. Freeman, The Tyranny of E-Mail:  The Four-Thousand Year […]
February 16, 2021

Who First Used the @ Sign in Domains and What Does It Mean?

Every day, we use computers and drive cars with no knowledge of what makes them tick.  Consider the humble “@” sign.  How many times did you use it today? “Ray Tomlinson chose the @ symbol to tell which user was ‘at’ what computer. The @ goes in between the user’s login name […]
February 14, 2021

What Was the First Email Message?

On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sent a telegraph message and famously asked: “What hath G-d wrought?” Do you know who sent the first email or the message it conveyed? In 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the first email message.  It was “QWERTYUIOP.”  M. Bellis, “The History of Email” (ThoughtCo. Aug. 4, 2017). […]
February 13, 2021

What Was the First Online Game Played?

In the 1840’s, the telegraph was used to play board games between towns.  See M. Berman, et al., eds., “Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial” (ABA 2011), 753, citing Standage, “The Victorian Internet” (Walker & Co. 1998, 2007).  “Bored and lonely [telegraph] operators would also play checkers over the wires, […]
February 11, 2021

When Was the First Online Wedding? – William Storey and Clara Choate’s Love Story

Today, you can get married on Zoom.  But nothing’s new. The first online wedding took place by telegraph in the 1800’s.  See M. Berman, et al., eds., “Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial” (ABA 2011), 753, citing Standage, “The Victorian Internet” (Walker & Co. 1998, 2007), 127-28.  Standage describes a […]