eDiscovery Leaders Live: Scott Foster of FTI Consulting

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Scott Foster of FTI Consulting


Scott Foster, Senior Managing Director, Head of Australia Technology & E-Discovery with FTI Consulting, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.‬‬‬‬‬‬ 

Scott leads the Technology team in Australia and specializes in litigation discovery, electronic discovery and analysis, document review workflow consultation, and database/repository management. With over 20 years’ experience in electronic discovery, Scott has served as lead technological consultant and project manager for large scale litigation and investigations involving international and domestic corporations. These matters include antitrust investigations, second requests, FCPA investigations, state secret review, joint defense, class actions, multi‐jurisdictional litigation, criminal sanctions investigations, product liability, intellectual property. Scott regularly advises law firms and corporate clients on the design and implementation of review strategies for complex litigation, the use of predictive coding, analytics, search terms and refinement, on site managed review, and complex litigation e‐discovery review platforms. Scott earned a JD from Texas Tech University and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. 

In our first Australian edition of eDiscovery Leaders Live, Scott took us on a journey though new data types and their eDiscovery uses and implications, beginning with the explosion of use brought about by the pandemic. He talked about differences between traditional data types such as email and newer forms of content such as collaborative messaging systems and evergreen hyperlinked documents. He addressed challenges bringing clients up to speed, preserving collaborative content, and processing it. He discussed benefits that can come from using AI in its many forms to work with collaborative content. Finally, Scott offered up thoughts on his ideal eDiscovery platform. 

Key Highlights

  • [3:08] With the pandemic, a plethora of new ways of communicating and data types to discover.
  • [4:30] One example: Teams and the challenge of everchanging linked documents.
  • [5:46] A much more complex world than email.
  • [7:48] Working with chat messages and similar communications: the challenges and possibilities.
  • [8:51] Finding meaning and context in short messages with sentiment analysis.
  • [10:37] Tackling hyperlinked documents.
  • [12:12] Looking at communications as they travel across platforms.
  • [13:22] Thinking about – or not thinking about – the many various sources of data and how to gather that data.
  • [15:12] Thirty-five percent growth in emerging data types.
  • [15:57] Changes since January 2020.
  • [17:12] How aware practicing lawyers are of this change.
  • [18:37] Helping clients get up to speed.
  • [20:24] Preserving collaborative content.
  • [21:39] Processing collaborative content.
  • [22:49] Comparing and contrasting with the early days of email discovery.
  • [24:18} At a tipping point.
  • [24:44] At risk of repeating the mistakes of the past?
  • [25:42] Strides in artificial intelligence: concentric circle hybrid approaches using sentiment analysis, concept clustering, search term application, predictive coding.
  • [25:50] Scott’s ideal eDiscovery platform.

Key Quotes by Scott Foster

  • “The byproduct of things that came out of COVID-19 all of a sudden revolutionized the way people communicate. They’re no longer just communicating through email. Now we’ve Zoom, Teams, and types of platforms that people are exploring.”
  • “Because we have new ways of communicating, we also have new types of data that are emerging from these new ways of communicating.”
  • “I think we’re still wrestling with [how to handle chats] to get the formula right because I don’t think anybody has got the magic bullet quite yet.”
  • “You have to be aware that these platforms exist and the way people are communicating. I don’t think that everybody who’s going out and collecting data are thinking about all the various sources of data that are available to collect.”
  • “We’re seeing so much activity in what we call emerging data types that it’s about 35% of an upswing that we’re seeing of the different types of data…. A majority of that has come about because of COVID-19.”
  • “I do think a majority of folks are not thinking about the implications of collaborative data sources or emerging data sources. They are still thinking that communication is primarily through email and Word documents and PowerPoint and spreadsheets.”
  • “We’re at another tipping point of new ways of communicating…and nothing’s been standardized.”
  • “Some of the things that we're making exceptional strides in is in artificial intelligence. It’s letting the computers and technology help us, help us zone in and really target what’s going to be relevant and get rid of things that are not relevant.”

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