eDiscovery Leaders Live: Philip Weldon of Kaplan Hecker & Fink

    George Socha
    George Socha

    eDiscovery Leaders Live: Philip Weldon of Kaplan Hecker & Fink


    Philip Weldon, Director of eDiscovery and Litigation Support Technology at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.


    Key Highlights

      • [1:10] Introducing Phil.
      • [1:45] What took Phil to eDiscovery.
      • [3:36] The value of tinkering with tech.
      • [4:50] Thoughts on the Jean Carroll case that his firm handled: working with super smart, passionate, kind, and flexible attorneys.
      • [6:54] How to maintain equanimity in high-pressure situations: a passion for the cases and regular exercise.
      • [8:23] The unexpected tech advantages gained from handling pro bono matters.
      • [10:18] His take on the March 26 Goldman report, The Potentially Large Effects of Artificial Intelligence on Economic Growth, and the conclusion that 44% of legal work could be automated.
      • [12:25] Reacting to Richard Susskind’s recent comments on the potential impact of generative AI.
      • [14:52] On Wired Magazine cofounder Kevin Kelly’s optimistic thoughts about the impacts of ChatGPT and the like.
      • [16:40] Ways to get fluent with new technology.
      • [19:59] How attorneys at his firm deal with chat messages: going boldly into the data sources.
      • [21:06] Addressing ephemeral messages.
      • [21:51] Effective ways of working with chat messages from chain of custody to hot seat work.

    Key Quotes 

    • “[At Kaplan Hecker], we’re at this unique place where we have some of the smartest people dealing with some of the most high-profile, intense cases and they are operating as though they are players in the World Series.”
    • “I was surprised about, coming here, is that the attorneys here are very technical and they are very fluent and they are good with text message reviews and other data types that you wouldn’t normally expect attorneys in a law firm to be fluent with. I think the reasons for that is we do so much pro bono work and in a lot of those cases we get data dumps from the government that include a ton of Cellebrite images, and the attorneys are so passionate about those cases that they have just dived in.”
    • “I think what can be automated is a ton of really dumb work that nobody wants to do anyway…. There is a ton of data that we can cut through with the advanced technology that we have…. I don’t think that means there’s going to be less attorneys. What I would say is there’s going to be more legal work because with that dumb work set aside, that frees up bright attorneys to do more interesting, more complex work.”
    • “The world is no longer these Big Law powerhouses. What you’re seeing with new technology is a force of equalization where boutique litigation firms like the one I work at are able to work with more advanced technology and we’re able to move faster as a result of that.”
    • “Attorneys are really good with language, and I think they will be champions of [generative AI] technology.”
    • “The people that are going to win the big, lucrative legal work are going to be the people that are fluent with the technology and able to apply it effectively to their practice of the law.”

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