By Cara Lemire, VP Sales and Marketing
Wednesday was an exciting “Day 1.” The morning kicked off with a welcome from Everlaw CEO, AJ Shankar. The opening remarks outlined the themes and goals for the conference, all of which centered around partnership, education, and networking. AJ also unveiled the new role-based Everlaw certification program, making certification more accessible and role-specific.
After opening remarks, AJ introduced the keynote speaker: journalist John Carreyrou. While at the Wall Street Journal, John was pivotal in uncovering and alerting the mainstream media to Elizabeth Holmes’ fraudulent business practices. The session entitled “Bad Blood: Exposing Theranos” was a story of ambition, greed, and fraud.
John covered the twists and turns of the ever-evolving saga, detailing how Elizabeth Holmes defrauded investors by making false claims about Theranos. She supported those misleading claims by creating fake research papers and modifying a Siemen’s machine to run the company’s blood tests. The faulty processes and technology ultimately led to false test results for many patients. This had a catastrophic impact on people’s lives.
When her lies began to unravel, Holmes–along with her in house team and private investigators–threatened potential whistleblowers from coming forward against Theranos. Carreyrou detailed the trial and the results: Holmes was found guilty of four counts of fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for November 18th.
The next session “Seeking Truth and Healing in our Nation’s Deadly Opioid Crisis” dove into another hot button issue: the opioid epidemic. The session was structured as a conversation between Shana Simmons, Everlaw General Counsel and Rachel Taketa, UCSF Archivist. Rachel detailed her role in creating the largest online opioid case documents archive.
Rachel’s archiving experience began with collecting and archiving the millions of documents related to the tobacco industry litigation. During this time, she received and published a total of 15 million documents over the course of 20 years. Whereas, with the opioid archive, the archivists were responsible for sifting through ~15 million documents in 1-2 years.
Rachel and team were faced with the lofty feat of redacting PII before publishing these documents. It’s no surprise that Rachel enlisted the help of Everlaw. She was impressed with the user-friendly interface, and the speed at which millions of documents could be loaded and redacted. The session gave excellent insights into alternative use cases for Everlaw’s cloud-based SAS platform. While Everlaw is frequently used for litigation and investigations, public archiving is an interesting and unexpected use case for the tool.
The session ended on an uplifting note. Rachel acknowledged that even though the work was painstaking, her efforts helped memorialize the truth. It was healing for victims to read millions of documents that showed the opioid epidemic was not a personal failing on the part of those addicted; but a moral failing on the part of corporations who pushed misleading marketing practices and encouraged doctors to overprescribe an addictive drug.
There are some moments in our eDiscovery careers where we hear of our technology making a measurable and meaningful difference. In this instance, eDiscovery technology played a role in uncovering and memorializing truth—helping everyone heal from a devastating epidemic.
As the morning concluded, you could see attendees eager to discuss the impactful sessions with their peers during networking breaks and lunches.
In the afternoon, there were smaller breakout sessions and partner meetings. A thought provoking and successful first day wrapped up with another happy hour and the opportunity to “dine around town.”
As a part of the dine around town program, Everlaw grouped partners and attendees together at local top-notch restaurants. Sandline went to seafood favorite, Waterbar, where we had mouthwatering black cod, and where I reluctantly tried sweetbreads for the second time. I’m thankful for the peer pressure because they were amazing . We wrapped up the dinner with dessert and views of the twinkling Bay Bridge.
Day 2 was another busy day filled with sessions, good food and networking. I attended the judges panel on Modern eDiscovery Challenges entitled “Peer Into the Future of eDiscovery.” The esteemed panelists focused on emerging data types like ephemeral messaging and audio data, admitting it’s still uncharted territory and many unknowns remain. They also discussed how the concept of “the document” is outdated with the advent of newer data sources like slack. With slack, there is no concept of a document. A chat may go on for days or weeks; and in discovery, individuals are tasked with arbitrarily deciding what constitutes a chat or document.
The afternoon kicked off with another delicious lunch (did we say how good the food was?)
As sessions continued, I spent some time in the “relaxation lounge” (pictured) sipping coffee and catching up on work.
After that there was another networking happy hour which led into the summit soirée! I was welcomed in by the live dj playing Beyoncé’s latest album, where there were casino tables, open bars, and themed buffets. Buffet standouts included the desserts, cheese selections, and the garlic shrimp.
We spent the evening winning (and losing) at blackjack. Before we knew it, the night was over.
Friday AM included another fabulous breakfast, insightful panels, and training sessions.
As Friday wrapped up, some of us flew out and others stayed behind to explore San Fran. Sandline CEO, Jon Canty, finds all of the cool spots. Here, he’s pictured at Tadich Grille– the oldest continuously running restaurant in the city, and a San Fran staple. He raved about the fish stew, a delicious but messy dish requiring the famous Tadich bib. Other highlights from his excursions included Burmese Superstar and Smugglers Cove. Being the foodie and mixologist extraordinaire that he is, Jon departed with a Burmese cookbook, bottle of anchovy sauce, and a Smuggler’s Cove cocktail book. Luckily, the sauce made it back in one piece–as did the whole Sandline team. When you see Jon, ask him about the history of Tiki bars and his homemade cocktail syrups.
Overall, it was a successful first summit that set the bar for conferences! Happy to be a part of it, and thanks for having us, Everlaw!