Where law, technology, and human error collide
Professor Fernando Pinguelo’s eDiscovery class uses e-Lessons Learned (http://eLLblog.com ), a predominantly student-generated blog, to hone their skills in legal analysis amidst our rapidly changing technological environment. Blog Editor-in-Chief Frank Gonnello ‘12 calls it “Law Review 2.0.” The ABA Journal magazine calls it one of the top 100 law blogs in the nation.
It seems only fitting that a course in eDiscovery, which teaches students the art and science of using electronically stored files and emails to build a legal case, would utilize a Web-based tool as a study aid and an opportunity to develop further e-skills. But in this instance the tool is a blog created by a law professor and practicing trial attorney, and maintained by students in the eDiscovery class.
E-Lessons Learned is an educational blog about eDiscovery, technology, and human error, and features insightful content, authored primarily by law students from Seton Hall Law and from other contributing students across the country.
Adjunct Professor Fernando Pinguelo described the impetus behind the creation of e-Lessons Learned: “I wanted to create a place where business leaders and corporate counsel could see first-hand how technology impacts law suits, and learn how common mistakes can be avoided. I also wanted a place where my students could showcase their skills and contribute meaningfully to the legal discourse of this emerging area. E-Lessons Learned does just that. It’s a place where ‘law, technology, and human error collide.’”
The blog posts within e-Lessons Learned are not just musings; they are actual writing assignments for the class. Each post identifies a case that includes a technology mishap through negligence, ethical lapses in judgment, too much reliance on outside counsel and vendors, or fraud; exposes the specific conduct that caused a problem; explains how and why the conduct was improper; and offers suggestions about how to learn from these mistakes and prevent similar ones from re-occurring.
For fledgling eDiscoverers, the bloggers offer eDiscovery Origins: Zubulake, designed to give readers a primer on the e-discovery movement through blog posts about the seminal Zubulake series of court opinions which helped form the foundation for eDiscovery best practices. As one leading eDiscovery guru put it, “if you are a novice to eDiscovery case law, this is a must-read.”
Within 11 months of its founding, e-Lessons Learned has already gained national recognition. In its third annual ABA Journal Blawg 100—the best legal blogs as selected by the Journal’s editors—the Journal named e-Lessons Learned among the Top 14 blogs in the “Tech” category both for content and its ease of use.
Frank Gonnello ’12, Chief Blog Operator and Editor-in-Chief, believes there is a place for the Web-based forum within the law school classroom: "Having worked on e-Lessons Learned since its inception, I believe student-written 'blawg' posts can serve as a unique way for students to prove competency in legal analysis, and to demonstrate a general familiarity with the technologies available to our generation of legal practitioners. Professor Pinguelo and I like to think of this as a practical movement toward 'Law Review 2.0.'"