The Innovation of Litigation.

CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ

Patricia Rodriguez joined Special Counsel in 2017 and brings six years’ experience as a Litigation Staff Attorney from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. In her role, Patricia consults new and existing clients on best practices within the full eDiscovery lifecycle, from defensible and cost-effective Information Governance strategies to efficient and repeatable managed review practices. Patricia assists clients with effectively implementing managed review strategies, including the use of technology during Early Case Assessment to identify and review the most relevant data earlier as well as by strategically culling data through the use of metadata, clustering, and categorization technologies among other methods. She also advises clients on strategies for negotiating reviewable data with opposing counsel. Patricia is a former practicing attorney based in New York City. She is presently a candidate enrolled in Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management.

JOSHUA: How would you define litigation management and what is its importance to you? 

PATRICIA: Litigation management is an all-encompassing term. It’s a little bit of a jack of all trades, master of none, term. It means you know something about every aspect of the litigation process and have some expertise about trying to contain it—whether it’s cost efficiency, discovery review, or something else that allows you to better contain the time and effort involved with litigation as a whole. A true litigation manager has a plan in place and assembles the right team so that as things change during the litigation, they can fluidly adjust. 

JOSHUA: What’s the most challenging or interesting part of your job? 

PATRICIA: The most challenging thing is educating other people about what we do. For a lot of people, the eDiscovery, cybersecurity, or data privacy pieces are usually only addressed after there is already a crisis. However, there is a lot you can do ahead of time to prepare for and/or avoid crises that most people don’t want to hear about. We need to educate law firms and corporations about being proactive and putting together plans and policies before the problem occurs. It’s time consuming, but it will ultimately pay you back in spades. We’re currently learning in our LL.M. program how to better educate our clients, how to assemble the best teams to handle the crisis, and how to establish these contingency plans ahead of time.

JOSHUA: What do you see your attorneys or opposing counsel getting wrong and how could they do better? 

PATRICIA: The main issue that I see is that a lot of firms are so driven by cost that they sacrifice other parts of the service. For instance, there are other companies that offer similar services to my firm. These services may, in fact, be cheaper, but after quality control and project management costs, it ends up costing the client more to farm out the litigation service. Just because it’s the cheapest option upfront doesn’t mean that it’s the best in the long term. You need to stop and think about your goals and really take an inventory of the services you are going to need ahead of time. It is always better to make wellinformed decision than one based on cost. 

JOSHUA: What is interesting or noteworthy to keep an eye on in 2019? 

PATRICIA: GDPR regulations are slowly being picked up by multiple states, and it will eventually hit every state. Having expertise in GDPR compliance and making sure you are compliant will save you a ton of money in the long run. Data privacy is becoming bigger and bigger on every front — whether you’re a vendor, security expert, or in eDiscovery. I recently met with a new legal tech company that is using data analytics to learn personalized information. The machine will start to pull together the information that is relevant to you (e.g. every possible version of your name, nicknames, relevant titles, contact information, where you work, etc.), then it applies that filter to a stack of data and determines whether the data is likely confidential or not. The rate at which these new tools are popping up on the market is accelerating and you need an expert on your side to know where to look to find the signal in the noise.

JOSHUA: Do you have anyone you want to plug? 

PATRICIA: As an industry standard, what we at Special Counsel offer is superior. We have the ability to ramp up or scale down with virtually no notice. We are on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. We are on the cutting edge of the newest and best practices in the industry, and we continue to be thought leaders in the space. A majority of our team are licensed attorneys. This knowledge base ensures that our workflows and best practices are not only related, but defensible as well. As such, we can guide our clients through what solutions work and don’t work on a case by case basis. Whether its work intensive, complex, or time-sensitive, we at Special Counsel are ready to hear what you need and provide whatever assistance we can so as to create positive results. 

Have a question for Patricia Rodriguez about eDiscovery? Sound off in the comments! Want to learn more about how Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management can help further your career as a thought leader and expert? Visit https://llm.baylor.edu

About Trial by Tech

Trial by Tech is a blog brought to you by Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management—the first program in the nation designed exclusively for lawyers who aspire to direct effective litigation strategy, control electronic discovery, leverage technology, manage a team, and lead their company’s or firm’s efforts to manage a high-volume, high-stakes docket.

Here, you will find focused discussions on the #innovation of litigation and the intersection of #legaltech and #litigation. If you like what you are reading, many of the posts are authored by experts from the LL.M. program. To learn more, click here.

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