ACEDS NEWS ROUNDUP: E-Discovery’s Billion-Dollar Deal, Tim Kaine’s Emails Go Online, and More
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Posted by: Jason Krause
Epiq Systems Acquired for $1 Billion
Epiq Systems announced yesterday that it has been acquired by OMERS Private Equity, which also owns the legal services company DTI. Epiq will become a privately-held company and will be combined with DTI, forming a new e-discovery and legal services orgnaization.
Epiq was acquired for $16.50 per share in cash, which the Wall Street Journal values at $627 million, although the press release announcing the transaction places the value of the buyout deal at $1 billion, including assumed debt obligations. The deal follows last year’s acquisition of managed e-discovery services company Iris Data Services by Epiq for $134 million. The companies say that the deal will provide a broadened range of services and products while expanding the combined company’s geographic reach.
Rob Robinson, who tracks merger and acquisition activity on his website ComplexDiscovery, says that the acquisition does not significantly change the size or nature of the e-discovery industry. "The aggregate market opportunity for eDiscovery solution and service providers remains the same even in the light of this announcement," says Robinson, Managing Director of ComplexDiscovery. "However, this news does reinforce the fact that the eDiscovery ecosystem continues to experience incredibly impactful changes driven by recent moves from some of its largest players.”
Though the size of the transaction is considerable, Robinson says it is not likely to be the last major deal and that consolidation will likely continue. That upheaval means that some vendors will likely change or disappear from the landscape, leaving some players left looking for a new partner or provider. “While the dance of e-discovery continues, it may be wise for e-discovery professionals - both vendors and end-users alike - to at least begin to cast a wondering eye across the dance floor for additional or alternative partners just in case their current partner decides to dance to a different tune."
Search Tim Kaine’s Email With Powerful Machine Learning Software
Tim Kaine is now the Democratic nominee for Vice President, but his email from his time as governor is now available for anyone in the world to review with powerful predictive coding technology.
The Library of Virginia has collaborated with information retrieval researchers Gordon Cormack and Maura Grossman from the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada to put a collection of email records from Kaine's administration as Governor of Virginia online. Governor Kaine's records have been added into Grossman and Cormack’s AutoTAR Continuous Active Learning (CAL) system, which anyone can access at cormack.uwaterloo.ca/kaine/.
The team encourages anyone to use the system to search and explore these emails, looking for interesting tidbits. They even suggest interesting topics and search terms including “Obama,” “Hillary,” “Trump,” “endorsement,” and “vice president,” among others. For example, our first search term, “Clinton,” returned an email from 2008 which simply says, “This is not good.”
For more information on how to use the CAL system, you can also visit the Practical Law Journal cormack.uwaterloo.ca/caldemo/.
Did Kim Kardashian Violate Taylor Swift’s Privacy?
Kim Kardashian West posted a recording of a conversation on Snapchat between her husband Kanye West and Taylor Swift. However, according to news reports, that recording was made without Swift’s consent — a potential violation of California state law requiring both parties to consent to the recording of communications.
According to Inside Counsel, recording a telephone conversation may subject a party to criminal and civil liability under California law. Section 632(a) of the California Penal Code, which was enacted as part of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), makes the recording of confidential telephone conversations illegal, unless all parties to the conversation consent. Section 632(a) applies only to confidential communications. In addition, Section 632.7 of the California Penal Code, which was also enacted as part of CIPA, makes the intentional recording of communications involving a cellphone illegal, unless all parties consent. There is no requirement that the communication be confidential under section 632.7.
Meanwhile, The Oregonian newspaper is seeking an order stopping Grant County sheriff from destroying emails. The newspaper hopes to obtain records from Sherriff Palmer from his personal account that deal with government business. Palmer has become prominent because of his support for the militants who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Palmer primarily uses a personal Centurytel email address for his official duty, listing it on the Grant County Sheriff's Office website as the way for the public to contact him. However, Palmer's attorneys last week disclosed during a telephone conference that "the electronic version of every email received into or sent from the Centurytel account is deleted," the filing said.