Monday, May 18, 2009

litsupport summary for the week ending on 05/17/09

A lot of important and useful information is posted to litsupport each week. The following is a distilled summary, in the form of questions and answers.

Q. Sample interview questions for a litsupport person and practical advice?
A. There is more than one correct answer to the questions below. Tech-centered questions are important, but so are questions that probe a candidate's legal knowledge.
  • What's the difference between an RFA and an RFP?
  • How many days does a party have to respond to a document request in your jurisdiction? State court? Federal court?
  • Are there any locally important issues, cases, or personalties with respect to e-discovery in your jurisdiction? What/who are they? (e.g. we appear> before J. Grimm);
  • Name one case that's important for electronic discovery and/or review, and explain why it's important;
  • What is the best evidence rule?
  • What is a third party subpoena?
  • What differences in approach to data collection, processing, and review, if  any, are there when responding to a third-party subpoena and a subpoena in an active matter of your client's?
  • A partner calls you at 4:30 and says she has a floppy disc with half a dozen files to print before she leaves. You get to her office and find the "floppy" is a DVD and the files are 7 PSTs totalling 4 GB. What do you tell the partner?
  • What is spoliation?
  • How would you document the steps you took for a document production?
  • A lawyer says he has an SEC securities fraud case. The "client's IT guy" has already removed and sent the hard drive from the computer of a trader who recently left the client's firm under questionable circumstances. The lawyer wants your help "to take a look at" what's on the drive. What do you do and what do you tell him?
  • How would you explain slack space and unallocated space to an attorney who was techno-phobic?
  • At an overarching level, look at your own specific needs. Talk to the people doing the job already. Look back at help tickets or problems you've faced in the last month or two;
  • Don't denigrate an entire class of job applicants (e.g. "button pushers" and "load monkeys" [sic]) or go into an interview with a disdain for applicants who can't do X. The good applicants will pick up on that and won't want to work for you;
  • Don't get hung up on whether an applicant knows terms that are reasonably open to synonyms or alternate uses. In one state it may be RFPs and in another - "doc requests";
  • What to look for in a candidate? Willing and able to: adapt workflows to current context; learn just about anything quickly, preferably autodidactic; strong sense of personal accountability; handle stress well (ie: doesn't become a "crab in a basket").
This summary from the Litsupport Group postings created by the wonderful and talented members of the group has been culled by Mark Kerzner and edited by Aline Bernstein.

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