Article by: Kyle Reykalin / FRONTEO

Conducting cost-effective and efficient e-discovery for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations involving U.S. and Japanese companies requires a rare combination of legal, cultural and technological skills. Here are seven common obstacles, and practical tips to help e-discovery teams overcome them.

1. Bridge dissimilar legal systems. It’s important to understand the differences between the two legal systems. Japanese in-house counsel are often surprised at the scope, expense and formality of the American discovery process, as well as the danger that their confidential business documents and strategies might be shared. American attorneys occasionally assume that the in-house legal departments of large Japanese corporations are familiar with uniquely American legal concepts, such as attorney-client privilege. Care must be taken to clearly explain the requirements of confidentiality, electronically stored information collection, the obligations of legal hold and other discovery concepts.
2. Know the culture and business practices. An experienced local team adds great value. They will be familiar with Japanese customs and culture, as well as the ebb and flow of FCPA cases. For example, when deciding on keywords for your data set, there are similarities across matters in the terms used in discussions of bribery or payoffs. In Japan, the practice of offering gifts or honoraria to important business partners and clients is customary and can be difficult to discern from a bribe. On the other hand, seemingly ordinary language about gifts or payments may mask illicit behaviors prohibited under the FCPA. The nuances of language are critically important, especially for developing effective search terms and evaluating results.
3. Establish a local or regional team. An experienced provider will have processes for compliance with local data privacy laws, and may offer local hosting as well. The availability of bilingual or multilingual review attorneys in multiple regions allows for flexibility in staffing document review, privilege review and quality control phases, and obviates any concerns about data leaving the country.
4. Take advantage of technology assisted review (TAR). The use of advanced analytics in early case assessment and in batching documents for review assignments can improve efficiency in most cases, especially those where, as mentioned above, determining keywords is difficult. We often batch documents by topic, rather than by custodian. In a competitive or antitrust investigation, for example, batching documents by product family or project, and including entire email threads and attachments, provides the reviewer with a cohesive topic, revealing important issues and events, leading to more consistent coding and quickly making reviewers knowledgeable about key topics.
5. Plan for multilanguage content. Document collections in global FCPA cases are often a mix of multiple languages: Japanese and English, and sometimes others. This is a result of normal business communication among subsidiaries, suppliers, sales channels and customers across global regions. Tools designed for English do not always work well with multibyte character sets and tokenization issues in Chinese, Japanese and Korean content. An experienced provider will have solutions for Asian language challenges, such as encoded content and support for conversation threading.
6. Minimize translation. Translation of documents increases cost and adds the risk of challenges by the opposing side. It may also invite misinterpretation of the documents. In some investigations, especially criminal matters, the government may require that all documents handed over as part of a proffer be translated into English. But in civil litigation, the court may only require translation of documents to be used as deposition exhibits, attachments to briefs or trial exhibits. In either case, conducting a first-cut review to determine relevance before translation of documents reduces the volume of high-cost translations.
7. Conduct a thorough privilege review. The concept of attorney-client privilege as we know it in the U.S. does not really exist in Japan. Thus, Japanese attorneys without experience in American litigation are not familiar with our tests for privilege and work product. Conduct a focused privilege review performed by an attorney who is well-versed in attorney-client privilege. Conduct a follow-on quality review of documents marked not privileged to catch coding errors.

Managing e-discovery in response to FCPA investigations in Japan involves a fascinating mix of legal, cultural, linguistic and technical challenges. An experienced e-discovery provider working in partnership with U.S. litigation counsel and local law departments can help foresee and avoid costly blunders.

Kyle Reykalin is director of review services at FRONTEO in Tokyo, where he manages large-scale e-discovery review projects and specializes particularly in Japan-U.S. cross-border litigation, including civil and criminal antitrust matters, FCPA investigations and other U.S. government investigations. He can be reached at

Article by: Charlie Platt / iDiscovery Solutions

I’ve written on this topic before, and despite the danger of sounding like a broken record, I will repeat myself: Cybersecurity is all about risk management. Many of you are likely working with your company’s chief information security officer (CISO) and security teams to help assess and control this cyberrisk. (At least I hope you are.) And one of the first things most security professionals recommend is taking an inventory of your IT assets. In fact, it’s embodied in the first Function of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework:

“The activities in the Identify Function are foundational for effective use of the Framework. Understanding the business context, the resources that support critical functions, and the related cybersecurity risks enables an organization to focus and prioritize its efforts, consistent with its risk management strategy and business needs. Examples of outcome Categories within this Function include: Asset Management; Business Environment; Governance; Risk Assessment; and Risk Management Strategy.”

Continue Reading Are You Accounting for One of Your Largest Cybersecurity Risks?

Interview with Scott Lefton/AccessData

Scott Lefton is a senior sales engineer at AccessData. Though he is not directly involved in conducting or supervising investigations, he spends a lot of time talking to the people who do, including chief security officers, people in HR and, of course, in-house lawyers. He listens to their “woes,” he said, and suggests software designed to help them. His remarks have been edited for length and style. 

Continue Reading For Internal Investigations, Technology is Playing Catch-up with Technology: Companies focus on hackers and data, and sometimes overlook inside threats

Article by Alan R. Boynton, Jr. / McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

The reality for almost every business is that not all of its employees are going to be happy in their jobs and that, at any given time, one or more is going to be seeking greener pastures. Many times those pastures are owned by competitors, and any business owner or CEO who fails to anticipate and plan for employee defections may also be inviting the loss of substantial business.

Continue Reading Making a Federal Case Out of It: Now when trade secrets go walking out the door, employers have a new vehicle to try to get them back

By David Yurkerwich / Navigant


The Chinese intellectual property sector has been changing and growing for years, but few people would tell you so. The country has long been labeled as an IP rights violator and generally carries a bad reputation in its handling of copyrights. But Chinese companies are becoming more aggressive in building patent portfolios.

Continue Reading New Risks – and 3 Tips – for Patent Holders in China: Chinese companies have aggressively grown their portfolios

Article by Sasko Markovski & Amy C. Cococcia / Fragomen


Australia has been next in line across a number of jurisdictions around the globe to announce significant changes to employer-based immigration programs. This article provides an overview of some of the key changes announced as well as guidance on what actions businesses should be taking where impacted. Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Australia’s Visa Changes: The new rules are all about protecting jobs

Kevin Caulfield, a product line director at Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions, understands that general counsel don’t want their departments to be viewed solely as cost centers. Many of them strive to show how they can be good business partners with other parts of their organization by focusing on initiatives that will help reduce costs and generate revenue. To Caulfield, one of the ways this can be achieved is through enterprise legal management technology. Although many long-established corporate legal departments have already made good use of this technology, he says, there are many growing companies that still may not realize the benefits of an enterprise legal management solution. His remarks have been edited for length and style.

Continue Reading Is It Time to Automate? Eager to avoid being seen as cost centers, law departments are increasingly leveraging technology


Interview with Janet Langford Carrig / ConocoPhillips & Kimberly Simpson / National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)


 From October 1 to 4 at the National Harbor in Maryland, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) will hold its Global Board Leaders’ Summit. The event brings together some 1,500 board members and corporate executives, including general counsel, to discuss the hottest governance issues facing boardrooms today. Janet Langford Carrig, GC of ConocoPhillips, and NACD regional director Kimberly Simpson discuss why the event presents a unique learning and networking opportunity for general counsel and corporate directors alike. Their remarks have been edited for length and style. Continue Reading GCs and Directors: Strategic Corporate Assets on Parallel Paths: A conference brings them together and points out common goals

Ransomware. Just the word itself is enough to chill the hearts of everyone from personal users to IT professionals to senior executives. May 12th’s massive attack took down hundreds, perhaps thousands, of companies and unknown numbers of individuals and institutions, including the United Kingdom’s healthcare systems (with possible impacts including critical patient care and historical medical records).

Continue Reading How to Protect Your Company from Ransomware Attacks

“Text mining” refers to software that can find patterns in text and extract meaning from them. It offers plenty of useful applications. For instance, law departments can benefit from text mining any time they collect a fair number of comments from surveys. I have used it myself for client projects.

Here’s how it might be useful for you. Let’s assume that a large number of your internal clients completed a satisfaction survey. One question was open-ended: “Overall, what would you like to say to the law department?” As a complement to coding those remarks by hand, text-mining software can spot commonly used words, classify the comment as favorable or unfavorable and even tease out thematic topics.

Continue Reading Text Mining Can Help You Drill Down