E-Discovery Munchkinland

The recent development of virtual worlds (Active Worlds, Second Life, There ViOS, to name a few) proves to be a viable storefront for the legal world. Even Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals got into the game as he "appeared" in Second Life to discuss the U.S. Constitution and intellectual property issues. And if you wonder what virtual worlds have got to do with your practice, Diane Duhaime of Jorden Burt LLP has a good article on V-Ws from the legal perspective.

Although I'm not a citizen or avatar of any of these virtual worlds, I did find a list of entities offering legal services on Second life. My sense is that law firms large and small will continue to create a stake in virtual worlds as we know it today. (For further info, listen to (MP3) a discussion of virtual law firms sponsored by the LegalTalkNetwork).

For some, virtual worlds represent a new career. For others, it's a viable source of business. As legal services begin to branch beyond the linear non-3D environment, the volume of information will inevitably increase. This virtual expansion in bits and bytes generates yet another rich source of data mining-- kind of like the Munchkinland of ediscovery. Not only does it represent a new frontier that may present complex legal issues, it also concerns how information is disclosed or retained. In the blink of an eye, you're not in Kansas anymore.