Hello and welcome to the 2016 ARMA sneak peek podcast series. Leading up the 2016 ARMA Live event in San Antonio, we’re chatting with a series of speakers to hear what they’re covering in their sessions. Today, we’re talking to Samantha Lofton, the Chief Risk and Information Governance Officer at Ice Miller LLP about her upcoming session on Matters from Laterals: A Matter Mobility Workshop.
Welcome Samantha. Thanks for having me.
Let me ask you, how many years have you been going to the annual ARMA event?
I've been involved with ARMA for nearly 20 years: A former ARMA International board of director and also a former conference education chair.
So you've had a lot of experience speaking at the event and being an attendee.
Absolutely. And I understand how important education and development are to the evolving records and information management professional. And I'm honored to be able to speak at the event this year.
In terms of professional development, there are a lot of great things to get out of the event. What specifically are you looking forward to at this year's event?
I'm most looking forward to networking with colleagues, other professionals and technologists about emerging trends in information governance and records and information management. Looking at best practices and how other practitioners are using people and technology to solve the problems in IG.
On a personal level, do you plan on doing anything in San Antonio outside of the event? Any recommendations for other attendees?
I went to the ARMA conference when it was in San Antonio several years ago, and several of us went to the Alamo. We were quite surprised at the size of the Alamo. But anyone who hasn't been to San Antonio should definitely do that. The River Walk is a treat and the conference venue is very nice and accessible to all those attractions. It's very convenient for attendees to get their education and see some of San Antonio while they're there.
Out of all the past locations you've been to for the ARMA Live event, which was your favorite?
I really liked Boston. That was several years ago and they were still going through the Big Dig. But the host chapters did a great job. This was probably around 2004 or 2005.
Great to hear that. Let me ask you a little about your session. You’re hosting a panel discussion on Matters from Laterals: A Matter Mobility Workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 9:45 a.m. Can you tell us a little about what you’ll cover in this session?
So we're going to talk about matter mobility as defined in the law firm environment. The flow of information that occurs as the result of one lawyer leaving a firm and joining another; the relevant policies that should in place; the pitfalls that records and information management and IG can avoid as it relates to adherence to following policies and procedures. What firms should do as it refers to transferring data and what they should not be doing as it relates to receiving information. We're going to talk about checklists, to help attendees address physical records, personal data, electronic data contacts, email, clients and matters that are open, and what happen to matters that are closed. If a client directs all matters to be transferred - what is the responsibility of the receiving firm to close matters. Making sure that we walk through all the things that someone should be looking at or look for to make sure they're in compliance with ethics opinions, ABA rules, and the best way to mitigate risk in matter mobility. The other thing we'll talk about is where the lawyer mobility program and information governance intersect. As it relates to mobility, there are a lot of different arms of a law firm that are involved, from HR to IT to records and information management to conflicts for onboarding to the risk partners who are talking to lawyers about their responsibilities if they leave a firm. Also to the risk team that might be talking to incoming laterals about their responsibilities when they join a firm. And their responsibilities to clients as it relates to protecting their information, securing their information and ensuring that the lawyer has access to work quickly and smoothly and the client doesn't have any backlash for making the decision to leave one firm and go to another. The other thing we'll talk about is immediate steps that can be taken to protect the firm and its interest when somebody is about to leave.
Let me ask you - is this session only relevant for law firms or records managers in general?
One of the questions we plan to ask during this session is how many law firm participants are in the room and how many client, outside or general counsel participants are in the room. In-house counsel for a client would be interested once they direct their files to be moved from one law firm to another - what happens next. So a corporate client could be interested in how that process should look and what their options are if a client is working primarily with lateral A, but it's a client of the firm. Until the client tells the firm that I want to change and move with this person to their new firm, it's still a client of the firm. And what their options are: They can either go with the lateral, they could have the files returned to themselves, they could choose alternate counsel, or they might elect to stay with the firm where the lawyer is returning. It might be interesting for them to hear all the options and see how that process works with moving data and mobility within a law firm.
Last thing I wanted to ask you about. At Iron Mountain, we talk a lot about “M”ing the heck out of information, or managing the heck out of your information. Based on the session you're hosting, how can records and information management professionals “M” or manage the heck out of matter mobility.
Good records and information management practices follow ARMA's generally accepted record keeping principles. It's an excellent foundation for IG programs. Marketing the evolving skills of a records and information professional that include information asset management, that help organizations achieve objectives related to security, privacy and compliance - will definitely secure a seat at the table for the RIM professional and help them manage the heck out of data within their organization.
Thanks again Samantha for joining us. Don’t forget to mark your calendars to join Samantha live on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 9:45 a.m. for her session on matter mobility. See you in Texas!
Thanks. Looking forward to seeing you in Texas.