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The Ethics of Electronic Information 2020: Competence, Confidentiality, and Other Ethical Conundrums


Speaker(s): Gail Gottehrer, Hon. Lisa Margaret Smith, Melissa A. Crane, Ronald J. Hedges
Recorded on: Oct. 5, 2020
PLI Program #: 276325

After practicing law at law firms for over 20 years, Gail recently founded her own firm, where her practice focuses on emerging technologies-related litigation and counseling, including autonomous vehicle regulation, drones, robots, artificial intelligence, AI ethics, biometrics, facial recognition, the IoT, data privacy, and cybersecurity.  She is one of the few defense lawyers to have been involved in the trial of a class action to verdict before a jury.

Gail teaches Law for Knowledge Innovation at Columbia University, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Rutgers University’s Leading Disruptive Innovation Program, and a Fellow at the Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School.

In addition to being appointed to the State of Connecticut’s Task Force to Study Fully Autonomous Vehicles, Gail serves as Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Technology and the Legal Profession Committee, and is a member of NYSBA’s Transportation Committee.  She is the New York Regional Co-Chair for the ABA’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, Co-Chair of the Programming Committee of the ABA’s Woman Advocate Committee, Vice-Chair of the ABA-TIPS Automobile Litigation Committee, Co-Chair of the National Association of Women Lawyers’ IP & Technology Affinity Group, Editor of the ABA’s Pretrial Practice and Discovery Newsletter, and a member of the Sedona Conference Working Group 1.

Gail was selected as one the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2017 Women Worth Watching in STEM and one of the Connecticut Technology Council’s 2016 Women of Innovation.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Murray C. Goldman, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.  Gail is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.


Ronald J. Hedges, J.D., is a Senior Counsel with Dentons US LLP. He served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey from 1986 to 2017. Mr. Hedges is a frequent writer and speaker on various topics related to electronic information and is the principal author of Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Third Edition (Federal Judicial Center: 2017). His full biography is available at https://www.dentons.com/en/ronald-hedges.


The Honorable Lisa Margaret Smith is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York.  She sits in the Charles L. Brieant Federal Building and United States Courthouse in White Plains.  She was originally appointed in 1995 and is currently serving her fourth term as a Magistrate Judge.  From 2006-2008 Judge Smith served as Chief Magistrate Judge for the SDNY.

Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Smith was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (1987-1995).  Before becoming an AUSA she served as a Kings County (NY) Assistant District Attorney from 1980-1985, rising to Supervising Senior ADA in the Appeals Bureau, following service in several other bureaus.  From 1985-1986 Judge Smith was an Assistant Attorney General in the Appeals and Opinions Division of the New York State Department of Law, located in Albany.  She represented the State of New York on appeals in state and federal courts throughout New York, and she co-authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Association of State Attorneys General filed in the Supreme Court of the United States.  In 1986 Judge Smith re-joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a Supervising Senior ADA.  She remained there until 1987, when she became an AUSA for the Southern District of New York.

Judge Smith has served the Westchester Women's Bar Association (WWBA) for many years, as co-chair of the Outreach Committee, a Local  Elected Director, a Vice-President, and President-Elect, in preparation for becoming the President of WWBA in 2020.  She is also active in the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, the Federal Bar Council, the Federal Bar Association, for which she has served as a Circuit Vice President, and JALBCA.  In 2014 Judge Smith was honored to receive the Judith S. Kaye Access to Justice Award from the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York; in 2018 Judge Smith was also honored to receive the Kay Crawford Murray Award from the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law.  Judge Smith was nominated for both awards by the WWBA.

Judge Smith has been an Adjunct Professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (formerly Pace Law School) since 2006, where she has taught Evidence and Federal Courts, and co-teaches Civil Procedure with Professor Michael B. Mushlin.  Judge Smith frequently lectures at CLE and Bar Association programs, with a particular focus on e-discovery and evidence.  She is a regular participant in events which educate children about the courts, including Take Your Children To Work Day, an annual program of the WWBA, as well as visits to the Courthouse by school and scout groups, and she advises the Rye Neck High School Mock Trial Team.

Judge Smith earned her BA degree, with honors in political science, from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 1977, and her JD degree from Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina in 1980, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board.  She is a member of the Boards of Editors of the Federal Courts Law Review, an on-line and print journal of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, and of the Federal Bar Council Quarterly

Judge Smith published an article, co-authored with Professor Mushlin, entitled "The Professor and the Judge: Introducing First-Year Students to the Law in Context."  The article appears in the Journal of Legal Education, Volume 63, number 3 (February 2014).  Judge Smith also wrote an article entitled "Top Ten Things You Probably Never Knew About Magistrate Judges," published in The Federal Lawyer in May, 2014.  She has also contributed numerous articles to the Federal Bar Council Quarterly.