Chartered in August 2009, the Richard K. Herrmann Technology Inn has been established for the purpose of bringing together judges, lawyers and law students to study the impact of technology on business and the effect of technology on the practice of law and in particular electronic discovery. In the past 20 years, the "computerization of information" has dramatically changed the way business is conducted and by extension, how the discovery of electronically stored information in litigation is handled. Moreover, in what seems today to be an ever-changing landscape of ways people communicate, e.g., electronic mail, instant messaging, and social networking web sites just to name a few, the legal community is struggling to keep up with the business community in terms of understanding the technology and advising clients how to efficiently, effectively and ethically manage such electronically stored information in litigation.
The Inn was named after Richard K. Herrmann to recognize his outstanding contributions to the practice of law as the "Dean of Technology in Delaware," and for his steadfast devotion to using technology to improve the practice of law in Delaware for the past 25 years. The Herrmann Technology Inn is unique in that it is the first American Inn of Court to deal exclusively with the subject of technology and electronic discovery. With one exception, the Herrmann Technology Inn will follow the traditional American Inns of Court format with different categories of membership: Benchers, Masters, Barristers, Associates and Pupils. The Bencher level includes all judicial participants. The Masters level includes lawyers with more than 15 years of practical experience. The Barristers include lawyers with 5-15 years of experience and the Associates include those with less than 5 years of experience. The Pupil level will consist of law students. The Inn will also have a category of Technology Advisers for non-lawyers with expertise in electronic discovery and related technology.