ACEDS Celebrates Detroit Chapter President Scott Petz

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I just got off a phone call with a lawyer who I really hope to meet one day…Scott Petz. Scott is a member at Dickinson Wright, a national law firm with offices throughout the Midwest, the South, the Southwest, and Canada. Scott is in the Firm’s Troy, Michigan office and focuses on high stakes litigation, including class action litigation. He has recently received the following acknowledgements:

  • Selected for America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for Michigan, 2018
  • Selected for Benchmark Litigation “40 & Under Hotlist,” 2018
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, 2018

When I brought up these accolades, Scott was extremely humble and said that while it was very flattering to get acknowledgments, he is always looking for what best serves his clients and provides them maximum value. He truly seemed almost embarrassed. It was clear to me that this was a really nice guy who just keeps striving to be better at his craft. We immediately dived into discussing his work with the ACEDS Detroit Chapter as this is what he wanted to talk about, NOT his individual achievements.

Scott became a member of ACEDS in 2015, as well as a member of the ACEDS Detroit Chapter. Scott recognizes that facts in litigation are often found in electronically stored information and he wanted to expand his knowledge on how to get to those facts. “It’s really important to know not only the rules of discovery, but also the technology, storage, and management of information,” said Scott, “Having a deep understanding of these matters helps you proactively advise your client and can strategically guide a long-term litigation strategy.” He likes what ACEDS brings to the table: education and networking on eDiscovery. eDiscovery is important to his successful practice, and his association with ACEDS and ACEDS Detroit has proven to be an asset to him.

He became treasurer when he first joined ACEDS Detroit Chapter and in 2016, Scott quickly moved into the Vice President role leading, of course, to the President’s role which he’s now held for two years. The ACEDS Detroit Chapter board, like its members, consist of people from different positions in the eDiscovery world such as litigation technology support personnel and lawyers. The ACEDS Detroit Chapter, like ACEDS, aims to bring all the eDiscovery players together and is a huge collaborative effort. Its mission is one of education and networking in the eDiscovery world with everyone welcome. Says Scott, “The appeal of ACEDS, for me, is that the organization recognizes that lawyers and non-lawyer professionals need resources and need to collaborate to effectively and efficiently address eDiscovery issues while maintaining a focus on reasonableness and defensibility. In the end, that’s really what our clients want.”

The ACEDS Detroit Chapter puts on four events throughout the course of the year. They first do a lunch and learn, this year it was on cybersecurity. The presentation was given by Rachel Ratcliff – Managing Director at Stroz Friedberg, and Collin Battersby, Attorney at McDonald Hopkins. The event was sponsored by Stroz Friedberg, an Aon Company and was held at the law offices of Dickinson Wright in Troy, MI.

Next, they did a wine and cheese social at the Capital Grille in Troy, MI in June featuring guest speaker Tom Gricks, a managing director at Catalyst and a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For the past several years, Mr. Gricks has devoted a substantial portion of his practice to eDiscovery, with a particular emphasis on technology-assisted review. He argued the Global Aerospace case before the Circuit Court in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is the first case to permit the use of technology-assisted review over the objection of the opposing party. Attendees had the chance to meet Tom at the social and it was very successful.

The next event is the 3rd Annual ACEDS Detroit eDiscovery Symposium/Inaugural ACEDS Midwest Regional Conference on October 25th and 26th at Greektown Casino Hotel in Detroit, MI and will feature George Socha. George will present the keynote speech at the conference entitled Understanding Disruption in eDiscovery with Scott giving the opening remarks and Mark Mack giving the closing remarks. The panel topics outlined below will include industry leading speakers – Tom Gricks, Maura Grossman, David Horrigan, Rose Jones, Doug Kaminski, Hon. Mary Beth Kelly (Ret.), Jacob Koering, Brian Lennon, Tom Lidbury, Eric Lieber, John Pappas, Carol Romej and Jenni Weaver. Sessions include:

  1. The Role of Special/eDiscovery Masters
  2. Setting up a Successful eDiscovery Department
  3. AI – Defining, Demystifying and Paths to Really Using Artificial Intelligence
  4. Data Breach Litigation

Finally, the ACEDS Detroit Chapter does a year end event focusing on giving back. This networking event will be December 3rd at M-Brew in Ferndale, MI so mark your calendar now. Last year the recipient was Mandy’s Place, an emergency shelter program that provides short-term placement and support to young children, age birth – 17, who are removed from their homes by the court due to neglect, abuse and status offenses. Mandy’s Place provides a therapeutic, homelike intervention for all residents in their care as they wait to return to their family, go into foster care, be placed in Children’s Village live-in program or go to another agency. DISCO was the platinum sponsor of last year’s event providing the event’s food and trivia entertainment.

So much activity and community surround the ACEDS Detroit Chapter and Scott seems to love what it brings to his professional and personal growth. Our conversation was easy, inspiring and fun. Scott is a true go-getter and is not one to rest on his laurels. We discussed the importance of always growing and moving on to the next chapter. He was completely humbled by his awards but truly, at age 37, he IS someone to watch in this field. I’ll close with a quote “If justice is a fact-finding mission, then why don’t we all come together to find those facts.” Thank you, Scott, for your time and candor. A most pleasant man and one headed for greatness!

Gayle O'Connor on Email
Gayle O'Connor
Gayle O’Connor is a legal technology marketing consultant with 30+ years’ experience. She is the sole proprietor of GMO Marketing which provides marketing assistance to attorneys and legal vendors. She is an expert on social media, content marketing, speaking, and blogging. In 2018, Gayle was named as an honoree in the 5,000 strong membership of Women in eDiscovery.

Gayle has held a variety of positions including Marketing Director at Degen, Blanchard and Nash, a large law firm located in New Orleans, and has served as a marketing strategist for numerous legal software providers. Gayle was also the former trial technician for the federal public defenders Hells Angels case in Seattle, WA.

Throughout her career, Gayle has been a speaker at numerous conferences ranging from the New Zealand Law Society, the ABA, Access to Justice Foundation as well as local organizations such as bar associations and NBI CLE offerings.

She can be reached at [email protected] or @gaylemoconnor.

She is also an avid Harley rider.

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