Relativity Fellows_Blog

ACEDS Partners with Relativity to Offer Structured e-Discovery Training for the Relativity Fellows Program

ACEDS will play key role in helping Relativity with its development programming for its first cohort of Fellows

Aug. 18, 2020EAGAN, Minn. – The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the world’s leading e-discovery training and certification professional association and part of The BARBRI Group, has joined forces with legal technology leader Relativity for the company’s new Relativity Fellows program.

The Relativity Fellows program welcomes motivated individuals from traditionally overlooked communities to learn the Relativity platform and build a career in legal technology. Through this partnership, ACEDS will provide foundational e-discovery training to participants in the Relativity Fellows program as well as provide speakers for the program’s Fellows Forums.

“We’ve prioritized developing the Relativity Fellows program over the past year and I’m grateful for ACEDS’ partnership in sharing content and resources to help train our first Fellows cohort,” said Mike Gamson, CEO at Relativity. “I’m most excited to see ACEDS’ Fellows Forum sessions in action, which will offer relatable stories of ACEDS members’ career journeys, presentations that unpack more complex topics and opportunities for Fellows to satiate their curiosity about what makes the e-discovery industry tick.”

ACEDS members and leaders will provide experienced and expert perspectives, specialized content, and career journey stories, and break down industry topics and trends. Program participants will have access to the eDiscovery Executive Certificate (eDEx) course, a self-paced interactive online set of modules that with help them gain a foundational understanding of the e-discovery process.

“The Relativity Fellows program presents an amazing opportunity for those wanting to enter our profession, one that combines best-in-industry thinking with practical applications and access to insider experiences,” said Mike Quartararo, president ACEDS and professional development. “At ACEDS, we share Relativity’s commitment to education and to fostering the careers of professionals, particularly in overlooked communities. We’re excited to be involved.”

“At Relativity, we make it a point during team member onboarding to relate our work to the e-discovery industry so all Relativians gain a deeper understanding of the customers we serve,” added Sean Neilsen, Fellows Development Lead at Relativity. “Our partnership with ACEDS will take industry training at Relativity to the next level, and we are thrilled that our Fellows can be the pioneers.”

Learn more about the Relativity Fellows program.

About ACEDS
The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), part of leading legal education provider The BARBRI Group, is a global member-based association for professionals who work in e-discovery, information governance, compliance and the broader legal community. ACEDS provides training and certification in e-discovery and related disciplines to corporate legal departments, law firms, the government, service providers and institutions of higher learning. Our CEDS certification is recognized around the world and used to verify skills and competence in electronic discovery for organizations and individuals through training, certification and ongoing education. The CEDS credential is held by practitioners at the largest Fortune 500 companies, Am Law 200 firms and government agencies. ACEDS has 23 chapters, with locations in most major US cities, the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa (with Australia and South America chapters coming soon). Our goal is to help professionals and organizations reduce the costs and risks associated with e-discovery while helping to improve and verify their skills and advance their careers and overall technology competence in e-discovery and related fields. http://www.aceds.org/

About Relativity
At Relativity, we make software to help users organize data, discover the truth, and act on it. Our platform is used by thousands of organizations around the world to manage large volumes of data and quickly identify key issues during litigation, internal investigations, and compliance operations with RelativityOne and our newest offering Relativity Trace. Relativity has over 180,000 users in 40+ countries from organizations including the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70 Fortune 100 companies, and 198 of the Am Law 200. RelativityOne offers all the functionality of Relativity in a secure and comprehensive SaaS product. Relativity has been named one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune for nine consecutive years. Please contact Relativity at sales@relativity.com or visit http://www.relativity.com for more information.

Contact: Cindy Parks
913.526.6912
cindy@parkscommunications.com

Joy Murao_ Advisory Board Interview _ Blog

The Transformation of Legal Technology Training

Ari Kaplan speaks with ACEDS board member Joy Murao, the founder and CEO of Practice Aligned Resources, a legal technology consulting and education company, about how legal technology training has evolved since she started Practice Aligned Resources in 2015, how the emergence of legal operations in both law firms and corporate law departments has impacted expectations of how skilled legal professionals need to be, the impact of advanced training on one’s career, and where legal technology training is headed.

Ari Kaplan:
Tell us about your background and the genesis of Practice Aligned Resources.

Joy Murao:
After graduating from paralegal school, I began working in litigation support. When I became a hiring manager, I quickly recognized the challenge of hiring staff with the skillsets required for our industry.  An issue which continues to this day. Addressing that challenge fueled the launch of Practice Aligned Resources (PAR), which created an environment where training is always at the forefront of everything we do. For me, creating PAR was a way for me to share what I learned over 25 years.

Ari Kaplan:
How has legal technology training evolved since you started Practice Aligned Resources in 2015?

Joy Murao:
The approach to training has evolved over time. Training used to follow a very predictable format, but I have seen it migrate towards workflow training or specific feature training versus being very menu-driven and making sure you touch every menu item that’s listed. What’s interesting now is, as you move forward and look at different technologies, things are more point-and-click or drag-and-drop. As a result, not only has the training changed, but the technology itself has evolved, which actually requires less formal training and more of an emphasis on workflow. Our team is often speaking about “why” and “how” professionals should be using technology for their practice, rather than the narrow mechanics of their usage.

Ari Kaplan:
What are some best practices that you recommend in developing training initiatives in this area?

Joy Murao:
I try to focus on roles, responsibilities and practical outcomes to construct programs that yield value right away. Some of my best practices focus on the end result for my students and encouraging them to correctly identify outcomes that we can build into the training.

Ari Kaplan:
How has the emergence of legal operations in both law firms and corporate legal departments impacted expectations of how skilled legal professionals actually need to be?

Joy Murao:
Unfortunately, there aren’t many opportunities to teach people how to function in legal operations roles within law firms or corporate legal departments so everyone struggles with understanding what that job means for their particularly company’s business. The emergence of legal operations, in law firms and legal departments requires us to focus our training on the skills that the relatively new function requires. Having people who can traverse IT, HR, and legal, while speaking a common vocabulary and understanding the drivers for each of those groups is an important asset to a valuable training program. We can make the most powerful impact when we understand the skills one has and what we can train the individual to do. 

Ari Kaplan:
How are people applying the training that they receive?

Joy Murao:
I see their questions and the way they approach challenges changing. Instead of being more timid when they start their training, we see the lessons connecting with them and their questions escalating in depth. Some take more of a command and follow through with their groups or departments. They ultimately learn to justify and speak to the value of whatever the new technology or initiative is that they are studying. They increasingly weigh the costs and benefits of different technologies and it is amazing to see how empowered they are to raise themselves and their departments up.

Ari Kaplan:
What impact are you seeing advanced training having on the careers of the professionals with whom you’re working?

Joy Murao:
I see people pivoting or layering on top of their current positions or jobs. They are developing their technology skills, especially since law schools are not yet completely teaching or integrating technology into their programs. Some leverage their new abilities to start practice groups or lead departments, such as litigation support or knowledge management. In addition, lawyers and paralegals are achieving higher-level career opportunities because they gain an understanding of the business side and recognize the value and the power of integrating IT and legal.

Ari Kaplan:
What’s the advantage of working with team members who have the diverse array of skills you described?

Joy Murao:
The diversity of skills and people on anyone’s team actually helps them become more successful in meeting the needs of their users. Many departments have changed designations from litigation support to practice support because in the legal landscape, technology is rooted in everything from bankruptcy to corporate M&A to litigation. As a result, a diverse skillset amongst your team is important to meet these new needs. I compare my teams to a chess board. Each piece has a different skillset or role that together we can deploy for different strategies. It gives us an ability to be successful no matter which path we follow. I often look towards filling a skill gap, even outside of the litigation support or practice development to the paralegal groups, word processing departments, IT teams, and business development leaders. Then, I look to vendors and service providers who can help fill those gaps. 

Ari Kaplan:
What are the practical implications of offering a wide selection of training opportunities?

Joy Murao:
It means offering online training and video training, among other types, in a variety of styles and durations. Wider selections mean creating very specific topics and focusing them on the audience. If you’re teaching legal hold issues, you need to create a different kind of training program for your audience, whether it is comprised of paralegals, legal secretaries, operations staff members, law firm associates, or partners. Their goals and the way they leverage that training or that information is going to be different. We strive for sustainable learning that hits home so we need to offer tangible and practical strategies. Understanding one piece allows them to seamlessly rise to the next level whenever that needs to be.

Ari Kaplan:
Where do you see legal technology training headed?

Joy Murao:
You’re already starting to see inroads being made with legal technology training or just a broader training outside of the typical paralegal or law school curriculum. That said, it is still not making the impact for which one would hope. There is a trend to broaden the duty of competency to include technology components, and as the obligations with respect to technology are more clearly defined, client expectations will rise. We will also see more ethics training around the value that technology will bring and protections it will offer those clients. I am hoping that more formal education programs in law and paralegal schools will offer a baseline core curriculum for legal technology training. After all, when you look at the evolution of work distributed amongst associates, paralegals, litigation support professionals, or practice professionals at law firms, they need to understand the roles that they play and how technology enhances their ability to serve clients. Litigation support departments are growing for this reason. Technology companies are spending a lot of money on innovation, which is amazing, but many dedicate more to marketing than training. That’s great for brand awareness, but training plays an indirect, important role for marketing. Investments in certification programs would give a product a framework or structure that allows end users to see value.

ILTA

ILTA>ON for eDiscovery Professionals

What? ILTA>ON – The premiere conference for legal technology professionals.
When? August 24-28, 2020
Where? Your home or office

This year ILTA>ON is more accessible and affordable for everyone! The conference will be virtual and will run from August 24 through the 28. Each day begins with a keynote from 9-10 a.m. CT with sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT. You can go here for more details and to download the session grid. NOTE: Times are listed in central time.

Feel free to go to the site and check everything out, but I thought it might be helpful to share my top picks for eDiscovery professionals here:

The Conference Kick-Off

Don’t miss the conference kick-off on Monday, August 24 for “A Taste of ILTA” which is FREE for ILTA members! The conference will kick off at 9:00 a.m. CT with an inspirational keynote by Steven Carver. Steven will expose NASA’s shortcomings in planning, procurement, leadership, and change management – and connect these failures and innovations to legal technology projects. In addition to the keynote, there will be a full day of events including professional development sessions.

The professional development sessions on Monday include topics around leading in times of crisis, emotional intelligence, and creating a culture of inclusion. There is also a public speaking session, so if you cringe each time you have to speak publicly, or if you would just like to fine tune your speaking skills…this session is for you!  

The Transformative Project of the Year Sessions

In addition to the professional development sessions, Monday attendees can attend “The Transformative Project of the Year” sessions where award nominees present their projects. Attend this session to see some of the innovative projects your peers have implemented over the last 12 months. There will also be a session to present the results of the ILTA Technology Survey. This free day of Education will include access to the Exhibit Hall, where you can meet and interact virtually with ILTA’s business partners. Visit ILTAOn.com to register for this FREE day of exceptional content!

Litigation Support Track

There are sessions throughout the entire week that eDiscovery professionals may find of interest but first, let me jump to Wednesday, August 26, for an overview of the Litigation Support track. The day opens with a keynote sponsored by Thomson Reuters at 9:00 a.m. CT. The keynote will be followed by the track’s kick-off session titled “Litigation Support Roundtable: Today’s Challenges.” This will be an informative and interactive session with our exceptional moderators, David Horrigan of Relativity and Mike Quartararo of ACEDS. This is a great opportunity for attendees to interact with each other and discuss the challenges eDiscovery professionals face in our world today.

After the roundtable is a session titled “The Show Must Go On? Trials, Mediations, Arbitrations and Depositions – The Art & Science of Remote Presentation.” Join Shannon Bale (Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP) and Alicia Aquino (Aquino Trial Services) in this interactive discussion about options, methodology, and tools to assist attorneys attending and participating in virtual hearings, trials, and depositions.

Next up is our session titled “Clawbacks, Redactions and Formats…Oh my!” This panel of experts moderated by Doug Austin (author of eDiscovery Today) will discuss these perennial issues in ediscovery which are as pertinent today as ever. Join Cindy MacBean (Honigman LLP), Rachel McAdams (A&L Goodbody) and Cristin Traylor (McGuireWoods LLP) for this timely and relevant discussion.

Following this session there will be a one-hour break allowing attendees to catch up on email, network with friends, or visit the exhibit hall. In the exhibit hall you will have the opportunity to meet with your current vendors or see what new products and services are being offered in the eDiscovery space.

After the one-hour break, the litigation support track will continue with “O365 Security and Compliance Center for eDiscovery.” In this session, expert John Collins from Lighthouse will take a deep dive into the functions and features of this tool.

The litigation support track will wrap up Wednesday with the session “Disruption in Ediscovery.” In this session David Greetham from Ricoh USA will walk through some of the root causes for past disruption and discuss what eDiscovery professionals can do to prepare for the future. A must see for those wanting to stay on top of our ever changing industry.

The day will end with a variety of networking opportunities and socials. Plan on spending your evening catching up with peers and participating in social events.

So, what else might you be interested in throughout the week?

Law Department Track, Data Science Track and an ILTA General Track 

On Tuesday, we have the Law Department track, Data Science track and an ILTA general track. The Law Department track is always a favorite for eDiscovery professionals who work in corporate law departments, but also for those who work in firms and want to stay on top of clients’ needs and requirements. It is important to note that the final law department roundtable, from 3:45-4:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, is limited to corporate law department members only. This is a great opportunity for the corporate members to discuss topics amongst their peers. Data Science is an emerging field and a natural next step for many eDiscovery professionals. ILTA general sessions on Tuesday afternoon will include topics on security and Women who lead.

Technology Adoption and Artificial Intelligence Tracks

On Thursday, we have the Technology Adoption and Artificial Intelligence tracks. Do your attorneys and paralegals utilize technology offerings to the highest degree? If not, the Technology Adoption track may provide useful tips and information on how to increase and improve technology adoption in your organization. Artificial intelligence tools are prominently used by eDiscovery professionals in technology assisted review and continuous active learning. Attend the AI track to learn more about AI and the various use cases in legal technology.

#CreatingTheFutureTogether and the Business and Legal Process Improvement Track 

Finally, to wrap up the conference on Friday, we have a dual track on #CreatingTheFutureTogether as well as the Business and Legal Process Improvement track. A variety of sessions are offered on this final day that will appeal to eDiscovery professionals. Don’t miss Joe Raczinski’s spark talk on “Back to the Future!” There will also be a session titled “How E-trials are Changing the Practice of Law.” This panel will include The Honorable Justice Colin Campbell, Marcel Duhamel (Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease) and Sandra Potter (Indicium Legal Consulting).

The #CreatingTheFutureTogether track will focus on solving problems legal technology professionals will face in the next three to six months. These sessions are for managers, directors, and C-level executives who need to plan and prepare for the not too distant future. This includes a session titled “Rethinking the Business of Law” with our own Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors and Meredith Williams-Range with Shearman & Sterling.

I hope this article proves useful to all my eDiscovery friends, and that it helps you navigate the ILTA>ON conference this year. The conference is being delivered to your living room or office for the first time ever, so it is not only convenient, but also affordable. Please go to ILTAON.com to see more details and to register.

I look forward to seeing you and catching up at the conference!

If We Have the Courage and the Will: Remarks on Race, Equality and Justice

(Note: These remarks were originally shared by ACEDS President Michael Quartararo with leaders of our 25 global chapters during ACEDS’ monthly chapter leadership call, and since then many have asked that the remarks be made available publicly)

I want to say a few words about the conversation we are having, certainly here in the United States, but also around the world, about race and equality and justice.

To be clear, the killing of Black Americans and any person of color by police is unacceptable to me. It reflects part of a shameful and troubling legacy of race in America. And I believe that we can do better. We must do better – that is, if we have the courage and the will.

You know, we all work in the legal industry – a place where equality undergirds much of what we do. I feel it should be a place where equality is not an issue. As we all know, that is not always the case. I believe that as part of the legal community we are obligated to do more; to do better.

It has become evident to me over the past few weeks that more conversation around race and equality are needed. That even though it may be uncomfortable for some, a new and different conversation needs to be had. Apathy and complacency feel like complicity. Silence and ignorance seem to suggest acceptance. In my experience, the only time people grow and change is when they are pushed outside their comfort zone. So, I think it is time for some uncomfortable conversation.

My hope of course is that ACEDS is an organization where everyone feels welcome, feels valued and has a voice. But, of course, how I hope others feel is largely irrelevant. And it may not reflect the reality for everyone. What is important is how those who are most affected feel.

Make no mistake. I do not have all the answers. I am not going to solve racism. I am not even entirely sure that I know what the solution looks like. But I do know that as a leader in the community I feel that I can do more. As someone who has a platform, someone who has the privilege of speaking and writing to reach thousands of people, I feel I can do better. I feel that we all can do more. And as the leader of ACEDS, I feel that there is more that we can do as an organization –if we have the courage and the will.

One way to engage on the subject of race, equality and justice is to talk more about it.

And so, I’m asking all of you today, no, I am challenging you all today, as leaders in our community, to offer me your thoughts on what ACEDS can do as an organization to better support those in our community who have been marginalized and treated unequally?

I am asking each of you to give me one good idea on how ACEDS can improve in this regard.

And let me know, too, your level of interest in being part of any initiative or larger conversation that will come out of this.

I consider myself fortunate to work for a company that believes in giving back; that believes in supporting under-served communities, people of color and the less fortunate. I am proud, in fact, that our parent company, BARBRI, has a long history of supporting individual law students, public interest groups, and nonprofit organizations that seek to advance racial equality and diversity in the legal profession.*

But, from where I sit, that is not enough. We can do more. ACEDS can do more. If we have the courage and the will.

It is not my intention to appear gloomy. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. Demonstrations across the globe have involved young people – people of every race, color, creed, orientation, and nationality. And so, this gives me hope, and I am optimistic that young people will in fact drive change. If they have the courage and the will.

My commitment to you today is to start a conversation and make every effort to keep it going. I invite you all to join in the collective thinking and in whatever we may accomplish together. The goal is to ensure that ACEDS is doing everything it can do to not just promote or encourage equality, but also to proactively demand equality for its members and the broader community. I want to lead by example here and show the world that in our little corner of the legal community we have the courage and the will to help effectuate change.

I look forward to hearing from you.

I hope you all are safe and well.

And please be kind to one another.

 

*One example is BARBRI’s support of the Pipeline to Practice Foundation. Learn more at https://pipelinetopractice.org/

George Socha_CEDS Spotlight Headshot

CEDS Spotlight: George Socha, CEDS

Welcome to our “CEDS Spotlight” where we will feature ACEDS members who have recently become CEDS certified. Every one of our members is unique and so are their e-discovery journeys. We hope this will be a terrific way for you to get to know the ACEDS community.


 

[Maribel] Hi everyone I am Maribel Rivera I am the Senior Director of community relations at ACEDS. Welcome to our CEDS spotlight where we will feature ACEDS members who have recently become CEDS certified. Everyone of our members is unique and so are their E-discovery journeys. Today I’m excited to feature George Socha. George, welcome.

[George] Thank you very much.

[Maribel] George, you just recently got your CEDS certification I’m really excited for you, congratulations we want–

[George] Thank you.

[Maribel] You’re welcome, we wanted to talk a little bit with you today about the whole process that you went through but first could you share a little bit about your e-discovery background and expertise with our audience.

[George] Well I, as we were chatting earlier, I do have a little bit of e-discovery background. I– when you see me looking up like that I am a very visual person that the EDRM diagram might suggest and when I’m looking up at that it’s because I’m looking at a picture in my head to help describe things or see a chronology or whatever so what I was thinking about there is that I first got involved in E-discovery probably somewhere between 1991 and 1993 I don’t really know because who was paying attention to those things at that time and I got involved in E-discovery not because I had any intention of spending any time doing that but rather because once upon a long time ago back in 1972 I took a computer programming class. And then in 1973 I took my last computer programming class. In the interim between 1973 and 1991 or ’93 I spend my high school years or way too much of them writing code just for the fun of it not with any object in mind that’s what my friends and I did for entertainment. Went off to college where I had nothing to do with computers off to west Africa where I had even less to do with computers, I was a Peace Corp volunteer there but came coming back from West Africa spent a few months bicycling through Europe where I stopped to visit my middle brother who was in Austria for the summer sequestered away at a friends cabin writing a book called Inside the IBM PC and I looked at the content he was writing The machine he was using ironically a compaq portable if that means anything to anybody and not an IBM PC and thought well the world has changed while I was gone. When I got back to the states I taught myself how to use those early IBM PCs using WordStar which was a word processing program long before we got to things like Word or even WordPerfect before that Wrote an inventory management system for my father’s business Sort of to teach myself how to use the computer and then headed off to law school where I brought along the computer I had recently purchased, an Apple Macintosh purchased in January of 1984 the same month as the at that time the same as the superbowl ad for the introduction of the Apple Macintosh. I brought that to law school used that to write up my papers and because I had a computer and because I was very involved in the legal aid clinic and the reason for that I was a Peace Corp volunteer I had worked very much with my sleeves rolled up. Law school, especially at a place like Cornell can get in the classroom it is not a sleeves rolled up type of experience or at least it wasn’t in those days, it was much more actuarial experience if you will and I needed something practical to work on. Got involved in the legal aid clinic, IBM donated half a dozen PCs to the law school the then Dean of the law school Peter Martin by the way went on to form the legal information institute along with Peter Brusha I think his name is at Cornell said we don’t really have a place for computers in the classroom but maybe the clinic can use them, the head of the clinic turned to me and said “Well you have a computer, maybe you can figure out what we can do with them.” and I ended up writing a sneakerware matter management system for the legal aid clinic. Sneakerware because at the time you could not yet network PCs together. Came out of law school, took a job at a law firm, they handed me a Dictaphone and said “See how technologically advanced we are.” So I looked at that thing and I thought well I can’t do anything with this and I brought my trustworthy Macintosh into the office. I very shortly had a steady stream of senor associates and junior partners come into my office, close the door, sit down and deliver almost verbatim the same message which essentially was lose the computer. If you have a computer you will never be taken seriously as an attorney, you will never be anything other than a glorified word processor and secretary. Well I didn’t lose the computer. I’m no longer a practicing attorney, I guess they were right

[George] But what did happen is that the firm landed what would be the largest set of cases they would ever have and it was a set of nation wide fight for the company life toxic tort matters where we were going to have what we used to refer to in those days as the mythical millionaire, million documents or a million pages of documents no one was ever very clear about that because there were going to be so many and there were we had more than that ultimately, and it really was a lot for those days. We were going to have someone sit down with copies of those documents, read them and type information from those documents into a computer and code them and someone needed to help manage that whole process and there was a computer involved and I had a computer on my desk so I was tapped to help out with that process, that meant I got to know the people in our IT operations at the law firm I was at it also meant that I got more and more involved in automated litigations support, worked with schools such as concordance and summation which were the dominant product in the field in the day before anyone really was thinking or almost thinking on really was thinking about electronics discovery. And then sometime in the early 90’s we started getting the first of our e-discovery matters. I was tapped on the shoulder, you know, I had a computer I was working with these tools, I must know what to do about this, of course I hadn’t a clue what to do with it One of the very first matters I worked on we were representing the plaintiffs on that one which was not typically what we did, we were mostly a defense firm. And I was assigned the task of flying, I think it was so Kansas City, I don’t remember for sure, and taking the deposition of the IT director where I was supposed to find out everything including where all the dirt and the secrets were just by asking him questions on the deposition about their electronically stored information which we call it now. It was, without question the worst deposition of my career and that what got me launched in e-discovery.

[Maribel] Excellent, well thank you for sharing that and I know I guess right after that is when you founded the EDRM model.

[George] Well a decade later.

[Maribel] A decade later right

[George] A decade later I was no longer at that first firm nor the second one, the first firm collapsed, a group of nearly thirty of us left the first firm to start another law firm and I was at that law firm through into 2003, left in 2003 to start a new discovery consultant practice. One of the first projects I was asked to work on was one that called for me to do a survey of the E-discovery market, who were the leading providers, what are the challenges people are facing and how much money is involved in this anyway . They wanted me to do some things I did not have experience doing and felt like I needed to pull someone in and help me out and I brought in someone I had worked with when I was at that first law firm right about that same time as I began working on the first E-discovery projects. He had been the IT director at another law firm in town they had fired him thinking they had reached technology nirvana and did not need him nor the entire level of staff underneath him. So he was freelance consulting at the time I contacted him and said, “Tom, have I got a deal for you, these folks want me to do a project I don’t know how to do it, they’ve got a ridiculously short timeframe here we are never going to make the deadline the expectation are ridiculously high we are never going to please them, are you in or not?” and Tom said, “Well with an offer like that how can I say no.” So we went on to do the first of what would be six years of the Social Gelman Electronic Discovery Survey. As Tom and I were gathering data and evaluating data for that survey we realized that especially when we were talking with folks at providers but also when we were talking with people at law firms and at corporations we were getting a common response from people and that response was some variation of look you guys you just don’t understand what e-discovery is let me tell you it’ what I do its what we do those other people that’s not E-discovery. We heard that from people whose primary focus was preserving data and people who only spent their time collecting it or processing it or reviewing it. Each one of them thought they did the one true electronic discovery and the rest of those folks were I don’t know, posers or something So we said maybe it would be useful if somebody sat down and did maybe a one year project, get together a small group of people to try and answer two sets of questions. One, what is e-discovery because obviously there’s confusion and disagreement and two, what are the basic steps involved in the actions people take. And tom, he has a formal IT background, I don’t said these things I’ve worked with in the past called reference models maybe we can use that as sort of a conceptual framework and I said yeah okay and we are dealing with electronic discovery here so how about we call this thing for a lack of a better name the Electronic Discovery Reference Model and that’s a mouthful so let’s just say EDRM And that’s where we all started we sent out a call for participation to folks we knew had I think 35 people show up for our first meeting in May of 2004 in Saint Paul. They arrived at the meeting and said, “okay sounds like you all are doing something interesting but we don’t really understand what you’re doing so why don’t you explain to us why were are all here.” And that of course lasted for a lot more than one year. Become the EDRM that so many people are familiar with today and as well the diagram that many people use without even knowing that there is such a thing as EDRM out there.

[Maribel] Yes, well thank you for sharing that. Given that whole experience, everything I mean that’s decades of work and decades of dealing in law firms and litigation what made you decide this year to become certified in e-discovery?

[George] Well you know after I took the bar exam in whenever that was, 1987, I said, “I am done with that type of test, I am never taking that type of test again and I had been steadfast in my resistance until this year. And really the primary reason I sat down to prepare for and take that test, all the while worrying and what if I fail– Was that–

[Maribel] We would have had to talk to you if you failed

[George] That’s right you would have had to have a discussion with me. The reason I went for the materials and then took a test is that ACEDS has a newly reformulated and revived global advisory board and one at the meeting at legal leap we were asked please all to try and make it a priority. That was part of it, the other part though is as I thought about what it means or should mean to be a member of a global advisory board like that I thought well I really should see what the materials are like for preparing for the test and I really should go through all of those and take the test test and sample test and take the test itself because otherwise I don’t really understand one of the key things that ACED does then how can I be as productive and useful member of the global advisory board if I haven’t done that so that is what finally prompted me to agree to back off my thirty plus year opposition to take any farther test like that and sit down and go through that exam.

[Maribel] Well thank you for taking that and I know you’re newly appointed as part of the global advisory board but you’re also a chapter leader for our twin cities chapter so that, it’s doing that as well becoming CEDS certified I think is a really great thing for the chapter just to see that their leaders are going through it.

[George] And we had a call, we have monthly calls for our chapter we had our monthly call last week I think it was maybe the week before you know the days run by right

[Maribel] Yeah

[George] They all combine, and one of the topics I said at the global advisory board meeting one of the suggestions was for as many of us as could to see if we could become ACEDS certified, I frankly don’t know how many people in our local board are that and we need to take that on as a task for ourselves well it sounds like almost everyone is already. So we’ve got a few people two or three maybe just two who aren’t yet but we are largely there locally at least so I guess we are ahead of the curve once again here in Minnesota.

[Maribel] Excellent, well that’s great to see and I think across we are starting to see more and more of our chapter leaders looking at the E-discovery executive or the CEDS training programs so that they can also get CEDS certified. Just given the whole process what are you thoughts on the certification training, the exam what’s your feedback on the whole thing?

[George] I did not really know what to expect going into it what I did to prepare was to go to the recorded preparation sessions, I think there were three of them what a combine three or four hours of time–

[Maribel] Yeah

[George] I forget exactly–

[Maribel] An hour and a half each.

[George] So I watched all of those, yeah watched all of those and then when I was, and then there are also available from thee same site its own little website you can watch the recording which I did you can participate in live sessions which I didn’t mostly because of scheduling challenges and the time I had available to look at those sets, those recordings did not match up with any live sessions here is the time I can so it so this is what I’m going to do, I went as well to the various materials that could be be downloaded, at least skimmed through those to get a sense of what was in there and then and I think it was a very useful piece in this there is a version of thee test, a much shorter version that you can take and take on your own and it has the advantage of letting you know right away if you get a wrong answer, A that the answer is wrong and B it helps you figure out a bit of what you got wrong with the answer and then at the end you can see what your score is and how you did on that test as a percentage that’s compared to what you’re going to have to do if you want to pass the overall test, I did well enough on that test that I said you know what, I think I’m just going to schedule a time go in, take the test, see what happens, cross my fingers and hope I don’t have to slink away with my tail between my legs for having failed the thing.

[Maribel] Well that’s good so what advice would you have for someone preparing for the exam right now?

[George] I think its, if you look kind of a sliding scale because my impression at least from going through the material and from taking thee full exam is that it really is intended to have two audiences if you will there are those people who have more of a legal background, they were practicing lawyers, practicing paralegals and alike and then there are those people who have more of a technical background their the people running the tools and they’re going to have different areas of experience and different areas of expertise and then there are some of us who are going to have spent quite a bit of time in both worlds and for more I spent a lot of time in both worlds both sides of that the content was quite familiar to me already if you go though those recordings or go to the live sessions, if you go through that sample test and you understand the content presented there’s nothing new no surprises no areas where you’re going wait a minute I don’t really understand that you go through the sample test you do well, I think you’re ready to take the exam. If however, you go well I get all this about legal and those types of things but now you’re talking about how to do preservation of content out of Microsoft exchange or office 365 or you’re talking about some other technical things that I don’t understand of well that’s a pretty good indication that you need to learn some more about those areas so going through thee prep materials going through the test exam on the one hand can let you know that you’re ready to go ahead and take the overall exam it also can let you know these are areas where you could do something to get yourself more up to speed that’s useful for the exam of course it’s also useful however for your general well-roundness professionally because the better you understand both sides of this equation and the better you understand the different parts on both sides of the equation the more effective you are going to be able to accomplish the work you have no matter where you sit in this process.

[Maribel] I think that kind of leads right into my last question for you is why should those in the e-discovery legal technology field kind of consider going through this CEDS or eDiscovery Executive Training Program so is there anything else you want to add on to that?

[George] No I think there is once again no one answer for everybody, some people, for example are in organizations where obtaining certifications is something that is important, emphasized and valued and if you are in an organization like that well this is one more certification that potentially can help you in your career advancement and your advancement within the organization, helps you toward a bonus or whatever it might be If you’re not in an organization like that and you’re still interested part of the value of going through all of this goes back to what I was just talking about which is it can help you have a more fulsome a more well rounded, a more complete understanding of all of what goes into electronic discovery so that you can be more effective wherever you are and it can help if you decide that what you want to do is push yourself some and live in the areas you are not already experienced with or familiar with it can give you an opportunity to identify for you some challenges to pursue if that how you’re so inclined.

[Maribel] Thank you George, well that’s everything I have thank you so much for taking some time out of your day and spending it with us and sharing a little bit about you and the whole process of getting certified with us, for anyone who is interested in learning more about becoming ACEDS certified you can visit our website at ACEDS.org and George, any last thoughts?

[George] I don’t know just go forth and do good work out there

[Maribel] Thank you so much

[George] Okay, thank you.


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JDSupra

ACEDS Honored as #1 E-Discovery Firm/Association in 2020 JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards; ACEDS Advisory Board Member George Socha Named #1 Author

May 1, 2020EAGAN, Minn. – The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the world’s leading e-discovery training and certification professional association and part of The BARBRI Group, has been recognized as the #1 e-discovery firm or association in the 2020 JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards.

Additionally, ACEDS Global Advisory Board Member and veteran e-discovery practitioner, George Socha, was named the #1 e-discovery author. Four other ACEDS contributors, representing ACEDS chapters around the country, were included among the Top 10 e-discovery authors:

  • Daniel Gold
  • Helen Geib
  • Sean O’Shea
  • Rob Robinson

Each year JD Supra, one of the country’s leading content distributors, recognizes authors and firms for the visibility and engagement their thought leadership earned among JD Supra readers.  The organizations and authors being recognized were selected from among more than 50,000 who published on the platform in 2019.

“This is an incredible honor for the entire ACEDS community, and particularly the authors receiving this well-deserved recognition, ” said Mike Quartararo, president of ACEDS and professional development. “Every member of our global community understands that collaborating and sharing expertise and best practices are foundational for our success. George, Daniel, Helen, Sean and Rob consistently make valued contributions to our profession and our members and we thank and congratulate them.”

About ACEDS
The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), part of leading legal education provider The BARBRI Group, is a global member-based association for professionals who work in e-discovery, information governance, compliance and the broader legal community. ACEDS provides training and certification in e-discovery and related disciplines to corporate legal departments, law firms, the government, service providers and institutions of higher learning. The CEDS certification is recognized around the world and used to verify skills and competence in electronic discovery for organizations and individuals through training, certification and ongoing education. The CEDS credential is held by practitioners at the largest Fortune 500 companies, Am Law 200 firms and government agencies. ACEDS has 23 chapters, with locations in most major U.S. cities, the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa (with Australia and South America chapters coming soon). Our goal is to help professionals and organizations reduce the costs and risks associated with e-discovery while helping to improve and verify their skills and advance their careers and overall technology competence in e-discovery and related fields. http://www.aceds.org/

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cindy Parks
913.526.6912
cindy@parkscommunications.com

ACEDS_Mentor_Program

ACEDS Draws on Power and Skills of E-Discovery Community to Launch Mentorship Program

Volunteer-led initiative pairs up-and-coming e-discovery professionals with seasoned veterans to bolster skills, exchange best practices, strengthen community relationships

EAGAN, Minn.April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the world’s leading e-discovery training and certification professional association and part of The BARBRI Group, is today leveraging the power and professional expertise of its e-discovery community with a new Mentorship Program.

This volunteer-led initiative pairs early-career e-discovery professionals as mentees with veteran practitioners who serve as coaches/mentors. As a result, novice professionals will have a ready resource to help them explore career development possibilities, achieve their professional goals, and prepare for the CEDS exam. Conversely, mentors have the opportunity to coach committed new professionals, and invest in building and strengthening the overall community.

“Our ACEDS professionals are known for an unmatched commitment to ‘paying it forward’ and for improving the expertise of the greater community,” said Mike Quartararo, president ACEDS and professional development. “The mentorship program will provide opportunities for knowledgeable leaders to coach junior, committed newcomers, and give even greater opportunities to those with limited experience. We are confident this will build relationships and foster an exchange of best practices across the country.”

Mentors, each of whom will be CEDS-certified with many years of e-discovery experience, have the opportunity to commit to either a long-term or abbreviated program. ACEDS will facilitate initial pairings, after which the mentors and mentees will work independently and then report back to ACEDS the outcome of the partnership.

To learn more about the program, visit https://www.aceds.org/page/mentorship

About ACEDS
The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), part of leading legal education provider The BARBRI Group, is a global member-based association for professionals who work in e-discovery, information governance, compliance and the broader legal community. ACEDS provides training and certification in e-discovery and related disciplines to corporate legal departments, law firms, the government, service providers and institutions of higher learning. The CEDS certification is recognized around the world and used to verify skills and competence in electronic discovery for organizations and individuals through training, certification and ongoing education. The CEDS credential is held by practitioners at the largest Fortune 500 companies, Am Law 200 firms and government agencies. ACEDS has 23 chapters, with locations in most major U.S. cities, the UK, IrelandCanadathe Netherlands and South Africa (with Australia and South America chapters coming soon). Our goal is to help professionals and organizations reduce the costs and risks associated with e-discovery while helping to improve and verify their skills and advance their careers and overall technology competence in e-discovery and related fields. http://www.aceds.org/

Point of view

Three Ways We Can Change Our Perspectives in This New Reality

We live in peculiar times. A time where the world can feel as if it is on a complete halt. It is almost unimaginable how many we have lost around the globe due to COVID-19. As a result of this novel virus, we have seen its impact on both our jobs and the economy. We are living a different reality, and as a global community, we pray that the smartest minds in medicine, science, and data analytics can create a vaccine and do so quickly. On the backside of this terrible disease, we all wonder the same question — what will our new normal look like?

Yet, there is a silver lining in all of this tragedy. How is this possible? When people ask me if the glass filled with water to right about the halfway mark is half full or half empty, I respond with a third option: it’s filled with opportunity. Notwithstanding the terrible events around the world, we have also seen humanity shine through like the beams of sunshine on a bright summer day. People are uniting on a global scale to achieve victory over COVID-19 in ways one might think unimaginable. Simultaneously, this has been a great reminder about how interconnected we are as humans.


While there’s not a very natural transition to electronic discovery, I think that I can make one. Emerson was right — we do find in life what we put into it. While we have this time at home, we can also recommit ourselves to doubling down on improving our skills in our profession, double down on our commitment to our legal professional community, and double down on our commitment to our local community.

Double down on professional commitments to improving your skills

Life is very much about perspective. Looking at this new reality through a different lens, we could say this time we now have working from home affords us the chance to embrace it as an opportunity. In particular, we can all find ways in which we can learn more about our profession, hone our skills, and enroll in training in a multitude of topics from productivity, management, new skills, and of course, ACEDS webinars and certification courses.

For instance, we can sign up for the eDiscovery Executive Certificate Program, even if you’re not going to take the CEDS exam, as it walks through the basics of e-discovery, project planning, information management, international considerations, and all of the details in between. Not quite ready to take the 4-hour, 145-question CEDS Exam? Consider focusing on your financial foundation and sign up for the Mini MBA in Financial Competence. If any of these options seem like too much in light of everything else going on around us, there are plenty of on-demand webinars to watch whenever you have time and live webinars you can register for here.

Double down on our commitment to our legal professional community

As the President of the ACEDS Kansas City Chapter, I can tell you that I’ve personally witnessed how great it is for dozens of people to get together in person to learn from great speakers, network, and enjoy great food and drinks as a community. There are quite literally ACEDS chapters around the globe. While getting together in person is something we need to put on hold for now, many communities are doing video conferencing just to have some face-to-face time — even if it is digitally. Video conference calling technologies have accelerated through to the foreground at unprecedented speeds as a result of thousands of workers staying at home and forced into this new reality. People are coming together over video as a community of global individuals with shared values, shared purpose, and a shared interest in humanity. Being part of the ACEDS family is about more than just trainings, webinars, and certifications … but instead, it is a tribe of individuals all looking to learn, share, and grow from one another. If you haven’t found opportunities such as these, please let ACEDS know as they’d be more than happy to help orchestrate one in your region.

Double down on our commitment to our local community

Speaking of community, this is also a time to double down on our personal commitments to our communities. One of the ways I have personally seen this the most is through Complete Legal, a legal services provider in Kansas City. Co-founder, Eric Kelting, is our Kansas City Chapter Membership Director. In their latest blog post, they talk about how we can support the Kansas City community who are working to help others during these unprecedented times. Their personal call to action in this post is all about encouraging others to find ways in which they can positively contribute as well. As Karen Salmansohn once said, “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”

ACEDS Toronto Chapter Announcement

ACEDS Launches Toronto Chapter

Feb. 14, 2020EAGAN, Minn. – The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the world’s leading e-discovery training and certification professional association and part of The BARBRI Group, continues to expand its global presence with the launch of a new chapter in Toronto, Canada.

The ACEDS Toronto Chapter, which will serve legal professionals in Toronto and surrounding areas, will create an environment where members can collaborate on and discuss professional development, training, and certification as well as issues in the legal industry impacting e-discovery professionals in Canada and the global legal community. Many Toronto chapter members are Certified e-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) or are aspiring to earn their CEDS or the E-Discovery Executive (eDEx) certificate.

Among its activities, the chapter will organize networking opportunities, professional development events and training sessions, while also participating in local and global conferences and events.  The chapter welcomes e-discovery, information governance, data privacy and other data management professionals in the Toronto area, including law students, new graduates, young legal professionals, and seasoned legal professionals, and will assist aspiring CEDS earn their certifications.

“Our members are the lifeblood of ACEDS. We are happy to welcome the e-discovery and legal professionals in Toronto to our newest chapter and look forward to all the great work they will be doing locally and globally,” said Maribel Rivera, Senior Director of Community Relations for ACEDS.

The Toronto Chapter will be led by:

  • Carolyn Anger, President
  • Chris Walker, Vice President
  • Lynne Brigant, Secretary
  • Anna Traer, Treasurer
  • Vaibhav Kadam, Director of Membership
  • Stephanie Mills, Director of Marketing
  • Nadia Pustina, Director at Large
  • Eda Bardhi, Director at Large
  • Ian Campbell, Director at Large
  • Lucy Esposito, Director at Large
  • Ceyda Tocsoy, Director at Large

“The e-discovery world changes often and swiftly. One must keep abreast of it all to remain current and excel professionally. I joined ACEDS to gain access to valuable resources, to network, and to contribute and shape our industry,” Anger said. “As a new chapter, we will continue to develop, grow, and advance both individually and together. I’m excited to be part of the ACEDS Toronto chapter and the many events our outstanding board will plan this year.”

To learn more about the Toronto chapter, subscribe to receive news and updates from ACEDS, or contact the association at Chapters@aceds.org.

About ACEDS
The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), part of leading legal education provider The BARBRI Group, is a global member-based association for professionals who work in e-discovery, information governance, compliance and the broader legal community. ACEDS provides training and certification in e-discovery and related disciplines to corporate legal departments, law firms, the government, service providers and institutions of higher learning. Our CEDS certification is recognized around the world and used to verify skills and competence in electronic discovery for organizations and individuals through training, certification and ongoing education. The CEDS credential is held by practitioners at the largest Fortune 500 companies, Am Law 200 firms and government agencies. ACEDS has 23 chapters, with locations in most major U.S. cities, the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa (with Australia and South America chapters coming soon). Our goal is to help professionals and organizations reduce the costs and risks associated with e-discovery while helping to improve and verify their skills and advance their careers and overall technology competence in e-discovery and related fields. http://www.aceds.org/

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cindy Parks
913.526.6912
cindy@parkscommunications.com