LeanDiscovery Blog

The LeanDiscovery® Blog is based on the principle that eDiscovery can be improved by lowering costs and delivering more value to enable better client outcomes.

Sitting with the C-Suite: Alma Asay of Litera Microsystems

On September 30, I sat down with Alma Asay, an Evangelist at Litera Microsystems, via Webex. Alma and I covered her advice for legal technology entrepreneurs, the future of legal technology, and key questions to ask law firms about technology. 

Alma  began her career as an associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP in the litigation department.  She founded Allegory, a cloud-based litigation management platform, in 2012, serving as the CEO from its inception until 2017, when Allegory was acquired by Integreon.  She is now an Evangelist for Litera, having joined the company earlier this year.  Litera recently acquired Allegory from Integreon, and has rebranded the platform as Litera Litigate. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: Andy Macdonald of Consilio

On September 17, I sat down with Andy Macdonald, the CEO of Consilio, via Webex. Andy and I discussed the need (and challenges) of accessing capital for the legal services industry, Consilio’s growth model and service mindset, and managing a corporate litigation spend in a time of uncertainty.

Andy has a long history of executive leadership, having grown his previous company, First Advantage, through a series of 60 acquisitions in five years. First Advantage Litigation Consulting was rebranded to Consilio in February 2013. Since then, Andy has grown Consilio into one of the largest providers of managed services in the world, overseeing a series of significant acquisitions. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: Ian Campbell of iCONECT

On September 10, I sat down with Ian Campbell, the President and CEO of iCONECT, via Webex. Ian and I covered a variety of issues surrounding iCONECT’s proprietary Xera review application, including its applicability to non-eDiscovery business problems, key issues with Information Governance (IG), and how to overcome transition concerns when considering a change of eDiscovery technology.

Ian has a design background and, prior to founding iCONECT, he worked in advertising and founded his own agency. In 2012 iCONECT launched its flagship review product, Xera, which Ian reported was designed from the ground up for the end users of the product.  He took over as CEO in 2014 and has focused on innovation and growth in other sectors outside of legal. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: Hal Blackman of IST Management Services

On September 4, I sat down with Hal Blackman, the founder and CEO of IST Management Services, via WebEx.  IST calls itself the “Company with Passion,” and Hal and I covered lessons learned in technology adoption, electronic records retention, and considerations for outsourcing eDiscovery.

Hal has a business background and was hired by Marriott in 1981, where he learned the importance of employee empowerment.  Hal founded IST in 1997, and states that the company is “obsessed in everything we do, from technology and process management, to people programs, and we will stop at nothing to make sure that we exceed the expectations of our clients.” read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: Dean Gonsowski of ActiveNav

On August 27, I sat down with Dean Gonsowki, the Chief Revenue Officer of ActiveNav, via WebEx. In part one of my two-part interview with Dean, we covered his extensive background in the eDiscovery industry, how the industry grew and developed, and how the eDiscovery in 2020 compares with its roots. This is a great time to stop and reflect on where eDiscovery has been, and use that context to help consider where it is likely going. 

Dean is a lawyer who has an almost 20-year history in the eDiscovery space, starting with the founding of S3 Partners in 2001. Dean’s experience spans from time at Fios, to Clearwell/Veritas, to Recommind/Opentext, to Relativity/kCura. Since 2018, Dean has been the Chief Revenue Officer of ActiveNav. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: Bob Rowe of Integreon

On August 21, I sat down with Bob Rowe, the CEO of Integreon, via WebEx.  We started with his background in document review in antitrust litigation in the 1990s, which fueled his desire to drive efficiencies.  We ended with today’s legal marketplace, and how COVID-19 has accelerated change that was already happening.  Bob is a must-listen for his perspective on how managed service vendors integrate with outside and inside legal counsel to bring greater value and reduce waste.

Bob is a lawyer by training and started his career in Big Law after a clerking for a federal court.  After his ten years of experience in private practice, he founded Nextra Litigation Solutions, which focused on handling document review projects and using metrics to drive better results.  Nextra was sold to Huron Consulting Group in 2006, where Bob spent a decade in leadership before becoming the CEO of Integreon in March 2017. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite – Merger Edition: Hal Brooks and Andrea Wallack of HaystackID

On August 12, I sat down with Hal Brooks, CEO of HaystackID, and Andrea Wallack, now President of HaystackID, via WebEx. Hal, Andrea and I covered HaystackID’s and NightOwl’s merger, which was announced on August 4, 2020. Hal will be returning to the show later in the year, to cover the combined entity in more detail; Andrea was the CEO of NightOwl prior to the merger. For this special preview, we discussed a variety of topics around the integration of the two companies, the expected benefits of the deal, planned service enhancements, the actual deal process, and much more.

Enjoy this special merger edition of the Sitting with the C-Suite series. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: Joan Davison of Hire Counsel and Mestel & Company

On August 7, I sat down via WebEx with Joan Davison, the CEO of Hire Counsel and Mestel & Company. Joan and I covered the business of document review and staffing, including how she views the role of CEO, how to use human capital strategies in the legal setting, and how to measure the effectiveness of the staffing solutions being implemented.

Joan has more than twenty years of expertise in operations management as well as business development, marketing, recruiting, and staffing. For fifteen years, Joan was in a leadership position at Staff Management, which did business as Seton Corp., ultimately being named the President as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Staff Management. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite – Merger Edition: Wendell Jisa and Jay Leib of Reveal

On Monday, August 17, 2020, I sat down with Wendell Jisa, CEO of Reveal, and Jay Leib, the new EVP of Innovation and Strategy of Reveal, via WebEx. Wendell, Jay and I discussed Reveal’s acquisition of NexLP, which was announced on August 11, 2020. Jay was previously featured on this program, and extensively discussed NexLP’s history, strategy and vision. Wendell will be returning for a deeper dive in early October to discuss Reveal. This was our chance to cover this new integration, the vision and strategy, and what it means for the industry.

Enjoy this special merger edition of the Sitting with the C-Suite series. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: AJ Shankar of Everlaw

On July 30, I sat down with AJ Shankar, the chief executive officer of Everlaw, via WebEx. AJ and I covered a variety of topics relevant to both in-house counsel and outside counsel using eDiscovery and litigation support software, including the essence of Everlaw’s vision; creating a virtual war room that facilitates collaboration even while remaining socially distant; and the company’s pro bono program, “Everlaw for Good.” 

Prior to founding Everlaw, AJ graduated from Harvard with an A.B. in Mathematics and Computer Science, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009.  AJ co-founded Everlaw in 2011, seeing eDiscovery as a “fascinating, rich, [and] interesting problem that needed solving.” He wrote more about his history and the founding of Everlaw in his own blog post from June 28, 2016, available here. read more…