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Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
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Kaylee Walstad, Chief Strategy Officer, EDRM
Mary Mack, Esq., CISSP, CEO, Chief Legal Technologist
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine
Published July 7, 2020
CEOCFO: Ms. Mack, the first thing visible on the EDRM site is “Empowering the Global Leaders of eDiscovery.” How are you doing so? What is your approach?
Ms. Mack: Our approach at EDRM is multidisciplinary and whole person. By multidisciplinary, what I mean is that it is not just the legal problem, it is not just a technical problem with the general counsel’s office and the CIOs staff needing to deal with it. eDiscovery also involves and engages previously siloed stakeholders in security, privacy, information governance, compliance, HR, and the all-
CEOCFO: Are people looking for a more comprehensive approach and do they recognize they should be?
Ms. Mack: Yes, in the early days of eDiscovery there were not any end-
Now we are fifteen or twenty years in and the best-
CEOCFO: What led you to purchase EDRM and go from a nonprofit to a for profit business?
Ms. Mack: Our Chief Strategy Officer, Kaylee Walstad and I stepped out of another organization that held the certified eDiscovery specialist designation. As we stepped out, we knew we needed to find something that we could offer that would allow our community to engage and work together. Two weeks after the news broke that we were leaving, Duke University, School of Law, Bolch Judicial Institute reached out to us for an introduction and we talked to them about the EDRM which they currently owned. We found that our hearts were in alignment and the purchase was completed in about two months. You had mentioned the for-
We organized as a for-
CEOCFO: A recent press release announced Pagefreezer as your newest partner. How do you typically work with your partners?
Ms. Mack: Pagefreezer is an exciting new partner. Pagefreezer is able to archive entire websites for legal and regulatory purposes or just for disaster recovery or because you want to keep another copy. I talked with you about best-
CEOCFO: What do you offer clients today? What are the solutions, are there different levels, different time-
Ms. Mack: We actually make the list publicly available of who our partners are. We have thirty partners listed on our site. We have various levels, with our guardian level as our highest level. Guardian partners have quarterly webcasts and coordinated social media campaigns, and a very high level of interaction and service. Our entry level is what we call our Bedrock partner. We have many organizations that are emerging or perhaps they want to try and see how things work as a partner. We have an entry point there and we have a couple of levels in-
Partners are able to showcase their technology and their services with a product service showcase. They are also able to demonstrate thought leadership and contribution to the community with substantive educational non-
CEOCFO: EDRM has an international presence. How might your solutions differ from country-
Ms. Mack: It is part of the customization. We are in 113 countries. eDiscovery is called eDisclosure in some jurisdictions. It is qualitatively different in the sense that in the United States you pretty much can ask for everything that you want and more. Whereas in other jurisdictions like in the UK, for example, you are disclosing rather than having somebody ask and then you produce. There is a little bit of the dance of asking and getting documents which is a little bit different.
The technology and the approaches are very similar in how things get done. There is probably more redaction in the EU because of privacy than there is in the United States because privacy is just beginning to emerge in the legal context. The EU has had privacy baked-
CEOCFO: What surprised in getting to where EDRM is today?
Ms. Mack: The biggest surprise was how deep and rich the work is that was done prior to us assuming leadership. The people who have contributed to the EDRM are so incredibly smart and generous and making everything available the way that they did. I think that was probably one of the biggest surprises. The other was the level of people that are involved in it. When I was involved in the early days of the EDRM, it was people in the trenches, hands-
CEOCFO: How is business? Are you able to handle a quick ramp-
Ms. Mack: That was part of the pivoting. We were going to have an in-
At the beginning of the pandemic we started two support sessions. That is part of the whole person that I talked about earlier. The pandemic and the response to it shut down people’s family situations and needing to work from home, being forced to work from home instead of choosing to work from home. People and their loved ones getting sick and people losing their jobs. We felt there needed to be a very high level of support. We started out the first twelve weeks with two meetings. There were ZOOM meetings where people were talking about what was going on and whether they needed support or whether they could give support. That is one of the key ways we are supporting our community. Out of those sessions came something called EDRM Hub. Mostly what people wanted and needed was to be connected to jobs and business opportunities. Instead of the live conference, we invested in the platform that allows job seekers to look, and job posters to post jobs at absolutely no charge. It is a quick way for people to connect in our community and find great candidates and job openings. You can find it at edrmhub.com.
CEOCFO: What is next for EDRM?
Ms. Mack: We are coming up on what we call our “summer of substance” which is going to be a webinar series led by our law firm EDRM Project Trustees. We had one on ethics and eDiscovery put on by Reed Smith and we have an upcoming one, on “Practical, Proportional Privacy in Discovery”, which is for right sizing eDiscovery for the importance of the case, and dollars involved. It is around that all-
CEOCFO: What might people misunderstand or overlook at EDRM?
Ms. Mack: We have about two-
CEOCFO: What should people remember about the EDRM story?
Ms. Mack: Just how grateful both Kaylee and I are for the people and companies that have supported us. We have a global advisory council to die for that has some of the smartest, warmest hearted people on the face of the planet. We feel that everybody has something to offer whether you are new or very experienced, and the newer people can help edit material, they do not need to generate it. The people who have been doing this for many years can do the bulk of the drafting. Everyone is welcome, everyone has something to offer and even the finest legal practitioner partners have something to learn from the person doing the data uploading, for example. We all have something to learn.
Learn more about EDRM here.
EDRM, eDiscovery Platform, eDiscovery Software, e-
“The biggest surprise was how deep and rich the work is that was done prior to us assuming leadership. The people who have contributed to the EDRM are so incredibly smart and generous and making everything available the way that they did. I think that was probably one of the biggest surprises. The other was the level of people that are involved in it. When I was involved in the early days of the EDRM, it was people in the trenches, hands-
Chief Strategy Officer
Mary Mack, Esq., CISSP
CEO, Chief Legal Technologist