Thought Leader Interview with Daniel Pelc of HaystackID, Part Two: eDiscovery Trends and Best Practices

I recently interviewed Daniel Pelc, Director of Client Solutions and Integration for HaystackID.  We covered so much with regard to eDiscovery trends that we couldn’t fit it all in a single blog post.  Part One of my interview was published Monday, here is part two.

2020 has been the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Prior to the pandemic, what would you say are some of the most notable eDiscovery trends and challenges you’ve seen out there in the industry? 

2020 has been the year of the pandemic.  And, it’s interesting in that the pandemic is a linchpin between where things are, where things were, and where things are going.  It has thrown a wrench into how organizations do business and how they manage discovery. I’m leading a session with a colleague coming up at CeDIV about how the pandemic has changed our clients day-to-day practices as well as eDiscovery industry. CeDIV is the Cross-border eDiscovery, Privacy and Investigations Association.


But, before the pandemic, we saw, and I think will continue to see, a strong innovation curve.  It’s going to be a partnership between law firms, corporate law departments and service providers working in concert in order to improve technology and innovation and tobring innovation into a space where it really wasn’t before. Even through the pandemic, I think we’ll continue to see a tech adoption curve that we might not have seen in years past. We’re seeing more leadership being exercised by members of our industry, from service providers and clients sitting at the same table and ensuring that the technology that’s being visualized is implemented correctly. The pandemic has strengthened that trend because innovations that may have been “back burnered” are now being put in the forefront. More successful innovations are viewed as accretive to the overall direction of the company through the pandemic. So, even though the pandemic has been a “sea change” event for organizations, the innovation curve is simultaneously continuing to occur around it.

You touched on a couple of the trends during the pandemic, have you seen any other big challenges in the past six months since the pandemic began, and what is HaystackID doing to help its customers overcome the challenges out of the pandemic?

There are really two areas that we’re seeing most impacted from the pandemic. For most organizations, there is a deeply held structure that has been overturned in terms of how projects are born, developed and implemented. Many projects that were on six months trajectory have been cancelled outright while other seemingly similar projects have been shortened to a six week trajectory.  We hear from clients that traditional project trajectories have been completely disrupted because of the pandemic; pushing projects that people have been working on for a long time  faster, slower or even to cancellation.

Professionals in our industry who have been working in a set role for a long time are now being asked to do things they might not have had to do before, assisting in ways that they might not have envisioned. On a personal level, many of these professionals are friends of ours, former colleagues, industry acquaintances; people who we interact with and have worked with before.  We’re commiserating with them on a human level, while recognizing the challenges that they’re facing, personally (in dealing with a chaotic home life) and professionally. They’re coming to us looking to collaborate and to get our perspective on the way that we see things playing out through the pandemic.

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On an organizational level, we see that same level of collaboration. The pandemic has given people more time to be able to think systemically and “see the forest through the trees” by evaluating processes and looking at the overall system that they’ve created and how to improve it. So, while we’re in this very odd period of time, people have taken advantage of that time to optimize.  To a great degree, we see our teams coming in to help with that optimization, providing the perspective we’ve developed over many years of experience and working across a range of clients in order to apply that perspective.

We’re not done yet!  The third and final part of my interview with Daniel Pelc will be published on Friday.

Also, just a reminder that today, HaystackID will conduct the webcast The Dynamics of Antitrust Agency Investigations: A Second Request Update at noon ET (11am CT, 9am PT).  In this presentation, expert investigation, eDiscovery, and M&A panelists will present updates and considerations for managing Second Request responses to include tactics, techniques, and lessons learned from fourteen recent responses.

So, what do you think?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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