Thought Leader Interview with Hal Brooks of HaystackID, Part Three: eDiscovery Trends and Best Practices

I recently interviewed Hal Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of 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, part two was published Wednesday, here is the third and final part.

Beyond the business of HaystackID, are there any leadership techniques and lessons that you’ve learned over the past nine months that may have changed the way you view the business of discovery, and the people supporting the business of discovery?

I think the movement of the workforce from the traditional office collaboration environment to a purely virtual work environment that has occurred from this pandemic has obviously caught many companies by surprise.  In many cases, it took them weeks, if not months, to figure out a business continuity plan that could operate securely. One of the things I’m actually most proud of is that we already had a pandemic response plan in place since the inception of HaystackID, and we were immediately able to enact that pandemic response plan.  Because we had already built our company by simply hiring the very best people in the business, no matter where they lived or where they resided, we had already decided early on to keep the company virtual and maintain limited office space. So, we were already operating virtually and securely for over five years. Now, in this virtual environment, from a leadership perspective, it’s important to realize that constant communications have to occur in order to keep people feeling a part of the enterprise, and not like they’re a castaway on some kind of deserted island. We strive to do this daily, and with the advent of technology, such as Teams, Slack, Zoom, and the like, we’re literally able to perform our duties in concert, and do it in a truly collaborative manner, staying in touch with both our internal and external clients.


Certainly, the pandemic will still be impacting us for some time yet. So, as we approach 2021, and we’re facing continued challenges due to the pandemic and the associated economic crisis, how are you preparing HaystackID for success in the future?

With the recent news of vaccines now becoming available, let us all hope that we’re on the backside of this tragedy and moving beyond it. Nevertheless, it will take time to return to what people used to call normal – if and when that actually occurs – so I think leaders must evaluate what challenges and trepidations lie ahead in 2021 for their own businesses and do what is best for their internal and external partners. We see 2021 presenting continued opportunity for HaystackID to grow and to expand its geographic footprint, as well as growing deeper and wider with new tech enabled service deliverables that will expand our partnership with our clients.

Hal, what else would you like to tell our readers about what you and HaystackID are working on?

I guess I would like for them to know what we work towards every day, and that is to be 1% better than yesterday in every way. We will continue to deliver our clients the highest levels of service and satisfaction. I am excited that I can announce today that we have actually created a group within HaystackID, which is strictly focused on finding and evaluating new technologies that can enhance our ability to provide discovery and related services to our clients more efficiently, and with reduced costs. But while technology is a great innovator, it does not operate itself, and we will continue to find and hire the very best partners, so that we can effectively create and deliver the proper workstreams for our clients’ matters. That’s what we’re going to focus on each and every day.

Great. Thanks, Hal!  And thanks for appearing on the eDiscovery Today Thought Leader Interview series.

Thank you, Doug. I appreciate the opportunity.

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

Disclosure: HaystackID is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

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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