Thought Leader Interview with David Greetham of Ricoh USA: eDiscovery Trends and Best Practices

Time for another thought leader interview on eDiscovery Today!  My latest interview is with a testifying and consulting expert who leads Ricoh USA’s computer forensic and eDiscovery services team, David Greetham!

David is the eDiscovery and Information Governance business unit leader at Ricoh USA, Inc., responsible for driving Ricoh USA’s InfoGov and eDiscovery services. David oversees the division, as well as the computer forensics lab, which was the first private forensics lab in the world to be accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). David also serves as executive Advisor to the EDRM.

Throughout his career, David has been retained by law firms and corporations as a Testifying and Consulting Expert in Computer Forensics and eDiscovery and is a Certified Forensic Litigation Consultant by the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). David has testified as a digital forensic and eDiscovery expert on many occasions both nationally and internationally. In addition, he has 9 patents and is the inventor and developer of Remlox™ Remote Collection” tool that has been deployed in 39 countries throughout the world.

Doug Austin: David, we are over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing influenced remote work.  How do you think the pandemic and the push toward remote work has impacted the practice of eDiscovery and do you think discovery practices will return to “normal” once the pandemic ends?

David Greetham: It really depends on a company’s starting point, as some organizations have telecommuted for years. It has been part of the way the world operates now and operated before the pandemic. Some law firms, corporate legal departments and service providers initially struggled to work remotely, because they just didn’t have the tools in place; it also takes time to create a culture to work remotely effectively.

Since the pandemic began, organizations have realized some obvious benefits for remote work and understand how it can be successfully done. The “next normal” likely won’t be the same as things were pre-pandemic.

I talked to a couple of lawyers recently, who’s practices are very different: one was a sole practitioner who covered a large geographical area and the other was a New York City partner of an Am Law 100 law firm. Not surprisingly, they had different views on what the next normal would be in their world, but they did agree on certain things, and interestingly, they did agree on was that some court hearings are best suited to be managed remotely – especially non-trial hearings such as procedural, non-contested, or standard appearance hearings. They both felt strongly that trials would remain the same in person, but that many types of hearings won’t go back to the way they were handled pre-pandemic. There are many advantages to conducting court hearings remotely and I’ve personally testified on Zoom a couple of times in the last year – it’s a very interesting experience and appears to make a lot of sense outside of trial.

Doug Austin: How have the eDiscovery services and processes at Ricoh USA evolved to support its clients during the pandemic?

David Greetham: We were one of the companies that was well-prepared, as we had largely offer remote services since at early 2018. One significant change we made was with our managed review team, who were one of the main groups impacted.  Reviews are traditionally handled in a bricks and mortar facilities, in our case a state of the art managed review center. Luckily, we had already planned to offer remote review in late summer 2020 and were already set up to do that, so when the pandemic hit, we essentially just escalated our plans in progress and made the move from in person to a secure remote environment over a weekend. In our version of the next normal, we’ll likely offer our clients both options in the future.

Apart from the idea that it is a potentially little less expensive option, there are other obvious advantages to remote review. One is that you can attract industry-level review expertise, or specific experience from many regions.

For example, if you are in Houston, Texas where a lot of energy-related litigation takes place, and you have a review center in Houston, you can assume there’s a pretty good marketplace for qualified and experienced review attorneys locally. However, there may be suitably experienced people in Calgary or parts of Idaho, or other areas where energy work is impactful.  Those reviewers may have energy industry experience even exceeding some Houston reviewers. That’s a potential advantage to clients who have review needs – to get the most qualified reviewers, regardless of where they’re located.

Ultimately, that was really the only adjustment that we made, and I think it was a positive move to the future.

We’re just getting started!  Part Two of my interview with David Greetham will be published on Wednesday.

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: Ricoh USA 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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