Robert Childress Tribute.

A Tribute to Our Friend Robert Childress

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Remembering an ACEDS Advisory Board Member and the founder of The Master’s Conference

This week the e-discovery community, indeed, the entire legal industry, lost an influential pioneer and one of our greatest entrepreneurs. Robert Childress is widely known as the founder and leader of The Master’s Conference, but many do not know of his storied, more than 25-year career in legal technology that clearly prepared him as an industry organization leader, influencer and all-around good soul. He had a heart of gold, a quick wit, and was so helpful to so many people. Robert gives meaning to the adage that if you give, you will get. Robert sat on the ACEDS Advisory Board for many years and made significant and meaningful contributions to the growth of ACEDS. It is befitting a giant of his stature, then, that we pay tribute to him here with a few thoughts and memories from ACEDS leaders.

Robert speaking.  Masters Conference.

Mike Quartararo, ACEDS President:

My fondest memory of Robert, aside from the incredible fight he put up and his relentlessly positive attitude, is the purely genuine generosity he has shown towards me personally and I am sure to others across the e-discovery community. There was a time when I shied away from speaking and writing, and it was Robert who gave me those early opportunities to speak at Master’s Conference events.

Robert had a soft-spoken, confident, and influential way of convincing people they could be and do more. And in that way, he built the confidence of others. And for that I am forever grateful and indebted to Robert. In reviewing the tributes and notes of others this past week, it is clear that I am not the only one who had the great fortune to know and work with Robert.

I will miss him dearly.

Maribel Rivera, Sr. Director Community Relations:

Robert was always so kind to me and always reached out to me to talk about how we could work together to benefit the legal community. There was always an open invite for me to attend The Master’s Conference no matter what city it was being hosted in. A memory that comes to mind is one time where he called me to ask me to speak on a panel with Joy Murao and Cat Casey. I was surprised at that moment since I never really spoke or moderated a panel presentation. His assuredness that I would make a perfect addition to the panel and that I had as much expertise to share as Cat and Joy gave me the confidence to participate. The panel was a success per all the participants and Robert himself. I will miss our calls to catch up and brainstorm.

I am so lucky to have called him a friend.

Ari Kaplan, Chairperson, ACEDS Global Advisory Board:

I had the privilege of learning from Robert Childress for over a decade. He was deeply committed to empowering every member of our community with knowledge and created an array of opportunities for each of us to participate in that mission. I always admired his entrepreneurial spirit and tireless devotion to driving legal forward. Our 2017 interview for my podcast ( captured his irreverent wisdom and dynamic vision.

Among many things, I will miss his invaluable contributions to the ACEDS global advisory board. We have lost one of our original leaders, but he has thankfully left a powerful, lasting legacy.

Rest in peace, brother.

Robert and ACEDS team.


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