Global Advisory Board

The ACEDS Advisory Board plays a crucial role in guiding the ACEDS leadership team. Its members are driving change in their respective organizations and throughout the community. They create content, share perspective, and fuel innovation. Consistent with the mission and purpose of ACEDS, the board assesses current trends, makes recommendations on the direction of the association, and helps to establish the policies and practices that provide the greatest value to the organization's members. We are grateful for their generous contributions and lasting dedication.

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Chairperson of the Board

Ari Kaplan

Ari Kaplan Advisors | Principal

Ari Kaplan, an attorney and legal industry analyst, is an inaugural Fastcase 50 honoree, a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, and a finalist for the International Legal Technology Association’s Thought Leader of the Year award. He is the author of Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace (Wiley, 2011) and The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development (West Academic, 2nd Ed. 2016). Kaplan serves as the principal researcher for a variety of widely distributed benchmarking reports, has been the keynote speaker for events worldwide, and is the founder of the Lawcountability® business development platform. He is also a two-time Ironman triathlon finisher.

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James Bickley

Ankura Consulting | Managing Director

James Bickley is a Managing Director at Ankura Consulting. He brings more than two decades of experience working with in-house legal counsel, corporate risk officers, and law firms helping them navigate discovery challenges associated with all forms of electronically stored information. James serves as a strategic advisor and relationship executive assisting clients in developing and leveraging innovative technology solutions to solve challenges across a diverse portfolio of corporate risk concerns and their most critical legal needs as it relates to intense data and discovery requirements.

James is based out of Ankura’s Washington, DC office and lives with his family in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Julie Brown

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP | CEDS, Director of Practice Technology

Julie is the director of practice technology at Vorys. She has worked in legal technology for more than 30 years. She has a paralegal degree and has worked in law firms and in-house litigation departments.  Her experience includes managing large scale e-discovery and document productions, records management, litigation technology training and development of numerous litigation technology databases. She manages Vorys' litigation technology department, which provides in-house support, training, processing and production of e-discovery. Julie is active in coordinating litigation technology education opportunities for the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), serves as the Conference Co-Chair for ILTACon 2019-2020 and currently serves on the ACEDs International Advisory Board. In 2011 Julie received ILTA’s Distinguished Peer Award for Litigation and Practice Support. She is a Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) and is certified in ViewPoint, Summation, Sanction, Law 5.0, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Lean Six Sigma.

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Robert Childress

Masters Conference | President

Robert Childress is the founder of the Masters' Conference. He has held senior positions with several crucial technology corporations, including LexisNexis, Thomson & Thomson, Elsevier Science, Women in Ediscovery, ACEDS, McGraw-Hill, Shepards, Wave Software, The Lawyer Charity Challenge and most currently The Master's Conference. While at LexisNexis, Childress managed product design and software sales for legal management software products for their government and legal markets. As the president of Wave Software, Childress was the catalyst for the tremendous growth of the company, developing it into one of the leading legal technology companies in the industry. During his tenure, Childress was been awarded numerous government contracts from clients such as the FBI, CIA, White House, and Homeland Security. He counts the 2004/2005 National Register Who's Who in Executives and Professionals and the 2005 Small Businessman of the Year among his awards. He also received an ACEDS Leader Award in 2018 and 2019. Currently, Childress resides in Florida with his children.

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Scott Cohen

Winston & Strawn | Director of E-Discovery Support Services

Scott M. Cohen is the Managing Director of E-Discovery & Information Governance for Winston & Strawn LLP. Mr. Cohen oversees all aspects of the Firm's litigation technology, practice & client services, electronic discovery operations and document review centers. Throughout his career, Mr. Cohen has worked in a consultative capacity with law firms and corporate legal departments enabling them to effectively leverage technology in all legal practice areas. With a focus on electronic discovery, complex data analytics, and litigation readiness, Mr. Cohen advises firm lawyers and clients on a wide range of topics relating to discovery in complex litigation. Mr. Cohen is a frequent writer and speaker on a variety of subjects ranging from electronic discovery best practices and legal cost control to leadership development, performance management and staff mentoring in legal organizations. Prior to joining Winston & Strawn, Mr. Cohen was the Practice Support Director for Proskauer Rose where he was responsible for the development and operation of the firm’s practice support department. Mr. Cohen also served as the Director of Information Technology for MetLife where he was responsible for providing general technology and litigation support services to the corporation's large and geographically dispersed legal, records and internal audit departments.

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Kenya Dixon

General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer | Empire Technologies Risk Management Group

Kenya Parrish-Dixon is formerly the Director of White House Information Governance for the Executive Office of the President. She oversaw the e-Discovery and FOIA Unit, Digital Forensics Unit, Digital Forensics Lab, Records Management Unit and Information Assurance. Kenya rebuilt the digital forensics lab and modernized its capabilities. Currently, she is the General Counsel and Director of Information Governance at TechCentrics, Inc. a consulting company charged with the cyber and information governance responsibilities for the Trump for President Campaign.

Until 2018, Kenya was a supervisory attorney and the Assistant Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Department of Litigation Technology & Analysis at the Federal Trade Commission. While at the FTC, she led the team that overhauled the FTC’s Litigation Support department and migrated all litigation data into a FedRamp approved cloud environment. She worked with third party auditors and the vendor to help them obtain FedRamp Cloud authorization in seven months.

Prior to entering the e-Discovery & technology fields, Kenya practiced law as a litigator for Epstein Becker & Green and McDermott Will & Emery. After leaving firm practice, Kenya worked at Lockheed Martin, supporting the Department of Justice. She later joined the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to participate in rolling out the first end-to-end Information Governance program in the Federal government.

Kenya is barred in the District of Columbia, holds the NARA Certificate of Federal Records Management and became CEDS certified in 2012.

Kenya received her law degree from The College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Va.

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Maura Grossman

University of Waterloo, Ontario| Research Professor and Director of Women in Computer Science, School of Computer Science

Maura R. Grossman, J.D., Ph.D., is a Research Professor and Director of Women in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She also is Principal at Maura Grossman Law, an eDiscovery law and consulting firm in Buffalo, New York.  Previously, Maura was Of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where, for 17 years, she advised the firm’s lawyers and clients on legal, technical, and strategic issues involving eDiscovery and information governance, both domestically and abroad. Maura’s scholarly work on TAR, most notably, Technology-Assisted Review in E-Discovery Can Be More Effective and More Efficient Than Exhaustive Manual Review, published in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology in 2011, has been widely cited in the case law, both in the U.S. and elsewhere.  Her longstanding contributions to eDiscovery technology and process were featured in the February 2016 issue of The American Lawyer and the September 2016 issue of the ABA Journal, where she was recognized as a “Legal Rebel.” Maura has served as a court-appointed special master, mediator, and eDiscovery expert to the court in many high-profile cases, and has also taught courses in eDiscovery at Columbia, Georgetown, Pace, and Rutgers–Newark law schools.  In addition to her J.D. from Georgetown, Maura also holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from the Derner Institute at Adelphi University.

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David Horrigan

Relativity | Discovery Counsel and Legal Education Director

David Horrigan is discovery counsel and legal education director at Relativity. An attorney, award-winning journalist, and former legal technology industry analyst, David has served as counsel at the Entertainment Software Association, reporter and assistant editor at The National Law Journal, and analyst and counsel at 451 Research. A law school guest lecturer and legal media contributor, David has been cited in The American Lawyer, American Public Media, Bloomberg BNA, Corporate Counsel, JUVE (Germany), Legaltech News, The Wall Street Journal CIO Journal, The Washington Examiner, among others, and he has been cited in law reviews and journals of Emory University, Northwestern University, Yale University, and others. He is the author of the annual Data Discovery Legal Year in Review. David serves on the Planning Committee Faculty of the University of Florida E-Discovery Conference, the Global Advisory Board of the Association of Certified e-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the Data Law Board of Advisors at Cardozo Law School, and the Editorial Advisory Board of Legaltech News. He holds a juris doctor from the University of Florida, studied international law at Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands, and is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.

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Jeffrey Jacobson

Drinker Biddle | Partner

Jeffrey Jacobson, CEDS, is a litigation partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and a former Chief Counsel to the New Jersey Attorney General, in which role he oversaw all civil enforcement investigations and represented the State in many high-profile lawsuits and appeals. With his public-sector experience as well as more than 20 years defending clients in class actions and other large-stakes claims, Jeff provides a multifaceted and strategic perspective. He has designed and implemented electronic discovery strategies for massive international investigations and law enforcement inquiries, and this experience helps him manage electronic discovery costs in matters of all sizes.

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Sonya Judkins

Sprint | Manager, Legal Discovery and Compliance

Sonya Judkins is Manager of Legal Discovery and Compliance in Sprint’s Legal Department in Reston, Virginia. Mrs. Judkins is responsible for e-discovery management and coordination for the Litigation Department. Sonya specializes in the areas of in-house legal/litigation practices and procedures, management of core-team efforts to implement policies, procedures and tools helping to mitigate risks associated with the preservation and production of electronically stored information thereby ensuring compliance with Federal and State laws and regulations. She is also responsible for coordination and assistance to the Records Retention and Compliance and IT functional areas. Mrs. Judkins joined Nextel Communications in September 1999 as an executive assistant for the commercial contracts group and was promoted to Legal Analyst in November 2002. Mrs. Judkins assumed her current responsibilities in March 2008 after the merger of Nextel and Sprint. Prior to joining Nextel, Mrs. Judkins was a Branch Office Administrator and Account Verification Coordinator at Edward Jones Investments for several years.

Mrs. Judkins received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude in Business Administration with an emphasis for contracts and acquisitions from Strayer University in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Patricia LeBel-Lasse

Pullman & Comley, LLC | Litigation Paralegal and Litigation Support, CEDS

Patricia LeBel-Lasse is a paralegal in the firm’s Litigation Department with more than thirty years of legal and business experience. She assists counsel with complex commercial and business disputes in a variety of
areas in both federal and state courts. She has extensive trial and litigation support experience. In addition,
as a member of the firm’s Internal Investigations practice, she conducts fact gathering interviews with clients
and relevant parties and helps to manage the fact gathering process. In her role, Patricia implements new
business processes in the areas of electronic data discovery, litigation support and trial technology.
Patricia served as a public member of the State of Connecticut's Judicial Review Council for a term of four
years (2013-2017). She currently serves as a member of the firm's Technology Committee and is a Certified
E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS).

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Alvin Lindsay

Hogan Lovells | Partner

Al Lindsay is a partner in the Miami office of Hogan Lovells US LLP where he focuses his practice on resolving the most complex international disputes. He is board certified in international law as well as international litigation and arbitration. For almost two decades, Mr. Lindsay has been a thought leader in issues relating to technology in litigation. The Associated Press has called him "an expert in technology and litigation," and The Wall Street Journal relied on him to explain the ground-breaking revisions to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure to encompass electronic evidence. He is a certified e-discovery specialist and former chairperson of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) advisory board. Mr. Lindsay has taught on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) at its prestigious National Trial Skills Session in Colorado as well as its Deposition Skills program in New York and Washington, D.C. For the past fifteen years, he has taught litigation and arbitration skills at the University of Miami School of Law, and he regularly teaches at other Florida law schools. He authored the book and three-hour DVD titled Technology in Litigation, published by NITA, and has written numerous articles on technology-related issues published in periodicals including: the Yale Journal of Law and Technology, Inside Counsel, The National Law Journal, Legal Times, the University of Miami Law Review, and the International Law Quarterly. While in law school, Mr. Lindsay was articles and comments editor of the University of Miami Law Review, a Dean's Scholar, and winner of the classwide moot court competition.

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Rachi Messing

Microsoft | Senior Program Manager

Rachi Messing is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft in the Corporate, External, & Legal Affairs department based out of their Israel office. In his current role he works to promote and manage the usage of advanced technology solutions allowing the eDiscovery team to be efficient and effective in handling their active docket. Formerly part of the Equivio management team, he joined Microsoft through the acquisition in January 2015 where he spent three years working in the Office 365 Information Protection product group managing their eDiscovery, Data Governance and Compliance features. His 20 years in the global Compliance industry have seen him develop technology strategy for both the Service Provider and Software development space.

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Joy Murao

Practice Aligned Resources | Founder and CEO

Joy is a recognized industry-wide leader in the litigation support industry. Since its inception in 2013, PAR has excelled at providing legal technology training, eDiscovery consulting, legal staffing, project management, and law practice technology development. Before embarking on her journey as an entrepreneur, Joy’s twenty-four years of Big Law & In-house Corporate legal department experience has given her ample opportunity to develop new strategies, technologies, and services in various practice areas for some of the largest global clients and projects in the world. Joy continues to share her knowledge and experiences as the founder of the ACEDS Los Angeles Chapter, her appointment to the executive committee of the California Lawyers Association Law Practice Management and Technology Section, and her previous role as the Southwest regional director of Women in eDiscovery.

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Dera Nevin

Data Policy and Strategy Officer | Blackstone Group

Dera Nevin is a Senior Vice President and Data Policy and Strategy Officer in the Legal & Compliance Group. Ms. Nevin provides guidance and support for Blackstone’s privacy, data security, information governance and data services functions.

Before joining Blackstone in 2019, Ms. Nevin was a lawyer at Baker & McKenzie LLP in the Information Governance and Data Privacy Group, and at Proskauer Rose LLP, where she also served as eDiscovery Counsel and Director of eDiscovery and Information Governance Services. Prior to that, she has worked as Managing Counsel, eDiscovery at TD Bank Group and in private practice at law firms in Ontario, Canada.

Ms. Nevin received a BA (Hons) and an MA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and a JD from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she was elected Valedictorian and served as the co-Editor in Chief of the Law Review. She is licensed to practice in New York and in Ontario (Canada).

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Tom O'Connor

Independent Consultant | Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center

Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems. A New England native who graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1972 with a BA in Political Science Tom attended law school for one year at The University of Notre Dame before returning to Baltimore and undertaking a career as a paralegal specializing in complex litigation. Many years later he earned a J.D. at an evening law school program. Tom’s consulting experience is with both small firms and complex litigation matters including the BP litigation in New Orleans and several current opioid MDL matters. He has also been appointed as a technical consultant by various federal and state courts on cases dealing with large amounts of electronic evidence and specializes in negotiating ESI exchange protocols. A frequent lecturer about legal technology, Tom teaches CLE courses nationwide and is also a prolific writer. He was a co-author of the 2006 award winning article, “In Katrina’s Wake”, which covered recovery efforts in the legal community of post Katrina New Orleans, in which he participated. He was also the author of the Second, Third and Fourth Editions of The Automated Law Firm: A Guide to Computer Systems and Software published by Aspen Law & Business as well as The Lawyers Guide to Summation and EDiscovery for Small Cases, both published by the ABA.

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David Rueff

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz | Shareholder / Legal Project Management Officer

David A. Rueff Jr. is a shareholder in the Jackson office of Baker Donelson and is also the Firm's Chief Client Solutions Group Officer. In this role, David is responsible for oversight of an innovation team at Baker Donelson which includes responsibilities for knowledge management, legal project management, pricing and legal research. David regularly works with lawyers and clients to develop unique pricing and technology solutions. Prior to law school, David worked in the technology industry for a hardware and software manufacturer where he was first exposed to project management, agile and the development software applications for the engineering industry. David has been a practicing lawyer for over 20 years, is PMP certified through the Project Management Institute and is certified in the Toyota Manufacturing Production System (Lean). As a lawyer, David's practice included both litigation and transactional matters, but in later years, David's practice was primarily focused on the distribution of federal grants to victims of hurricane and flood disasters. David has staffed and managed project teams in Mississippi, New York, Texas, New Jersey and Louisiana. His experience includes the management and oversight of a program legal department for 2 years that included a team of 11 attorneys and 20 paralegals.In 2011, David helped to create and staff one of the first law firm Legal Project Management Offices. As the Firm's Legal Project Management Officer, he was responsible for implementation of pricing, legal project management, process improvement and supporting technologies. David was also responsible for the development of the Firm's patent pending legal project management model - BakerManage®, the Firm's Lean model - BakerLeanTM and the Firm's proprietary budgeting tool - Budget Designer. Under David's guidance, the Firm developed over 500 budget models and 300 pricing models and expanded the adoption of legal project management to every practice group within the Firm. In 2018, David was the architect of a new team at Baker Donelson that included the scope of the Legal Project Management Office, but expanded to include knowledge management, data, machine learning and artificial intelligence applications, automation and legal research. As the Chief Client Solutions Group Officer, David now oversees this team of 25+ professionals which includes a the first of its kind professional, the legal process engineer. David is a regular speaker on the topics of legal project management, pricing, process improvement and legal technology. David also assisted with the launch of the Firm's consulting affiliate, LegalShift, LLC and serves on the Board of Directors. David has also supported LegalShift as a paid consultant for in-house legal departments by applying some of the same innovations he helped develop at Baker Donelson.

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George Socha

BDO USA, LLP | Managing Director

George Socha is a Managing Director in BDO’s Forensic Technology Services practice. Named an “E-Discovery Trailblazer” by The American Lawyer, he assists corporate, law firm, and government clients with all facets of electronic discovery, including information governance, as an expert witness and consultant.

George has served clients in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, energy, retail, banking and technology, among others. As a renowned industry thought leader, Mr. Socha has authored more than 50 articles and spoken at more than 300 engagements across the world on a variety of e-discovery topics. His extensive knowledge has also been utilized more than 20 times to provide expert testimony. Co-founder of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), a framework that outlines the standards for the recovery and discovery of digital data, and the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM), a similar framework specific to information management, George is skilled at developing and implementing electronic discovery strategies and managing electronic discovery processes.

Prior to joining BDO, George spent 16 years as a litigation attorney in private practice before starting his own consulting firm focused on e-discovery issues in 2003. George has also served as a guest lecturer at universities across the United States.

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