eDiscovery Daily Blog

MAJOR Announcement from EDRM!: eDiscovery Trends

After over 11 years establishing itself as the leading standards organization for the eDiscovery market, EDRM has been acquired!

As they announced in their press release here yesterday, Duke University School of Law has acquired EDRM.  The release stated: “The move advances the missions of both organizations. For EDRM, Duke provides an institutional home with a large and respected organization, ensuring the continued vitality of EDRM. Duke Law and its Center for Judicial Studies gain resources that expand the center’s involvement in electronic discovery and information governance in support of its mission to promote better understanding of the judicial process and to generate ideas for improving the administration of justice.”

“This agreement sets the stage for an expansion of EDRM efforts in industry education and standards,” stated Dean David F. Levi in the press release. “E-discovery is a major component of today’s litigation practice, and EDRM provides valuable resources to educate not only experienced practitioners, but also law students and new lawyers about practical discovery problems they will encounter. This acquisition is also an important step in Duke’s continued efforts to bring together the judiciary, legal practitioners, educators and government organizations to advance the understanding of the judicial process and improve the complex processes in the administration of justice.”

“We are proud of the significant impact EDRM has made on education and practices in electronic discovery and information governance since 2005,” stated George Socha, co-founder of EDRM. “The achievements of EDRM are a direct result of the hard work of many legal and technology practitioners whose efforts and expertise have improved e-discovery and information governance practices and ultimately the judicial process. Tom Gelbmann and I extend to each of them our sincere appreciation, and we encourage continued participation in this exciting next phase with Duke Law.”

Socha will remain with EDRM after the acquisition. EDRM co-founder Gelbmann plans to work with Duke Law for the transition of EDRM programs and will retire later this year. “We are fortunate,” stated Levi, “that Tom Hnatowski, former chief of the Magistrate Judges Division of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, agreed to join the Judicial Studies Center to manage day-to-day operations running EDRM. Tom brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to the improvement of the administration of justice with his many years working with U.S. magistrate judges, the front-line judicial officers who handle discovery issues on a daily basis.”

An email providing details was sent to all EDRM members on Tuesday evening in advance of Wednesday’s public announcement.  In a follow-up response to queries from EDRM members, Socha noted that the “good work” being performed on existing projects “will continue under Duke Law.  Not only will it continue, but we hope to be able to expand it.”  And, he also indicated that “EDRM under Duke will continue to be open to existing members’ contributions”, which “always have been at the core of what has made EDRM successful – indeed, of interest to anyone.”

Hopefully, it sounds as though the acquisition will enable EDRM to continue to provide useful standards models and mechanisms to the industry, even though the day-to-day leadership will change.  As an EDRM Education partner, eDiscovery Daily will certainly continue to provide eDiscovery news and analysis as we always have and will certainly make our readers aware of new deliverables from the EDRM community.

From a personal standpoint, I’m certainly glad to see that George Socha will remain with EDRM, even as he continues in his new role at BDO.  I’m also certainly sad to see Tom Gelbmann retire soon as I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him as a colleague within EDRM through the years – he is truly as nice a guy as there is and I will miss working with him.  Nonetheless, it certainly sounds as though George and Tom found a good new home for the organization that they created 11 years ago – one that should enable it to continue to thrive for years to come.

So, what do you think?  Will the acquisition of EDRM be a good thing for the eDiscovery industry?  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 CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine 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 Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.