‘Magic’ isn’t a term often associated with ediscovery, but it’s the only suitable term to sum up the Second Annual Corporate E-Discovery Hero Awards, held January 29 at New York City’s picturesque Tavern on the Green restaurant. A who’s who list of ediscovery influencers and shapers filled the attendee list, and they were collectively moved by the recognition of their peers and inspired by the discussion between world-renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and ediscovery expert Craig Ball.
With an unseasonable warmth blanketing New York on the eve of Legalweek, the movers and shakers of ediscovery kicked off the evening with cocktails and conversation, creating a buzz that carried throughout the entire evening.
Zapproved’s own Brad Harris served as MC, setting the stage for the awards to come as guests took in the gorgeous views of Central Park.
The first award of the evening went to Eric Lieber of Toyota, who was named the ‘Smooth Operator’ Hero for streamlining ediscovery workflows and making litigation response feel nearly effortless.
The Trailblazer Award Hero Award, recognizing those who apply new ideas, processes and technology to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow, was presented to Cortney Starble of CBRE.
Taking a break from the corporate hero awards, the ceremony took time to honor three magistrate judges from the southern district of New York, the Hon. James Francis, the Hon. Frank Maas and the Hon. Andrew Peck, for providing direction to the bar and corporate legal teams about how to handle the rapidly changing demands of electronic discovery in civil litigation. Each judge was given the Pinnacle Award for their momentous contributions.
One of the highlights of the evening was a keynote fireside chat between Craig Ball and Doris Kearns Goodwin. After an epic, moving introduction by Ball that Kearns Goodwin called the best introduction she’s ever received, the presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize winner captivated the audience, discussing how e-discovery professionals were historians in their own right, and how specific leadership traits are common in individuals that help bring about change.
Following the rousing keynote discussion, the awards resumed with Mike Stinson from ConocoPhillips being recognized with the Guardian Hero Award for protecting his organization from risk by building defensible and secure processes and systems.
The Maximizer Hero Award was given to Dawn Radcliffe of TransCanada for her excellence at doing more with less, using processes and systems that bring efficiencies, control costs and save time.
As the evening built towards an apex, Zapproved’s CEO Monica Enand took a moment to reflect on the tenth anniversary of the company she founded, noting the tremendous changes in the e-discovery industry over the last decade.
Next, the Hon. Shira Scheindlin spoke about the honor of having the Lifetime Achievement Award named for her, toasting Monica and her fellow judges for their contributions.
After a stirring introduction from Maura Grossman, the final highlight of the evening was the Hon. Craig B. Shaffer, with family looking on, receiving the Hon. Shira Scheindlin Lifetime Achievement Award. In recognition of his career as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado, the award applauds Judge Shaffer’s invaluable contribution to ediscovery, notably his formative Cache v. Land O’Lakes ruling and the numerous influential articles published and time spent teaching and lecturing around the country.
The magical night then came to a close, leaving an indelible impression on all who attended, and causing everyone to look forward to celebrating the heroes of tomorrow at next year’s event.