eDiscovery Leaders Live: Andrew Kent of 4Discovery
With almost twenty years of experience in eDiscovery and litigation, Andrew serves as the Chief Operating Officer at 4Discovery, a nationally recognized digital forensics and expert testimony services provider headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee that has various service offices across America. Along with the 4Discovery team, Andrew is setting out on a CLE initiative in 2023, titled the 50+1 Roadshow. It’s their goal to provide content to participants from all 50 states plus the District. Andrew is also a board member of Ink Against Cancer, a grassroots organization that brings artists of all media forms together to provide relief for individuals and families experiencing cancer.
Andrew shared how he got into law, eDiscovery, and forensics. He then expanded on forensics: what it is, where it currently fits in the world of litigation, where it should fit, and what it takes to survive and thrive in forensics. Andrew talked, as well, about the importance of culture and three key components to it: engagement, empowerment, and empathy. From there, he discussed their current roadshow and philanthropic initiatives they support. Andrew closed his discussion with a return to forensics, talking about how to best find and use forensics experts.
- [1:22] How Andrew got into law.
- [2:47] Then into eDiscovery.
- [3:50] And forensics, his current focus.
- [4:33] The industry’s shift away from forensics – and why it should move back.
- [5:35] Digging for the details and getting to the merits of the case.
- [6:40] Squaring forensics with eDiscovery.
- [8:00] Avoiding “drive-through” eDiscovery.
- [8:24] About 4Discovery and its focus on culture.
- [9:40] What it takes to be good at forensics.
- [11:31] The engagement superpower.
- [12:55] The power of empowerment, as exemplified by Horst Schulze.
- [14:45] Empathy, “Bowling Alone”, and an era where people are putting more in and expecting more back.
- [16:29] The 50+1 Roadshow to get out the word about how much has changed in forensics.
- [18:01] Supporting the Life Preservers Project.
- [18:46] Supporting Ink Against Cancer.
- [21:14] How the world of forensics has changed – and how much more forensics can do today.
- [24:09] Bringing forensics people to the meet-and-confer.
- [26:26] Or better yet, bring forensics folks in before you even have a matter.
- [26:57] What to look for in a forensic expert.
- “Forensics is really about telling the story through the data. It’s really about being able to piece things together, being able to solve those riddles….”
- “The biggest thing about meaningful forensics is getting to meet clients up-front, understanding what they need. We don’t really start from a tool perspective and go backwards. We really are, ‘What are you trying to accomplish, what do you have, and then let’s figure out a strategy for getting there.’”
- “What I really want to hear about is engagement levels. I want to hear what is it about that person’s personal attachment to the company that’s going to really make them give their all, want to give their all.”
- “So much has changed in forensics that we really want to get out there, in front of customers, in front of potential clients, and tell them about all the amazing things we can do.”
- “I’m always about the meet-and-confer. Bring in your forensics team before the meet-and-confer so you can lay all these things out.”
- “Before you even have a matter, maybe let your [forensic] friends come in and do a CLE or two for you so you get to know them and get versed on these things. Then when you have something come up, you’ve already got that connection, you’re way ahead of the game.”
- “The biggest thing in terms of quality experts to me is their ability to go through cross-examination…. I want to see actual CVs, I want to see actual resumes, I need to know how many times you have been in the court.”