eDiscovery Leaders Live
September 15th

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Ann Halkett of SOLVED eDiscovery Services

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Ann Halkett of SOLVED eDiscovery Services


Ann Halkett, Director, SOLVED eDiscovery Services at Alexander Holburn, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, as part of a special ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive series broadcast from ILTACON 2022.

Ann Halkett joined Alexander Holburn in 2000 as a senior paralegal and has more than 20 years of experience. Ann became the Litigation Support Manager in 2014 and Director of eDiscovery Services in 2021. She advises and assists on a wide variety of litigation support systems and technologies including evidence management, electronic discovery, specialized databases, and trial presentations. Ann has dealt with all levels of the courts from Small Claims to the Supreme Court of Canada and in a number of civil litigation practice areas including municipal nuisance and negligence, fire loss, sexual assault, construction, commercial, aviation, personal injury (plaintiff and defense), foreclosures, and collections. In June 2015, Ann was featured In The Spotlight by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia to recognize her extensive volunteer work. Most recently, Ann was among a group of eDiscovery experts in Canada involved with the drafting of a Canadian certification exam and study manual for the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists.

Ann focused heavily on eDiscovery education and the value it brings. She talked about the new CEDS Canada Certification, which she helped craft, as well as coverage of eDiscovery in Canadian law schools and elsewhere throughout Canada. Ann shared her thoughts on the different rules and approaches to eDiscovery across Canada and how they compare with their counterparts in the US. She discussed proportionality, a well-established principle in Canada, Canadian practice directions, and Canadian rules about who pays for discovery. Finally, Ann talked about a few ongoing eDiscovery challenges, most notably with respect to photo metadata.

Key Highlights

  • [4:08] eDiscovery education, a topic near and dear to Ann’s heart.
  • [4:50] The state of eDiscovery education in Canada, compared with the US.
  • [5:34] Coverage of eDiscovery in Canadian law schools.
  • [5:50] What you do not know will hurt you.
  • [6:18] ACEDS’s new certification program in Canada.
  • [6:51] Ann’s role in developing the new certification program and what that process was like.
  • [8:10] The extent to which eDiscovery rules across Canada vary from province to province and court system to court system.
  • [8:40] Looking at in which court systems the majority of eDiscovery takes place.
  • [9:45] The extent to which eDiscovery practices differ from one province to another.
  • [10:40] A challenging balancing act – putting together a nationwide eDiscovery certification with practices differing by jurisdiction.
  • [11:12] Explaining “practice directions” for the US audience.
  • [12:00] How many people worked on the new CEDS Canada Certification.
  • [12:16] Additional eDiscovery educational activities in Canada through ILTA, ACEDS, Osgoode Hall Law School, Ryerson University, and University of Calgary.
  • [13:26] Differences in eDiscovery between Canadian and US – still some catching up to do.
  • [16:03] The CEDS Canada Certification – a way to introduce eDiscovery concepts to a broader audience.
  • [16:25] The well-established Canadian approach to proportionality in eDiscovery.
  • [18:28] Canadian lessons learned on how to address proportionality.
  • [21:43] Who pays eDiscovery expenses in Canada.
  • [23:52] The unexpected challenge posed by photo metadata.
  • [26:43] Additional eDiscovery challenges – poor forwarding practices, careless printing to PDF, and the persistent lack of proper education.

Key Quotes 

    • “[eDiscovery] is an area where what you do not know will hurt you. It’s guaranteed to hurt you so really need to have an understanding of the landscape of electronic [discovery] generally. And if you don’t know, you should be seeking the advice of those who do know.”
    • “I am so grateful that ACEDS started the certification program in Canada. I think, just like you said, it’s groundbreaking. It will only help the community over time. I’m a big advocate of people pursuing that because I think that it gives you a level of knowledge and understanding that you can only grow from.”
    • “[A practice direction] is an additional notice from the court on how things should be done…. It’s a directive from the court saying ‘you should do it this way…. Each court will prepare their own and each province will have their own.’”
    • “[Proportionality] has been a principal concept for many, many years [in Canada]. You can’t spend whatever you want…. Ultimately it comes down to the pleadings and what’s being claimed in there….”
    • “How can we narrow it down to exactly what is [needed]. It’s that funnel but you start with the funnel to begin with. You don’t do the funnel after you get it all, you do the funnel before you get it, so to speak, and you do targeted collections – very, very targeted collections.”

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