eDiscovery Leaders Live
September 12th

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Dawn Poulson of McLane Middleton

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Dawn Poulson of McLane Middleton


Dawn Poulson, Litigation Technology Project Manager at McLane Middleton, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

Dawn supports McLane Middleton’s litigation department by managing complex litigation eDiscovery projects. Dawn works collaboratively with attorneys and clients on all phases of the discovery process, project planning, budgeting, and eDiscovery technology. She is engaged in the collection and preservation of electronic data, assists with early case assessment strategies to streamline document review in a more efficient manner, and is responsible for the training of attorneys and paralegals in eDiscovery software and the development of best practices. Dawn also supports the firm’s Information Cybersecurity and Privacy group, engaging with outside experts when addressing cybersecurity incidents and breaches, forensically gathering data pertinent to incidents and breaches, and addressing other technology measures necessary to mitigate and remediate the causes of breach. Dawn likewise is an integral member of the firm’s risk assessment teams, possessing particular expertise with technological controls necessary to comply with the variety of applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards.

Dawn talked about importance that transparency brings to eDiscovery when helping clients, working with colleagues, and dealing with opposing parties; the benefits of making effective use of ESI protocols; and how she and the attorneys she works deliver high eDiscovery value to their clients.

Key Highlights

    • [1:08] Introducing Dawn.
    • [1:30] How Dawn ended up in her current role at McLane Middleton.
    • [2:38] About McLane Middleton.
    • [3:23] A proponent of transparency.
    • [4:20] Transparency with clients: how transparency helps earn critical trust with clients.
    • [6:38] Strategies for building trust with clients.
    • [8:47] When potential embarrassment might cause clients to hold back data.
    • [10:33] Transparency with colleagues: engendering trust and delivering quality.
    • [11:56] The value doing eDiscovery in-house at the law firm delivers to clients.
    • [13:10] Transparency with opposing parties: making effective use of disclosure and ESI protocols to resolve issues upfront.
    • [15:31] Involving all constituencies involved in the development of ESI protocols.
    • [16:52] Dealing with opposing parties with less robust eDiscovery expertise and capabilities.
    • [18:37] Knowing the process of eDiscovery from identification through trial.
    • [20:12] Helping attorneys be prepared to spot eDiscovery issues and explain them.
    • [22:45] Doing “what went right, what went wrong” scenarios after matters and projects end.
    • [25:08] Data privacy and cyber security.

Key Quotes 

  • “I am 100% a proponent of being completely transparent in everything that we do when it comes to working with our clients, what we’re going to do and when we collect their data; to working with my colleagues and coworkers about how we’re going to get from point A to point B; and I am a strong proponent of being as transparent as we can be with opposing counsel so that they know what we did or did not do in terms of what we’re delivering to them in terms of a production – or not producing.”
  • “We love to provide the best quality service to our clients as possible. If we’re able to save them money by doing [eDiscovery] in-house and it’s more economic to keep it, we can do it. There are some instances where you have to retain a third-party vendor, but if we’re able to do it in-house we will…. Keeping it in-house often streamlines the process. It also makes us completely available at all times to be there for whatever is needed to be done.”
  • “If we’re going to run search terms, if we’re going to streamline the custodians we’re going to collect or we going to limit a date filter, disclose it. One of the tools that I think is the best way to do it is taking advantage of the discovery plan and implementing an ESI protocol. If you have both parties come to the table and you’re able to put together an ESI protocol, you can pretty much nail down the who, the what the where, the how – all spelled out – and there’s no surprises.”
  • “Having [our attorneys] learning more and more about ESI and its data life and its cycle and where it comes from, it’s important that they understand that so that when they are called before the judge or they have to have the uncomfortable call with opposing counsel to describe the issues, they know what they’re talking about. I think the attorneys in our firm have done that very well.”

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