eDiscovery Leaders Live: Joseph Friend of AITHERAS

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Joseph Friend of AITHERAS


Joseph Friend, a partner at AITHERAS, LLC, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

With more than 20 years’ experience in business development and managing $80M to $220M portfolio accounts, Joe has a successful track record of multiplying profit for small to mid-size businesses. Joe has developed lateral business partnerships and supported IT programs with government agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. His in-depth expertise in IT development cycle ranges from managing and executing product development roadmaps, migration, and setting up large technical support centers to final delivery with implementation that is set up for revenue.

Joe shared insights into how the government handles eDiscovery, challenges that today’s large data volume and many data types pose for the government, and how those challenges can be addressed by the government and by those such as AITHERAS.

Key Highlights

    • [1:11] Introducing Joe Friend.
    • [1:50] How Joe got into eDiscovery.
    • [4:23] Shifting his focus to government work.
    • [4:52] Early days: helping create the first system to OCR discovery documents and make the text searchable.
    • [5:33] Early days: working with images from scanned documents.
    • [5:59] Early days: seeking answers from the legal tech industry.
    • [7:08] What today’s eDiscovery technology lets us do.
    • [7:50] The big electronic data challenge the Justice Department faced in 2005, 2006: email.
    • [9:03] The big electronic data challenge of today: social media and short messaging.
    • [9:46] The things we’ve solved.
    • [10:36] The inflation-proof nature of what we do.
    • [11:52] Always a need for someone who understands the full lifecycle.
    • [12:30] Generative AI possibilities: chatbot AI that might help judges deal with cases that are similar in nature.
    • [14:06] Generative AI possibilities: getting to the essence of what we need to know.
    • [16:57] Insights from working with the Federal government: just how difficult the work they do is.
    • [17:50] The immense volume of data the DOJ receives.
    • [18:18] Where the petabytes of antitrust data come from.
    • [19:36] How to handle those petabytes of data.
    • [20:25] Using analytics to understand who did what, when, etc.
    • [21:05] ATF pilot using virtual heatmap.
    • [21:40] Ever-increasing amounts of data: up to 3000 percent year over year.
    • [22:20] The largest hurdles for the government: how to get, ingest, and use all that data.
    • [22:43] Effective triage of that data.
    • [23:15] Looking for hidden data and the real smoking gun.
    • [24:04] What you read about in the news – all that ends up back at the DOJ.
    • [24:57] Where AITHERAS fits in the Federal space: what they do and how they help.

Key Quotes 

  • “Today we have tools such as Reveal … that are able to infinitely take care of all of this and provide us with amazing analysis and AI and all of this stuff that in my mind is just revolutionary and so helpful to the industry.”
  • “How do we catch bad guys who are using social media and text messages and code words and whole other languages that investigators need to understand and unravel for these time frames? I know that Reveal has been very proactive. The team that you have assembled has really owned this particular problem.”
  • “We’ve solved massive amounts of data issues…. We’ve solved audio transcripting and video transcripting. And we’re getting ready to release and change the world when it comes to understating short messaging, which is now the preferred way of communicating because everybody knows that if you have an email it’s out there forever.”
  • “There’s always a need for somebody who understands the full lifecycle for things that are potentially missed in cases.”
  • “I look forward to a company such as yours … coming up with a judge-assisted chatbot that can help them gather quickly information to make decisions based upon cases that are happening at lightning speed today.”
  • “[People in private practice] just are not used to the volume of the data that the government receives. Antitrust, for example, they may receive petabytes of information that legally they’re responsible to go through.”

Connect with Joseph