eDiscovery Leaders Live: Michael Lalande of Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineburg LLP

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Michael Lalande of Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineburg LLP


Michael Lalande, e-Discovery Counsel at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

As e-Discovery Counsel at Davies, Michael serves as a legal advisor on e-discovery practices and identifies ways to leverage cutting-edge technologies to better serve firm clients. He manages and facilitates communication between internal teams, including business, legal and technology groups, on all aspects of digital evidence and e-discovery. Prior to joining Davies, Michael was a senior director at a prominent e-discovery vendor and led e-discovery teams at two national law firms. Michael also is a part-time lecturer at Humber College and Toronto Metropolitan University, where he developed and teaches e-discovery modules for paralegals and LPP candidates, respectively.

Michael talked about how he got to his new role at Davies, what that role looks like, and where he plans to take it.


Key Highlights

    • [1:11] Introducing Michael.
    • [1:44] How criminal defense work led Michael to eDiscovery.
    • [4:30] How working as a criminal defense duty counsel – and a desire to get more sleep – led Michael to automating processes.
    • [6:13] How working in criminal law gave Michael a good perspective on clients, a better understanding of the actual people involved.
    • [6:56] Lessons learned from working for a document review provider.
    • [7:48] The value of mentors and leaders.
    • [8:13] The importance of knowing the case law.
    • [9:23] Where sticking your foot in the door can take you.
    • [11:46] What the different parts of Michael’s background bring to the table: never pass a fault, always have a checklist, and always be prepared for the best and the worst.
    • [17:33] Joining Davies and the opportunities there.
    • [18:36] Taking on a transformational role.
    • [19:06] A phenomenal opportunity at Davies.
    • [19:20] An exciting and interesting time in eDiscovery.
    • [20:00] Advise for how to and or become an eDiscovery champion.
    • [21:35] How to effectuate positive change at a law firm.
    • [24:48] The new possibilities offered by generative AI, portable models, and other forms of AI.
    • [26:31] The challenges and opportunities Michael plans to take on next.

Key Quotes 

  • “You can do things over and over and over again, but if you can develop something that takes just as long an amount of time to deal with the problem, but you’re going to use it on all the pieces going forward, I think that is pivotal in eDiscovery – how can we repeat this process in a more efficient way.”
  • “I was using a platform and they had a 200-page guide on how to use the platform. The first week after I started using it as a first level reviewer, went back and read the entire manual to find out what are all the functions and features that are available. That really pivoted me into working in project management and then eventually [an] eDiscovery counsel career.”
  • “One of the key things that I like to bring to the profession is to educate people on eDiscovery. It’s great if you’ve an eDiscovery expert but if you don’t bring it back to the community then I feel like you’re leaving a lot on the table.”
  • “This firm is extremely innovative and forward thinking. From the eDiscovery perspective and the data perspective, working with this firm is a phenomenal opportunity.”
  • “Not starting from scratch and having these pre-built models and having the ability to leverage the AI is fundamental and I think it’s going to shift a lot of things.”

Connect with Michael