eDiscovery Leaders Live: Mike Gaudet of J.S. Held

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Mike Gaudet of J.S. Held


Mike Gaudet, Managing Director, Digital Investigations & Discovery at J.S. Held, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for the first in a special set of ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive sessions broadcast from the Reveal stage at Legalweek 2023.

Mike is a Managing Director in J.S. Held’s Global Investigations Practice, specializing in digital investigations & eDiscovery. He has more than 20 years of experience providing solutions for corporations, legal teams, and government agencies related to data discovery and governance challenges. With a master’s degree in computer science, Mike leverages the right tools to quickly gain insight from data and to efficiently achieve project goals on time and under budget. He has experience executing ad-hoc projects as well as designing and implementing Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) solutions. Mike has significant experience leveraging cross-functional teams to tackle projects related to intellectual property theft, construction claims, environmental issues, due diligence/risk, healthcare matters, data privacy, regulatory compliance, and cross-border investigations.

Mike discussed the challenges of pulling data from myriad internet sources, various ways that data can be used to good effect, and where we might be able to go from here.

Key Highlights

    • [0:57] Introducing Mike, how he got into eDiscovery, and his role at J.S. Held.
    • [2:37] Pulling data from myriad internet sources, aggregating it, and analyzing and visualizing it.
    • [4:35] Putting visual layers on top of data they collect: geographies, word clouds, and negative sentiment.
    • [5:02] Contact maps they are building.
    • [5:35] The types of clients they serve and samples of work they do for them.
    • [6:01] How they whittle down data: predictive analytics.
    • [6:28] How they whittle down data: macro-level dashboards.
    • [6:38] How they whittle down data: concept analytics maps.
    • [6:53] Connecting aggregated data sources.
    • [7:48] Challenges they face with this data and how they address them: Getting APIs, writing effective algorithms, using analytics effectively.
    • [8:40] Dealing the variety part of Big Data: a new data source every week.
    • [10:27] Building new capabilities.
    • [10:41] Broader challenges right now: the various data sources, what you can do with the data once you get it, how to make sense of that data.
    • [11:40] Working with emojis, acronyms.
    • [14:04] Looking to the future: ChatGPT and the challenges and opportunities it offers.
    • [16:40] Doing more with less people.
    • [17:10] Finding the important things, not all the things.

Key Quotes 

  • “We take a very analytics, AI-based approach to filtering [data from the internet] down to a usable population that [clients] can then report to their clients on what’s going for this merger or potential expansion, things like that.”
  • “One of the interesting things we’ve been building out is contact maps of who’s related to whom. You can get some data about who’s retweeting things and you can then filter based on the type of individual and types of messages they’re tweeting.”
  • “One of the goals we have is connecting a lot of these aggregated data sources from the internet…. We’re talking to a company out there that has 500,000 data sources…. All this data comes back and we’ve got it aggregated in a dashboard. One of the things we are working is how can we pipe that to a more traditional eDiscovery tool for further documentation and review.”
  • “Like any other kind of thing that you build, first you build it to make your teams happy – a few use cases – and then eventually hopefully we can expose it more broadly and see what we can do in the industry with it.”
  • “I think the goal is less and less reviewing all the documents…. It’s finding the important things.”

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