eDiscovery Leaders Live
September 13th

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Saleem "Sal" Dababneh of Oasis

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Saleem "Sal" Dababneh of Oasis


Saleem (“Sal”) Dababneh, Chief Operating Officer at Oasis, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, as part of a special ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive series broadcast from ILTACON 2022.

Sal Dababneh joined Oasis as Chief Operating Officer in 2017, joining Brandon Law (CEO and founder) and Sal’s younger brother, Jacob Dababneh (a co-founder) at the only "Vendor to the Vendors" in the industry. In addition to leading Oasis' daily operations, Sal manages the company's partnerships, its technical teams for support, internal development, information security, and information technology. He has over twenty years of experience in legal technology, leading teams, and large-scale restructuring efforts in software development. Throughout his career, Sal has focused on continuing education, earning over a dozen certifications in eDiscovery himself, while advocating for standards of professional growth in the industry. This year marks Sal's tenth year of being a Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS).

Sal shared his personal and professional path from teenager in Canada to Oasis COO – one of the more unusual paths I’ve had the opportunity to hear about. He discussed some of the valuable lessons he learned along the way, such as the use of “situational awareness”, and talked about the importance of mentorships and continuous learning. Sal discussed, as well, the origins of Oasis, what drew him to the company, and Oasis’s focus on serving as the vendor to the vendors.

Key Highlights

  • [3:22] The path Sal took to get where he is today – starting by leaving home at age 16.
  • [6:02] A transcontinental motorcycle ride from Canada to Gilbert, Arizona.
  • [8:27] From football to Pitney Bowes, hauling boxes.
  • [9:10] Translating paper inefficiencies into legal tech opportunities.
  • [10:00] Early days learning from industry veterans Terri Tipton, Jay Leib, and others.
  • [12:30] The challenge of not following a traditional education and career path – and the reward of finally finishing college at age 36 with five kids.
  • [15:27] The value of “situational awareness”.
  • [16:59] Oasis as a vendor to the vendors.
  • [18:26] After some lost audio, the value of mentors and a move from sales to tech.
  • [21:33] More on what “vendor to the vendors” means.
  • [23:07] On joining Oasis.
  • [23:49] What Oasis brings to its partnerships.
  • [24:12] A shift in RFPs from feature functionality to security in 2017.
  • [24:52] The benefits of getting and giving a helping hand.
  • [27:22] When ACEDS launched its certification.
  • [28:00] A challenge for Sal: go for the CEDS Canada certification.
  • [29:11] Placing a concrete value on ongoing learning.

Key Quotes 

    • “There’s just been so many people along the way that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and that’s what’s really gotten me to where I am today…. One of things I’ve looked for throughout my career is, where can I go to learn from others?”
    • “The eDiscovery industry provides so much opportunity for those who are willing to work hard and help solve problems….”
    • “[Situational awareness means] pick your head up, look around, and offer help.”
    • “From its infancy at Oasis we don’t offer competing services with our partners. We’re not out there selling against them.”
    • The whole vendor to the vendor concept was …. we’ll deal with the infrastructure, we’ll deal with the security, we’ll deal with all the different software – we’ll become the software expert. You guys go focus on the relationships, go focus on what’s happening in your market, and let us serve you.”
    • “Our whole bonus structure at Oasis around education…. The official bonus plan is all about certifications and education and continuous learning. We give people a list – here’s a list of certifications – and we assign values to those. We’ll encourage employees to take those, we’ll pay for them to go take the exams, and then we bonus them when they achieve those certifications.”


Connect with Sal