eDiscovery Leaders Live: Steven Nygard

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Steven Nygard


Steven Nygard, managing director in the Discovery practice of Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

With about 20 years of electronic discovery experience and over 25 years of cutting-edge IT expertise, for the past 12 years Steven has been with Deloitte. A managing director in the firm’s Discovery practice, Steven is responsible for the operational and technical aspects of Deloitte’s Electronic Discovery solutions delivered from the United States and India. Steven has a strong understanding of effective technology integration into real-world applications to help clients secure and manage large electronic discovery systems amid fast-paced, high-pressure environments.

Steven began by explaining the concept of “speed and feeds” and how that took him to eDiscovery. He discussed the state of eDiscovery when he first got drawn into it, then moved to the current big challenges that the cloud poses for eDiscovery. Steven talked about what took him to Deloitte and his role there, and how it has changed. From there, we returned to the cloud, its challenges, and ways of addressing them. Finally, Steven took a broad look at the importance of people to eDiscovery, expanding eDiscovery into new arenas, and how an IT guy can survive and thrive in the world of eDiscovery.

Key Highlights

  • [1:44] What Steven means by “speeds and feeds”.
  • [3:03] How Enron prompted his move from printing to eDiscovery.
  • [5:06] The Enron email database.
  • [5:40] The state of eDiscovery when he got drawn into it.
  • [7:23] Challenges posed by the cloud, mobile data, and communications outside of email.
  • [8:17] When Steven first realized he had moved to the world of eDiscovery.
  • [9:50] What took Steven to Deloitte.
  • [10:49] Steven’s current role at Deloitte: How it has morphed with the advent new offerings such as the cloud and how it remains the same.
  • [12:41] Challenges associated with acquiring cloud data and how to address them.
  • [14:21] Assessing and testing cloud collection capabilities.
  • [15:18] Complexities of collecting cloud data – especially corruption and encryption – and how to address them.
  • [17:30] Taking advantage of the dynamic nature of cloud data.
  • [18:34] Cloud data access.
  • [19:40] The importance of people – and of supporting them well.
  • [21:15] Applying the discipline of eDiscovery to other areas such as corporate data repositories and contracts.
  • [23:38] How an IT guy survives and thrives in the world of eDiscovery.
  • [25:08] Taking IT capabilities and redirecting them to litigation and investigations.
  • [25:57} Gazing into the crystal ball: The future of eDiscovery.

Key Quotes by Steven Nygard

  • “You can’t really plan, or it’s hard to plan, what your discovery response is going to look like until you have the data and getting at that data is that ‘speeds and feeds’ part. It’s moving that data around, getting access to it, and then dealing with the surprises as they show up.”
  • “We are all in the middle of shift from how we deal with very static environments to very dynamic cloud capabilities. We are also seeing tools whereas you used to have discrete tools, siloed tools…today in the cloud you can go subscribe, consume as much as you need…and that service is constantly being updated.”
  • “My elevator speech is I help align the technology we’re using to deliver solutions for our clients and that technology has evolved from being very static environments to being very dynamic environments whether it’s where the data is being collected from but also now where it’s being processed and used for review.”
  • “Today you are finding encryption is just about everywhere. It’s inside an organization, it’s how organizations transmit data between each other, and you can have encrypted messages, the attachments can be encrypted, not only that the storage it’s on can be encrypted. It’s another thing teams need to stay on top of.”
  • “If you’ve got a great team, you’re going to get great results. That’s the important thing, making sure that people are working with teams and inside of teams that not only are able to deal with the current challenges but are thinking about the future and where things are going.”
  • “eDiscovery is really about unstructured data and putting structure around it…. The philosophy around managing data and the exceptions and managing unstructured data and putting structure around it really lends itself to dealing with data in areas that have a lot of unstructured data but need to add structure to it.”

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