eDiscovery Leaders Live: Susan Wortzman of McCarthy Tetrault

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Susan Wortzman of McCarthy Tetrault



Susan Wortzman, partner at McCarthy Tétrault, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive, broadcast from the Master’s Conference in Toronto.

Susan is a partner in the Toronto offices of McCarthy Tétrault and leads the firm’s e-Discovery and information management practice. She was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in 2020 by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Susan also is the Founder of MT>3, formerly Wortzmans, which is recognized as Canada’s leading law firm specializing in e-Discovery and information governance. MT>3 was acquired by McCarthy Tétrault on December 31, 2016. Susan’s expertise in e-Discovery was developed during her long tenure as a partner at one of Canada’s leading litigation firms, where her practice encompassed a broad range of civil litigation, acting for corporate clients, small to mid-sized businesses and individuals in a wide variety of commercial disputes.

Susan discussed how to introduce new technologies to clients, colleagues, and opposing parties – including technologies you have not previously used.


Key Highlights

    • [1:05] Introducing Susan.
    • [1:42] What Susan and her team do at MT>3.
    • [3:23] Introducing new technologies to clients without using them as guinea pigs: be transparent.
    • [5:31] Introducing new technologies to clients without using them as guinea pigs: have backup plans and be ready to pivot.
    • [5:54] Introducing new technologies to clients without using them as guinea pigs: explaining complicated technology in simple ways.
    • [7:12] Example one: a client pitch to build an AI privilege review model with data from past matters.
    • [10:34] Example two: building an AI classifier to find a certain type of record in multiple employee mailboxes for a regulatory.
    • [12:36] Being super transparent to clients.
    • [13:40] Building new capabilities from whole cloth: proportionality layered on risk.
    • [16:53] Pursuing a strategy of cautious risk.
    • [18:38] Talking with clients about reasonableness.
    • [18:55] Example three: cases they do for the Competition Bureau.
    • [20:12] Transparency with opposing parties.
    • [22:03] Pointers for others hoping to take this approach.

Key Quotes 

  • “[When introducing a new technology to clients] I always really like to have a conversation directly with my clients and explain these are the tools we are going to use, this is how we expect that they’re going to work, this is how we’re going to validate that they work, and this is what’s going to happen in the event that they don’t work.”
  • “We went ahead and we built the [privilege review]…. And the model worked. We ran the model against the dataset. It predicted what was privileged. We validated it, and I was really blown away by the accuracy.”
  • “[For the regulatory matter] the client explained to us what he was looking for. We started the review and we built a model… We had four AI classifiers because there were four things that he wanted to know, four different types of records…. We ran the model against hundreds of thousands of emails and were able to identify records for the client to review which was … less than 10,000.”
  • “[When introducing new technologies] we have to be super transparent to our clients and the only way to really do that in my view is to get on the phone with them, get in a room with them if we can, and explain this is what it is and this is how it works.”
  • “I think if you’re really confident and you’re really comfortable in the process that you’re using and the steps that you’ve taken and you’ve validated your results, you should be happy to say, ‘These are the steps that we’ve taken, this is what we’re done.”

Connect with Susan