Ever since the BARBRI Group announced back in July that Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) Executive Director Mary Mack and Vice President Client Engagement Kaylee Walstad were departing from their roles at the end of October, a lot of people in the eDiscovery community have been waiting to see who would take over leadership of ACEDS.  We now have our answer.

In an email to the ACEDS community on Monday, BARBRI Group Chairman and CEO Stephen Fredette announced that “Mike Quartararo, a long-time ACEDS member, former law firm eDiscovery director, author and community leader has joined us as President of ACEDS and Professional Development. Additionally, leading legal industry strategist, consultant and author, Ari Kaplan, will apply his talents on a consulting basis to help build a new ACEDS Global Advisory Board and act as Chairperson for that group.”

In making the announcement, Fredette indicated that “Mike will be assuming the responsibilities of executive director Mary Mack, continuing to build on the tremendous foundation she established, leading the global ACEDS community, growing and supporting the members and local chapters, and reinforcing the best-in-class reputation of the CEDS certification. Additionally, Mike will work to leverage BARBRI’s diverse suite of legal education talent and professional development resources to create new education solutions and certificate programs for ACEDS members and the legal community.”

Of course, many of you know that Mike was the Director of Litigation Support for Stroock, that prior to that he led eDiscovery projects at Skadden Arps and that he is the author the 2016 book Project Management in Electronic Discovery (which you can buy here).  You may not know that Mike has been a member of ACEDS since its founding, helped shape portions of the original CEDS exam, and is part of the inaugural class to take and pass the exam.  So, Mike is as qualified as anybody to continue to build on the great work that Mary and Kaylee have done in building the ACEDS brand over the past few years.

In addition, many of you know Ari Kaplan, of Ari Kaplan Advisors, who is an attorney, a leading legal industry analyst and an author of several books on the business of law. He is also the principal researcher for several well-known and widely distributed benchmarking reports, is a frequent writer and speaker, and is the founder of Lawcountability, a business development platform for lawyers and law firms.

Having worked with (and been on panels with) both Mike and Ari in the past, I can certainly say that ACEDS has made great selections to keep the positive momentum going that Mary and Kaylee started.

So, what do you think?  Will this announcement mean good things for ACEDS and for the eDiscovery community? 

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