3 eDiscovery PMs Who Might, Literally, Be Santa

Published on December 23, 2019

Keith Wilson

As a transplant from eDiscovery software to eDiscovery service, Keith brings a deep understanding of automation to eDiscovery process design. He has worked with Fortune 500 and AmLaw 100 clients to gain efficiencies in the redaction process and alternative eDiscovery workflows.

Images With the holidays upon us, I was thinking about how impossible Santa’s task seems. Then, I realized that my eDiscovery project managers Tracey, Angela and Josh seem to routinely get the impossible done. If you think about it, there’s really a lot of similarities between our beloved eDiscovery Project Managers and the big bearded man himself, which led me to ponder whether one of them could, literally, be Santa.

Tracey? Santa Is Capable of Changing Directions On The Fly

When navigating complex terrains, such as fluid litigation dynamics and ever evolving data source, surprises can arise anywhere along the channel.

A new custodian or data source can suddenly be discovered, data could be not be as clean as expected, or worse…the client can discover that the responsive ESI resides in an alternative data sources like SLACK – which makes them nervous about collecting and reviewing. A good project manager can adjust quickly and be agile to develop a plan to get the process back on track and make sure deadlines are hit.

Like Tracey, Santa deals with an increasingly complex world. Households are moving to cloud-connected smart-devices and complex entry ways, “Santa” needs to be able to adjust his processes on the go and can’t afford to be held up by an unexpected encounter.

Angela? Santa Provides Consistency and Structure to His Team

Our Project Managers work with the same client on the case from beginning to end and on all their future cases.

They learn how everyone– the paralegals, merits counsel, the eDiscovery attorneys — like to communicate, the preferences that each client has for each case.

Like Angela, “Santa” makes his list and checks it twice so he can accurately manage his workshop of elves year-round. They need to learn the communication style for each of the other reindeer, the route that they are going to take, etc.

Josh? Santa Works Holidays

One of the things I hear repeatedly is the “4:00 PM on a Friday” problem: when a production needs to be done asap but no one finds out about it until 4:00 PM on a Friday.

In most cases, it won’t be done until Monday.

This doesn’t happen with great Project Managers like Josh because if it’s something that is important to your attorneys or the case, he will be in the trenches with you. Seems like Santa isn’t the only man who can make miracles happen overnight.

Like Josh, “Santa” works when it needs to be done, not only during business hours. It’s not the easiest part of their job – but the results are worth it.

I Report, You Decide: Is Santa Actually An eDiscovery PM With A Side Hobby?

So, it seems pretty clear that one of our eDiscovery Project Managers could actually be Ol’ St. Nick, hiding behind the beard or wearing the hat. When deadlines are closing in and complexities continually arise, you need an eDiscovery Project Manager that you can trust to always get the job done on-time every time. Like Santa, there’s nothing more magical than that person.


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About Acorn 

Acorn is a legal data consulting firm that specializes in AI and Advanced Analytics for litigation applications, while providing rigorous customer service to the eDiscovery industry. Acorn primarily works with large regional, midsize national and boutique litigation firms. Acorn provides a high-touch, customized litigation support services with a heavy emphasis on seamless communications. For more information, please visit