ACEDS Detroit: No Place Like Home

Published on October 3, 2019

Zef Deda

Zef Deda is a business development manager at Acorn Legal Solutions. An e-discovery thought leader working with Am Law 100 firms and corporate legal departments, Zef plays a key role in leveraging his knowledge of advanced technology and phased project plans in helping clients solve complex issues. Zef positions himself as a collaborative thought partner to ensure the best outcomes through his understanding of his client’s problems, their end goals, and working closely with them to identify and ensure the best possible outcomes.

This past week ACEDS Detroit 4th Annual eDiscovery Symposium at Greektown Casino was a huge success. I first attended this event last year when I moved back to Michigan after living in Denver for a couple years. I was impressed with how active and collaborative the eDiscovery community was here. After the event, I called up my CEO and said “We need to be a part of this”. I spent a year lobbying the management team to invest, and we finally took the leap to sponsor this event. The great news is, I don’t need to convince anyone anymore! After my CEO and project managers joined the event, they immediately saw the value. Acorn will be a part of this event for many years to come and here are just a few reasons why.

Relationships Are A Give And Take:

From the very first time I stepped foot into the Michigan eDiscovery community, each board member of ACEDS has made me feel welcomed. They have expressed interest in me as a person and my company, for which I am very grateful. This chapter continues to grow and help everyone with the resources to get better at their everyday jobs, they embrace collaboration and networking for all. eDiscovery continues to grow and technology changes at a very rapid pace. Most organizations do not have the resources for formal in-house training programs, so collaboration from industry insiders is important in our efforts to collectively learn and grow. I have developed professionally under the guidance of my clients. I feel obliged to give back to the community.

There Is No Substitute For Face-To-Face Dialogue:

One of the benefits of being a local provider was being able to bring our team to this event. Having our team interact in face-to-face discussions with my clients and other attorneys really helped them better understand the specific pains and needs from their point-of-view. My team ended the conference with a deeper understanding of our clients’ perspectives, energized with new ideas for new solutions. I’m willing to bet that many attorneys at this event who were able to speak with our project management team, could hear and feel the passion my team has for helping our clients achieve the best possible outcomes. Personally, I have always felt that my clients feel more comfortable working with my team when they have had a chance to size them up themselves.

Reasonable People Can Disagree:

In meeting with almost everyone at the event, it was amazing to see the wide range of legal professionals all in one room. The room was filled with judges, attorneys, lit support, in-house counsel, project managers, law students and service providers all collaborating with one another and challenging each other. One of the more spirited discussions, as always, was different people’s thoughts on how automation may impact legal careers. Another spirited discussion was around whether a judge has the right, much less should, dictate to the attorneys whether they should use TAR.

Concluding Thoughts:

I think it was very clear that everyone at the event wanted to learn, make connections, and grow professionally. Because life can get away from us and we can sometimes get consumed with projects, cases, etc. It’s really great to be able to attend an event like this, take a step back and reflect on how we are helping one another and how we can continue to get better.


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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