Two widely known e-discovery professionals have been laid off from their jobs in recent weeks as the impact of the coronavirus crisis continues to be felt across the legal industry.
George Socha, cofounder of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), the framework that has guided e-discovery since 2005, and who The American Lawyer named an “E-Discovery Trailblazer” in 2013, has been let go from his position as managing director of BDO USA’s Forensic Technology Services practice.
Socha told me that he was told of the layoff on Monday, April 27. A spokesperson for BDO denied that there had been layoffs. The spokesperson provided this statement: “Thanks for reaching out. BDO USA has not implemented layoffs.”
A litigator earlier in his career, Socha became an e-discovery consultant who, together with consultant Tom Gelbmann, published an influential annual e-discovery survey from 2004 to 2010. In 2005, Socha and Gelbmann developed the EDRM, which they sold to Duke University School of Law in 2016 (and which Duke sold last October to e-discovery veterans Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad).
Meanwhile, Doug Austin, a veteran of nearly 30 years in e-discovery, was laid off from the e-discovery company CloudNine, where he worked for 10 years, first as director of marketing and then as vice president of professional services.
CloudNine declined to comment on the layoff.
For most of the past 10 years, Austin has been the editor and primary writer of CloudNine’s daily blog, eDiscovery Daily, a must-read for anyone in the e-discovery field.
For Austin’s readers, the good news is that he picked up where he left off, launching his own blog, eDiscovery Today, where he will continue his daily reporting on e-discovery, cybersecurity and data privacy.