Tell us a bit about your position and responsibilities. What do you do for Chesapeake Energy Corp?
I manage the Forensic Services department, which is comprised of four litigation support personnel and eight digital forensic and electronic discovery analysts. We are responsible for a variety of services related to legal e-discovery and investigations, including the following:
- Computer forensic services such as digital evidence collection, preservation, analysis and documentation
- Investigation case work originating from fraud, data theft, policy violations, productivity loss or other general computer security incidents
- Fraud risk assessments
- Detailed forensic analysis and reporting in response to investigations and cyber intrusions
- Forensic imaging and collection of all types of electronic media for legal e-discovery to include various formats of data, processing and preparation for legal review
- Litigation support services including matter management, application of legal holds, project management, discovery assistance, chain of custody, productions, monitoring document review, and deposition and trial preparation
How long have you been in this position?
I began working at Chesapeake Energy in October 2005. For the past eight years I have been in a leadership position.
Tell us how you got here.
After completing my Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, I started out as a Systems Engineer in IT Security, primarily writing policy and facilitating compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In 2006, I began working with the Legal department to develop our e-discovery program. I was promoted to IT Supervisor of Compliance in 2007 and IT Manager of Security and Compliance in 2009. I earned my GCFA (GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst) certification in 2008 and my CEDS in 2013.
In 2013, IT Compliance was brought under the Corporate Security and Ethics umbrella and became the Forensic Services department. Litigation Support shifted from Legal into my group in March 2015. This organizational structure has proven most efficient in accomplishing goals and meeting the deadlines of discovery for the corporation.
My team and I have worked hand in hand with our Legal, HR and IT counterparts to develop a program that centers on our core values. Our commitment to excellence and drive to continually improve our services has been the cornerstone of the successes we have experienced. We have achieved many objectives during the past decade and I look forward to what the next decade will bring to both Chesapeake and our industry at large. It is particularly gratifying for me to work with such a highly skilled and proficient team of forensic analysts.
What drove you to seek certification in e-discovery and particularly the CEDS?
I recognize that continuing education is a significant and valuable aspect of my professional and personal growth. The CEDS certification combines legal knowledge with technical proficiency. Since my background was predominantly technical, it was a priority for me to gain a greater understanding of the legal perspective.
How has it benefited you in your career?
In addition to providing credibility, the ACEDS organization is a valuable and respected resource for continued learning and networking within the e-discovery community. Peer collaboration is an invaluable asset for knowledge and understanding of best practices in the ever changing world of e-discovery.
What are your overall observations of the e-discovery profession?
While there have been many advances in technology and processes there are numerous issues that have remained hot topics, from big data and information governance to social media to the use of technology assisted review. The exponentially increasing volume of data presents formidable challenges to our industry. Digital forensics plays a vital role in meeting these challenges.
The industry is moving in the direction of optimizing services and processes as well as in gaining efficiencies. I find it very challenging and most rewarding, to lead a team of professionals dedicated to meeting our objectives and goals in this area. I continue to be amazed at the rapid changes in technology used to meet the requirements of a defensible collection. I am excited and proud to work in a company that focuses on building an effective and productive synergy between our legal and technical teams.
What would you like to see out of an organization like ACEDS?
I would like to see continued support and education for the many professional roles that exist in e-discovery. The CEDS certification exam continues to evolve to be one of the most reputable certifications available.
What are some job challenges that you face on a regular basis?
One of the most challenging aspects of my job is information governance. Other challenges include cloud services, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), social media, privacy concerns and cyber security.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself that you would like others to know.
I was once attacked by a buffalo while driving through a safari park. Both myself and the buffalo can be considered victorious in the battle, as neither one of us were seriously injured. The Subaru I was driving was the only real casualty.
Anything you would like to add?
I feel very fortunate to be an e-discovery professional. E-discovery is a fascinating field that changes dynamically and keeps me on my toes. I look forward to the challenges and advancements that this industry’s future will bring to my career.