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Relativity Innovation Awards Turn 5: Meet Our First-Ever Individual Award Candidates [Part 3]

April Runft

Throughout this week, we’ll be highlighting submissions for the technology categories and finalists for the individual categories of the 2018 Innovation Awards. This is the third post in a three-part series. Take a look at them all and cast your vote by October 2 to have a say in who takes the stage at Relativity Fest.

The Innovation Awards have always celebrated technical ingenuity with Relativity. But in addition to brilliant ideas, we recognize that successful innovation needs champions who believe in it, support it, and remove roadblocks to adopting it. And to build a thriving e-discovery community, we need people who challenge the status quo, make learning a priority, and pay it forward.

This year, Relativity is pleased to unveil our first-ever individual Innovation Awards. When we launched, we hoped to receive at least two candidates per award—enough to warrant a public vote. We were amazed to receive over 100 nominations recognizing individuals across the global Relativity community.

Meet our inaugural set of individual finalists.

Attorney Tech Evangelist

A technology champion who moves an organization forward with an innovative approach combining legal, technical, and human strategies to improve the legal process.

Alison Grounds
Founder and Managing Director
Troutman Sanders eMerge

In addition to founding eMerge, her firm's e-discovery subsidiary, Alison also built the Fellows Program to uncover new talent and train new attorneys in e-discovery and technology.

Tessa Jacob
Senior Counsel
Husch Blackwell

Tessa was recognized for her broad expertise across legal technologies, fluency in the law of e-discovery, and dedication to nurturing her law school students’ technical and industry savvy.

Frank Merrill
Bricker & Eckler

Frank champions the importance of client service and the growing need for law firms to invest time and resources in high-tech, cutting-edge legal solutions, as he did with Bricker’s LandTracker application.

Jeffrey Salling
Senior eDiscovery Manager
Novartis AG

A mentor for young lawyers and lit support professionals, Jeffrey developed the e-discovery curriculum for John Marshall Law School. After ten years with service providers, he recently made the move to an in-house role in Switzerland, aiming to have an impact on e-discovery processes and best practices on a global level.

Cristin Traylor

Founder of the Richmond Relativity user group, Cristin spearheads the development of her firm’s Relativity applications, including an expense tracker, a “fact manager” application (before Relativity Case Dynamics née Fact Manager existed), and currently, a reviewer efficiency tracker that leverages Relativity’s history function.

Lit Support All Star

A power user who not only strives to hone their expertise on what Relativity can do, but looks for ways to push it even further—and brings their team along with them.

Kate Bauer
Practice Solutions Architect          
Steptoe & Johnson LLP

One of the first Relativity Masters, Kate was recognized for her integral role in expanding and deepening her department’s Relativity expertise through training, certification, and mentorship—especially her proven system for marketing conceptual analytics and technology-assisted review to case teams.

Christopher Morris
Control Risks  

Celebrated for his enthusiasm, skill, and energy for all things e-discovery, Chris goes beyond the training qualifications necessary to maintain Master status and continually improves his firm’s capabilities to deliver Relativity by writing innovative scripts that drive quality and efficiency.

Brian J. Schmitz
CTS Technology Liaison
Faegre Baker Daniels

Brian is an avid user of the Relativity Community and Expert candidate who believes in the “take a penny, leave a penny” approach to helping peers solve everyday e-discovery challenges. He regularly posts Relativity user tips to his firm's intranet site, provides product feedback to Relativity, works with App Hub partners to streamline his firm’s varied workflows, and is currently championing his firm’s upgrade to Relativity 9.6.

Peter Szytula
Director of Service Excellence

Peter was recognized for his uniqueness in celebrating problems as opportunities to find new solutions and workflows. He demonstrates commitment to growing his technical knowledge and spends his own time tutoring colleagues to pass the RCA. His eight known pupils to date passed the exam on the first try.

Emma Young

In addition to training her attorney clients to use Relativity Analytics, Emma was recognized for excellent leadership and expertise on a specific client matter. She developed custom workflows in Relativity to deliver a production of one million multi-language documents spanning 72 requests on a two-week deadline for a Redfern Schedule on a construction arbitration. 

Stellar Women in e-Discovery

A leader who elevates women in technology: breaks barriers, mentors others, makes learning a priority, and embodies a spirit of “paying it forward.”

Christine Chalstrom
Shepherd Data Services

Chris was recognized for being a pioneer entrepreneur in e-discovery as well as a Relativity early adopter and law school trustee. Today, under Chris's leadership, the company (half of whose employees are women) continues to create new technical solutions to enhance workflow and client experience.

Sarah Cole
Director of Solutions

A champion for Relativity Analytics, Sarah was recognized for her passion for e-discovery, mentorship to many, and coaching “friends, coworkers, and strangers” to deepen their knowledge of Relativity through certifications. She also started a women’s book club at Epiq NY to provide a space for junior analysts, project managers, and leadership to connect.

Rebecca Grant
Founder and CEO

Rebecca has spent her career driving innovation in organizations not recognized for their flexibility or engagement with technology. She delivered solutions for 28 Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry across Australia and the UK, pioneering the uptake of electronic evidence management. An advocate for women in tech, she serves on several committees and nonprofit programs aimed at inspiring more girls to explore IT paths.

Joy Murao
Founder and Principal Consultant
Practice Aligned Resources

Joy’s nominators call her an inspiration to many to “step out and pay it forward.” In addition to founding her own strategy firm, where she finds innovative solutions for clients’ legal practice challenges, Joy teaches e-discovery at UCLA Extension and launched “Empowering Women Workshops,” a quarterly event series where women across professional backgrounds gather to gain new tools for growth.

Mimi Singh
General Counsel and Director of Consulting
Sandline Discovery

Mimi was recognized for her can-do attitude, mastery of Relativity, thoughtful approach to client challenges, and quick wit. She mentors her teammates to excel at e-discovery, inspiring the team and clients every day to be better themselves at Relativity.

To learn more about our finalists, browse their full nomination details and background in the voter survey. And don’t miss the tech submissions previewed earlier this week.

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April Runft is a member of the marketing communications team at Relativity, specializing in content development.