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Introducing the AI Catalyst Category in the 2021 Innovation Awards

Omar Haroun

Each year at Relativity Fest, we spend time recognizing organizations and individuals who build innovative solutions, break down barriers, and move technology forward. The Innovation Awards are the most formal and delightful way we have of celebrating the people who are taking the legal industry to the next level, again and again.

This year, after Text IQ joined the Relativity team in June, the timing seemed right to introduce a new category to the awards—something that would represent our communities coming together to support more effective and future-thinking innovations for our customers. After all, celebrating and supporting the meeting of brilliant minds is what Relativity Fest is all about. The Innovation Awards should be a reflection of every part of that neural network.

So we’re excited to announce that 2021's Innovation Awards ceremony will welcome our inaugural winner of the AI Catalyst award

Why AI—And Why Now?

As many legal teams know all too well, 80 percent of enterprise data is unstructured—and finding sensitive information buried within these large pools of data presents intractable challenges. The fact is that it's just harder to analyze unstructured data. Additionally, that data is growing at a faster rate than the human population.

Those intractable challenges just cannot be solved by humans. The scale simply doesn’t compute. Fortunately, artificial intelligence is an ever more accessible option as the challenges associated with data governance, privacy, and document reviews continue to erupt.

Still, the legal sector—including in-house and outside counsel—has often been perceived as a laggard when it comes to welcoming emerging technology. This reluctance may be true for some professionals in our space, but early adopters of AI have emerged to become a louder and more necessary source of inspiration and motivation for us all.

Our AI Catalyst nominees recognize the truths behind unmanageable data trends and the technology that can rein them in. These individuals have had the foresight and taken initiative to make early moves in adopting AI, and encouraging their colleagues and peers to do the same.

Whoever Could We Choose?

Whether you work in legal, compliance, or privacy, AI adoption is still very much in its infancy, and we have barely scratched the surface of its possibilities—or the panoply of applications and use cases it can support.

These deceptively calm waters have made the AI advocates in the field all the more notable, and we’re excited to say that we had many admirable names come to mind when we sought to choose an impressive group of nominees for the first-ever AI Catalyst award.

The nominees we’ve selected have applied AI in new and novel ways—from identifying privileged data and uncovering sensitive and high-risk information, to classifying data for better data governance, complying with privacy and other forms of regulations, and automating data breach response. 

Ultimately, our AI Catalyst will be someone who spurs action within their organization and evangelizes innovative technologies—specifically artificial intelligence. They are seen by peers as a leading voice whose vision for artificial intelligence advances the industry and inspires others to develop even more sophisticated ways to discover meaning in data.

Put simply, the winner of the AI Catalyst award must meet or exceed the following criteria: 

  1. Has a successful track record of applying AI-based capabilities to challenges relevant to the Relativity community. 
  2. Evangelizes the use of AI in a way that resonates with their contemporaries at multiple levels of expertise.
  3. Articulates a vision for the future of AI in legal tech and adjacent markets which inspires others to action.

Our Inaugural Nominees

It’s our privilege to introduce the eight nominees for this highly competitive award. Ahead of October’s ceremony during Relativity Fest, the winner will be chosen by a committee of Relativity and Text IQ team members based on the criteria described above. 

Nick Cole, Foley & Lardner

Nick is director of litigation support at Foley & Lardner. There, he helps clients and colleagues build smarter, more effective workflows that aid case teams in tackling tough challenges and big data. Recently, he helped save an estimated $10 million and complete an investigation project 10 times faster by applying active learning.

Ausra Deluard, Dentons

Ausra is partner & chair of the antitrust committee at Dentons, where she advises clients in a range of sectors on contentious and non-contentious antitrust matters relating to proposed mergers and acquisitions, gun-jumping, global pricing and distribution policies, competitor collaborations, and licensing arrangements.

Kate Jansons Johns, Nutter

As litigation support manager at Nutter, Kate is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Nutter’s e-discovery and litigation support initiatives, trainings, infrastructure, applications, and resources. She provides direct consultation to the firm’s attorneys, senior management, and clients. Kate’s deep knowledge and utilization of emerging technology and workflow processes enhance the firm’s efficiency and reduce costs.

Josh Kreamer, AstraZeneca

Josh is director of e-discovery at AstraZeneca, and a leading mind in the e-discovery space, with over a dozen years of experience in the field. As director of e-discovery, Josh develops and drives big picture strategy and acts as a trusted advisor to key players in litigation, legal operations, and IT. Josh is also a faculty member at the eDiscovery Institute (EDI) and a member of the New York and DC Bars.

Katherine Lowry, BakerHostetler

As director of practice services, Katherine leads BakerHostetler’s innovative legal R&D team, IncuBaker, which helps lawyers and clients navigate the intersection of digital business, emerging technology, and law. She manages transformational technology initiatives such as augmentation of legal services using AI and intelligent automation, increasing enterprise data maturity and data literacy, developing smart legal contracts, and the delivery of information and research services.

Bobby Malhotra, Munger, Tolles and Olson

Bobby is e-discovery counsel with Munger, Tolles & Olson, where his practice focuses on navigating complex e-discovery litigation issues using his unique combination of both technical knowledge and legal expertise. As a member of the firm’s litigation practice group, he develops innovative, cost-effective, and defensible strategies for the preservation, collection, review, and production of electronically stored information.

Briordy Meyers, Boehringer Ingelheim (BI)

Briordy serves as director & senior counsel in e-discovery for Boehringer Ingelheim USA. He joined the company in June of 2018 where he focuses on directing Boehringer’s e-discovery workflows, systems, and legal strategy. Briordy also works closely with Boehringer’s data privacy officers to ensure compliance with US data privacy laws and cross-border transfers of data subject to the GDPR.

David Orensten, Cardinal Health

David, assistant general counsel in litigation at Cardinal Health, is responsible for managing litigation and government investigations for the company’s pharmaceutical, medical, and corporate segments. In his role, David has served as primary in-house counsel on more than 500 litigation matters, including numerous high-stakes lawsuits and government investigations.

Join us in congratulating each of these bright minds over the coming weeks.

Our winner will be announced at Relativity Fest on October 6. Join us as we recognize our first AI Catalyst during the 2021 Innovation Awards. Learn more about the Relativity Fest Innovation Awards here, and register for Relativity Fest—totally virtual and totally free this year—here.

Artwork for this article was created by Sarah Vachlon, Kael Rose, and Natalie Andrews.

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As cofounder and chief operating officer of Text IQ, a Relativity company, Omar Haroun drives the commercialization efforts and executive relationships for one of the fastest-growing artificial intelligence companies in the US.