Meet eMerge Alumni Briordy Meyers
May 5 2022
Tell us about how you got started at eMerge?
I first met Alison Grounds at an EDI conference and was immediately impressed with her grasp of eDiscovery and by extension, eMerge and its progressive approach to thinking creatively and comprehensively about law and technology in the eDiscovery space. In the back of my mind, I thought that it would be a sort of eDiscovery utopia and great place to work for discovery attorneys like myself. When my wife got a job in Atlanta, my first call was to Alison to see if there was room for me at eMerge. Luckily, there was, and I started with eMerge in September 2017.
Can you tell us about your position now?
Currently I am director and senior counsel-eDiscovery for Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical organization headquartered in Germany. I am responsible for the discovery program and eDiscovery workflows for the U.S. organization related to litigation and government investigations. But what this means in practice is that I also deal with a lot of cross-border data transfers from the EU and by extension, data privacy issues related to compliance with the GDPR. EU and U.S. data privacy laws are sort of the context in which our eDiscovery workflows operate.
What were some skills you’ve gained from your time at eMerge that have benefited you the most in your current role?
So many! Prior to my time at eMerge, I was lucky to work with some really amazing eDiscovery thought leaders on the partner level at distinguished law firms, but I think what eMerge did is really re-set my eDiscovery skill set and perspective. eMerge sharpened some of my technical skills by challenging me as an attorney to learn what legal technologists know. I learned the true value of integrating attorneys and legal technologists to solve problems together, share legal and technology context and challenges with each other, and build communication skills essential to closing problematic gaps that often exist in eDiscovery workflows. I saw the value in organizing my eDiscovery practice by phases of the EDRM, identifying salient workflow data points and leveraging them for metrics-based insights. eMerge also sharpened my legal skills. Every attorney thinks he/she knows the basics of attorney-client privilege and work product claims, but eMerge’s organized training and approach to privilege were so thoughtful and rigorous that my privilege claim analysis was sharpened. I also got the opportunity to dig more deeply and consistently into trending eDiscovery case law and was challenged to keep up to date with how courts were responding downstream to eDiscovery decision points. One of the biggest things I got from my time at eMerge, however, is simply re-setting my perspective on discovery and remembering that it can be fun. So many eDiscovery practitioners slog through documents and deadlines leveraging outdated technology and workflows that boredom, stress, and exhaustion are common occupational hazards. eMerge reminded me that eDiscovery can be dynamic problem solving and fun. It’s not just a task to be completed in a legal dispute, but rather the place for innovation, creative thinking, and teamwork. Ultimately done right, it’s the nucleus of successful litigation preparation. Amazingly, eMerge’s core values focused on actually being more efficient for their clients. They are dedicated to doing things faster and better and building long-term relationships. That was something I could believe in, which is really important. What you spend the majority of your time on should be purposeful and meaningful on a higher level. Although it should not be an outlier, the fact is that approach and dedication really are unique attributes in our industry.
Can you tell us about your relationship with eMerge?
Right now, eMerge is Boehringer’s go-to eDiscovery team in the U.S. We have used it for litigation risk assessments, M 365 consulting, artificial intelligence proof of concepts, and both large- and small-scale document review. I jump at the opportunity to have eMerge come talk to us and share its knowledge around law and technology with as many people as I can, and I look at them as my most trusted eDiscovery resource.
How has the eDiscovery landscape changed in the last 10 years?
eDiscovery has really exploded over the last 10 years, tracking the meteoric increase in data volumes, types, and technology. Layered on top of that are the challenges with emerging data privacy law and regulations across the globe. Not just in the EU but in the U.S. — really everywhere. We are living in a period of accelerated data generation at the same exact point in time where regulation around personal information is both burgeoning and becoming more exacting. The new challenge now is how do we keep up with all the changes in law and technology, while sifting through the enormous volumes that businesses generate every day? It really puts an emphasis on the left side of the EDRM and re-setting the U.S. legal approach to what is proportional to the needs of the case. For me, I try to find the overlap between necessity, proportionality, data minimization, and purpose to streamline eDiscovery workflows and strengthen defensibility. It is really helpful to know that there are organizations like eMerge out there with people who are not only thinking of the above as experts, but also thinking about what is coming around the corner.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
Outside of work I like to read, travel, exercise, watch movies, and spend time with my two three-year-old’s. Much like how eMerge re-set me from an eDiscovery perspective, my children have re-set me on the bigger picture. Their excitement around learning, building new skill sets, problem solving, and seeing and doing new things is inspiring. It reminds me that life itself is more than pushing through the work that we do just to get to the end of the day. (Although they are exhausting!)