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Mary Mack

Mary Mack, CEO and chief legal technologist at the EDRM, leads the project based organization and is the former...

Kaylee Walstad

Kaylee Walstad, chief strategy officer of the EDRM, leads the global project based organization and is the former VP...

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Sharon D. Nelson

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. is president of the digital forensics, managed information technology and cybersecurity firm Sensei Enterprises. Ms....

John W. Simek

John W. Simek is vice president of the digital forensics, managed information technology and cybersecurity firm Sensei Enterprises. He...

Episode Notes

Digital Detectives Sharon Nelson and John Simek welcome Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad to discuss the current happenings at the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). Mary and Kaylee recently acquired the EDRM from the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School and will continue to collaborate closely with Duke as they move forward. They discuss their new roles, current notable projects in the EDRM community, ways people can get involved, and their plans for the future.

Mary Mack is chief executive officer and chief legal technologist at the EDRM.

Kaylee Walstad is chief strategy officer of the EDRM.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.


Digital Detectives

The EDRM’s Mary Mack & Kaylee Walstad Unplugged





Intro: Welcome to Digital Detectives, reports from the battlefront. We will discuss computer forensics, electronic discovery and information security issues and what’s really happening in the trenches; not theory, but practical information that you can use in your law practice, right here on the Legal Talk Network.




Sharon D. Nelson: Welcome to the 110th Edition of Digital Detectives. We are glad to have you with us. I am Sharon Nelson, President of Sensei Enterprises, a digital forensics, cybersecurity, and information technology firm in Fairfax, Virginia.


John W. Simek: And I am John Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises. Today on Digital Detectives our topic is, ‘The EDRM’s Mary Mack & Kaylee Walstad Unplugged’.


Sharon D. Nelson: Before we get started, I would like to say a thank you. Thank you to our sponsor Logikcull, instant discovery software for modern legal teams. Logikcull offers perfectly predictable pricing at just $250 per matter per month. Create your free account at anytime at


John W. Simek: Today our guests are Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad.


Mary is the CEO and Chief Legal Technologist of EDRM. Mary leads the project-based organization and is the former Executive Director of ACEDS, the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists. Mary is the author of, “A Process of Illumination: The Practical Guide to Electronic Discovery”, considered by many to be the first popular book on e-discovery. Mary’s security certifications include the CISSP, that’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional and the CIAM (Certified Identity and Access Manager).


Kaylee is the Chief Strategy Officer of EDRM and leads the global project-based organization and is the former VP of Client Engagement at ACEDS. Kaylee is a frequent public speaker on a variety of topics, from personal development to the nuances of e-discovery. She has extensive expertise in developing cross-organizational discovery strategies for large litigation and investigations.


Kaylee is a Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) and a Certified Identity Management Professional (CIMP).


Welcome to the podcast both Mary and Kaylee.


Mary Mack: Thank you John and thank you Sharon. We are so honored to be on your 110th edition. It’s just amazing. What a milestone.


Sharon D. Nelson: Thank you Mary.


Kaylee Walstad: Absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for the invitation. We are big huge fans.


Sharon D. Nelson: Well, we like having a fan club. The presidency is open, if anybody wants to grab it.


John W. Simek: I think these ladies are pretty busy right now, Sharon.


Sharon D. Nelson: Well, actually we would be president of their fan clubs, it would work in reverse.


So today we are mixing up our format a little bit with a hat tip to David Letterman. We are going to ask our questions backwards from question ten to number one, so stay with us.


So the first question is, are you guys going to exercise editorial or other control over the EDRM projects?


Mary Mack: We are going to support the project trustees and basically the project leaders and the project contributors, which is the project team, and the most that we would do would be make sure that the teams that put the content together are harmonized, if you will, but many of the teams take that on themselves. So we are not going to exercise any kind of top-down approach. We are looking for people that want to champion projects and so the leaders and the participants and the contributors into the projects are the ones that will be doing the definition.


If they need coaching and/or support, we will be there for them, but we are not going to exercise a heavy hand, if you will.


Kaylee, did I miss anything on that?


Kaylee Walstad: Absolutely not, that was perfect.


John W. Simek: So tell our listeners a little bit about EDRM’s distribution, both globally and the verticals that it serves.


Kaylee Walstad: I will take this one. We are really, really excited about the EDRM’s distribution. It’s a question we have been asked quite frequently as this top 10, as you well know, is a whole list of that. But as Mary went through our list, when we acquired the EDRM, it was quite stunning. The EDRM is in 113 countries.




Our biggest group of subscribers would be corporations, at 33%, law firms, and these are global corporations and law firms as well, 30%. Software platforms and service providers at 17%, and then we have consultants, somewhat like the big four, Deloitte, EY, etc., at 8%, education at 4% and government at 7%, and then there is a 1% that is either not subscribed or blank. But we are super excited about where the EDRM is.


And it’s funny John and Sharon, before we even acquired the EDRM, the EDRM is the framework of our e-discovery industry and this past year we had the good fortune to go to a lot of places outside of the US where Mary spoke or we opened new chapters and did a variety of different things and the EDRM was in every slide presentation.


Mary, do you remember your famous quote that now we have said one million times?


Mary Mack: Oh gee, how can I forget my famous quote? I just called the EDRM like the graffiti, the international graffiti of e-discovery. It’s like written on every wall or there is some sort of posters that’s hung up or it’s on the whiteboards and in the slide decks and things like that. So we couldn’t be happier to steward George Socha’s life work.


Kaylee Walstad: And Tom Gelbmann.


Mary Mack: And Tom Gelbmann, yes.


John W. Simek: It is multicolored too, so that kind of works Mary.


Mary Mack: Yeah.


Kaylee Walstad: She actually told George Socha that and he just laughed. She is like the EDRM is like graffiti.


Sharon D. Nelson: We may have encouraged a lot of graffiti writing here. They are going to come for us with buckets of soap and a sponge. So I hope not.


Mary Mack: Yeah, it’s going to be all that whiteouts, the glaciers.


Sharon D. Nelson: And we know how well that works.


Okay, so I did listen to another podcast or webinar that you all did and I was very fascinated by the question, what projects are active, because obviously some people didn’t think that there were some — that maybe there were some that were and some that weren’t. So who is active?


Mary Mack: Well, we are blessed with a very nice group of ongoing projects, so some of them would include, there is a privileged project that’s running on two tracks; one is more of a substantive and the other is more of a — like how to get the substantive done to reduce the amount of time and the cost for dealing with privilege logs. So there is that one.


There is the GDPR project and that aim is to create a code of conduct that would be acceptable to a data protection authority in the EU for purposes of monitoring. And there is a whole team that is working that one.


There is the Evergreen project I will call it and that is keeping the EDRM updated and for — as things change, like one of the things that we are addressing would be in-place preservation and some of the tools have moved — move things forward or move things back in the model and how to best represent that, how to best represent things like security and privacy throughout the EDRM lifecycle.


There is a reinvigorated IGRM, so the Information Governance aspect that Eric Sedwick, who is with TIAA-CREF, will be — he will be the project trustee on that one.


And it even goes into things like stop words and some of the things that if we can agree across organization can really save time, save money, reduce errors in transferring data from platform to platform or from service provider to service provider, law firm to service provider. There are so many transfers of data that if we can come to agreement on things like — in the forensics world, NIST list of hash codes, that’s sort of a shorthand for yeah, we are not going to argue that you took those things out. They are not user created data. And that’s sort of become a best practice, the best community supported practice and we are looking to do those kinds of things.


John W. Simek: For the listeners that have lost track of where we are, we are in question number seven now. Tell us, how do people get involved with EDRM?




Kaylee Walstad: This is a great question and it’s a very easy thing to do. There are many ways to get involved. One is, do you see an area of need where a project within the EDRM can help put together a new process and sort of outline maybe new ways to handle difficult data situations, etc. We have had quite a few reach outs from the community, globally actually each area has a different set of issues or problems or challenges, so a new project is one way.


Secondarily, everyone has something to contribute and so the projects are multidisciplinary, not hierarchal and so you can come and contribute, learn, and be part of one of these projects that are working diligently to make a difference.


You can also, we have a brand-new robust partner program through the EDRM and you can get involved with us and the community, helping educate via podcasts like yours or webinars, share your service or technology.


So Mary, am I missing anything?


Mary Mack: We will be starting up our blog as well, so we welcome blog entries and just reach out, reach out to either Mary or [email protected] and we will connect you with the people that you should connect with, depending on what your interest level is. We would love to meet whoever you are.


Sharon D. Nelson: Well, that sounds like a mighty open invitation, so I hope some of our listeners will take you up on that.


I know one of the questions, and we are now at six, counting it down, is the community created material from EDRM going to remain under Creative Commons?


Mary Mack: Absolutely, absolutely. That’s one of the things George Socha and Tom Gelbmann did is, they pioneered the idea of community created content, and right now it’s under a 3.0 license, which is anyone can use it, remix it, adapt it, as long as there is attribution back. And I am socializing with our project trustees upgrading from 3.0 Creative Commons to 4.0, which has got more robust protections for intellectual property internationally.


And conversely, if there are things that people want to contribute, but they don’t necessarily want it to be Creative Commons and it’s their IP, we also can annotate postings on our site so it distinguishes itself from the community created IP, intellectual property, and also the other option is to link to a website like yours, Sharon and John. Say you have got a forensics checklist you want to share, but you don’t necessarily want it to be mixed and remixed and used commercially under those terms, you could specify what terms you would like and host it on your own site and we would link to it.


John W. Simek: Well, before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.




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Sharon D. Nelson: Welcome back to Digital Detectives on the Legal Talk Network. Today our topic is ‘The EDRM’s Mary Mack & Kaylee Walstad Unplugged’. Mary is the CEO and Chief Legal Technologist of EDRM and Kaylee is the Chief Strategy Officer of EDRM.


John W. Simek: I think Sharon we need to make sure that we announce where we are at in the step. So we are at number five now, I think I need to do that so I don’t get confused.


Sharon D. Nelson: I am with you. I am with you. I am sure the audience is — they have never heard us go backwards and obviously we are stumbling through the backwards.


John W. Simek: I am backwards enough already without numbers.


So the next question up is, is EDRM a profit or not-for-profit?


Mary Mack: EDRM is for profit at this point. When we got the opportunity we were on a pretty quick turn and that allowed us to be able to zig and zag. We are following in the footsteps of George Socha and Tom Gelbmann and the EDRM from its first, I think ten years was also for profit.




However, as we discussed earlier, the community created content will remain so and we basically purchased an obligation to safeguard that for the benefit of the community, regardless of corporate status.


Sharon D. Nelson: So I gather that Duke is still going to be involved. Is that correct?


Kaylee Walstad: Yes, they are and we are very excited about working with Duke Law and the Bolch Judicial Institute. They are a foundational partner for the EDRM. They are also assisting and supporting one of our biggest projects that Mary talked about, the GDPR, and they have just been absolutely fantastic to Mary and I in support of transitioning the EDRM, but yet remaining as a partner and active and assisting as we move forward.


Mary Mack: The other way they are still involved is there is an invitation to submit articles to Judicature and that’s a Duke-Bolch publication that is sent out to federal judges in the United States and then some of the chief state justices and subscribers. So it’s a very, very well thought of, high-level legal publication.


John W. Simek: So we are at number three now, and I think what a lot of folks are wondering is, did you resign from ACEDS because you were going to acquire EDRM?


Mary Mack: That is really interesting. Kaylee, do you want to take the question?


Sharon D. Nelson: Are you guys passing the buck here?


Kaylee Walstad: No, we are absolutely not. In fact, when Mary resigned and I resigned shortly thereafter, we didn’t know exactly where we were going to go or what we were going to do. When the announcement went out from ACEDS’ parent company BARBRI, that notice got a lot of attention and the copy attention of Duke, who was looking to find new stewards for the EDRM, specifically as Mary said, and I actually don’t know if you said that, but they received a large named endowment.


It somewhat changed the — what was important to Duke at the time or Bolch Judicial Institute, and so they weren’t sure whether the EDRM, if that still was super relevant. Additionally, they also weren’t I think prepared, am I saying this right Mary, for how much administrative work there would be with the EDRM in terms of supporting a volunteer organization, etc., and so they reached out to us and it was the right time, right place, and it has just been fantastic.


Mary Mack: Yeah, 60 days later we were on a whole different path.


Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah, you were reinventing yourselves, which is something you are both very good at doing. So we were going to talk about why did Duke sell, but I think we kind of covered that, didn’t we?


Kaylee Walstad: It’s part of the story.


Mary Mack: The only thing I will add to that is that their focus is, the Duke-Bolch focus now is the International Rule of Law and so EDRM fits into that in that context, and so you will see Duke working with us on that.


And Kaylee, I think you said it right, volunteer organizations, they take some care and feeding and support and we work in the legal vertical, everybody is so busy, they are hourly billing or they are timekeepers and so to be available at the time the volunteers are available and then providing that level of support given that their mission was shifting into I think a broader mission, that this was a subpart of, that’s the reason that they were looking for the new steward.


John W. Simek: So we are at number one, the last one, and I know that everybody is really interested in your business model, but how are you going to make Mr. Green?


Mary Mack: That’s definitely a Kaylee question.


Kaylee Walstad: I do not want to over talk at all. And it’s funny, Mr. Green, we have actually been asked that and it is number one for a reason. Even Sharon, on the webinar that you listen to somebody typed that into the questions.


Mary Mack: It was the first question we got.


Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah, that’s amazing, isn’t it? But it does — I can understand that you have this thing that you have got now and how are you going to monetize it. I mean where is the money coming from?




Kaylee Walstad: So Mary can jump in and I will start us out. I think as I was talking about our partner program, it is a really robust program and we have the good fortune of having service providers and platforms really offer monetary support for events, for education, for our services that help them and grow their brand. And so I would say one would be the partner program which we have had, a very large amount of incoming interest, which is exceptional.


Mary, do you want to talk about technical training?


Mary Mack: Sure. So as part of leaving well, when we did leave, we agreed not to do certain things like certifications or general e-discovery or non-vendor based or non-technical types of things and we have got 10 months left on that, it’s a year agreement. So we will be putting together some technical training around things like collecting from the cloud, the various Amazon, Google, Microsoft, also some of the adjacent aspects of e-discovery, like security, access and identity, some of the things both Kaylee and I are experienced in.


The privacy aspect of things; neither one of us are certified in privacy. Those opportunities would likely go to our GDPR contributors and trustees, but Kaylee and I have never been at a loss for things to do and things that we are asked, and we were pretty amazed in our last incarnation that the majority of requests were not around certifications. They were around other things, and some of the other things were technical training, some of it was social media amplification, career counseling, strategy consulting, you would not believe the thing.


Well, actually the two of you I bet are sources of similar things. People look at what you have accomplished and they say hey, can you help us do that too, and so we did get a lot of that.


Sharon D. Nelson: Well, I don’t think you are going to have any trouble making Mr. Green, and I can see it being the number one question, but you two are so enthusiastic and so energetic, anything that you put your mind to, I know you would succeed. And I know that you are extremely busy, starting this big project here, so we want to thank you, John and I, for being our guests today, Mary and Kaylee. Just a marvelous new chapter in the history of EDRM. I know it has a storied history and it’s great to see it kind of moving into another era and I think you guys will do just a brilliant job with it.


So we wish you all the best in this effort and again, thank you.


Kaylee Walstad: Thank you so much.


Mary Mack: Sharon and John, we have been fans of your work for a long, long time and thank you for having us on.


Kaylee Walstad: Thank you both so much. This is a true honor.


John W. Simek: Well, that does it for this edition of Digital Detectives. And remember you can subscribe to all the editions of this podcast at or in Apple Podcasts. And if you enjoyed our podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.


Sharon D. Nelson: You can find out more about Sensei’s digital forensics technology and cybersecurity services at


We will see you next time on Digital Detectives.




Outro: Thanks for listening to Digital Detectives on the Legal Talk Network. Check out some of our other podcasts on and in iTunes.



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Episode Details
Published: December 20, 2019
Podcast: Digital Detectives
Category: Legal Technology
Digital Detectives
Digital Detectives

Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek invite experts to discuss computer forensics as well as information security issues.

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