9 Instructors That Inspired My Litigation Support Career

Panel DiscussionIn the beginning of my litigation support career I remember attending industry events, listening to the speakers and taking a bunch of notes. I was a human sponge, learning from people that were willing to put themselves out there as leaders in our industry.

For those of you near my age, you might recognize some of these people. Some of them are still teaching, a few have escaped our industry (as I like to describe it) and one is no longer with us.

I want to personally thank all of these individuals for contributing to my career in litigation support.

Despina KartsonDespina Kartson

The first book I read on litigation support was co-authored by Despina Kartson and Norman Strizek. It was called Computerized Litigation Support and it was published in 1993. Despina started out as a legal assistant for a major firm and then she got the bug for litigation support. When I met her in person, she was working with Uniscribe, a service provider. Despina has since escaped the litigation support industry, but I wish she had stayed.

James KeaneJim Keane

We lost Jim in 2005. He was a real advocate for the litigation support industry. He formed a local DC area educational group called Litigation Support Caucus and he pulled together meetings every other month or so. He co-authored a book called Litigation Support Systems, An Attorney's Guide with Ronald Staudt. He was a great guy and quite the networker.

I ran a google search to see what I could find about him. I found this interesting article in his own words entitled Breaking Away, Breaking Traditions, Combining Technology and the Law. Very cool. I found this nice tribute to him written by Simon Chester. Jim accomplished so much on behalf of this industry and he has been missed.

Sam SolomonSam Solomon

I equate Sam Solomon with courtroom technology. Sam was very passionate about his work. He gave riveting presentations and he would bring the hardware with him to the conferences and demonstrate how to use it. He founded the company DOAR and he built a beautiful mock courtroom facility just outside of New York City. I went to New York to attend the grand opening. It was amazing. Sam has escaped this industry but he has not stopped creating businesses. Here is a page about his background and current interests.

Tim PiganelliTim Piganelli

Tim Piganelli was one of main guys that taught me about trial consulting, using trial presentation software and how best to present to juries. I am always drawn to those speakers that are very passionate about their work. Tim is no exception. Tim is still working in the industry consulting in everything related to strategies at trial. I found these two videos on YouTube in case you want to see his teaching in action. Video 1 and Video 2. Here is a link to his website.

Michael ArkfeldMichael Arkfeld

I have written about Michael Arkfeld before in terms of his resources I have used. However, I also attended many presentations where he was a speaker. He always managed to inject some humor into his examples and stories. Michael is still teaching in our industry.

Craig BallCraig Ball

Craig Ball has been teaching for many years. Here is a list of his upcoming speaking events and popular content. We can always rely on Craig to “keep it real”. He tells it like it is. You can check out his blog here and you should subscribe.

George SochaGeorge Socha

I knew George Socha “before he got famous.” Ha! He was practicing at a firm when he began speaking at the industry conferences. He is another passionate speaker, which is now obvious by all of the contributions he has made to our industry since going out on his own. Here is a previous article I wrote about the EDRM model that George co-founded. Here is a video of George sharing knowledge from the ILTA conference in 2012. Watch for his smirk!

John TredennickJohn Tredennick

John Tredennick is another one of those litigators that was practicing law and embracing technology. He was so passionate about litigation databases that he founded a company that built a web-based repository that many use in our industry. He co-authored several books, but I like that he wrote a book called The Lawyer's Guide to Excel — that tells you how much he has embraced technology in the practice of law. John has been speaking at industry events for years and he is still involved in educating others. Here is a page about his background.

Ken WithersKen Withers

When Ken Withers was with the Federal Judicial Center, he was teaching everyone, including me. He spoke at many of the conferences. He started out working in a firm and he has been working with the Sedona Conference for years now. He has dedicated his career to educating attorneys about electronic discovery issues. This is Ken's personal website that he started years ago.


  1. Amy,

    Thanks for remembering Jim Keane. He was a dear friend and a wonderful mentor. Without him, I would know nothing about litigation support and never would have started in on electronic discovery.

    George Socha

    1. You’re welcome. He definitely inspired me as well. Where would we be without you in this industry?

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