Earlier this year I was approached about joining the Board of Directors for the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) by a long-time friend and colleague, Daniel Gold. He was attempting to launch a Kansas City chapter from scratch and needed help.

I was personally familiar with ACEDS because I attend their reception every year at Law Week (f.k.a. Legal Tech), the largest eDiscovery technology conference, and because of their educational webinars and literature. I was excited to jump on board and be part of bringing it to Kansas City.

What is ACEDS?

For those of you who are not familiar, ACEDS is a global organization committed to helping professionals in various disciplines:

  • Improve and certify their eDiscovery knowledge and skill
  • Advance their careers
  • Increase their contacts
  • Increase overall competence in eDiscovery and related fields

One of the many purposes of ACEDS is to create a common baseline of terms and general knowledge in the world of eDiscovery. This may seem overly simple but in a relatively new industry that changes almost daily, it’s amazingly rare to have.

ACEDS isn’t a ‘vendor organization’, rather it is a cross pollination of everyone who touches eDiscovery:

  • Law firms
  • In-house lawyers
  • Paralegals
  • Litigation support managers
  • IT professionals
  • Software and service providers

ACEDS Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS) Certification

ACEDS is best known for their Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS) certification.

The CEDS examination is not a test of knowledge of any specific product, training course or software. It is the first technology-agnostic eDiscovery certification program focusing on 15 areas of knowledge as selected by a global taskforce of practicing eDiscovery experts and validated by an ACEDS-sponsored survey.

Participants can expect the test to last around 4 hours and if passed, they must re-certify every two years to keep the certification.

Why launch a KC Chapter of ACEDS?

Ok, now that you’re familiar with ACEDS and the CEDS certification – why do we care and why launch a KC Chapter?

The answer is simple: the more educated we are as a legal community on all things eDiscovery, the easier it is focus on the real issues of a case and not unnecessary eDiscovery issues based on misinformation or misunderstanding.

There is also the value of networking with others in this legal community, giving people a chance to get to know each other in a casual setting rather than only in adversarial situations.

“We can never underscore the true value of collaboration and education in our profession. The success that we all have in this industry is truly dependent upon our knowledge and understanding of eDiscovery,” said Daniel Gold, president of the Kansas City Chapter.

“ACEDS is a tremendous vehicle to helping every legal professional across the globe actively participate in learning, growing, and elevating themselves both in their careers as well as litigating every matter. Leveraging the incredible support of ACEDS, I can’t think of a better way to bring together like-minded attorneys, paralegals, litigation support, and IT professionals here in Kansas City.”

Get Involved with ACEDS-KC

If you have the privilege (or are forced to) deal with eDiscovery in your practice or profession, I would strongly urge you to get involved in ACEDS: Kansas City Chapter. Networking and education can both be a huge advantage when dealing with issues and when combined in a great organization such as ACEDS, the results can be even more powerful.

For more information about ACEDS, visit the KC Chapter page on their website and join the LinkedIn Group at ACEDS – Kansas City Chapter.

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