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Meet Our People | Rick Otto



Every month, we will be featuring one of our employees to give you a better look at the people powering Special Counsel and D4. This month, we are focusing on Rick Otto, Director of Continuous Improvement at Special Counsel/D4.

1. How did you get into eDiscovery?

Otto: I have worked in technology since out of college, and was brought up in a technology household. (Dad was a computer programmer and Mom was an electronic technician at a Hospital). In college I did my undergrad in Pre-Law, technically Economics and Political Science. In 2009, I wanted to go another direction I stumbled upon the eDiscovery world. I found a job posting, working for Special Counsel’s own Olivia Gerroll. She took a chance on me and hired me. I have enjoyed it immensely, and appreciate her confidence and taking a chance when hiring me.  

2. What is your favorite part about your job at Special Counsel/D4?

Otto: First is, the cutting edge technology and workflows that I get to experience every day. We are exposed on a regular basis to some very cutting edge tools, concepts and workflows. The second part is my co-workers and their willingness to teach and help others learn. There is no way everyone can know every tool at D4. We have great SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) who will take the time to help you understand and explain how to implement the tools and workflows.

3. What is one workflow/tip that you think every client should know about?

Otto: Categorization in Relativity, and the ability to create your own “smoking gun” document. Chad Jones and I worked on a project with other 300K records. We had the client create what they would think was a smoking gun document in an employment tampering case. We then loaded that document to the system and used it as an exemplar to “teach” the system. The system spit out under 200 records as “matches.” The client had us produce every single one of them. They would never let us use their experience OR get testimonials from them, but they said they were VERY happy with the results. This workflow and use model is so powerful in cases where the clients know exactly what they are looking for. The real key is that it works on concepts instead of keywords.

4. What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Otto: My co-workers. Everyone at Special Counsel is so willing to help each other, and share their knowledge. I’ve experienced other workplaces where knowledge is treated top secret, and people are hesitant to share with others. It is very frustrating. Special Counsel is totally the opposite, and it is absolutely refreshing to work with people who are genuinely interested in sharing and developing an internal knowledge base with their colleagues.