Meet Eric P. Mandel, KLDiscovery’s Director of Global Advisory Services

Thursday, May 9, 2024 by KLD Team

In 2023, KLDiscovery saw record-breaking revenue attainment. This was achieved through ongoing strategic investments, including bringing new experts onboard to expand the team and resources available to clients. In an earlier blog post, we kicked off a series of articles to highlight the foundational elements of people, processes, and technology that propelled our success in 2023 and position us for even further growth in 2024 and beyond. This post shines a light on one of the new experts on our team, Eric P. Mandel, KLDiscovery’s Director of Global Advisory Services.

The conversation provides a window into the level of expertise new team members bring to the table while highlighting our culture of innovation, continuous improvement, and inclusion of professionals with a wide variety of invaluable experience.


Eric P. Mandel

“What I love about eDiscovery is that it leads to a time capsule containing the ground truth in the form of authentic, contemporaneous electronic evidence.”

Eric P. Mandel
Director of Global Advisory Services


KLDiscovery invested in hiring 335 new experts in 2023 and you were one of them. Tell us about your career path from undergraduate studies through your current role at KLDiscovery. How have your past experiences prepared you for success in your new position?

My career path is not a traditional one. To start, I have a BFA degree in stage and production management for the performing arts. My first job out of college was in the mailroom at a major television studio, and I was able to work my way up there quickly in large part because I understood and was good with computers. I noticed many of the people in studio roles I was interested in pursuing—such as head of production—had Juris Doctor degrees. After a couple years I made the decision to go to law school to further my professional opportunities in the studio system. At the time, I had no intention to practice law. But after obtaining my law degree in 1995 I nonetheless took and passed the California bar exam. I then spent a decade holding a variety of legal and business positions in and outside the entertainment industry. During that time, I was a leader of two start-ups, the first a film production company and the second a dot-com. After leaving Los Angeles, I then joined my third start-up in 2006: an eDiscovery data collections and forensics provider. I was the third employee with the combined role of general manager, chief cook, and bottle washer. That is where I found my calling in the still developing areas of information law and legal technology.

You have worked at the intersection of law and technology for decades. What keeps you engaged in this field?

The law is about the search for truth and justice. We have an adversarial system with two sides responsible for gathering the available evidence and presenting it to the finder(s) of fact—usually a jury—in a court of law. The judge is there to make determinations of law and instruct the jury on how to apply the facts to the law. But the system doesn't work without evidence to prove or disprove a material fact in contention. What I love about eDiscovery is that it leads to a time capsule containing the ground truth in the form of authentic, contemporaneous electronic evidence. With the help of technology, we can often find out what was happening at a moment in time before anyone suspected there could be a problem; before anyone had a chance to "massage" the facts.

The flip side is the work I do on proactive information governance and privacy management. Information risk is real, and the costs of discovery, regulatory compliance, and data breaches are burning holes in corporate budgets. It is frighteningly easy for companies to pretend the massive, ever-expanding, hidden volumes of ESI stored in enterprise systems just do not exist—right up until legal or regulatory discovery raises its ugly head, or worse, there has been a data breach. I find satisfaction when working with organizations on a proactive basis to "look the beast in the eye" and build a pathway to gain control over their big data problems.

How has advisory services evolved in a changing legal environment and how do you see KLDiscovery’s service offerings addressing challenges arising from these shifts in the industry?

I see advisory services as the tip of the spear, providing high level and high-quality advice to inside and outside legal counsel. We offer a combination of technical and legal experience to lawyers who may be struggling with the complex nuances of eDiscovery and modern technology, including the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal process.

Lawyers often need somebody in a trusted advisory role who can not only help them translate what their legal requirements are into technological processes and steps, but also expand their understanding and consideration of the issues, enabling them to make rational, informed decisions for the benefit of their clients. KLDiscovery’s Advisory Services are a combination of translation, mapping, process development, and technology implementation to find the optimal way to attain a client’s goals within their allocated resources and budget.

Over the years, you have gained recognition as a thought leader in the industry. What groups are you involved in, and how did that evolve?

I started in eDiscovery right before the 2006 amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure came into effect. The industry was ready to explode. I joined EDRM and through my involvement with that group I had the good fortune to develop relationships with many of the early pioneers in the eDiscovery space. During those first few years, I was just absorbing information like a massive sponge. Somehow it all made sense to me. I quickly expanded into information governance, privacy, and data protection. My contacts then encouraged me to join The Sedona Conference® Working Group 1, followed by Working Groups 6 and 11. Over time I also started doing work with ACEDS and was asked to serve as the charter co-president of the Twin Cities Chapter. Later, I was invited to work on revising a section of the ACEDS exam test prep book and then participating in the very interesting process of updating and validating questions to be used in the ACEDs exam.

What drives you to continue your work with these organizations?

I truly enjoy the thought leadership work I do. I appreciate the intellectual aspects of drafting and dialoguing with a lot of smart people, and I like to think that some of the published work product will outlive me. I have developed a large professional network of attorneys, technologists, judges, and academics from around the world, which has led to interesting work for me and my colleagues. Finally, I am guided by one particular value my mother drove into me: the value of service. In doing this work, I can give back to a community that gave me a career I love.

We thank Eric for sharing his time and expertise to give us a glimpse behind the scenes. His viewpoint sheds light on how the investments KLDiscovery continues to make in hiring experienced practitioners positions the company for sustained growth with ever-expanding client services and solutions.

Read more stories spotlighting KLDiscovery’s experts and investments on our blog.