Executive Team

Patrick Oot

Patrick Oot is a partner in the DC office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP and co-founder of The Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI). He is one of the few e-discovery and compliance attorneys in the nation that possesses the tripartite experience of an in-house corporate counsel from a Fortune 16 organization; a senior attorney at a federal regulatory agency; and a partner in a large law firm. Patrick has extensive experience advising on discovery and investigative matters involving commercial litigation, compliance, regulatory requests, antitrust matters and personnel issues. Combined with a deep understanding of forensics and enterprise technology platforms, Patrick’s experience advising clients on responding to federal agency requests under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is balanced by his broad-based skill in negotiating enterprise software license agreements for collaboration platforms, e-discovery software and enterprise level computer forensic tools.

Before joining Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Patrick served as senior special counsel for electronic discovery in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). During his tenure at SEC, Patrick co-chaired the agency’s cross-divisional Electronic Discovery Action Team and co-authored The SEC Electronic Discovery and Litigation Response Manual. He counseled SEC senior leadership and agency staff on best practices and guidance for discovery and litigation strategy and privilege protections and on strategically significant matters involving forensics, technology and ECPA interpretation for subpoena enforcement.

Robert Owen

A member of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan’s Litigation Practice Group, Bob Owen has more than 35 years of experience in New York commercial litigation. A nationally recognized adviser to financial services, energy and technology companies, Bob is known for creative and efficient dispute resolution. He has handled hundreds of cases before federal and state courts and arbitration panels throughout the United States.  For more than 20 years, Bob led the commercial litigation boutique firm of Owen & Davis PC, which he co-founded. The 12-lawyer firm represented Fortune 500 clients in their complex litigation matters in the New York area and around the country.

Bob is widely recognized for his leadership in e-discovery, having been an early adopter of litigation support technology at Owen & Davis and then founding the E-Discovery and Information Management Practice at another national law firm. Currently, he is a member of the editorial advisory board of Law Technology News (American Law Media publication), a participant in the Managing Information and Records in the Electronic Age working group of The Sedona Conference, and a member of the Educational Advisory Cabinet for the Masters Conference. He is ranked as a Band 1 leading individual in Litigation: E-Discovery in both the Chambers Global and the Chambers USA directories, and is described by the publication as “a highly-regarded e-discovery specialist who wins market approval as ‘a stellar guy with a great reputation.’” 

A frequent speaker on jury trial techniques, Bob has served as a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s renowned National Session in Boulder, Colorado, and with the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association.

Bob is also a licensed private pilot.

Herbert L. Roitblat, Ph.D

Herb L. Roitblat is a co-founder and principal at OrcaTec LLC. Before starting Orcatec, Herb was Executive Vice President, Chief Scientist, and co-founder of DolphinSearch. He is the primary inventor of the core DolphinSearch technology (patent No. 6,189,002). His duties at DolphinSearch included new product development, business development and marketing as well as internal and external consulting on the processes of eDiscovery and related information management and data mining issues. Herb led the design of the DolphinSearch review tools, DIAD, and ComplianSeek, and was part of the team that brought concept searching and native file review to the eDiscovery industry. He was also responsible for DolphinSearch’s Federal Market efforts.

Herb is a recognized expert in cognitive science, information management, data mining, statistics and eDiscovery processes. He is the author of numerous papers on dolphin biosonar and neural network models of the dolphin sensory system. More recently he has been writing about data mining and how technology can ease the burden of eDiscovery. Herb was an award-winning Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii from 1985 until 2002. He taught courses in cognitive science and research methods. He has a B.A. degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California-Berkeley. He served as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Columbia University until he joined the faculty at the University of Hawaii. Herb is a Past President of the Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology of the American Psychological Association and Past President of the International Society for Adaptive Behavior. In 2002, he received the Clifford T. Morgan award for distinguished contributions to behavioral neuroscience and comparative psychology. Herb is a member of the Sedona Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production.

Ashish Prasad

Ashish Prasad is widely regarded among the leading experts on discovery in the United States. He is currrently the Vice President and General Counsel of eTera Consulting. Ashish has served, among other things, as Litigation Partner, Founder and Chair of the Mayer Brown LLP Electronic Discovery and Records Management Practice; Executive Editor of The Sedona Principles: Best Practices Recommendations & Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production (2004); Co-Editor in Chief of the Practicing Law Institute treatise Electronic Discovery Deskbook: Law and Practice (2009) and Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern University Law School.

In addition to having extensive experience in managing all aspects of discovery in litigation and investigations, and developing policies and procedures for electronic discovery, records management and legacy data management for corporations and law firms, Ashish has defended discovery compliance procedures before numerous courts and regulators.  Over the past decade, Ashish has authored over two dozen articles, and given over 100 legal education seminars on topics of electronic discovery before judges, practicing lawyers and industry groups in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Ashish is active in a wide variety of charitable organizations related to children’s health and education, including serving as a Board Member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago, and Pratham USA.  Ashish graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a Member of the Law Review, and the University of Michigan Honors College, where he graduated with High Honors and High Distinction.  He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and three children. 

Danielle Nicholson

Prior to joining EDI, Danielle Nicholson worked as an assistant to the Senior Director of Finance and Administration at the American Society for Cell Biology in Bethesda, MD. In this role, Danielle worked with the Coalition for Life Sciences and facilitated meetings with research scientists on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Danielle is a graduate of the College of Charleston, (Charleston, SC).

Danielle joined EDI in 2011 and currently serves as the Director of Marketing. She is responsible for the design, production and distribution of all marketing materials and oversees branding, development and maintenance of the organization’s marketing platforms, communications and websites. She has created and edited high-quality written materials including brochures, advertising copy, web copy and sales communications. Danielle designs conference programs, brochures and advertisements for both EDI and Georgetown Law CLE Programs. In addition to her marketing role, Danielle assists with program development, manages speaker and Ambassador outreach and manages event logistics for their annual Leadership Summit. 

Kurt Leeth

Kurt Leeth began his career as a Recruiting Assistant with LegalSource, a full-service legal staffing firm in Washington.  He joined EDI in 2012. 

Kurt is Director of Events at EDI.  He oversees the production of the annual EDI Leadership Summit, an event which brings together over 250 of the nation’s leading corporate attorneys, federal & state judges, records managers and IT professionals.  Kurt serves as the primary faculty liaison and is integral to the development of Summit’s content.  Additionally, Kurt assists in the management of the organization’s other educational initiatives, including the EDI’s joint venture with Georgetown Law CLE, eDiscovery for Federal Government Practitioners.

In addition to his role as Director of Events, Kurt partners with his colleague Danielle Nicholson to maintain EDI’s marketing platforms, communications and websites.  

Josiah Grandfield

Josiah Grandfield co-founded and acted as the Creative Director at VDO Station LLC, a multimedia production.  He has produced over 30 professional video productions tailored to small business video marketing and social media outreach. He has also worked as a creative freelance portrait videographer and photographer, and is certified as a Google Trusted Photographer.  Josiah graduated with a BA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Josiah is a member of the Production Team at the Electronic Discovery Institute. Along with Kari Barrington, Josiah serves as a video production specialist for EDI’s Distance Learning Program Initiative. In coordination with other industry leaders, EDI’s initiative works to create a comprehensive online educational video program pertaining to the most pertinent e-discovery topics and issues.


Kari Barrington

Kari Barrington served as a video editor and graphic designer at Performance Gateway, a software development company located in Madison, WI prior to joining EDI in 2014. In this position, she was responsible for creating and editing marketing collateral, the production and filming of training videos, developing motion graphics during post-production and keeping the brand identity up to par.

Kari has also served in a variety of positions, ranging from media management and videography, trade show representation, research, database development and client networking with corporate companies, non-profits and freelancers.

Kari graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2011 with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in advertising, and a minor in convergent media (consisting of graphic design, audio/video, web design, and photography). Following graduation, Kari completed an additional year of practical, hands on, media school in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kari is a member of the production team for The Electronic Discovery Institute. She is responsible for video pre-production, production and post-production for EDI’s Distance Learning Program initiative alongside Josiah Grandfield. The main goal of EDI’s Distance Learning Initiative is to complete an online educational video training portal for classes on eDiscovery and other litigation processes.  

Judy Kelly

Judy Kelly has extensive experience running conferences for the legal, financial and pharmaceutical industries. She began her career running internal meetings for the Corporate Finance Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co.  Prior to joining EDI, Judy spent six years at American Lawyer Media as the Senior Producer for the LegalTech Tradeshow and Conference. She simultaneously produced virtual tradeshows and conferences and niche events for in-house counsel, with a special focus on social media. Judy holds a B.A. with Honors in English Literature and is a graduate of the Humanities Honors Program at William Paterson University. 

Judy is the Senior Conference Producer for EDI. Her responsibilities include program and speaker management and administration for the annual EDI Leadership Summit.  Additionally, she contributes her writing and editing skills to EDI’s marketing endeavors and publications.   

Barbara Hanahan

Barbara Hanahan has a diverse background, starting as a paralegal and continuing her career on a progressive track from paralegal manager to seasoned litigation support professional. As a litigation support project manager at Winston & Strawn LLP, Barb was instrumental in developing best practices for its newly formed litigation support department in 2001. She transitioned to a sales engineer position with a tier one e-Discovery service provider in 2007. 

Barb has served ten terms as President of the Chicago Association of Litigation Support Managers (CALSM). Barb is equally well known for her participation and leadership roles in other industry professional groups. She is also a member of the Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program Technology Committee.

Barb received her BS from the University of Phoenix in Business Administration and Information Systems and has a paralegal certificate through an ABA-approved program.

Barb is currently the Director of Communications at EDI. She contributes to special event coordination and planning and currently serves as the Law Firm Liason for the Institute's annual Leadership Summit.