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PROJECT MANAGERS

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John Tober, CEO

Managing Project Director

In addition to Mr. Tober’s role as CertaTech’s CEO he serves as a Managing Project Director with oversight responsibilities for all CertaTech projects.  Mr. Tober also serves as a Senior Project Manager on certain select engagements.  As a partner in one of the most power litigation law firms in the world, Mr. Tober has been a leader in the development of project management tools, e-discovery management, discovery work plans, and best practices discovery methods.  Mr. Tober has significant IT consultancy and litigation support management experience.

Rick Avers, President

Managing Project Director

In addition to Mr. Avers’ role as CertaTech’s President he serves as a Managing Project Director and shares oversight responsibilities for all CertaTech projects with Mr. Tober.  Mr. Avers also serves as a Senior Project Manager on certain select engagements. Mr. Avers has broad experience in highlighting, developing and implementing platforms that address e-discovery challenges and inefficiencies. He has concentrated primarily in legal department consulting with an emphasis on collection, technology assisted review, and the overarching information governance. Over the past 14 years, Mr. Avers has worked various high profile matters alongside trial counsel and general counsel that have lead through countries including China, Korea, Bermuda, Great Britain, Germany, Australia and the Caribbean, as well as numerous cities in the United States. Activities include collection of electronic data from a broad array of custodians and within various operating corporate entities

Mr. Avers has over 29 years in legal discovery serving governmental, legal, financial services, high technology, and oil and gas industries. He has helped several Fortune 100 companies respond efficiently to the need for collection, production, hosting, and review of electronic data associated with IP, HSR, Securities Litigation and various Class action law suits.

Mr. Avers works with clients to effectively apply proven technologies and defensible processes to cut through complexities associated with critical and fast moving electronic discovery collections. He effectively helps mitigate risks and costs associated with data preservation, collection, processing, hosting, and review. In addition, Mr. Avers works with clients on information and data protection strategies, litigation readiness, and PMO for high-profile matters and large corporate organizations.

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Usama Houlila

Managing Project Director and Managed Services Enterprise Architect/Engineer

Mr. Houlia is one of CertaTech’s strategic partners and serves as CEO of CrossRealms LLC, a successful IT services solution firm.  Mr. Houlia directs CertaTech’s IT consultancy services as well enterprise managed services to CertaTech clients.  Mr. Houlila began his career in technology, eventually building large scale-infrastructure for multi-national organizations including Tenneco, the United Nations, and McDermott, Will & Emery. Mr. Houlila’s ability to see the big picture is a product of his comprehensive knowledge of hardware, software, application, and systems engineering; IT governance and operations; and IT investment. Usama has more than 20 years of professional experience providing technology solutions for organizations in industries including legal, public services, health care, finance, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. 

Christopher Jensen

Managing Project Director and Litigation Support Consultant

Christopher Jensen is a highly successful legal services expert who has been responsible for the rapid growth and expansion of several public and privately-held litigation support companies during his career.  He is one of CertaTech’s strategic partners.  Mr. Jensen comes to CertaTech from Xerox Legal Services, a division of Xerox Consulting and Analytics, where he served as a Senior Vice President and Director of Emerging Business.  He is a former practicing attorney with almost twenty years of experience in the legal industry.  His deep expertise surrounding technology and logistical issues related to discovery, combined with a background as a lawyer, has been repeatedly demonstrated through his successful work in almost every legal, compliance or regulatory environment in every industry – including pharmaceutical, oil and gas, chemical/industrial, software/technology, and healthcare.  Among others, Mr. Jensen has successfully worked on matters related to patent litigation, complex commercial litigation, internal investigations, regulatory compliance, and mergers and acquisitions (including pre- and post-merger due diligence as well as compliance to Hart-Scott-Rodino Second Requests).  His experience has taken him all over the world – from the basements of tobacco warehouses to government regulators to off-shore services center to multi-national client locations.

Mr. Jensen worked for almost ten years for three different publicly-traded companies – Hudson Highland Group, Ajilon Legal, and Robert Half International.  He was thrice promoted in his tenure at Hudson where he became Senior Vice President with P&L responsibility all twelve of Hudson Legal’s branch offices in North America.  Mr. Jensen created the Hudson Legal Managed Review division and its lower-cost, near-shore service offering.  Moreover, he was awarded the prestigious Hudson Highland Group’s Chairman’s Award.  Mr. Jensen was the President and Co-Founder of TrustPoint International based in Washington, DC, a global legal solutions company that specialized in services required in every stage of discovery.  Mr. Jensen has unique expertise in the identification, the hiring and the management of litigation support professionals in every aspect of the business from sales, recruiting, technical staff, and case management.

Jeremy Schaper

Senior Project Director - Litigation Discovery Specialist

Mr. Schaper is one of CertaTech’s strategic partners and serves as the Chief Technology Officer of BlueStar Case Solutions, a successful e-discovery firm.  Mr. Schaper has consulted with legal professionals/teams at many AmLaw Top 100 Firms throughout the country.  He has spoken before numerous industry groups about litigation technology and the benefits of using a trusted eDiscovery partner.  Mr. Schaper has over a decade of legal industry software instruction and consulting experience.  He has extensive experience managing large scale e-discovery projects from initial consulting to collection, processing, review and production. Mr. Schaper served as e-discovery and social media special master to the court for the HoneyBaked Ham vs. the EEOC case. Mr. Schaper was an in-house software specialist at Winston & Strawn.  He has a B.S. in Mathematics/Education from Illinois State University and holds the following certifications: Concordance Certified Software Trainer (CCST), Concordance Certified FYI Admin (CCFA), Concordance Certified Software Administrator (CCSA), Certified Concordance EV Administrator, and Reveal InControl Administrator.  He also has extensive knowledge and experience with the following software solutions: LexisNexis LAW PreDiscocvery, LexisNexis EDA and kCura Relativity.  Jeremy has also completed the Computer Forensics Boot camp provided by Jason Park of the MD5Group.

Mary Andrews

Senior Project Director and E-Discovery Discovery Consultant

Ms. Andrews is a senior e-discovery consultant who was formerly in charge of e-discovery at Washington Mutual Bank, a top 5 US bank, and then a senior VP of e-discovery at JPMorgan Chase. Ms. Andrew’s responsibilities included managing all aspects of e-discovery across the EDRM spectrum for high stakes litigation including class actions and government investigations. She has a deep background in IT and IT application management, managing multiple teams at WAMU for seven years. Since 2010 Ms. Andrews has worked with high profile clients to advise and implement e-discovery strategy and program management. Her skill sets include: providing litigation readiness, information governance, and e-discovery consulting to Fortune 1000 companies; litigation risk assessments and mitigation; e-discovery program and process design, implementation, and re-engineering; data mapping, retention and hold policy & process; e-discovery vendor & software qualification, selection and implementation; and providing 26(f) advice on behalf of clients including managing initial disclosures and creation of discovery/review plans for trial and general counsel.

Pola Wax

Senior Project Director and E-Discovery Discovery Consultant

Ms. Wax is a strategic partner and one of CertaTech’s Litigation Support Specialists. For over 25 years Ms. Wax has lead litigation support teams is some of the most complex and challenging cases. She has managed and supervised case management and document management systems for all mass tort matters for the products liability department and numerous other drug and medical device litigations. She has developed e-discovery best practices, workflow procedures and training webinars for internal case teams, outside counsel and clients for all litigation practice areas.  Ms. Wax has managed all phases of the EDRM for litigation matters as well as supervised project managers and analysts, vendor negotiation and management, budgeting, and implementation of both standard and technology assisted reviews.  Ms. Wax’s  career spans significant contributions to the development of litigation support practices as such major law firms and litigation support providers as Kaye Scholer, LLP, Covington & Burling, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLC and PricewaterhouseCoopers.