Two people. Both have worked in litigation support for many years. They live about 9,800 miles apart. They have a 14 hour time difference between them. They met online. No, not on one of those dating sites — they met because of this Litigation Support Guru site.
One of the most wonderful things about starting this site is the interaction I have been able to have with people from all over the world.
I feel like Matthew has been with me since the beginning of this site, cheering me on. He always takes the time to carefully read my articles and he often leaves a comment to share his experience and witty insight.
Back in May 2012, Matthew told me:
“I think your efforts are great and applaud you on this initiative.”
In February 2013, I wrote an article entitled Juggling Work, Life and Passions. Afterwards, I received a message from Matthew with the subject line “Chin up”.
“Sorry to hear you're going through a hard time at the moment Amy. Sometimes it can feel like we work in a pressure cooker and of course when things start going bad then it somehow tends to attract other things to go bad in sympathy. I love dogs too, and unfortunately at the moment we are dog-less.”
Over time, Matthew has shared a number of stories about his current projects at work, issues with software, and various technical tasks. He told me that many firms in Australia use Ringtail. I loved hearing how some things in litigation support are exactly the same, yet others are somewhat different.
Matthew has shared that he is a dad dealing with the long hours of working in litigation support and occasionally he shares little bits about Australia like this:
“Australia is not that much smaller in terms of landmass than the core US (minus Alaska), however probably about 70-80% is uninhabited and so it takes a really long time to get anywhere; Yes, there isn't really much to see once you've been driving for 12 hours and all you see is desert and the occasional kangaroo or emu. Probably about 98% of the population is within about 200k of the coast.”
In March 2014, Matthew sent me this message:
“Your site serves as a tremendous resource for the industry, and given (in Australia at least) we don't have any formal qualifications for our field, then it is fantastic the efforts that you go to.”
I shared with Matthew that I would love to go to Australia one day and that I have not traveled as much as I would like. He replied:
“I've also rarely travelled, as I've instead been working in a law firm!”
Note the difference spellings of “traveled” — apparently the US version and the non-US version.
Why am I sharing all of this with you?
Matthew Golab recently won the “ILTA Browning Marean Scholarship” award which means he is coming to the US, specifically Las Vegas, at the end of August.
In August, 2014, the legal community lost a great friend. Browning Marean, a Partner at DLA Piper US LLP at the time of his death, touched the personal and professional lives of many within the legal sector and certainly within the ILTA community. In honor of Browning’s work in the litigation field and his extraordinary international ambassadorship, ILTA has established two scholarships to ILTACON — one for individuals who live and work in the U.S. and one for those outside the U.S. These scholarships are targeted to professionals who work within the e-discovery/litigation technology and support field. The awards went to:
Matthew Golab, Legal Technology Manager at Gilbert + Tobin in Sydney, Australia — 2015 International Scholarship
Alex Ponce de Leon, Discovery Counsel at Google, Inc. in San Francisco, California — 2015 U.S. Scholarship
Can you guess what happened next?
Yup, I booked a trip to Las Vegas. I simply can not pass up the opportunity to finally meet Matthew in person. I will be flying in late Saturday evening and leaving late Friday evening. Many of my friends will be attending the ILTA conference so I will be able to catch up with most of them while I'm there.
Since I am currently on a sabbatical from the 9-to-5, I am excited to enjoy the trip without work getting in the way. Have you ever spent an entire conference in your hotel room working? I have.
UPDATE: Matthew and I recorded a podcast episode while together in Vegas. It was wonderful to finally meet him in person.