Eli Nelson is a Director with The Claro Group and located in Washington, DC. He is a recognized thought leader on conducting effective legal and regulatory investigations and discovery using data analytics. With almost 18 years of experience in litigation as a trial lawyer and manager of large scale, complex discovery, Mr. Nelson has a highly developed understanding of trial and discovery strategy, and how to help clients leverage data science and technology to conduct data discovery safely and cost-effectively.

Prior to joining Claro, Mr. Nelson practiced law in Washington, DC, and previously in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Experience +

Technology Assisted Review ("TAR")

  • Holds degrees in both law and data science
  • Participated in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) to study the potentials and limitations of text classification systems for use in legal discovery.
  • Managed over two dozen projects employing text classifiers for assessing relevance, privilege, importance, foreign language, and topics of interest using several different TAR systems.
  • Has used TAR in internal investigations, second requests, litigation discovery, and regulatory investigations involving the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Defense (DOD), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as well as regulatory authorities in Europe, Canada, and Asia.
  • As consulting and testifying expert, has designed and implemented text analytics-based solutions to address non-standard data types and applications, ranging from unstructured (pure text) through semi-structured (email) and structured (SQL database) formats.
  • Pilot tested and sat on advisory groups for several major commercial offerings for text classification in legal discovery to determine relative strengths and use cases.
  • Presented on text classification topics at a number of legal conferences, webinars, and symposia.

Discovery Management 

  • Managed successful global discovery collection, processing, review, and production effort for $39 billion litigation challenging hostile take-over on a six week accelerated schedule.
  • Deployed novel data science and TAR approaches to bring a multi-billion dollar merger antitrust second request review to 125% of original budget despite unexpected expansion of investigation to 400% of original scope.
  • Provided leadership in joint defense group discovery protocol negotiation efforts in antitrust and products liability litigations.
  • Discovery management and litigation experience has focused primarily on the following industries:
    • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (product liability, antitrust, tax, regulatory compliance)
    • Healthcare (antitrust, tort liability)
    • Commodities (antitrust)
    • Finance / Banking (regulatory investigations, antitrust)
    • Consumer Finance (regulatory investigations)
    • Government Contracts (regulatory investigations, commercial and qui tam litigation)'
  • Negotiated discovery prioritization protocols to reduce discovery costs in several investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, including search prioritization, use of TAR, sample-based validation, and data visualizations.
  • Frequent “bridge” resource for negotiating handling of structured data in litigation and government investigations, including participation in meet and confer sessions, specifications / requirements discussions with experts, and quality assurance ofproposedproductiondeliverables. This function has often eliminated the need for protracted additional data work.
  • Legal billing analysis
Education +

B. A., Rhetoric and Public Communication, Tulane University, 1992

J.D., Tulane Law School, 1996

M.S.P.A., Northwestern University, 2016

Certifications +

District of Columbia Bar Association

Louisiana State Bar Association

Memberships +

Legal Technology Professionals Institute (LTPI), March 2015 – Present.

Sedona Conference, June 2009 – 2011.

Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) – Legal Track (NIST), 2009 – 2010.

Publications & Speaking Engagements+

Nelson, Eli (October 2016).  The Complications and Complexity of Evaluating Risk Analytics.  LegalTech News, October 18, 2016 retrieved from http://www.legaltechnews.com/id=1202770099372.  Reprinted in Inside Counsel, October 20, 2016, retrieved from http://www.insidecounsel.com/2016/10/20/the-complications-and-complexity-of-evaluating-ris?ref=nav.

Paskach, Christopher H., Paskach, David, and Nelson, F. Eli (May 2016). Advanced Text Analytics Tools Gain Acceptance, Use in the Legal E-discovery Process. ACC Docket: Volume 34 Number 4, 42-49.

Paskach, Christopher H., Nelson, F. Eli, and Schwab, Matthew (June 2015). The Case for Technology Assisted Review and Statistical Sampling in Discovery. DESI VI Workshop, ICAIL Conference.

Dorkey III, Charles, Nelson, F. Eli, and Silver. Mark A. (March 2014). Between Scylla and Charybdis: Cooperation with Government Brings Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege. MLA Litigation Advisory.

Chippendale, Stephen M., Bono, Gaspare J., and Nelson, F. Eli. (December 2013). Predictive coding: a cost-effective approach to antitrust compliance. MLA Antitrust Advisory.

Nelson, F. Eli. (June 2011) A False Dichotomy of Relevance: The Difficulty of Evaluating the Accuracy of Discovery Review Methods Using Binary Notions of Relevance. Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, Discovery of Electronically Stored Information IV.

Fein, Bruce Ellis, Merrell, B.L., and Nelson, F. Eli. (July 2010). Backstop LLP and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP at TREC Legal Track 2009. TREC 2009 Conference Paper.

“Looking Forward: The Future of Analytics in Discovery,” The Masters Conference, Washington, D.C ., October 2016.

“Moving from Models to Standards: Next Steps in Maturing the Industry,” The Masters Conference, Washington, D.C., October 2016.

“Technology Assisted Review (TAR) for (Almost) Any Case,” Sedona Conference Institute, Nashville, TN, March 2015.

“Life in the E-discovery Trenches: The Best and Worst of Being an E-discovery Attorney,” DC Bar Association, Washington, D.C., November 2014.

"The Social Media (R)Evolution: How Social Media Content Impacts E-Discovery Risks and Costs," The Masters Conference, Washington, D.C. October 2014.

“The E-Discovery Pulse: Metrics You Need to Know,” Kroll Ontrack / Legal Talk Network Podcast Interview, February 2014.

“E-Discovery: Managing the Process and Mitigating the Risks” (5 part CLE series), McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C., 2014.

“The E-Discovery Pulse: Metrics You Need to Know,” LegalTech (ALM), New York, New York, February 2014.

“Project Management – To Bill or not to Bill,“ Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Orlando, FL, January 2014.

“Predictive Coding Thought Leadership Series,” eDJ Group, Philadelphia, PA, July 2013.

“Predictive Coding in Discovery,” Cleary Gottlieb, Washington, D.C., May 2013.

“Predictive Coding Boot Camp,” eDiscovery Journal, Washington, D.C., April 2013.

“Equivio Predictive Coding Seminar – The How and Why (Minus the Hype),” Equivio / Cowen Group, Washington, D.C., March 2013.

“Technology-Assisted Review 102: Beyond the Basics,“ Epiq Systems Webinar, Washington, D.C., November 2012.

“Demystifying Automated Review Technologies“ Xerox Litigation Services Webinar, New York, NY, December 2011.

“Setting Standards for Searching Electronically Stored Information in Discovery Proceedings“ Discussant for DESI IV / ICAIL 2011, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2011.

“The Emerging ‘Smart Discovery’ Paradigm for Cost Management in e-Discovery,“ LegalTech (ALM), New York, NY, January 2011.

“Streamlining the E-Discovery Process,“ IQPC eDiscovery, Philadelphia, PA, September 2008.

Practices +Insights +

Articles & Publications

  • "The Complications and Complexity of Evaluating Risk Analytics"11/2/2016

    Eli Nelson from our Washington, D.C. office authors new article on how risk analytics can complicate traditional interpretations of legal issues. Read the article in its entirety here. As a pioneer in eDiscovery, Mr. Nelson has written…

  • ACC Docket - ATA Gaines Acceptance 5/12/2016

    Chris Paskach & Eli Nelson pen article on specific analytics technologies available in the marketplace, how to pick the right solution, and how to plan for a successful experience.  Read full article HERE.