Managing Director, Troutman Sanders eMerge
Executive Committee Member
Alison Grounds is a litigation partner with Troutman Sanders LLP and also serves as the Managing Director of Troutman Sanders eMerge -- a wholly owned subsidiary focused on providing matter-specific legal and technical solutions for the management of electronically stored information (ESI) in legal matters.
An experienced litigator, Alison combines her litigation and eDiscovery experience to work with clients to develop proactive, efficient, and defensible legal strategies for discovery and other legal matters. Alison advocates on behalf of clients in relation to eDiscovery issues before courts, adversaries and agencies around the country and consults with clients on all phases of discovery, including litigation readiness. She is a frequent speaker and author on eDiscovery issues and serves as a dedicated legal resource for Troutman Sanders' lawyers and clients on the intersection of discovery law and technology.
Alison leads a team of lawyers and technologists, including custom programmers, who assist clients with data management issues from preservation through trial as well as through custom applications for legal compliance. Alison has assisted hundreds of Firm clients in a variety of industries, including energy, financial services, insurance, pharmaceuticals, construction, technology, and manufacturing with data management issues in litigation, arbitration, and investigations.
- As national eDiscovery counsel for a pharmaceutical industry client, successfully advocated on behalf of proportional limits on discovery, defended discovery-related depositions, and served as lead advocate at discovery hearings; also coordinated overall strategy for collection, review and production of ESI in related state and federal lawsuits, as well as a governmental investigation.
- Coordinated discovery plan for state and federal regulatory approval of significant energy industry merger.
- Successfully advocated on behalf of engineering client to limit the scope of eDiscovery while also successfully advocating for opposing parties to meet discovery obligations in multi-party, multi-million dollar construction arbitration.
- Routinely defend and take 30(b)(6) depositions regarding the preservation, collection, and production of ESI.
- Consulted with various clients regarding best practices for data management and preservation of ESI for litigation readiness planning.
- Utilized technology-assisted review in numerous matters to reduce costs and leverage decisions of merits counsel.
- Drafted and negotiated matter-specific ESI Protocols to focus the scope of discovery in litigation and governmental investigations.
- Successfully argued on behalf of clients to prevent governmental agency from shifting costs associated with discovery to clients in civil actions with the agency.
- “[Georgia’s Proposed] E-Discovery Bill Is Bad Policy but Will Keep Us Busy” Opinion Column for Fulton Country Daily Report (co-author), February 6, 2016
- “Choosing Effective eDiscovery Providers,” Fulton County Daily Report, February 6, 2015
- “eDiscovery: Embrace It Don’t Hate It,” Fulton County Daily Report, December 19, 2014
- “Dispelling 5 Misconceptions in eDiscovery,” Fulton County Daily Report, November 7, 2014
- “Breaking the Seal: Does Using Third Party eDiscovery Vendors Raise Privilege and Work Product Issues?,” Information Intersection, July 17, 2014
- “Cloud Control: eDiscovery and Litigation Concerns with Cloud Computing,” The Computer & Internet Lawyer, September 2013 (co-author)
- “An Arbitrator’s Guide to Successfully Resolving eDiscovery Disputes,” JAMS Global Construction Solutions Newsletter, Spring 2013 (co-author)
- "eMerging Solutions to E-Discovery Issues: Assembling the Right Team and Technology to Mitigate Risks, Reduce Costs, and Leverage Data," Information Intersection, July 2, 2012
- "Image is not always everything in e-discovery: When is imaging hard drives worth the added expense? " Information Intersection, May 22, 2012
- "Proactive E-Discovery: How to Take Active Control Early, Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency and Defensibility," Information Intersection, April 16, 2012
- “Hal and me: Accepting technology’s imperfections,” The National Law Journal, August 22, 2011 (Co-author)
- "'Sophisticated' Parties: Beware of Heightened E-Discovery Expectations," Information Intersection, January 6, 2011
- "Evolving Technology and Strategies in the Area of E-Discovery," Electronic Records Management and E-Discovery (Inside the Minds Series), Thompson/Reuters/Aspatore Books (2010)
- “Efficient E-Discovery: Using Experience and Planning To Reduce the Costs of E-Discovery” The E-Discovery Standard, Fall 2005
External Presentations and Speaking Engagements
- “Think Outside the (Black) Box with ECA and Investigations Tools,” Panelist, ALM Webcast, September 14, 2016
- “Beware of Icebergs Ahead: How to Navigate Federal Rules Changes and Terabytes of E-Discovery to Avoid Titanic Sanctions,” Panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute, Southeast Bankruptcy Conference, Amelia Island, Florida, July 22- 23, 2016
- “Managing Challenging ESI Sources”, Co-Presenter, Clear Law Institute Webinar, July 18, 2016
- “Litigation Best Practices: Steps In-house Counsel Should Take To Minimize Risk and Avoid Pitfalls,” Panelist, Business Litigation Forum – Corporate Counsel Section Lunch and Learn, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 7, 2016
- “The Intersection of Legal and Technical Issues in Litigation Readiness Planning,” Moderator & Panelist, Southeastern eDiscovery & Information Governance Retreat, May 23, 2016
- “Discovery in the Era of Big Data: Federal Rule Updates & Practical Considerations,” Fulton County Business Court Judicial CLE, January 6, 2016
- ABA Advanced eDiscovery Regional eDiscovery Meeting, Program Organizer & Moderator, November 17, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia
- Women Who Lead Panelist, ILTA Swartworth Leadership Development Seminar, Washington, DC, November 2, 2015
- “eDiscovery & Social Media”, Panelist, LawTech Atlanta, October, 2015
- “eDiscovery & Litigation Issues,” Presenter, PLI’s Cloud Computing 2015: Key Issues and Practical Guidance, New York, New York May 11, 2015 & San Francisco, California, June 2015
- “Managing the Discovery of the Most Challenging ESI Sources”; Presenter, ABA Webcast, June 1, 2015
- “ Resolving eDiscovery Disputes in Large Complex Arbitrations: An Arbitrators Guide”, Presenter, AAA Webcast, May 19, 2015
- “eDiscovery Ethics & Professionalism,” Georgia Corporate Counsel Section ICLE, December 11, 2014
- eDiscovery Intelligence Series Panelist, Atlanta, Georgia, October 22-23, 2014
- “Legal/Technical Challenges Associated with eDiscovery of Mobile Devices,” Panelist, LawTech Atlanta, October 9, 2014
- “Avoiding Trench E-Warfare: Are There Ways to Make Electronic Discovery Effective and Affordable?,” Panelist, 6th Annual Advanced Business Litigation Institute, June 21, 2014, Charlottesville, Virginia
- “eDiscovery & Litigation Issues,” Panelist, PLI’s Cloud Computing 2014: Key Issues and Practical Guidance, New York, New York May 9, 2014 & San Francisco, California, June 9, 2014
- “PLI’s Building Better Construction Contacts: eDiscovery Considerations,” September 2013, New York, New York
- “PLI’s Cloud Computing 2013: Cut Through the Fluff & Tackle the Critical Stuff,” May 10, 2013, New York, New York.
- “An Arbitrator’s Guide to Successfully Resolving eDiscovery Disputes” – The American College of Construction Litigators (ACCL) Annual Conference, Coral Gables, Florida, March 2013
- “The 2012 E-Discovery Briefing: How to Respond to Increasing Costs” - The Huron Legal Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, March 6, 2012.
- “Management Tools for Litigation” – International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) Litigation and Practice Support Peer Group Webinar, December 15, 2011.
- “Electronic Discovery in the Cloud: Challenges, Risks and Best Practices” - ALM Webinar, August 30, 2011.
- “E-Discovery Project Management for Paralegals” – Featured Speaker, Georgia Association of Paralegals (GAP) “E-Day”, Atlanta, Georgia, April 23, 2011.
- "Judge Scheindlin Revisits Zubulake" – Women in E-Discovery Panelist, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2010
- "Pragmatic Guide to E-Discovery: An Employment Dispute" – New York City Bar CLE Panelist, April, 2010
- "Cost Containment in E-Discovery" – Campbell Law Review’s 2010 E-Discovery Symposium, Raleigh, North Carolina, January, 2010
- “Managing The Risks And Obligations Of Electronic Discovery: Sanctions, Spiraling Costs, And Accessibility,” Associated Owners & Developers 2009 National Conference, Washington, DC, November 2009
- "Making the Most of ESI Gathered Through Discovery - Now That You Have the Data, How Do You Make Use of It in Trial?" Electronic Data CLE, The Seminar Group, January, 2008
Professional and Community Involvement
- Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production (WG1)
- Georgia State Bar eDiscovery Task Force (2012 – 2015)
- Barrister, Lumpkin In of Court (2006 – 2007)
Rankings and Recognition
- Selected as a Rising Star in General Litigation by Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine (2009-2014)
- Selected as Georgia Super Lawyer (2015 - 2016)
- Selected as ILTA’s Technology Advocacy Professional of the Year (2013)
- Named to the Fulton County Daily Report's 2013 "On the Rise" list for top lawyers in Georgia under the age of 40
- Inaugural Recipient of the Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award (2015)
- Associate Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2012-present
- Of Counsel, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2010-2011
- Associate, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2001-2009
- Fellow, Atlanta Legal Aid, 2002-2003
- University of North Carolina, J.D., 2001
- Loyola University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1997
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia