Welcome to the first edition of Foundation News. Here is the latest:

Foundation is Formed

The Merlin Foundation incorporated in September of 2019 and received its 501(c)(3) certification from the IRS on November 26, 2019. You will find Foundation legal and financial documents here

We have been active during our first few months, adding fifteen leading legal and technology professionals from all over the world to our  Advisory Board. Thank you also to Lew Visscher, our CFO and to our professional services firms: Cooley for legal, Wipfli for accounting. and Bottom Line Consulting for our general  bookkeeping. 

Processing Project Launched

We are excited to announce that the Merlin-EDRM Processing Standards Project is underway. We have allied with EDRM on the project which is being headed by three trustees: John Tredennick, Advisory Board Member Craig Ball, and Jeffrey Wolff of Zylabs. 

 The goal is to outline industry requirements for a successful processing platform in a vendor or product neutral way. The question on the table is: “what functions or capabilities should an e-discovery processing platform have to meet industry needs?” In that regard, the desire is to be vendor neutral. We are not trying to favor or disfavor any particular approach to processing. Rather, we hope to chronicle those features that should be part of a good processing engine, listing others, perhaps, as nice to have but not necessary. Doing so will give new and old entrants a good target for which to shoot.  

If you or others you know are interested in helping, or want to learn more about the project,  go here, or send an email to Our organizational meeting is set for March 3rd and we would like more Advisory Board Members to participate along with anyone else that is interested. 

Open Source Processing Platform

Board member Mark Kerzner and his colleagues at are in the process of launching a new and substantially upgraded version of one of the first legal open source processing platforms: FreeEed. The FreeEed platform was released in about 2012 offering processing and review through open source code. In recent months, Mark and his team have upgraded the underlying code using more recent technology and new programming methods. The end result is a platform that is orders of magnitude faster in processing data with the potential to switch to an enterprise version with unlimited scaling.

The Merlin Foundation will be testing this new version and reporting on our findings on the website. We will also be matching functionality to our newly evolving standards to see how it matches up to industry needs. 

The opportunity here is to offer a cloud version of the platform at cloud costs rather than traditional per GB pricing. Because the code is open source, vendors can download and install the platform to integrate it into their services. Stay tuned for our findings. 

Open Source Processing Platform

The Merlin Foundation is proud to sponsor an upcoming legal hackathon with  Suffolk University Law School. The hackathon is set to run in conjunction with Suffolk University’s LITCON 2020, which will be held on Monday, March 30, 2020.  

The  Legal Hackathon will give legal professionals and technologists a chance to work together under a tight deadline and see whether they can devise a way to improve the delivery of legal services. In this case, the focus will be on criminal defense. The developers will be asked to devise ways to make a public defender’s life easier and to improve the delivery of legal defense services. Leaders from the Tubman Project will be there to advise and guide the participants.

Merlin is sponsoring the prize money through internal member donations. We may want to engage in other sponsorships and hope our Advisory Board Members will help us with worthy causes. If you can help out, please contact John Tredennick.

Other News

Keep up with the latest goings on at the Foundation by linking to the Merlin Open Source Blog. We seek to chronicle the latest developments in legal open source software and to feature activities of our members. 

About the Foundation

The mission of the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation is to improve access to justice and make legal operations and regulatory compliance more efficient through the use of open source software. We will achieve our mission by: 

  • Fostering worldwide education about the benefits of open source software;

  • Providing a central platform for legal professionals to collaborate on open source development projects; and

  • Distributing open source software under free license to individuals and organizations around the world to improve access to justice and for legal and regulatory compliance.

The Merlin Foundation seeks people and organizations from all parts of the world who have a passion for improving the legal profession and the legal process through open source collaboration and secure cloud computing.

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