Staci J. Olsen is Senior Counsel of Electronic Discovery in Baron & Budd’s Environmental Litigation Group, where she specializes in the management of electronic information and people in mass litigation. This skill makes her a critical part of the Group, which focuses on large-scale complex environmental torts. She leads an internal team of five designated eDiscovery attorneys and oversees all contract reviewers. She particularly enjoys putting her talents to work for public entity clients facing contamination issues. “Organizing all the evidence to support a client’s case is rewarding because I know that my work provides a tangible result for the client.”
Ms. Olsen has more than a decade of experience at Baron & Budd overseeing the compilation of evidence necessary to prepare a solid environmental case. Her extensive eDiscovery experience includes management of electronic information, document management, corporate governance, document review, and training of staff and attorneys to make best use of electronic resources. In addition, Ms. Olsen oversees every phase of document management from intake of documents, scanning, coding, searching, bates-stamping, substantive review, production, creation of privilege logs, and identification/development of trial exhibits.
Ms. Olsen also conducts substantive review of client, defendant and third party subpoena documents for creation of damages models, including all records of expenses and costs associated with contamination, assessments of impacts to natural resources, and any other evidence necessary for damages calculations. She manages in-house electronic discovery and document review teams and works with client and litigation teams to develop keyword searches, issue tags, redact privileged information and sleuth out interesting case facts for use in litigation.
In addition, Ms. Olsen assists public entities with document identification, preservation and tracking, data mapping, document location and storage, custodian interviews, document production, and compliance with public records requests and subpoenas. She also assists in negotiation of electronically stored information (ESI) protocols to be used in litigation, and specifically structures tasks to relieve the litigation burden placed on clients of all sizes, including public entities, agencies, and public employees.
Staci Olsen has worked on atrazine, perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloropropane (TCP) and MyFord Touch cases, and worked closely with clients who were harmed by the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. In addition, she led the eDiscovery team that resulted in a $360 million settlement-in-principle on behalf of 23 cities, counties and special districts against Southern California Edison for taxpayer losses caused by the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein fires, the 2018 Montecito debris flows, and the 2018 Woolsey fire.
One of the most challenging document-coordination cases Ms. Olsen has had the pleasure of coordinating resulted in a $648 million settlement-in-principle in June 2020 for public entity plaintiffs in a nationwide class action against Monsanto related to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination of stormwater systems. Monsanto also agreed to a settlement-in-principle on behalf of the state of Washington in the amount of $95 million and to pending settlements of $75.6 million with the Attorneys General of New Mexico and the District of Columbia, all clients of Baron & Budd. In addition to the historical significance of a case that is perhaps first in the U.S. to hold a chemical manufacturer liable for stormwater contamination, the entire action was fought by lawyers and staff at Baron & Budd without the characteristic aid of big litigation partners to help shoulder the burden. When attempts at consolidation failed, Ms. Olsen coordinated all the discovery as Baron & Budd lawyers fought Monsanto singlehandedly over the course of six years in four different states and seven different courtrooms. In his celebratory email to the firm, Baron & Budd shareholder and principal Scott Summy was effusive in his praise of Ms. Olsen and her document management team for moving “mountains of paper” to achieve this “huge milestone”.
Ms. Olsen is currently serving on a three person committee that leads the document review for the nationwide aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) litigation and she oversees the eDiscovery for the firm’s own AFFF clients. She is also the firm’s designated eDiscovery lead for the firm’s lawsuits against Chemours and DuPont for their role in contaminating North Carolina’s Cape Fear River with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and GenX, a group of potent fluorochemicals. Ms. Olsen also manages eDiscovery for the firm’s JUUL e-cigarette litigation.
In 2021 and 2022, Staci Olsen was selected as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate.
NADC members are thoroughly vetted by a research team, with finalists selected by a blue-ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the incredible selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC. This elite class of advocates consists of the finest leaders of the legal profession from across the nation.
“I am honored to be recognized by The National Association of Distinguished Counsel,” said Baron & Budd attorney Staci Olsen. “The work I do every day organizing all the evidence to support a client’s case is truly rewarding because I know that my efforts provide a tangible result for clients facing contamination issues.”
Staci Olsen wanted to be an attorney ever since she was a young girl growing up on a ranch in rural Colorado, where the quality of the water and the environment impacted her life every day. She has traveled extensively, including during law school when she lived in Mexico while attending a summer course to learn the Mexican legal system. Ms. Olsen loves the outdoors and spends her summers fishing in Alaska. She also devotes her spare time to charity work, in particular a local organization dedicated to saving exotic large cats.
Publications Author, “Optimize e-Discovery Production”, American Association for Justice Trial Magazine (August 2021)
Appointments Member, Epiq Mass Tort Client Advisory Board (2021-2022)
Education Baylor University (J.D. 1996) Angelo State University (B.A. 1991)
Bar & Court Admissions Texas
Professional Associations American Association for Justice Attorneys Serving the Community International Legal Technology Association Women in eDiscovery Public Justice Foundation The Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas
Awards Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2019-2022) Nation’s Top One Percent (National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2021)