Press/Journalists

Press Release
September 15, 2011

National Archives Lawyer Jason R. Baron Receives Emmett Leahy Award

John Phillips, presenting the Emmett Leahy Award for Outstanding Contributions and Accomplishments in the Records and Information Management Profession to Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation at the National Archives. Earl McDonald, National Archives.

Washington, DC…In a ceremony at the National Archives today Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation at the National Archives was awarded the prestigious Emmett Leahy Award for Outstanding Contributions and Accomplishments in the Records and Information Management Profession. Mr. Baron is the first federal lawyer to receive the award.

Established in 1967, the Emmett Leahy Award honors the spirit of innovation, dedication, and excellence in records and information management of Emmett Leahy, an icon in the development of the life cycle approach to managing records and information.

The award was presented to Mr. Baron based on his outstanding achievements, including:

  • Contributing to the development of the first government-wide regulations governing the preservation of email, which has had an enormous impact on federal and state governments of the United States;
  • Promoting best practices in email and records management and preservation from the standpoint of legal issues;
  • Promoting through venues such as The Sedona Conference® the use of efficient and effective strategies and methodologies that support searching through an exponentially increasing volume of electronic records;
  • Developing the TREC Legal Track for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Text Retrieval Conference, as well as creating the international Discovery of Electronically Stored Information Workshop Series (DESI workshops), that focus on interdisciplinary efforts to assist lawyers in improving searches in litigation contexts.

At the ceremony Judge Facciola said, “Jason Baron has made an invaluable contribution to the way our society considers how to find what we need from an ever expanding source of information. No one has confronted that question with more creativity and imagination.”

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero also praised Mr. Baron saying, “In his time at the Department of Justice and the National Archives, he has become what many people regard as the “go to” lawyer in the government on issues involving preservation of electronic records under the Federal Records Act.” Mr. Ferriero went on to say, “Jason has been a thought leader in pushing the federal government to adopt smarter forms of electronic archiving, and in finding better ways to search through large volumes of the government’s electronically stored record information.”

Mr. Baron came to the National Archives in 2000 from the Department of Justice to fill the newly-created position of Director of Litigation. Previously, he was a trial lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, senior counsel with the Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division of the Department of Justice, and a Visiting Scholar at the University of British Columbia.

While a lawyer at the Justice Department in 1995, Mr. Baron’s early contributions in the field of records management were acknowledged when the National Archives presented him with an Achievement Award for his work on National Archives email regulations. In addition to many other awards received during his time in public service, his advocacy for e-discovery was recognized with a Fed 100 Award in 2008. As an internationally-known expert, Mr. Baron has published numerous scholarly articles and has been invited to lecture world-wide on the subjects of record-keeping and e-discovery.

In accepting the award, Mr. Baron stated as part of his remarks that being Director of Litigation at the National Archives has been his “dream job.” He added, “It has been such a great privilege to be able to work on important issues involving electronic records during my time as a lawyer at this agency.” He challenged records managers, archivists, and lawyers to find smarter ways to leverage automated technologies to eliminate wasted time and effort in performing recordkeeping functions.

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For more information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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