Meet The Team

Successful organizations are built on the experience and expertise of their people.

Our team of experts is made up of industry professionals including talented project managers, knowledgeable attorneys and accomplished business executives who understand the demands of large challenging legal matters.

Rick Avers

Founder, CEO and President

Rick Avers founded Veristar in 2019 and serves as the company CEO and president. With more than 30 years of experience managing large-scale litigation matters for clients in a variety of industries and working closely with trial lawyers and general counsel on matters both nationally and internationally, Rick is highly regarded for both his professional and personal integrity. Before founding Veristar Rick most recently was president of CertaTech Solutions, prior to which he served in leadership roles at Clearwater Legal, TrustPoint International, Onsite3, Merrill Corporation, IKON and Pitney Bowes Management Services.

Rick Avers - Veristar
Sandra Chu - Veristar

Sandra Chu

Chief Operations Officer

Sandra Chu is an attorney with more than 15 years of experience with e-discovery and document review. She leads all operations at Veristar’s Washington, D.C., e-discovery and 200-seat document review facility. Before joining Veristar, Sandra served as COO of CertaTech Solutions, prior to which she was a senior project manager at a top-tier Am Law 100 firm. Before her law firm tenure, Sandra managed complex document review projects for a leading e-discovery services provider, where she oversaw a multitude of projects, managing hundreds of contract attorneys and assisting various law firms throughout the EDRM process.

Joseph Kearney

Executive Vice President

Joseph Kearney has been supporting complex document managed review and legal staffing projects for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Veristar, he was a senior manager for several of the industry’s leading e-discovery providers with an intense focus on customer service and satisfaction. Joe was previously a senior manager at Arnold & Porter LLP, where he oversaw the administration of the firm’s contract attorneys, as well as the paralegal and law clerk programs, before which he was a litigation paralegal at Am Law 100 firms, supporting numerous large-scale document collections and reviews.

Joe Kearney - Veristar
Mark Plaehn - Veristar

Mark Plaehn

Senior Managing Director

Mark Plaehn has worked with corporate law and finance teams, law firm litigation, corporate and securities attorneys and paralegals and other corporate advisors for the last 25 years in the litigation, M&A and corporate financing fields. His experience advising and assisting corporations, law firms and their advisors, having partnered with his clients on more than 500 matters and transactions over his career, allows Mark to structure customized solutions tailored to the unique requirements of his clients’ needs and develop strategies to provide successful outcomes in high-stress, time-critical environments.

Ethan Crooks

Vice President, Strategic Growth

Ethan Crooks brings 15 years of legal experience to the Veristar team. Ethan practiced law for 10 years, split between a boutique litigation firm and an in-house role, and spent the last five years as a director of business development in the litigation support industry. At Veristar, he develops and maintains key partnerships with some of the industry’s leading firms and in-house legal departments, providing end-to-end e-discovery services. Additionally, Ethan spearheads Veristar’s continued efforts to vet the industry’s leading technologies to ensure Veristar is providing its clients with the best possible solutions.

Ethan Crooks - Veristar
Scott Tarbell - Veristar

Scott Tarbell

Director, Client Services

Scott Tarbell holds a master’s degree in information technology and has decades of hands-on IT experience. He began his career in law firms and has more than 30 years’ experience in the legal support arena, having worked on multibillion-dollar matters, class actions with thousands of plaintiffs, large high-profile cases and smaller matters as well, all providing Scott with a deep knowledge of the litigation process and the pressures and demands of legal teams. He uses his experience managing all operational facets of e-discovery to oversee client services at Veristar, identifying options and workflows that benefit clients.

Ben Gardner

Vice President, Accounting and Finance

Before joining Veristar, Ben Gardner worked as senior associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers advising clients on acquisitions and divestitures with a focus on large-scale global transactions providing pre-deal valuations for buy- and sell-side clients. Prior to his time at PwC, Ben earned his MBA at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, majoring in finance. Before that he spent five years at Jones Lang LaSalle as a strategic financial consultant advising clients on their corporate real estate portfolios and the financial impact of their global real estate strategy.

Ben Gardner - Veristar
Russ Capps Headshot - Veristar Tech

Russ Capps

Senior Director, Consulting and Digital Forensics

Russ Capps manages the data acquisition and digital forensics groups within Veristar and consults with clients in the areas of litigation and discovery management. He is a certified consulting and digital forensics expert with nearly 20 years of experience providing e-discovery and information technology solutions to law firms, corporations and municipalities. Prior to joining Veristar, Russ was senior forensics consultant at Planet Data Solutions. His vast experience combined with his technical, interpersonal and presentation skills allow him to provide Veristar clients advanced, yet practical solutions in the earliest phases of the e-discovery life cycle, with a particular focus on data preservation and forensic investigation and extraction of data from a variety of sources.


Get Your Quote Today

Trust Veristar for our experience and exceptional personal service tailored to the unique needs of each matter.



Get Your Quote Today

Trust Veristar for our experience and exceptional personal service tailored to the unique needs of each matter.