Working Together for Decades

The Merlin Team

The Merlin Digital Team has been working together for decades. Our clients are legal people; smart professionals working under tight, high-stakes deadlines. They labor under the need to get it right every time.

We love the challenge. We are used to solving difficult problems and aren’t afraid of the long hours that go with it. Indeed, that’s what gets us up in the morning. 


Meet the senior leadership team at Merlin Digital Magic. 

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John Tredennick

Founder and CEO

John Tredennick spent the first twenty years of his professional life as a trial lawyer and partner at a national law firm. He then founded Catalyst Repository Systems, a leading e-discovery and AI software provider where he served as CEO and Board Chair for the next twenty years (the company was recently sold to a large public technology company).

 Not ready to retire at this young age, John formed Merlin Digital Magic, Inc. a secure cloud software development company that helps forward-thinking legal teams meet compliance obligations, review documents and automate complex work processes. 

During this time, John also formed the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation, where he serves as Chair and Executive Director.  The Merlin Foundation is a non-profit corporation recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt charitable and educational organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

John is a prolific speaker and writer. Over the past thirty years, he has written eight books and countless articles on legal technology topics, including “TAR for Smart People” (3rd Ed.), “The Legal Hold Handbook (for Smart People)” two ABA bestsellers “Winning with Computers” (Vols. One and Two), “How to Prepare For, Take and Use a Deposition at Trial (James Publishing), and several editions of “The Lawyer’s Guide to Spreadsheets.” John’s is a past Chair of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section, was Editor in Chief of its flagship magazine and is currently active with the Sedona Conference, acting as co-drafting team leader for the new Sedona Guidelines on Legal Hold and as a member of the research team for the International Legal Hold Guidelines. 

John’s legal and technology acumen has earned him numerous awards including being named by the American Lawyer as one of the top six “E-Discovery Trailblazers,” named to the FastCase 50 as a legal visionary and named one of the “Top 100 Global Technology Leaders” by London CityTech magazine. He has also been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Technology in the Rocky Mountain Region, and Top Technology Entrepreneur by the Colorado Software and Internet Association. 

Michael Hastings

Director of Operations

Michael leads Operations at Merlin Digital Magic where, with the founder, he oversees service delivery, customer success, human resources, training, sales, technical quality assurance, accounting, and product management for (what he believes to be) the most innovative suite of data management and searching tools in the legal industry today.

Since joining Merlin in early 2020, he has installed data-driven approaches to every area under his responsibility, more than practicing what Merlin preaches in effective data management by using custom ERPs to gain data-driven insights and execute fully validated strategies in real time.

Under his direction, Merlin operates in much the same way its software does: by breaking down silos and creating a single integrated workflow with predictable outcomes – all powered by the most advanced technology currently available.

With more than 20 years of diverse business experience, Michael owns an expansive portfolio of skills that allows him to extract value where none easily appears, both for Merlin and for its clients.

Before joining Merlin, Michael served as Director of eDiscovery Client Services at Catalyst Repository Systems, where he spent over 11 years, leading their project management, customer service and technical support efforts. His dedication to creative problem solving on behalf of his clients is what attracted him to the open-source environment of Merlin. Earlier in his career, he held several client success-related positions in logistics and financial services at Golden State Overnight and E*Trade.

A graduate of the University of Denver and California State University-Sacramento, Michael’s education both in the classroom and on the job is well-rounded: ranging from sales & executive training to full stack web development and software engineering, philosophy, legal administration, and project management.

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Lew Visscher
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Lew Visscher

Chief Financial Officer

Lewis Visscher has over 30 years of diversified business advisory, management, operational, financial and accounting experience. Lew was recently the CFO at Catalyst Repository Systems which was acquired by Open Text in early 2019. Prior to Catalyst Lew was CFO for various other early stage technology businesses providing financial leadership through many operational aspects, contract negotiations and mergers and acquisition strategies.

Before working for these private companies, Lew was with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked with many private and public companies on equity offerings, start-ups, acquisitions, divestitures and multinational, multi-location operations.

Lew is most famously known in the Colorado community for Lew’s List (, a job resource board for finance and accounting professionals. Lew is also involved in Financial Executives International (FEI) in both Colorado and Arizona and was President of the Colorado chapter in 2015. Lew also the founder and an active member of the Colorado chapter of the New Canaan Society, a Christian men’s organization. In 2009, the Denver Business Journal named him CFO of the Year.

Engineering and Development

Merlin is growing quickly

Since our founding in mid-2019, the Merlin Engineering and Development team has grown to over a dozen senior development, QA  and operations engineers based in India and the U.S. Most of the team has been together for a decade or more building industry-leading search, review and compliance platforms. 

Currently our team is composed of the following:  Principal and Lead Architects (2); Tech Leads (3); Senior analysts (3); UX designers (2); Testing Engineers (2) and Support and Operations Engineers (2).


Download copies of CEO and Founder John Tredennick’s recent books:

And don’t miss the next edition of TAR Talk with John Tredennick and Thomas Gricks.

TAR for Smart People
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