Going 'Platinum'--Company believes in 'Giving Back One Month at a Time'

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 By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News
 
Mark St. Peter, co-founder and CEO of Computing Source, gave a presentation early in his career to the Italian-American Bar Association about how attorneys and law firms were among the very first to adopt technology in the form of word processing but the slowest to keep up with the pace of that technology.
 
“Nothing has changed,” he says.
 
It was a niche his company has filled, becoming Michigan’s largest provider of legal support, with an entire spectrum of services.
 
Computing Source is a $10,000 platinum sponsor of the15th Annual OCBF Signature Event on April 25 at Oakland Hills Country Club.
 
“The Signature Event is outstanding because it provides legal assistance for those who can’t otherwise gain access to all that the American system of justice offers,” St. Peter says. “We deeply believe in helping out those who need it and we see this as a great way to lend a helping hand. It’s also the perfect opportunity to give back to and support the legal community that has been so supportive of us, and helped us expand into what we are today. We truly value each and every one of our relationships in this community, and are always looking for ways to support the causes of our business partners.” 
 
Last October, Computing Source launched “Giving Back One Month at a Time,” after an account executive at the firm suggested printing document delivery boxes in pink to honor October’s Breast Cancer Month. 
 
“We deliver hundreds of boxes a month and many clients are women,” St. Peter says. “Several of us have had our lives touched by this horrible disease—all of us are so proud of the enormous success and difference this campaign made.” 
 
Computing Source donates a portion of monthly revenue to one or two pre-selected nonprofits or charities. 
 
“The more we continued to grow, the more important we felt it was to give back. There are a wide variety of local and national organizations close to our hearts with special personal meaning, and we didn’t want to limit our contributions to one or two,” St. Peter says. “We’ve been able to support breast cancer research, give nearly 1,000 children an exciting holiday through Toys for Tots, and help some amazing animals find loving, forever homes through the Michigan Humane Society. We look forward to the months to come!”  
 
St. Peter got hooked on computer programming at De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, where one of the Christian Brothers who mentored and tutored him let him work on school computers rather than simple terminals in the lab.
 
“I was fascinated with these seemingly magical machines,” St. Peter says. 
 
His first computer was a Vector Graphics running CPM—a predecessor to DOS.
 
“The day we moved from storing programs on magnetic tape to a 5.25-inch floppy drive was a big day—it took seconds instead of minutes,” he says. The capacity of those drives was 360KB. “Now I have a pair of 4GB USB cufflinks that hold almost 12,000 times the information as those floppy drives—I find that exponential growth fascinating.”
 
After earning money in his senior year of high school writing a car insurance program for an agent, St. Peter provided programming for other agencies. His business grew so much that he left pre-med studies at the University of Michigan in favor of the computer world. In 1988, he co-founded Century Computer with Rob Remdenok, focusing on network design and installation; in 2001 the company diverged into Computing Express and Computing Source.
 
St. Peter notes that attorneys face a twofold challenge: (1) data is seemingly everywhere and (2) digital data has so many uses during the lifecycle of a legal case. 
 
“Attorneys have to preserve, collect, sort and search, review, produce and ultimately present at trial an amazingly diverse array of types of digital evidence which is why we’ve designed our services to cover the entire spectrum—we’re in a position to help legal professions from the tip to tail of their case using all manners of electronic data,” he explains. “We’ve had cases that have involved everything from paper to voice mails to photos to computer files, sometimes in multiple languages.”
 
In the past year, Computing Source has grown from around 20 employees to a team of more than 100 well-trained, experienced professionals serving clients throughout the Midwest. The firm opened new offices in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Chicago, a second office in downtown Detroit, and is opening a consultancy office in Indianapolis.  
 
Last year the company acquired the demonstrative evidence firm Evidence Express of Birmingham.
 
“We saw great opportunity in offering their services as part of our all-in-one solution offerings,” St. Peter says. “In today’s visually intensive world, it’s imperative attorneys utilize dynamic, top-notch creative aids to support and enhance case presentations. In addition to decades of legal design experience, Theresa Webster and her team have the tenacity, passion and critical understanding of the legal process that’s aligned with our culture and reputation.”
 
Computing Source has more than doubled its services, offering computer forensics, electronic discovery, fixed price meet and confer consulting, trial presentation services, copy/scan/print services, expert testimony, demonstrative evidence and trial boards, paralegal on-call support, contract attorney document review staffing, high-tech court reporting, video services and video-conferencing, and hosted image and native file document review.
 
A Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), St. Peter is a seasoned veteran of trial testimony. 
 
“It’s nerve wracking—you have to be on your toes the whole time speaking to an audience usually consisting of many different levels of technology understanding and knowledge so you have to present the facts fluently. Then, during cross examination, you get the thrill of speaking with a person whose sole goal is to trip you up, frustrate you, fluster you and prove you wrong—it has its moments!”
 
With a company slogan, “The Power to Win,” St. Peter adorns his office with posters of comic book heroes. He’s quite the hero himself, having successfully battled lymphatic cancer, and survived a 1985 carjacking in which he was hit by four bullets.
 
“It truly was the worst night of my life,” he says. “I’m am so glad to be here today!”

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