Before discussing the tactics and strategy of review of e-discovery documents, it is important to remember the exact purpose of the examination phase in discovery. According Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26, any party may obtain a communication regarding non-inside information that is relevant to another party’s claim or defense. A document review is the process of distinguishing relevant data from irrelevant data, and provides information and evidence about the facts and issues of the case.
Modern document review is governed by the practice of Electronic Discovery (ediscovery). In the practice of law, e-discovery is a relatively new field of practice, only a few decades old. But at its core, ediscovery isn’t a new invention – it’s simply discovery, as practiced in today’s digital world.
To succeed, document review teams must be able to organize themselves document and data collections and search for potentially relevant information, while maintaining confidentiality and inside information to be product to opposing counsel. This is a careful balancing act that will require careful planning, diligent execution and quality control process every step of the way.
This excerpt from our document review white paper emphasizes the establishment of a strategic action plan to document review. For more information on document reviewincluding advice on quality control, privilege review, and production considerations, download the white paper here.
Start with an understanding of strategy
We cannot stress this enough: eDiscovery reviewers must have a document review strategy. This strategic plan should be formulated in ESI Protocols before the “meet and talk” conference between opposing lawyers. This meeting, which is required under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) Rule 26(f), is the point at which lawyers must make plans for costs and proportionality as they negotiate and establish electronic discovery protocols.
Your team should establish the project scope and timelines, including:
Be prepared to discuss the use of Technology to manage and support exam of large amounts of data and discuss how each party plans to discard irrelevant data. If the parties do not put these agreements in writing at the Conference under Rule 26(f), it can open one side to charges of spoliation.
Try to limit the scope of what needs to be saw again if possible using filtration and slaughter techniques before a manual review. Other advanced technologies, such as by Nextpoint New Data mining application for early case assessment, can be used before or in combination with a human exam to reduce the amount of material the human reviewer(s) have to pore over.
Also determine if the discovery is all ESI or a mixture of ESI and paper. Decide what you intend to do with the paper component. Conversion to an electronic format for incorporation into the ESI dataset is ideal.
Your action plan
A success document review starts with solid planning. Hire the right staff, bring in external suppliers and technical assistance, coaching your team, and even choosing a location cannot be last minute decisions. Here’s what you need to think about:
Who: Selection of team members
The lead review lawyer should be:
Steps for selecting the review team:
Choose a project manager (if not the lead attorney)
Determine team size – this will depend on data volume, schedule and budget
Examine the case and decide whether the subject experts will be required
Coaching in this regard should include:
Specificities of the document request
Facts or issues in the case
Subjective – issues/relevance
Locating assigned document sets
Elevating documents for closer examination
Annotate documents to convey key information
Expectations for review rates
Where: select location
How to choose the physical and/or virtual location of your exam:
How much: cost considerations
tips for master the costs:
Builds a solid revision guide
The verification process is the most time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive part of eDiscovery. To meet the challenges of exam, to create a review guide to define the process and help reviewers make informed decisions based on:
The guide should be clear, set realistic goals for examiners and help to apply a consistent approach. management structure to supervise the exam. Use the in-app reporting tools to track project and reviewer progress.
Additionally, the data must be look for and tagged for preferred names, email addresses, law firm domains or legal terms before examiners review these documents. Reviewers would then be alerted that a document is potentially privileged, and review it to confirm that all elements of a privileged communication or attorney’s work product are present.
The features and functions of the examine the request will influence the reality workflow. For example, when you mark up and encode documents, can you use bulk encoding? Can emails be marked separately from their attachments? Can you control inconsistent coding? Can documents be easily redacted? Is a privilege field available to eliminate additional privilege review? Make sure your exam platform is able to achieve the objectives defined in your review guide.