Updated December 9, 2010
Aim: To gain an understanding of document content while organizing them into logical sub-sets in an efficient and cost effective manner. Develop facts, reduce risk, reduce cost, leverage technology, facilitate collaboration and communication.
Document review is a critical component to most litigation and is used to identify responsive documents to produce and privileged documents to withhold. It is the time where the legal team can begin to gain a greater understanding of the factual issues in a case and where legal strategies can emerge and begin to develop based on the type of information that is found in the collection of documents. There will inevitably be different strategies implemented for reviewing documents in preparation for production versus documents produced by opposing counsel, however the common thread is the need (a) to understand the scope of the review, (b) to put in place supervision and procedures for managing the reviewers and (c) to select the appropriate vendor, tools and platform for the review.
Electronic discovery, with its enormous volume of data, can seem daunting. The good news is that significant improvements in data storage, database and search technology, and review application functionality are providing increasingly efficient options for handling the volume of data and streamlining the review process. In addition, emerging search technologies that use methods like concept-based searching, linguistic pattern recognition and other areas that move beyond traditional keyword searching are now being used for initial culling of data as well as to provide supplemental search capabilities for different stages of the document review. A general knowledge of tools and trends has become an important part of the job responsibilities for those charged with preparing for a document review.
In this phase we will discuss the many factors to be considered in preparing for a document review and managing it to completion. We will do this in five sections: Develop Review Strategy/Plan, Setup Review Room/Training, Perform Data Analysis/Workflow, Conduct Review, and Evaluate Plan/Wrap-up. Content includes the initial planning for the review, selecting a vendor, determining whether a review is better performed in-house or externally, system functionality, search capabilities, training of reviewers and a wide range of related management issues.
Throughout, we will introduce emerging technologies and trends. These provide the hope of helping us to enhance our ability to handle the growing volume of data and allowing us to further streamline the review process.