5 Best Practices for setting the most effective eDiscovery Workflow
In today’s digital age, eDiscovery has become essential for law firms. The ability to efficiently and effectively manage large amounts of electronically stored information (ESI) is critical to the success of any legal case.
However, eDiscovery is known for devouring time, money, and labour in a seemingly endless deluge of dull and repetitive tasks – but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few essential best practices, you can set up your eDiscovery workflow successfully and avoid costly mistakes that could damage your case in court.
Whether you’re a managing partner looking to boost your firm’s efficiency or an eDiscovery attorney trying to stay ahead of the curve, this article has something for you.
Out of the collected ESI, eDiscovery team should prioritize datasets based on priority custodians, term hits, production deadlines, etc. Knowledge of case background and strategy is imperative for the team who prioritizes the dataset.
Work Product Setup
A simple and easy-to-understand tag structure helps reviewers a lot while taking calls on the documents. The tagging structure should be consistent and well-defined across the dataset. Review rules such as “mutual exclusion” and “required rules” are vital for error-free tagging. For example, mutual exclusion between responsive and non-responsive tags can be set up. Required rules can be set up so that if a document is responsive, a privilege/non-privileged tag needs to be made.
The more consistent the work product is, easier the review and production are.
Prioritize the review of documents by creating batches for potentially responsive & potentially privileged documents. There are various techniques like Email threading to reduce the document count; it helps locate the most inclusive emails and emails with attachments. Applying Deduplication on the review load could further reduce the document count.
eDiscovery Manager can assign the batches to reviewers and monitor the progress. This will be extremely helpful, especially in time-sensitive eDiscovery requests.
Configure Team Hierarchy
When configuring team hierarchy in an eDiscovery workflow, there are a few key considerations to remember. First and foremost, having clear roles and responsibilities for each team member is essential.
This will help ensure everyone knows what is expected of them and can work together efficiently. Additionally, it may be helpful to establish a chain of command or reporting structure so that issues or concerns can be escalated appropriately.
Another critical factor to consider is communication. It is essential to have open lines of communication between team members and with any external stakeholders or clients. This can help ensure everyone is on the same page and that any issues or roadblocks are promptly addressed.
Finally, adjusting the team hierarchy or roles may be necessary as the project progresses. This could be due to changes in scope or priorities or because certain team members may excel in different areas than initially anticipated.
By remaining flexible and adaptable, teams can ensure they can deliver high-quality results while fostering a collaborative and supportive environment.
Quality Control is not a stage but mandatory caution to follow in each stage of eDiscovery, from data collection to production. eDiscovery professionals should have a QC checklist well in advance. Engaging the most experienced team members to prepare the QC checklist is best. Here is an example of a few QC checklist items.
Processing Errors: During ESI processing, you might encounter documents that are password-protected, corrupted, or difficult to process. Often, these files get stuck at the processing level. The QC checklist must acknowledge these documents and get them processed as needed.
Privilege Review: Make a point to validate the tags applied to documents before moving them to the production stage. Utilize advanced search features to sort documents based on their applied tags searching based on tags, i.e., “Responsive” and “Privilege” tags. This additional QC step stops you from producing any privileged document.
Perform QC on Reviewed Documents: During the document review stage, A QC manager should keep an eye and ears on reviewed dataset to ensure the quality of manual review.
- QC manager can provide timely feedback on random samples of documents reviewed by each reviewer.
- Track overturn rates for each reviewer
- Perform conflict checks between family documents and duplicate documents.
Production: A conflict check can be run before producing documents to ensure the work product is consistent across families, duplicate documents, and related documents. This ensures that you don’t produce any documents which should be withheld.
By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your eDiscovery process is streamlined and efficient. From establishing clear objectives to using the right eDiscovery software, there are many ways to optimize your eDiscovery workflow.
If you need help streamlining your eDiscovery process or have any questions about how to do so effectively, contact us to speak to an expert who can provide valuable guidance and support. With the right approach, you can ensure that your eDiscovery process succeeds from start to finish.