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Case Study: Commercial Carrier

An Extensive Managed Review Conducted On Time and Delivered More Than $1 Million Under Budget

The Opportunity

A large commercial carrier was involved in a series of overlapping cases regarding antitrust and breach-of-contract claims. The client engaged Special Counsel to manage the document review, production, privilege review and privilege log and to provide post-production support.

Solution Summary

  1. Assembled a flexible team consisting of one project manager, 4-5 team leads and 100-210 attorneys
  2. Advised the client on the selection of an optimal eDiscovery partner
  3. Worked with the client and outside counsel to draft document review protocols and implement efficient workflows
  4. Managed all incoming research requests in support of filings, motions and expert reports
  5. Tailored stringent quality control process to meet the client's needs
  6. Performed quality control on the defendant and third-party hot documents
  7. Prepared deposition binders and summaries for more than 60 depositions as part of post-production

Results

The Managed Review was delivered successfully and the client realized significant cost savings.

The Goal

To find a partner who could manage the various team members, create cost efficiencies and deliver the highest quality work product.

Key Stats

11.5 Million Documents Reviewed

210 Attorneys Assigned

97.9% Accuracy Rate

$1 Million Cost Savings

Read the full case study:

Opportunity

A large commercial carrier was involved in a series of overlapping cases regarding antitrust and breach-of-contract claims. The cases were large in scale with a combined database of over 11 million documents and an expected 2 million produced documents. The client retained five law firms to assist with the various claims and needed a partner to manage the various team members, create cost efficiencies and deliver the highest quality work product.

The client engaged Special Counsel to manage the document review, production, privilege review, privilege log and to provide post-production support, including assistance through trial for one of the cases.

Business Challenges

The size of the document universe, number of issue codes, rolling deadlines and number of document review attorneys (up to 210) required extreme attention to detail, metrics monitoring, continuous training and quality control management.

The team was tasked with reviewing documents for multiple cases running concurrently, often reviewing the same documents for two or more productions at a time. Adding to the scope of work, incoming defendant and third-party documents needed to be reviewed for pending depositions and research requests.

The discovery process was ongoing and lasted over two years. Due to the long process and contentious nature of the case, Special Counsel received multiple rolling Requests for Productions (RFP) from the defendants that required the team to re-review the non-responsive documents as many as four times if they contained search terms.

Our Solution

Special Counsel assembled a flexible team of one project manager, 4-5 team leads and 100 – 210 attorneys. Understanding the need to contain costs, Special Counsel worked with the client to provide legal assistance that led to over $1 million in cost savings.

Based on our extensive experience with multitudes of hosting vendors, Special Counsel advised the client on selecting the best eDiscovery partners for this project, taking into consideration the size of project, cost constraints, tool functionality and various overlapping deadlines. Additionally, the client's legal department and eDiscovery IT department invited Special Counsel's Project Manager to work closely with them on reviewing and recommending eDiscovery software vendors for future department-wide needs.

Throughout the review, the Project Manager and the team leads worked closely with the client and outside counsel to draft document review protocols and develop and implement efficient workflows. Specific and specialized tasks were divided and delegated to team leads in four areas: client productions and depositions, privilege log, defendant and third-party reviews and special projects.

Ongoing training was necessary due to the evolving parameters of the case and litigation strategy. The Project Manager and team leads held daily interactive question-and-answer sessions with outside counsel to ensure the team was on track, maintained consistency and engaged in continuous dialogue with all counsel involved.

The Privilege Team Lead worked closely with outside counsel and a team of 40 Special Counsel attorneys to oversee the privilege review and redactions, followed by the creation of the privilege log. Additionally, a subset of this team (identified as the Quality Control Team) reviewed the 50,000 line-item log in response to privilege challenges, resulting in surgical redactions and de-designations.

Further, a select group of the Privilege Team reviewed, analyzed and prepared a memo for outside counsel's reference to challenge opposing party's privilege log in order to successfully support a Motion to Compel. This resulted in the de-designation of thousands of various key privileged documents. This group developed methodology of analyzing an Excel privilege log that lead to a successful privilege challenge that proved useful for future cases as well.

The Quality Control Team tailored Special Counsel's stringent quality control process to meet the needs of this review. The group was tasked with reviewing productions from three defendants and up to 30 third parties. Additionally, the team leads and a core group of Special Counsel attorneys performed quality control on the defendant and third party hot documents and sent them to outside counsel, along with document summaries, on a rolling basis. This allowed counsel to stay updated regarding the most important documents in a timely manner.

Special Counsel's involvement continued past the review and privilege log creation. The Project Manager and 100 attorneys were retained to assist with post-production support. The team prepared deposition binders and summaries for over 60 depositions. Under the guidance of the team leads, the team performed in-depth research and prepared an RFP gap analysis in support and in defense of Motion to Compel filings. Additionally, they worked with outside counsel to create a legal analysis in CaseMap that was used in anticipation of the trial Exhibit List.

The Project Manager managed all incoming research requests in support of filings, motions and expert reports, ensuring that they were delivered on schedule. The trial team of 13 attorneys assisted with the quality control of the Exhibit List (consisting of over 8,000 documents). They reviewed the opposing party's Exhibit List to identify overlapping documents and suggested which documents should be challenged by outside counsel. In support of the trial's Motion to Seal, the team reviewed the targeted Exhibit List (approximately 1,000 documents) for confidentiality de-designations and redactions.

The team concluded by reviewing the opposing party's confidentiality de-designations and redactions to provide suggestions for challenges.

Outcomes / Highlights

Special Counsel's Delivery Team worked as a contributing partner and assisted the client and outside counsel with much more than a Managed Review. The client expressed deep gratitude for the expertise and professionalism Special Counsel was able to provide.

The Special Counsel team worked incessantly to meet all court-ordered and internal deadlines, often working seven days a week, 12 hours a day. Over 11.5 million documents were reviewed with 13% undergoing a stratified quality control process that resulted in an accuracy rate of 97.9%.

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