Whether it’s your first eDiscovery matter or your 100th case, just one error may mean the difference between being under or being grossly over budget. Small items can have an inordinately large impact on case costs.
Deadlines looming, it can be tempting to promptly move from one step to the next during discovery, but you should make the time for the following workflows. They’ll provide insight that can help you identify potential problems with your data set, therefore preventing costly mistakes. They will also enable you to devise a strategic plan for the rest of the eDiscovery process, which will help you produce the best results in the end.
Here are some of the workflows you should incorporate on your next project:
1. Practice consistent repeatable quality control measures
It’s important to practice quality control on an ongoing basis because it can ensure that potential issues are addressed early in the project life-cycle. When discovery deadlines are tight, a legal team needs to continual reassurance that quality control measures are meeting or exceeding all standards.
Whether it’s your first eDiscovery matter or your 100th case, just one error may mean the difference between being under or being grossly over budget.
Make sure to receive frequent updates on productivity (both by groups and individuals, internal and external) and quality metrics for all key attributes. Also, see that samples of work in progress are shared with senior counsel early in the process, so that any necessary changes can be made quickly and efficiently. If any aspect of the system workflow is producing less-than-optimal results, you need to know so you can promptly correct.
2. Perform Early Case Assessment (ECA):
Too often, individuals rush into processing and review without a significant understanding of the content of their ESI. Case teams should use early case assessment workflows to quickly identify options for preparing and working with ESI and to address potential challenges that could have far reaching repercussions if not resolved early enough in the discovery process.
Discovery costs can increase unnecessarily when there are issues with ESI that are uncovered too late in the eDiscovery process, requiring work to become reactive instead of proactive. While remediating these issues, it becomes clear that time and expense of remediation could have been avoided had data analysis been performed on ESI at the beginning of the project.
3. Incorporate Pre-Review Analysis (PRA) to inform your review strategy
With pre-review analysis (PRA), case teams can identify processing problems before they become review problems. PRA allows review leads the ability to organize data by communication pattern, segregating internal emails from outward facing ones.
You can separate calendar items, appointments, meeting responses, and contacts which may or may not be relevant based on the assessments already made. With the addition of analytics, PRA, can winnow down a review set based on email threads and near duplicate analyses. Concept searches, keyword expansion, and cluster visualization can tease patterns out of data that a simple linear review cannot. When combined together, all these approaches can help review teams limit the review set and expedite the time to production while reducing costs.
If you take the necessary steps to prepare, it is much easier to plan for and execute an efficient eDiscovery process. Some case teams are aware of the complexities involved and do their best to employ best practices in order to avoid potential pitfalls.