Like many businesses, CDS had to pivot to managing workers and client relationships remotely when COVID started. While we had some experience with virtual document reviews prior to the pandemic, it was not to the extent that we faced in March 2020.
Thought Leadership and Industry Trends
In March 2020, as offices around the world closed due to the global pandemic, CDS transitioned to fully remote document reviews. One year later, we have learned many lessons about what works and where adjustments and improvements can still be made.
When addressing document review in the Federal space, agencies can come up against serious challenges. From budgetary limitations to data security, ramping up a team of attorneys to review documents on a tight time frame and on projects with ever changing scope can seem like a daunting undertaking for stakeholders and contract officers alike.
In the U.S., the ABA has estimated that document review alone accounts for more than 80 percent of total litigation spend, totaling tens of billions of dollars per year. As data becomes more varied and complex and volumes increase, that number is only going to rise. The dominance of social media, the increased use of short form multichannel messaging platforms, and even the growing popularity of podcasts have only widened the scope of what is considered fair game for discovery.
In eDiscovery, it can be very helpful to conduct a preliminary analysis of the communications of the key parties. By doing so in the early stages of a matter or investigation, reviewers can gain insights on the individuals and discussions that may be most relevant.
While companies and law firms grapple with putting certain projects on hold due to the coronavirus, eDiscovery can move forward using CDS Managed Review technology. Our new enhanced capabilities are available to all clients providing secure remote access to team members to keep eDiscovery on schedule.
Data analytics tools such as those provided by Relativity Analytics offer the means to make document review more efficient and accurate, which ultimately saves corporations and law firms time and money.
While there is no perfect process and the parties may need to go beyond using search terms to find relevant documents, implementing a few tips and tricks when using search terms can make a big difference in the time and money spent on review.
Relativity provides many helpful features that improve the eDiscovery review process, including Early Case Assessment and Data Analytics.
As eDiscovery technology becomes more sophisticated, both small and large companies can feel overwhelmed with the choices and the potential cost. Small companies or law firms usually have little knowledge about which technology will help them review or produce documents most effectively within their budget constraints.
Redaction is one of the most time-consuming tasks in eDiscovery, requiring manual review of documents to black out sensitive information. However, technology tools do exist to make it easier. These are especially helpful with Excel spreadsheets, which are difficult to work with if converted into an image file. Redacting in native Excel is preferable but does present its own challenges if the right technology is not used.
Automation and artificial intelligence are continuing to bring significant improvements to the whole EDRM process – from information governance through collection, review and production.