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    7 Early Case Assessment Features You May Not Know About

    March 5, 2020

    Early Case Assessment (ECA) enables law firms and companies to significantly reduce costs by eliminating non-relevant data while providing valuable insight into data sets early in the discovery process. While ECA tools and methods have become more mainstream in the last few years, there are still many features and benefits that are not well-known or understood. These include the following:

    • Culling common non-responsive document-types. Most data sets contain a significant amount of non-responsive documents that add time and cost to document reviews. With CDS ECA, users can quickly flag segments of these data stores to be culled prior to being stored on the review platform. For example, filters can identify news stories, promotions and social media that will likely not be relevant to the potential review.
    • Clustering to identify topics. Through clustering, documents on similar topics are grouped together automatically based on document titles and summary snippets of document contents. Users can get a quick overview of unifying themes of a data set and drill down into areas of interest using keywords drawn directly from documents.
    • Flagging Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Personal Health Information (PHI). CDS’s ECA tools can be used to identify documents with credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, healthcare information and other PII and PHI to aid in redaction and to prevent such information from being produced. For example, much of this data has patterns and ECA software enables the user to search for all data that matches the selected pattern.
    • Identifying potentially privileged data for further review. An eDiscovery service provider should maintain a regularly updated list of the most common law firms and privilege terms to run over the documents for an initial cull of a production population.
    • Using dashboards and analytics. Through the use of dashboards, users can easily filter data based on file types, data size, custodians and their corresponding date ranges. This enables users to cut, analyze and reduce data sets as well as determine what data may be missing. 
    • Analyzing communication. CDS’s ECA data visualization tools can provide significant insights with respect to communications. These enable a user to examine which parties were communicating and how often in an interactive way. Users can focus on particular people and combine results with clustering to determine the key concepts within those communications.
    • Reducing hosting costs. Using RelativityOne for ECA reduces the hosting rate, while still allowing access to all the Relativity analytics tools to analyze and reduce the data set. Furthermore, a repository model can be used for multiple matters at the lower hosting rate if there are overlapping data sets. Once the data set for each matter is determined, data can be migrated to the appropriate review workspace using Relativity Integration Points.

    CDS’s proprietary Early Case Assessment  toolkit enhances the features of Relativity providing a variety of methods for investigating and quickly learning about data sets as it relates to eDiscovery and potential litigation. These can result in significant cost savings in terms of lower volumes of data to process and host as well as lower downstream cost during document review.

    Contact the CDS Advisory Services team to discuss how you can streamline your next eDiscovery project.

    About the Author

    Brian Zimmermann, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS Chicago

    As a Senior Consultant,  Brian Zimmermann manages workflows and provides high-level expertise to his clients. He has over 7 years of eDiscovery and legal experience and has consulted on multiple large matters for a variety of clients, including Am Law 100 firms, global financial services organizations and multi-national pharmaceutical companies.  In his time with CDS, he has managed challenging eDiscovery matters including second requests, significant multi-district litigation and large class action cases. Brian is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois.