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    Getting Smart with Second Request Workflows

    August 9, 2016

    By Brad Janssen, Director of Advisory Services, CDS.

    As mergers and acquisitions activity has increased over the past several years, so have the number of “Second Requests” issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ). Second Request projects in connection with Antitrust clearance are among the most voluminous, fast-paced, and chaotic types of eDiscovery matters out there. With a Second Request, every review day counts and these reviews involve hundreds of moving parts.

    As experts in the Second Request process, CDS has a few high level tips and workflows to help you in your next review project.

    1. Always perform some kind of Early Case Assessment (ECA). ECA not only helps reduce document volume, organize and classify document sets, and cull out non-relevant material, ECA also helps teams prioritize their data set and their document review. In a Second Request, this means:
      1. Eliminating more irrelevant material before it gets to the review team.
      2. Quickly getting to the important documents that speak to the economic, competitive, and related issues in your case.
      3. Faster initial productions for Priority Custodians requested by the agencies.
    2. Technology Assisted Review (TAR) should be considered for every Second Request. Given the large data volumes, tight windows to certify substantial compliance, and client focus on reducing review costs, TAR has become the new normal when it comes to Second Request reviews. Both the FTC and DOJ have become increasingly comfortable with the use of TAR, and in certain matters, TAR is the only viable option short of review teams of hundreds of contract attorneys. At best, TAR can be used to supplement or even replace these large review teams. For those not yet willing to embrace a full TAR review, TAR can provide a valuable and more accurate alternative to search terms to drastically cut down a large data set. It can be used as a quality check for human reviewers and can be used to classify and “bucket” the highly relevant documents from the material less likely to be responsive.
    3. Incorporate Data Analytics into your workflows. Document Clustering has become a very powerful data analytics tool. Clustering does not require any user input and allows teams to quickly and easily organize a data set and group similar documents together. It can be used to both assist with first past review and can also aid in the Quality Control of human- and TAR-applied coding. Structured analytics, such as email threading and near duplicate identification, can be extremely helpful in privilege review, batching, and related workflows.
    4. Use Data Visualizations to spot problems. “A picture is worth 1,000 words” as the saying goes and this definitely holds true for data visualizations. A well-constructed visual clustering chart can provide additional insight, be more helpful, and is more efficient than running many complex search strings. Display information visually versus in tabular/chart format to quickly spot outliers or mistakes. For example, visually display a tentative production set by its document tagging, coding, and privilege search term hits to easily check for privileged content or highly sensitive terms that might have slipped into a production as opposed to running separate individual time-consuming searches.

    CDS has a complete team of Second Request veterans that can assist with the above workflows, and many others, depending on the specifics and details of your next Second Request. For more information, contact us for a consultation.

    About the Author

    Brad Janssen, Director of Professional Services, CDS New York

    Brad Janssen is CDS’s Director of Professional Services and oversees our Project Management and Advisory Services teams.  Brad and the CDS Project Management team take a solutions driven, consultative, and above all, client centric approach in advising law firms, corporations, and government agencies on efficient and defensible eDiscovery strategies. Laser focused on consistent and quality services, Brad oversees both the tactical and strategic application of technology to civil & criminal litigations, regulatory matters, and internal investigations.

       bjanssen@cdslegal.com