Thought Leadership and Industry Trends
How Managed Early Case Assessment Saves Time and Reduces eDiscovery Costs
By Brad Janssen, Director of Advisory Services, CDS.
The use of Early Case Assessment (ECA – also known as Early Data Assessment or EDA) has entered the mainstream thanks to the advantages it provides: workflow efficiency as well as reductions to eDiscovery costs and data volumes. ECA refers to a variety of tools and methods for investigating and quickly learning about your data as it relates to eDiscovery and potential litigation. The potential for cost savings with ECA is significant and often leads to direct savings in terms of lower volumes of data to process and host as well as lower downstream cost during document review.
At CDS, we have identified numerous benefits from managed ECA since launching our proprietary CDS ECA toolkit. Managed ECA enables law firms and companies to reduce costs by eliminating non-relevant data while providing valuable insight into data sets earlier in the discovery process. Users cull and analyze data sets before promoting documents to review. The toolkit allows users to:
- Identify potentially privileged documents and PHI/PII within data sets
- Cull out a significant percentage of non-responsive documents
- Organize documents to prioritize and classify for accelerated review.
Given the advancements in ECA toolkits and the advantages to performing an initial ECA review, clients and firms should always consider engaging in some form of ECA/EDA on most matters. Below are recent success stories:
- 40% reduction in data volume. An attorney had his plaintiff perform a self-collection of email accounts and computer hard drives. The attorney and client worked together to cull down the data set before it even got to CDS. Despite this, after data processing, deNISTing, deduping, and running search terms over the data, the attorney team still was finding highly non-relevant documents in the data set but was not sure how exactly to target and search for this information. CDS performed Managed ECA using our Advisory Services experts and further reduced the data volume by close to 40%, achieving culling rates of over 8,000 documents per hour. Working with CDS, a team of two attorneys was able to get through a universe of over 150,000 documents in well under one month.
- 100% success rate. Another firm processed, deNISTed, deduped, and keyword searched data from a company involved in a litigation. While the initial document universe was over two million documents, after running a very narrow set of keywords, the data set was reduced by over 90% leaving a highly targeted review set remaining. ECA was then used to further reduce the volume. CDS found that 10% of the narrow post keyword searched data set was non-relevant and should be removed. Since the attorney team had started their review, as a double check CDS compared what it flagged for removal as highly non-relevant to what the team had already reviewed. Approximately 15% of the data CDS recommended for removal had already been coded by the review team. Every document CDS recommended for removal that was reviewed by the team, was determined to be non-relevant – a 100% success rate.
Regardless of the size or scope of your next eDiscovery project, consider the use of CDS ECA or Managed ECA services. Spending a few hours up front to categorize and organize data can lead to major cost and time savings down the line.
About the Author