Thought Leadership and Industry Trends
New to Large Document Reviews? 4 Tips to Help You Get Started
By Brad Janssen, Client Services Director, CDS.
As the amount of Electronically Stored information (ESI) that companies and employees generate continues to increase, so does the average size of eDiscovery projects and document reviews. Many Attorneys and review teams accustomed to handling their document reviews in-house using basic technology solutions (such as native file review in their respective applications) or lower end review tools are now turning to more advanced options, outside vendors, and full-fledged document review platforms such as Relativity for large document reviews.
If you’re approaching an eDiscovery project and document review with a highly customizable but extremely powerful review platform like Relativity for the first time, it can be a challenge. Workflows that might be effective for a small 10,000 document project – such as a pure linear review – are not the best solutions for a project involving larger document volumes.
While there are a number of high-level features and review tool capabilities to help ensure an efficient and less frustrating review process, below are some basic tips to employ for those new to eDiscovery or larger cases:
- Consider the use of Early Case Assessment (ECA). Instead of rushing to review the entire data set as fast as possible, ECA is a process for performing high level organization of your data set, gaining insight into your data set, and allowing case teams to analyze their data before they start review and incur significant review costs. For example, by using CDS’s ECA tool kit, you can cull out and identify non relevant documents in your case (meaning lower review costs and smaller review volumes), pre-identify potentially privileged information and segregate that from “normal” review, and flag documents needing special treatment, such as PHI/PII (Protected Health Information/Personally Identifiable Information).
- Prioritize your review. Be strategic in what you review first. Prioritize review based on highly relevant or important terms and try to target the good, highly responsive documents first versus starting randomly or at document one and continuing until you get to the last document. Prioritizing allows case teams to get to “the good stuff” quickly and help build up their understanding and facts of the case much more simply and efficiently.
- Be smart and strategic with Search Terms. If using keywords, always review, analyze, and even sample hit results. Don’t just run terms and simply conclude “this is my review set” if the hit count is low enough. In many cases, high hitting or problematic terms can be tweaked or modified, such as by changing an AND search (which will hit if a document contains terms anywhere in the document) to a proximity or WITHIN search (which will only hit on terms if they appear in X words of each other). Additionally, revisit search term lists after review has started to try and locate new terms or look for terms to modify.
- Consider the use of Data Analytics. CDS and Relativity offer a number of different data analytics features. Some analytics features, such as Technology Assisted Review (“TAR”) can be used to supplement or even replace a human based linear review. Others, such as Document Clustering, are a very quick and easy way to organize data or accelerate review that does not require any human input (such as seed documents). Analytics features like threading or near duplicate identification can be run quickly and help accelerate review.
For those new to eDiscovery, Relativity, or large document review sets, don’t jump headfirst into a document set and perform a pure linear review the way you’re used to doing. Take advantage of your document review platform and consider some of these methods and other workflow advice CDS can offer.
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