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Inventus is a leading national discovery management practice, focused on reducing litigation costs through a suite of bundled, best-of-breed technologies.

How to Make Your eDiscovery Heart Grow Fonder in 2016

Posted 02/17/16 7:58 PM by Thom Siblo

While eDiscovery may be one of the least amorous topics to write or think about, a recent conversation between project managers at Inventus had us all in agreement about how needlessly complicated eDiscovery can be and that in order to deliver efficient and exemplary customer service we often use the principle known as “KISS” with regards to our workflows and eDiscovery strategies. KISS being the acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid” and not the entity known to “Rock and Roll All Nite.” With that in mind and with Valentine’s Day just behind us, we decided to cull a KISS acronym specifically for how to keep your eDiscovery matters on track in 2016.

K – Keep your eDiscovery project manager in the loop. If you’ve ever worked with a vendor, you know who your PM is – it’s the person who gracefully responds to your early morning and late night email requests to add a field or when you need assistance with a search. In addition to those services, though, your PM should be your “fifth Beatle” or “sixth (wo)man” – any metaphor for an unsung team member will work. If you’re unsure whether you really need a second (or third) Privilege field, have a series of upcoming production deadlines, or need a fresh perspective on how to narrow down a large population of documents, use your PM as a consultative resource. The Inventus PM team has seen countless scenarios play out and can use that experience to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in your review or during production.

I – Improve your knowledge with every project. For most attorneys and human beings, navigating eDiscovery is a learned skill that is constantly evolving. While that can seem intimidating, even knowledge of basic terminology can be enormously helpful in communication and will enable you to steer your review in more sophisticated directions. Use your next project as an opportunity to try a new workflow or investigate whether analytics might be used advantageously. Whether it’s a quick phone call to firm up your understanding of the difference between a “field” and a “choice” in Relativity or a more formal WebEx training dedicated to searching, use your next project as a chance to sharpen your eDiscovery skills.

S – Sometimes technology is the right solution. With technology progressing rapidly there will be situations in which clients can leverage the power of analytics to review documents with greater efficiency than ever before. For example, if a client has a tremendous set of internal e-mail data, leveraging E-mail Threading and reviewing only the e-mails at the top of every chain (known in the biz as “inclusive” emails) rather than every individual e-mail in a chain has the potential to remove 30%-40% of the amount of total documents that need eyes on them. This will lead to faster turnaround time for documents to be reviewed and cost savings with regards to document reviewers. Another situation where eDiscovery technology can be beneficial is utilizing Near Duplicate to locate multiple copies of privileged non-email documents to ensure all versions of this privileged document are located.  

S – Sometimes technology is not the right solution. While the technological improvements within eDiscovery are staggering, they are certainly not “one size fits all.” For example, Predictive Coding can be an incredibly helpful tool to reduce review costs and apply consistent coding throughout a large population of documents. With that said, for Predictive Coding to work most powerfully it requires the time and attention of a single subject matter expert that may have to review between 10,000 and 15,000 documents in order to “train” the documents properly. Another common but ineffective use of analytics is using Near Duplicates to identify e-mails that are duplicative but due to collection or network inconsistencies, do not have duplicative MD5 Hash values and did not dupe out during processing. Due to the myriad of undetectable spaces in e-mail headers, this course of action will rarely end in weeding out the duplicative e-mails that will enable you to save time and money during the litigation process.

We hope this helps provide a roadmap to more effective eDiscovery reviews in 2016! Let us know your thoughts and questions at tsiblo@inventus.com

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Thom Siblo

About The Author

Thom has acted as lead PM on well over 100 matters during his seven years managing eDiscovery projects. He routinely serves as the lead PM on many of Inventus’ critical client projects for our clients—most of which are high-stakes government investigations or civil litigation. He worked for Stroz Friedberg prior to joining Inventus and is licensed to practice law in New York.

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