The Changing Face of Early (and Late) Case Assessment
Posted 06/9/17 8:37 PM by Thom Siblo
As the eDiscovery space evolves into an increasingly crucial component of litigation and the legal industry as a whole, the faces and concepts of yesteryear are beginning to change. There was a time not that long ago when the phrase Early Case Assessment (“ECA”) conjured visions of marginally helpful concept wheels, and limited search functionality coupled with long lag times between searching and the ability to review the data. During these days of eDiscovery growing pains, ECA was viewed as expensive and primarily a one-time culling of massive data sets. While that is still true, Inventus has found a way to integrate ECA into the very fabric of Relativity, keeping hosting costs low and access to the data simple and straightforward, making ECA a crucial component of matters of all sizes and scopes throughout the course of the matter.
To call Inventus’ proprietary workflow, inVerito, an ECA tool would be selling it short. Traditionally, the ECA template involves running broad search terms over a large set of data and then segues into a more linear review. This isn’t how most matters unfurl: anyone well versed in eDiscovery knows the constant target shifting involved in both litigation and regulatory investigations through the lifecycle of the matter. This is where inVerito becomes more than just a space to run a large set of search terms at the onset of a case and becomes more of a workflow to be accessed through the lifecycle of the matter.
With the inVerito workflow, the text and metadata of your document population reside in Relativity at all times. InVerito allows for full Relativity search functionality to refine your review population, jettisoning the natives (for now) that will keep the reoccurring hosting costs high. Once your review population is narrowed down the natives will be added to Relativity, typically in just a few hours, and your document review is ready to begin.
Now, just a few months later, depositions have revealed the scope of your matter just widened or the SEC has handed down another request (as they are wont to do.) InVerito is still fully accessible, and you can have new search terms and date filters run immediately, with access to review the documents with natives. You’ll be able to instantly see the scope of your new review and determine what documents might need to be reused from the previous request. Since this is all being done in the same workspace as the previous review, fields like “privilege” won’t even need to be coded again since privilege tends to carry over regardless of the request. I’ve seen teams use the inVerito workflow to adapt to shifting deadlines on multiple requests for years, constantly building on their previous work product in their workspace, all while paying hosting only for the documents they will be reviewing.
Given the usage of the inVerito workflow throughout the lifecycle of a case, it’s hard to see it solely as an ECA tool. As this industry progresses, the software will need to evolve. At Inventus, we’ve identified our client’s need for case assessment that can be performed early, but also late and anytime in-between.