eDiscovery Daily Blog

When Considering Review Solutions, Don’t Forget About Self-Documentation – eDiscovery Best Practices

When evaluating eDiscovery review solutions, there are a number of features that attorneys consider as part of their selection process.  For example: What searching capabilities does the solution have?  How does it handle native files?  How does it support annotations and redactions of images?  Can it support conceptual clustering and predictive coding?  But, one feature that often gets overlooked is the ability for the review solution to automatically document searching and review activities.  Not only does that make it easier to identify potential issues in the process; it also facilitates the ability for attorneys to demonstrate a defensible approach to discovery to the court.

There are at least three areas where self-documentation can assist in the discovery analysis and review process:

Searching: An application, such as FirstPass®, powered by Venio FPR™, that keeps track of every search in a search history can provide assistance to attorneys to demonstrate a defensible search approach.  eDiscovery searching is almost always an iterative process where you perform a search, analyze the results (often through sampling of the search results, which FirstPass also supports), then adjust the search to either add, remove or modify terms to improve recall (when responsive information is being missed) or improve precision (when the terms are overly broad and yielding way too much non-responsive information, such as the “mining” example we’ve discussed previously).

Tracking search history accomplishes two things: 1) it makes it easier to recall previous searches and “tweak” them to run a modified version of the search without starting from scratch (some searches can be really complex, so this can be a tremendous time saver) and, 2) it documents the natural iterative process of searching, facilitating the ability for attorneys to demonstrate a defensible search approach to discovery to the court, if necessary.  And, if you don’t think that ever comes up, check out these case summaries here, here, here and here.   Not only that, the ability to look at previous searches can be a shorten the learning curve for new users that need to conduct searches by giving them examples after which to pattern their own searches.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the other two areas where self-documentation can assist in the discovery analysis and review process.  Let the anticipation build!

So, what do you think?  How important are self-documentation features in a review solution to you?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.