eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Project Management: Assemble the Right Team


There are lots of tasks associated with a large electronic discovery project.  A number of skill sets and areas of expertise are required to do them all well.  It’s not likely that all of those skills and knowledge will reside in a single person.  You need to create the right electronic discovery team to ensure that there are no glitches.

Under a common case scenario that involves collecting electronic discovery, processing, analyzing/culling, review, and production, you should have all of these areas covered:

  • Knowledge of electronic discovery:  Knowledge of the process, technology tools, and service providers.
  • Technical knowledge and skills:  Skills in collecting forensically sound and defensible data and knowledge of your client’s technology systems and practices.
  • Knowledge of your client’s document policies and practices:  Knowledge of document retention policies and practices and knowledge of what types of files exist and how and where they are stored and accessed.
  • Knowledge of the facts at issue in the case, and the strategy for using documents in the case:  You need someone who can make decisions on what document content is responsive, privileged, significant, helpful, and harmful.
  • Familiarity with the cast of characters and knowledge of who is likely to have documents and knowledge about what.
  • Knowledge of the litigation process and the rules of civil procedure that apply to electronic discovery.
  • Expertise in search technology, techniques and strategies.
  • Project management skills and experience.

It is critical that a project manager is identified early on.  There are lots of steps in the process that will require continuous oversight and monitoring.  The project manager will be responsible for creating project plans, creating budgets and schedules, identifying required resources, ensuring that decisions are made by the right people, ensuring that deadlines are met, and so on.  On a case with a large electronic discovery collection and a short schedule, this is a full-time job.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about what types of people are likely to have the right skill sets, and then we’ll move on to assembling the right team for a specific task that requires significant numbers of people.

What do you think?  Who do you include on your electronic discovery teams?  Please share your comments and let us know if you’d like more information on a particular topic.