eDiscovery Daily Blog

Managing an eDiscovery Contract Review Team: Assembling the Project Team


Before assembling the review team, think through how the project will be structured.  This will drive decisions on the type of people that you’ll need.  Your goal is to get the work done as cost effectively as possible – using less expensive personnel where possible — without sacrificing work quality or the utility of the work product.

The “base” of the project will be comprised of contract reviewers and qc staff.  In the project plan, you determined the number of people that you need.  At this point, don’t worry about who will be a reviewer and who will do qc work.  Everybody can start as a reviewer.  After a few days, you can identify who will do qc work.  You’ve got options for assembling this staff, but you should consider working with a litigation support vendor who offers staffing services.  A good vendor already has access to a pool of people with document review experience.  This can save you lots of time and work.

In addition to the contract review staff, you’ll need project management staff.  We’ve already talked about a project manager.  For a large project, you’ll want project supervisors — each responsible for a team of reviewers/qc personnel.  Each supervisor is responsible for overseeing the flow of work to the team, the quality of the work done by the team, the productivity of team members, and answering questions raised by reviewers (or ensuring that questions are resolved).  I usually create teams of 10 to 12 and assign one supervisor to a team.   The supervisors might be law firm litigation support professionals, or supervisory staff provided by the vendor with whom you are working.

You’ll also need “decision makers” and experts in the subject matter to round out the team.  At a minimum, you’ll want an attorney from the litigation team.  Depending on the complexity of the documents, you might need a client employee who is familiar with the company’s operations and documents.  These people should be on-site, full-time for the first few days of a project.  Eventually there will be fewer questions and it’s probably sufficient to have phone access to these team members.

Later in this blog series we’ll talk about how these staff levels interact so that decisions are made by attorneys but effectively implemented by review staff.

How do you structure a document review team?  Please share any comments you have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.