eDiscovery Daily Blog

Managing an eDiscovery Contract Review Team: Clearly Define Objectives


Yesterday, we introduced the blog series to discuss Managing an eDiscovery Contract Review Team.  Now, it’s time to get started!  The first step in preparing for a document review is to very clearly define the objectives of the review.  It’s an easy step, but it’s very important.  It will drive several subsequent decisions that you’ll make regarding management of the project. 

Here are some likely objectives you may choose:

  • Identify responsive documents
  • Identify privileged documents
  • Identify documents to be reviewed by an expert
  • Identify significant helpful and harmful documents

The choices you make here will affect the type of people you’ll assign to the review, the amount of time the review will take, the type of criteria you’ll need to draft, and the level of training you’ll need to do.

How do you make these decisions?  There are a few factors that should affect your choices:

  • The nature of the case and the nature of the document collection:  What type of case are you handling and what types of documents are in the collection?  If the case involves highly technical or scientific subject matter, you may need to train the review staff to segregate those documents that require review by an expert.
  • Where are you on the case and what do you know so far?  If you don’t know much yet about the case and what will be important, you won’t be in a position to ask reviewers to recognize significant materials.
  • What’s the pool of available reviewers?  Can you easily pull together a team that’s qualified to identify potentially privileged or significant documents?   If you need a very large team, you might be better off working with a team that can more easily focus on objective criteria, and use a smaller group of attorney staff to work with a smaller collection after the initial review.

Determine the objectives that will work best for your case and that can be accomplished with the available resources.  Make sure that the objectives are clearly defined and that everyone on the litigation team understands the objectives and has the same expectations.

What do you look to accomplish with an eDiscovery document review?  Have you had objectives in addition to those listed above?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.