eDiscovery Daily Blog

Managing an eDiscovery Contract Review Team: Ensuring High-Quality, Consistent Work

The most common problem with work product done by a group is inconsistent work – which means that some of the work has been done wrong.  This is a problem, however, that can be avoided.  Of course there will always be some inconsistencies, but there are steps that you can take and procedures that you can follow that will minimize inconsistencies and result in high-quality work.  Let’s go over those.

  • Continuously sample the documents that are coming through the pipeline:  Regardless of how much time you spent looking at the documents before the project started, there will be surprises in the collection.  And often, similar documents appear together in a collection.  Your project will run much smoother if you know what’s coming before the documents are in the hands of the reviewer.  Have supervisors spend time each day looking at what’s coming next.  When you see documents that will be new to the group, alert the staff.  Have a short meeting with the group.  Show them what they’ll be seeing and tell them how to categorize the documents.
  • Disseminate updated rules and new examples:  As you move through the review, you’ll be continuously seeing new types of documents and refining the criteria to cover what you are seeing.  Make sure this information gets disseminated to the staff.  Update the criteria frequently (in the beginning, this may be daily) and distribute the revised rules and examples to the staff.  Have meetings with the staff to go over new rules.  While meetings will disrupt the work, it will save you time in the long run – time in having to do re-work and fix errors.
  • Quality Control:  As soon as you can, identify members of the review team to do quality control work and make it their job to review the work of the review staff.  At first, they’ll probably need to look at everything.  As the project progresses, they should be able to sample the work.
  • Attorney sampling:  Attorneys should sample work product throughout the life of the project.  They should spot-check the documents in each category (responsive, not responsive, and privileged).

What steps do you take to ensure that a review team is doing high-quality work?  Have you run into glitches?  Please share any comments you have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.