eDiscovery Daily Blog

Managing an eDiscovery Contract Review Team: Introduction


In a perfect world, attorneys responsible for a case would review an entire document collection for responsive materials.  On large cases with huge collections, that’s just not practical or possible.  In those situations, your only choice may be to pull together a team of contract reviewers to identify responsive materials.  

How well does this work?  A review done by a contract review team will certainly cost less than one done by a team of law firm attorneys.  More likely than not, it will be done more efficiently.  And if there’s good preparation and management, the quality will be just as good (in fact, it may be better because a contract staff is more likely to stay better focused on the inevitable, more mundane aspects of the work).

I’ve managed many successful review projects done by teams of contract employees.  Sometimes those teams were made up of attorneys, but more often they included mostly paralegals and college-educated lay personnel with good reading and comprehension skills.  These projects were successful because they were structured and managed in a way where decision-making responsibility was in the hands of the attorneys, but there were effective mechanisms in place for disseminating those decisions to the team.  In this blog series, I’m going to walk through how to do this.  Specifically, we’ll be covering:

  • Clearly defining the objectives of the document review
  • Getting a handle on the document collection
  • Determining the right mix of people for the project
  • Creating effective document review criteria
  • Effectively training the review team
  • Managing the project
  • Disseminating updated project information
  • Implementing effective quality control procedures

What has been your experience with contract review teams for large projects?  Do you have good or bad experiences you can tell us about?  Are there any specific problems you’ve had with review teams?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.