eDiscovery Daily Blog

Working Successfully with eDiscovery and Litigation Support Service Providers: Paper is Still Important


For several years now, the focus of our discovery efforts has been handling ESI.  Paper, however, hasn’t gone away yet.  And it probably won’t any time soon.  People still have at least small collections of paper that need to be handled.

What’s the best way to handle paper?  Convert it ASAP and blend it into the rest of the collection so attorneys can do a comprehensive review of the entire universe of potentially responsive documents.  That means scanning, coding, and OCR processing to enable the paper to reviewed and searched.

Here’s information the vendor will need to give you accurate cost and schedule information for handling the paper portion of your collection:

  1. A description of the services that you will require (for example, establishing document boundaries, establishing document relationships, document reassembly, periphery coding, in-text coding, scanning, OCR).
  2. The approximate number of pages and documents in the collection.
  3. A description of the condition of the paper and characteristics (are the pages photocopies or originals? Staples and paper clips? Oversized and undersized pages? Are there sticky notes?).  Include special instructions, where warranted (for example, “Sticky notes are to be removed, scanned separately and placed before the documents to which they are attached”).
  4. Whether paper will be shipped/delivered to the vendor or whether on-site work will be required.  If on-site work is required, the locations at which the paper will be available.
  5. The date on which the pages will be available to the service provider, and a schedule for collections that will be available for increments.
  6. A description of the types of document in the collection (for example, correspondence, contracts, form documents, reports, and so on).
  7. If coding is required, a list of the fields to be captured with descriptions and format requirements for each field.
  8. If coding is required, a description of levels of treatment to be applied, if any have been established.
  9. If coding is required, a description of any data standardization you will require, and lists of valid entries for fields with a controlled vocabulary.
  10. A description of the deliverables you will require (image file formats, load file formats, single-page or multi-page text files, and so on)
  11. The date by which the project must be completed.

Armed with this information, a good vendor should be able to provide accurate cost and schedule information for processing your paper collection.  On Monday, we’ll cover RFP questions for the vendors to answer regarding their paper processing services.  This means today and Monday, this blog is officially renamed to pDiscovery Daily!

What type of information do you provide to a vendor in an RFP for processing paper?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an RFP topic.