eDiscovery Daily Blog

Working Successfully with eDiscovery and Litigation Support Service Providers: Questions to Ask when Checking References


Getting good information about a vendor in a reference check is a skill worth developing.  As a starting point, you should be armed with a good set of questions.  Don’t limit yourself to the list, though.  A good reference-check call will be interactive and answers to some questions will probably prompt additional questions.

Here’s a good starting point list that might apply to any type of vendor or service you are inquiring about:

First, get a handle on the scope of the project the vendor handled for the client:

  1. What services were provided?
  2. What volume of data / documents were handled?
  3. What deliverables did the vendor provide to you?
  4. What was the schedule?

Ask questions about the communication frequency and effectiveness between the vendor and the client:

  1. Were you the primary point of contact?
  2. If not, can you point me to the person who was?
  3. Did you have regular contact with the project manager?  With anyone else?
  4. Did you get regular status reports from the vendor?  How often did you get them?  What information was included in the status reports?  Were the reports useful?  Could you tell if the project was on schedule?
  5. How quickly did the vendor respond to phone calls?  Email?
  6. Did you ever have trouble reaching the vendor, or reaching the right person at the vendor organization?

Ask questions about the project costs:

  1. Were the costs what you expected?
  2. Were costs within the vendor’s estimates?
  3. Were the invoices clear and sufficiently detailed?  What information was included on the invoices?
  4. Were there any cost surprises?  Any cost line items on the invoices that you weren’t expecting?

Tomorrow we’ll continue this list with questions aimed at getting a handle on the quality of a vendor’s work.

Do you get good information when you check vendor references?  What questions do you ask?  Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.