eDiscovery Daily Blog
Document Review in a Remote World
COVID-19 has transformed the document review process. Traditionally, document review was conducted in person by experts at review centers. As COVID-19 rates increased, fears for individual health and safety mandated the transition to remote review. Though remote review became a sudden necessity, it’s not a new concept. The transition began long before the pandemic at a slow but steady pace. More and more organizations transitioned their discovery to the cloud after recognizing the financial and security benefits. Even without the pandemic-induced acceleration, the trend would have accumulated more momentum with time. Nonetheless, organization that were unprepared or on the fence were suddenly faced with new challenges and security demands. No one knows if remote review will be the new “normal.” It’s too soon to judge the permanency of the change. For now, organizations should recognize the benefits of the opportunity and adjust their review procedures accordingly.
The Benefits of Remote Review
- Through remote operation, document review has become more flexible than ever. Talented experts from various states can provide their expertise. Organizations with remote review are not restrained by geographical limitations when seeking qualified providers. The geographic freedom also eliminates the need to pay for a provider’s travel and lodging.
- Providers have shown increased morale and productivity due to greater flexibility with their hours and breaks. They are also spared from commute expenses. Through happier employees, organizations can raise the efficiency of their review process.
- Through remote review, organizations gain cloud scalability. Resources and storage space can be altered to quickly meet changing demands.
- By reducing the production of discoverable copies, remote review can offer some security advantages. Organizations can also strengthen their security by using multifactor authentication tools. 
- Remote review minimizes the risks associated with employee movement. The workforce is like a revolving door; new employees constantly join and leave their jobs. Though this cycle is normal, it often leads to the accidental corruption or destruction of valuable data. Since remote review is convenient and flexible, it often improves employee retention. 
Tips on Handling Document Review
- Optimize communication among counsel, reviewers, and clients through collaboration tools and teleconferences.
- Collaborate with your team to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your security and operation needs. This plan should address topics such as staffing, training, and oversight measures.
- Before establishing a review plan, ask your providers about the quality of their review space and security measures. 
- Consult with your clients and partners as you draft your remote review policies.
- Keep your data secure through a VPN, multifactor authentication tool, and/or an access program. 
 David Greetham, “Remote eDiscovery: Pandemic Accommodation or Improvement,” Above The Law, May 29, 2020.
 Antonio Rega, “Understanding the E-Discovery Implications of Employee Status Changes,” Today’s General Counsel, April 7, 2014.
 Jonathan Hurtarte, “Insight: Covid-19 and E-Discovery Challenges With Remote Document Review,” Bloomberg Law, May 11, 2020.
CloudNine empowers legal, information technology, and business professionals with eDiscovery automation software and professional services that simplify litigation, investigations, and audits for law firms and corporations.