Document review is usually the most expensive and labor-intensive stage in the e-discovery process. It is during this phase that all the data in a collection is reviewed and analyzed.
The review and analysis are done manually by paralegals and attorneys and automatically using technological solutions to determine the documents that should be withheld from production to opposing counsel.
Document reviewers are typically lawyers that understand the factual and legal issues in the process of litigation and can make the required judgment calls as to responsiveness and privilege. To minimize costs and maximize efficiency, teams of contract paralegals and lawyers are utilized. Technological innovations such as the collaborative case management tools that BDS provides also helps maximize efficiency and reduce costs.
The ligation support team processes the data into the review environment. This allows the legal team to easily access all documents in an organized and searchable workspace. The legal team, in conjunction with any contract reviewers, may then conduct a first pass review for the purpose of coding them for relevant/responsive subject matter.
The legal team may then need to conduct a second and more detailed review to determine which documents need to be withheld from production to opposing counsel.
Documents can be withheld for various reasons that include:
Relevance: Do the documents contain information relevant to the issues in the case? If the information is not relevant to the issues and facts of the investigation, lawsuit, or claim, it does not have to be produced by opposing counsel.
Responsiveness: Is the information contained in the discovery requests of the investigatory requests of regulatory bodies or the opposing parties? If this is the case, to which production request is the information responsive? Document reviewers may also tag documents that contain information pertinent to the case and particularly responsive during this stage.
Privilege: Is the information contained in the documents subject to lawyer-client privilege, any privacy laws, and confidentiality laws, and/or attorney work product doctrine? If this is the case, such documents should also be withheld from production.
Confidentiality: Confidential documents should obviously be excluded from production. The document review team should analyze documents to determine whether they contain confidential information. If they do, the reviewers determine whether some parts of those documents should be redacted to protect the confidential work product of a client or whether the document should be completely excluded from production.
Besides reviewing documents for confidentiality, privilege, responsiveness, and relevance, the document review team should also analyze the information relating important documents to the key legal issues or alleged facts in the case. The document review team may also try linking important documents to key players that may testify about the documents or identify other subjective information.
Based on the review and analysis of the documents contained in the connection, the legal team can embark on the process of gaining a better understanding of the factual issues in the case, identify the key witnesses to be deposed or called at trial, and formulate legal theories.
Keyword search, culling, first pass review and other techniques are used to narrow down the volume of the dataset. Eventually, the documents that the legal team ultimately reviews usually represent just a small subset of the original collection.
To further reduce expenses and increase efficiency, a growing number of technologies for automating the review process. BDS is a leading provider of such technologies.
The Bottom Line: BDS Helps You Comply with Document Review Best Practices
BDS can help you save money and time through its case management tools, which helps you comply with the document review best practices. The company helps you store, access, manage, share, and organize case data and documents for review.
BDS provides hosting services and reviews technology platforms to help you collaborate and reduce review costs and time. The company offers web hosting and project management services that provide an easy-to-use method of sharing, accessing, and managing information from anywhere and at any time.