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Five E-Discovery Process Improvements for 2018

Created on December 1, 2017

E-Discovery Market Analyst at Exterro


There are lots of ways you may be leaving room for blunders in your e-discovery processes. Maybe your teams have large gaps in their expertise or don’t receive enough guidance to do their jobs effectively. Maybe you’re storing data in so many places that no one has a comprehensive handle on all your resources, or you lack appropriate command structures in e-discovery, or you don’t have documented processes.

Whatever the case, here are some practical tips from e-discovery experts William Hamilton, Executive Director of the University of Florida Law E-Discovery Project; Hon. John Facciola (ret.), US Magistrate Judge for the District Of Columbia; and Mary Mack, Executive Director of ACEDS.

  1. E-Discovery software training. Wells Fargo learned this lesson the hard way when an accidental data dump released private information that ultimately ended up with the NYT/WSJ. Stemmed from an attorney not trained in the software. The root cause was an attorney with insufficient training and a lack of quality control. Reviewers are going to make mistakes, so have effective quality control procedures in place, as well.
  2. Adequately protect case information. Understand the natures of the threats to data—internally and externally—and prepare to defend against them. Law firms have to understand that they are targets for hacking. Implement and enforce internal controls, not just firewalls. Implement and enforce internal controls over data.
  3. Document your search methodology. You can’t talk qualitatively about search. You need to have the data. Define the methods you use and measure the results, then use the 26 (f) conferences to negotiate and avoid motions.
  4. Leverage proportionality. Proportionality can be approached from a technology perspective, using ranking in software. Software can help you understand and evaluate the client’s narrative, so you can get to the most important documents early on. During review, you might be able to get 80% of the information from 20% of the documents, so lean on software for cost containment as well as improving outcomes.
  5. Streamline your authentication Processes. You don’t need witnesses for authenticating certain types of ESI effective today. Records generated by a machine or copied from another electronic device with the same hash values are now considered self-authenticating, so familiarize yourself with provisions of FRE 902 and use them in your process.

BONUS TIP: Secure your data. Model threats, train your full team, and understand where your data is at risk at rest and in motion. Use common-sense security measures like two factor authentication, and clean up data after cases resolve.

Thank you so much to all of our presenters, co-sponsors, and most importantly, attendees for our virtual (and live!) events today.

Remember to visit our Webcast Resources page on Monday, 12/4/17 to access replays of this and all our webcasts.

Happy E-Discovery Day!