I enjoyed reading this piece by Ethan A. Hastert on the Mayer Brown website about his top tips for managing large volumes of data in discovery.
Note the emphasis on TAR too. We have been using TAR for many years - using it as an intelligent way to: prioritise documents for review, cull 'rubbish' quickly and help draw key documents to the surface. The benefits derived from it means that we are not applying these techniques to all cases as part of our standard modus operandi.
But remember technology is just part of the solution. It needs to be applied in an intelligent, reasoned and efficient manner within the context of the dispute and jurisdiction to fully make the most of it. Crafting how it can be used to gain maximum advantage, along with other tools and techniques, is something that keeps us challenged and motivated, especially as technology continues to advance.
I couldn’t agree more with Ethan’s final point in the article; Document Document Document. He explains, “whatever choices are made for data review, it is important to carefully document them. Case teams should be encouraged to work closely with their e-discovery provider to create supporting documentation that describes the process should it ever need to be explained or defended in the event of a challenge. Such documentation can also be used to replicate the process in future litigation.” I cannot stress enough how important this process of documenting is.
A medium-sized company is a defendant in a putative class action lawsuit. Outside counsel negotiated the scope of the plaintiffs’ document requests, agreed on a list of custodians and engaged an e-discovery vendor to aid the company in collecting email and other custodial documents. The vendor ends up collecting multiple terabytes of data. The defendant’s general counsel would like advice on how to manage the costs associated with this large amount of data, including utilizing various data analytics in the document review and using skilled, experienced people who understand how to deploy these tools as part of a defensible process.