This piece on Law 360 by Anne McCray, Jill Griset and Alejandra Perez is a useful read on the use of technology as a method to control the costs of discovery for electronically stored information, or ESI.

I was chatting to my colleague, Brad Koehler, about this and we both agreed that the use of structured analytics, including email threading, has become standard practice on the majority of cases that we support now here at A&M.

Leveraging email threading to suppress non-inclusive and/or duplicate documents often can reduce a document review population by 10-20%. In our experience, ESI stipulations commonly provide direction to parties on how to use these technologies, especially around considerations for email threads containing partially privileged content.

When negotiating production standards at the onset of a matter, it is important to have meetings and confers early (and as often as needed), as well as to be transparent about the use of technologies that would affect the outcome of a production to the opposing party. This is especially important for any involving data reduction techniques. Whether that be the use of search terms, email threading, or Technology Assisted Review (TAR).

Another of my colleagues here at A&M, Kevin Negangard also added that, “similar to TAR, which seems to be finally crawling its way into an increasing number of ESI protocols, other technologies used to help increase the efficiency of document reviews such as the use of email threading should be addressed in an ESI protocol.” He went on to say that often, both parties can realise the potential benefits associated with the technologies, yet the upfront agreement between parties remains crucial.