Achieving New Levels of Efficiency in Culling Data in E-Discovery


Dana Bucy Miller

As a Director of Delivery, Dana Bucy Miller provides strategic support and litigation project management for some of the world’s largest companies and institutions and premier law firms. Dana specializes in complex, large-scale document review workflows and using advanced technology and analytics to increase accuracy and efficiency.

Technology has revolutionized the way we do business, connect with others, and store information. The downside to this is that it creates countless files recording those activities and storing that data that are later subject to potential review and production during litigation proceedings.

With even relatively small cases routinely seeing collections venture into millions of documents and files, it has become critically important to identify defensible ways to cull this data and isolate relevant material without sacrificing accuracy. Luckily, our teams at Special Counsel have honed numerous tested methodologies based on our analysis of industry trends to help clients increase efficiency, conduct more expedient reviews, and reduce overall costs when compared to traditional review.

Industry eDiscovery spending trends

In surveying the industry, the Third Annual Study of Effective Legal Spend Management found that respondents ranked document-review technology, early case assessment and data collection and processing platforms as the most effective tools for reducing e-discovery spending. This demonstrates the correlation between efficient workflows that successfully cull data and eDiscovery cost savings.

Utilizing our Managing Attorneys

Here are some examples of how our Managing Attorneys work with counsel, clients, and ediscovery vendors:

  • Early Case Assessment. Early case assessment has been heralded as one of the most effective tools for targeting and culling responsive data. Our Managing Attorneys are positioned to assist from case kickoff by reviewing ESI orders, case protocols, and initial datasets to generate key player lists and provide strategic suggestions on batching data to achieve counsel’s review objectives.
  • Initial Data Analysis. Before any documents are coded, our Managing Attorneys are available to assist with a review of the data analytics breakdown to assist with creating a customized workflow that is tailored to each particular matter. This often includes analyzing file extensions, keyword reports, and search term reports to provide actionable insights to counsel.
  • Data Preparation. Our Managing Attorneys work with data vendors to ensure that all available methods for minimizing the data universe under the ESI order are presented to counsel and applied if desired. These include email threading to review only the most inclusive versions of email documents, deduplicating documents within the review universe, and implementing metadata matching to reconcile documents across custodians and productions.
  • Implementation of Technology-Assisted Review. Our Managing Attorneys are skilled in utilizing various forms of technology to assist with review, with many being certified users and analysts. This ranges from the implementation of active learning workflows and prioritization queues to tools for automated and native redactions. Our Managing Attorneys are prepared to provide insight on what workflows make the most sense with the data at hand to achieve Counsel’s review objectives.
  • Dynamic Assessments. As review progresses, our Managing Attorneys continue to assess the data for opportunities to introduce additional efficiencies into the review. This often entails identifying segments of the document population that are candidates for mass tagging to avoid the need for document-by-document review by contract attorneys.

Utilizing all of these methodologies, our Managing Attorneys have helped clients achieve data reductions in excess of 70%, generating significant cost savings and expediting reviews to meet case deadlines. As the courts continue to develop their approaches to the use of technology and techniques that can be implemented in workflows while retaining the defensibility of the production, our team will continue to monitor and apply these trends to achieve the best outcomes for our clients.

Dana Miller is a project manager for Special Counsel. Connect with her today!

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