Mastering the Review Phase of the EDRM

by Kevin L. Nichols
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There are different roles and responsibilities for litigation professionals during the review stage of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). Litigation Support Professionals, Litigation Paralegals, and Litigation Attorneys each have a certain level of expertise that lends to successfully completing a document review. Teamwork is vital in determining the appropriate non-privileged documents to produce to opposing counsel. There are certain “best practices” that each litigation professional should have at their disposal to access from their respective “tool box” when necessary and this document will assist them in this endeavor.

Litigation Support Professional (LSP):

Because of their hybrid of extensive knowledge of information technology (IT) and of the litigation process, the LSP is the intermediary between the law firm and the vendor during the review process. Ideally, the same vendor who processed the data, would host it for review, however, there are number of factors that can effect why that may not be the case. Regardless, a review platform will need to be vetted and selected that meets the overall strategy and specifications of this particular project. Some things to consider would be: 1.) How many people will be reviewing? 2.) Where will they review? 3.) Does the review platform allow you to redact, add confidentiality provisions, and produce the documents within it? 4.) How secure are the access points to the data? 5.) How much project management and customer support will you get from the vendor should something go wrong (and is that discussed in your contract)? Once the data has been processed, QC’d, analyzed, and ready for review, here are some “best practices” for the LSP:

1. As mush as possible, remain involved with document review planning meetings. Often the LSP is seen as an IT person, not an LSP, thus decisions are made without their knowledge that can negatively impact the review logistically;

2. Set deadlines to have data hosted and ready for review with the vendor’s project manager ahead of LSP’s own deadlines to allow room for unforeseeable delays (there will be some);

3. Make sure that if this will be a multi-office review or take place outside the firm, that the review platform allows encrypted access and the connection speeds will be high enough to conduct the review in a timely fashion;

4. Work in concert with the Litigation Paralegal to identify and segregate review subsets (“buckets”) for the document reviewers; and

5. Log and keep track of all of the problems that the reviewers are experiencing and make sure that the vendor sufficiently executes the contents of the Statement of Work.

Although this list is not exhaustive, it is extremely important to have someone who manages the IT aspects of the document review and the issues reviewers have as well. The best person to communicate with the vendor and the review team is the LSP and is the appropriate person to keep the vendor honest with the assurances it made before any work was performed.

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