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E-discovery: How to avoid document review traps

A thorough approach will make you look good in the eyes of the court

Document reviews are deceptively complicated. In theory, the other side serves a document request, you search your documents, have attorneys review the documents you identified and your vendor produces the materials responsive to the request. In practice, document review can be a trap for the unwary.

Leaving aside the complications created by immense amounts of computer-generated data, document review can quickly devolve into squabbles with adversaries and a morass of mistakes. Many of the mistakes that fill the pages of casebooks can be avoided by:

Memorialize everything

Courts have begun demanding very detailed explanations of these processes when they are asked to make determinations about the sufficiency of document reviews. The single best way to avoid a complete document discovery meltdown is to put everything in writing. Your lawyers, litigation support professionals and vendors should memorialize every step of the process, including searches that were run, custodians whose data was searched, training materials for your reviewers, decision logs and production formats.

Contributing Author

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Judy Selby

Judy Selby has more than 20 years of experience in large scale first- and third-party complex insurance coverage matters, providing a full range of services...

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Contributing Author

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Brian Esser

Brian Esser, associate at BakerHostetler LLP, focuses his practice on complex and general civil litigation and corporate investigations. He primarily works in the area of...

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