Document review tools generally break down into three categories:
- In the first category are the most basic review tools, such as legacy versions of Summation and Concordance. Many law firms invested in licenses of these products and are able to host a document review in one of these tools in-house for little or no charge to the client.
- In the second category are more recent versions of Concordance and Summation with enhanced review capabilities, greater functionality and increased speed. Some law firms have acquired licenses to these new versions. However adopting these technologies requires a large investment in servers, infrastructure and personnel. Firms that have not invested in such tools must look to outside vendors, who charge per-gigabyte monthly fees.
- In the third category are more robust review platforms with many more features such as Relativity, RingTail, Axcelerate, Viewpoint and Ontrack. Each tool is unique in the features it offers and should be analyzed for the needs of each case. These platforms are hosted by a variety of vendors, but rarely by law firms. Fee structures vary; some vendors charge per-gigabyte hosting fees and additional license fees on a per user basis, others just charge per-gigabyte hosting fees, which are generally about double the cost of the traditional review tools.
There are no definite breakpoints that clearly indicate which tool should be used for any particular review. The needs of the case, the needs of the client and its lawyers, the volume of data and the costs all are factors that must be considered.