In House Legal Teams

It’s Wednesday at 1:30 pm when the general counsel pops into your office. Your company is entrenched in complex litigation. To date, your company has already paid sizable invoices for custodian interviews, document collection, and data processing. Your eDiscovery vendor is in the middle of the document review portion of this project. Now, your CEO and CFO want updates on the litigation budget, and a litigation update was added to the agenda of the board meeting that is happening tonight.

Your GC needs some stats for the meeting. You fire off an email to your outside counsel or eDiscovery vendor.

And wait.

Outside Counsel

After your deposition via Zoom wraps up, you check your inbox and see the client’s email:

“Prepping for a board meeting tonight – need a couple of answers back ASAP.

  1. What % of our documents have been reviewed?
  2. When is the review projected to be complete?
  3. How much privilege have you found in the docs?
  4. How many hot docs have you found?

Let me know as quickly as you can. Thanks.”

I don’t know. The eDiscovery team handles that. I’m not a technologist, I’m a litigator.

You hit FW: “please advise ASAP!!” and the red exclamation point indicating “Important!” for good measure.

You send it along to the managed document review project manager.

And wait.

eDiscovery Managed Review Project Manager

The litigator’s email lands in your inbox at 2:45 pm.

Your meeting with the contract attorney whose tags are inconsistent will have to wait.

You hop into the relevant Relativity workspace, make the adjustments necessary, run the reports, update your Excel files, cross-check a few key batch sets separately, make those notes, and return the file to the lead litigator.

“Okay, that took 2 hours, I still a few minutes to catch that reviewer before the end of the day,” you think.

Some of the channel partners you work with have light dashboards for data they’re hosting, and your team has gotten into a workflow about updating custom reports. Running reports is a necessary evil, you figure. If a client wants reporting from multiple batch sets, or on data hosted across multiple Relativity channel partners, that’s just the way it is.

Right?

Stop the Madness

Instead of the three-alarm fire, lost hours, and air of mystery around the entire project, there’s an alternative, DiscoveryMaster. DiscoveryMaster gives in-house legal teams, outside counsel, and document review providers instant access to the key metrics of the case.

ediscovery software ediscovery reporting

What does this mean?

– Everyone is on the same page at the same time
– Questions can be resolved quickly
– Hours can be devoted to hitting deadlines and adding value – not updating reports

You can view the entire workspace, or dedicate tiles to specific batch sets that may represent:

– Different jurisdictions in an MDL
– QC review
– Second pass

To be sure, advanced users of Relativity (usually eDiscovery counsel and/or project managers) have access to this information today – they just have to go digging for it.

That’s not the highest and best use of their hourly rate from a client’s perspective, and – frankly – they don’t want to do that either.

Power to the People!

Ultimately, eDiscovery vendors (or subsidiaries of law firms) are there to perform a service:

– inform the client and the counsel of the contents found in the documents
– so they can have effective conversations about settlement negotiations or litigation strategy

Managed document review metrics and findings should be available to the parties the review is serving -quickly, and in a cost-effective manner.

There’s no reason to “play telephone” or wait for hours when technology can literally give you the answers instantly.

The paranoid out there will say “why would law firms even want a product like DiscoveryMaster? Ultimately, it just lowers the hours they can bill for this project.”

Well, we are outside counsel. I’m a partner at Mattingly Burke Cohen & Biederman, a firm focused substantially on commercial litigation defense, and eDiscovery plays a major role in many of our cases. DiscoveryMaster allows our clients to feel more in control of their own spend, and positions us more as trusted, consultative partners. We look to leverage technology and efficiency however we can, because a happy client will continue a partnership for years to come.

Some people have asked us about why in-house teams would be interested in a tool like DiscoveryMaster. Isn’t their goal to avoid big litigation, anyway?

Sure, but for large corporations, the applications of DiscoveryMaster are variable: HR investigations, audits, regulatory investigations, M&A activity, and on and on. For some of our clients in highly regulated or competitive industries, being regularly involved in complex litigation is par for the course.

Full Circle

In-house legal teams: don’t rely on someone else to tell you what’s happening with your money and the deadline you are responsible for. The information is right at your fingertips with DiscoveryMaster.

Outside counsel: Relativity is an awesome, powerful tool (hence it’s popularity!). Don’t worry about learning every bell and whistle it offers. DiscoveryMaster give you the metrics you care about in an easy user interface.

Managed document review providers: stop wasting hours and brainpower by performing rote, repetitive tasks. Spend your time adding value, enhancing quality, and upskilling your team. Pounding out Excel reports doesn’t get anyone out of bed in the morning.

Litigation is expensive, and discovery is about 70% of that cost. Document review is a big contributor to these big numbers. You wouldn’t close your eyes, cross your fingers, and hope for the best in the courtroom. Why do that in discovery? Utilize the tools and technology available to drive discipline and accountability into the process. We can help.

To stay connected, follow our blog and our LinkedIn page. And if you’re ready to talk about how DiscoveryMaster can give you transparency into budgets, timelines, and quality control, drop us a note to contact@discoverymaster.co.

Discovery Master LLC