Previously, we wrote about Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) in the eDiscovery process. Both are important in improving the quality of work product and making the eDiscovery process more defensible overall. For example, in attorney review, QA mechanisms include validation rules to ensure that entries are recorded correctly while QC mechanisms include a second review (usually by a review supervisor or senior attorney) to ensure that documents are being categorized correctly. Another overall QC mechanism is tracking of document counts through the discovery process, especially from collection to production, to identify how every collected file was handled and why each non-produced document was not produced.
Expanded File Counts
Scanned counts of files collected are not the same as expanded file counts. There are certain container file types, like Outlook PST files and ZIP archives that exist essentially to store a collection of other files. So, the count that is important to track is the “expanded” file count after processing, which includes all of the files contained within the container files. So, in a simple scenario where you collect Outlook PST files from seven custodians, the actual number of documents (emails and attachments) within those PST files could be in the tens of thousands. That’s the starting count that matters if your goal is to account for every document in the discovery process.
Categorization of Files During Processing
Of course, not every document gets reviewed or even included in the search process. During processing, files are usually categorized, with some categories of files usually being set aside and excluded from review. Here are some typical categories of excluded files in most collections:
All of these categories of excluded files can reduce the set of files to actually be searched and reviewed. Tomorrow, we’ll illustrate an example of a file set from collection to production to illustrate how each file is accounted for during the discovery process.
So, what do you think? Do you have a plan for accounting for all collected files during discovery? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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