Yesterday, we wrote about tracking file counts from collection to production, the concept of expanded file counts, and the categorization of files during processing. Today, let’s walk through a scenario to show how the files collected are accounted for during the discovery process.
Tracking the Counts after Processing
We discussed the typical categories of excluded files after processing – obviously, what’s not excluded is available for searching and review. Even if your approach includes a technology assisted review (TAR) methodology such as predictive coding, it’s still likely that you will want to do some culling out of files that are clearly non-responsive.
Documents during review may be classified in a number of ways, but the most common ways to classify documents as to whether they are responsive, non-responsive, or privileged. Privileged documents are also typically classified as responsive or non-responsive, so that only the responsive documents that are privileged need be identified on a privilege log. Responsive documents that are not privileged are then produced to opposing counsel.
Example of File Count Tracking
So, now that we’ve discussed the various categories for tracking files from collection to production, let’s walk through a fairly simple eMail based example. We conduct a fairly targeted collection of a PST file from each of seven custodians in a given case. The relevant time period for the case is January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011. Other than date range, we plan to do no other filtering of files during processing. Duplicates will not be reviewed or produced. We’re going to provide an exception log to opposing counsel for any file that cannot be processed and a privilege log for any responsive files that are privileged. Here’s what this collection might look like:
The percentages I used for estimating the counts at each stage are just examples, so don’t get too hung up on them. The key is to note the numbers in red above. Excluding the interim counts in black, the counts in red represent the different categories for the file collection – each file should wind up in one of these totals. What happens if you add the counts in red together? You should get 101,852 – the number of collected files after expanding the PST files. As a result, every one of the collected files is accounted for and none “slips through the cracks” during discovery. That’s the way it should be. If not, investigation is required to determine where files were missed.
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.
Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.
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