Production from a Provider’s Point of View – eDiscovery Best Practices
By: Doug Austin
August 12, 2014
We sometimes forget that the end goal of the discovery process is production: to produce responsive electronically stored information (ESI) to opposing counsel. But, do you realize how many parameters and potential permutations there can be to the production process? Let’s take a look.
eDiscovery providers like (shameless plus warning!) CloudNine Discovery handle productions for our clients routinely, (in our case, often out of our eDiscovery review application, OnDemand®). When a client asks for a production, there are a series of questions to ask to ensure that the production includes the correct documents in the required format. To ensure that and avoid potential confusion, we provide a questionnaire to the client to complete to define the parameters of that production. Examples of information we collect from our clients:
- Documents to be produced: Typically, we expect the client to identify a tag that was applied to the documents (especially when the documents are in OnDemand) to be used to identify the documents to be produced (e.g., To Be Produced, Responsive-Produce, etc.) and confirm the count of documents that are included in that tag. If the count doesn’t match the tag, we resolve with the client before proceeding.
- Output Formats to Include: Productions can be native or image, may or may not include Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or extracted text and may or may not include metadata. It’s important to confirm the formats to be produced, which can include all or just some of the available formats.
- Format of Images: If images are to be produced, we confirm whether they single or multi-page TIFF, or in Adobe PDF.
- Format of OCR/Extracted Text Files: OCR files can also be produced either in single or multi-page files, so we enable the client to specify the format.
- Handling of Excel Files: Because they are often not formatted for printing, Excel files often don’t image well and generate a high number of image pages. So, we provide options for producing a placeholder image along with the native Excel file (which is the default option), or TIFFing all or part of the Excel document.
- Handing of AutoCad Files: Though less common, AutoCad DWG files can also be problematic to convert to TIFF, so we provide a placeholder and native option for this file type as well.
- Handling of Redactions: If redactions are present, we confirm the production of documents with the redactions present. We also recommend that (and assist clients with) removal of redacted text from OCR files of the redacted images to ensure that there are no inadvertent disclosures of privileged or confidential information via those text files.
This is just the beginning of what we ask clients. Tomorrow, we will cover other information we collect to ensure a proper production.
So, what do you think? How do you ensure proper productions? 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.