Everyone Needs Document Review – Do It Better
Nobody likes document review. It’s tedious, it’s expensive, and it’s labor-intensive. Document review is the most mentally-taxing part of the legal discovery process. Each side of a legal case is required to turn over information that is relevant to the other party’s request for production of documents.
Accounting firm KPMG approximated that first-level document review can cost between 58% – 90% of a case’s litigation budget. This task can take an entire team to achieve properly.
Who Handles the Document Review Process?
This task is usually reserved for paralegals or young attorneys. Newly graduated lawyers often take discovery contracts when they can’t find positions in a firm. Other times they will do it for extra money. There are also litigation support professionals who train specifically with new e-discovery programs.
How is Document Review Accomplished?
Some of it is literally digging through physical boxes and files, and much of it now takes place online. There is an initial stage in which the legal team decides what is relevant, finding what pertains to their specific issues. Then they will determine whether that selected information answers any of their discovery questions. For example, even if a document refers to a certain hospital, it might not have anything to do with a patient’s surgery.
The legal team then codes and tags documents that are privileged or confidential; this keeps them from leaving the office. Anything that is attorney-client privileged will be kept in-house. The team will also have to redact (either in whole or in part) any information that is confidential, such as trade secrets. They’ll keep logs of this data, all of which will be coded and tagged for internal reference.
The mental image that arises of exhausted employees in the basement of a law firm, surrounded by an explosion of documents and boxes, is accurate. A lot of discovery still takes place in environments such as that. Where else would you keep all your documents? However, now a lot of information is held in virtual form and is used in e-discovery. This is a lot easier to catalog and organize.
If you need someone to handle your document review, we have many professionals ready to help. Contact SuitsOn Staffing to get started.