The ‘Flow ‘of eDiscovery: What Your Small Law Firm Needs to Know Before Choosing eDiscovery Software.

10 December 2017 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery search advanced-search

There are many eDiscovery apps to choose from. But what matters is the strategy you use to build your case. Tap into the ‘flow’ of eDiscovery, and it’ll lead you to the right app for your firm.

With eDiscovery, the story comes first, tools second.

But we often do it the other way around. We start with the technical stuff. Like collecting, processing, and reviewing data. And we forget about what matters: the ‘story’ of the case. By letting eDiscovery tools hijack our attention, we often end up looking for the wrong things. And we figure this out too late—when we’re preparing for trial.

What’s the story and who is involved?

The story of the case guides you and gives you context. Build a clear story, and you’ll have a compelling case. So, you’ll ask:

  • What happened? When and how?
  • Who is involved? What did they do? How are they connected to each other?
  • Why did things happen the way they did? What were the motives?

Keep coming back to the story.

The story isn’t something you finish with and then move on. As you explore your case and speak to clients and opposing counsel, you’ll get new information that might change the story. So, keep refining it and use it to stay on track.

Remember to do the groundwork.

Before you start searching your case, you’ll need to get rid of unnecessary files and learn your client’s slang.

Task #1: Get rid of unnecessary files.

Don’t buy into the idea that more is better. The more files you have, the more it’ll cost to host them. And the more it’ll cost to process them—e.g. extracting files from folders and converting them into an appropriate format. Plus, too many distractions and you’ll likely miss something important. So cull as many files as you can. In the long term, you’ll need to encourage clients to develop a rigorous ‘data retention’ policy. I.e. protocol about what kind of data they’ll keep and what they’ll delete.

Task #2: Learn your client’s slang.

All organizations have their own culture. So you’ll need to learn the slang your client’s employees use. For example, if you’re searching for emails to Robert, but everyone calls him ‘Bob,’ you’ll miss out on a lot. Similarly, people may have nicknames for landmark events. Or they may have a code word for their boss.

Now it’s time to start searching.

This is where the heavy lifting of eDiscovery begins. There’s an art to keyword searching, so to learn more about it, check out these posts.

Test keywords immediately. This is crucial.

Don’t farm out your keyword searching to an IT guy and look at the results ‘whenever you get to them.’ Test your keywords as soon as you come up with them. Are there too many results (i.e. ‘false positives’)? Or too few? Either way, you’ll change the keywords and their combinations and test them again. Keep refining them till you’re sure they’re the best ones. Then save that search so you can use it in future.

There’s a ‘flow’ to eDiscovery. You’ll feel it when you stick with the story.

The story guides you and keeps you from drowning in data. It’ll tell you which custodians’ data matters, what kind of data you’ll need, how much of it there is, and where to get it. It’ll help you choose keywords to search for. And these search results will give you new keywords and clues to work with. This flow of eDiscovery is what builds you a solid, defensible case for trial.

Working on a big case? It doesn’t mean eDiscovery has to be expensive.

It’s tempting to want to buy the most expensive eDiscovery software you can find. But, as we’ve seen, it’s not about the software. It’s about tapping into the flow of eDiscovery. And this flow is a business process (not just a legal one) that you can refine. That’s what wins cases. Your software is just the tool that helps it happen.

Got your story in order? And now need affordable eDiscovery? Try GoldFynch.

GoldFynch is eDiscovery software designed for small firms like yours. Find the documents you need—with basic and advanced keywords searches. And best of all, your starter case is free! So, test it without having to pay anything.

GoldFynch is cool for other reasons too!

  • You don’t have to install anything. It runs off the internet, and you use it through your web browser. So you can start working immediately. No sales calls or emails. And no credit card.
  • It’s easy to use. It’s highly intuitive, and you’ll learn how to use it in minutes.
  • It lets you do eDiscovery essentials, like tagging files and redacting privileged information. ‘Producing’ files takes just a few clicks.
  • Most importantly, it’s affordable. Just $27 a month for a basic case. That’s much less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?

For more about eDiscovery for small law firms, check out these articles.