Why Using Outlook for Email eDiscovery is Losing Your Small Law Firm Precious Billable Hours

29 January 2018 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery

Using an email app (like Outlook) for email eDiscovery? Oops. You’ll need an eDiscovery app instead. Let’s see why, taking the simple example of bulk-tagging emails.

Email is at the heart of every successful business.

We owe a lot to paper documents and their role in businesses of the past. And we’re excited about the way social networking sites are transforming our present. But modern businesses run on emails. They’re simple, efficient and reliable. And we use them for all kinds of tasks — for communicating with colleagues, marketing to prospective clients, and coordinating with other businesses.

And with eDiscovery, emails take on an even more critical role.

They stay in an inbox unless they are specifically deleted. So, they’re a treasure trove of vital information and become relevant to you when you take on a new client. They create a virtual paper trail in a way paper documents can’t. Because they have metadata, which gives you a bunch of information that isn’t in the body of the email.

But you have to be able to process emails.

Your client will have thousands of archived emails. So, just getting access to them isn’t enough. You need a way to search them, or you’ll drown in data.

More specifically, you need to find emails from people of interest.

To build a strong case, you need to develop a detailed ‘story.’ This means answering essential questions about your case, like :

  • 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?

Your story gives your case context. And it isn’t something you finish with and 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, you’ll keep refining it and use it to stay on track. And since stories are built around the key people of your case, you’ll need a way to track emails from these people of interest.

Traditional email apps aren’t ideal for finding people of interest.

Apps like Outlook are great for sending and receiving email. And even searching email. But when it comes to eDiscovery, they are clunky and severely limited. What if you want to tag certain emails (or parts of emails) so that you can find them easily, later? Or, if you want to redact information? Or, ‘produce’ emails and send them to opposing counsel for review? Outlook can’t do these things.

So, what’s the solution?

Get a dedicated eDiscovery app. They’re easy to use and give you eDiscovery tools that regular email apps can’t. Let’s take the eDiscovery app GoldFynch as an example because it’s designed for small firms like yours.

GoldFynch: Email eDiscovery Simplified.

GoldFynch lets you search for keywords like you would in Google. In fact, it lets you do some pretty interesting advanced searches. But equally important: It lets you search for specific email addresses and bulk-tag emails from those addresses. So you can build up a comprehensive dossier on custodians and people of interest.

Here’s how you’d use GoldFynch to track specific people:

It’s a simple and intuitive process.

Step 1: Search for an email or email address

In the search bar, enter the name of a person or their email address.

Step 2: Bulk tag the emails

Think of a tag as a stamp or a sticky note on a file. It provides an additional method to categorize or call attention to individual documents or groups of files. But it doesn’t affect the way the file is used in the GoldFynch app. You can name the tags yourself and there’s no limit to the number of tags you can create. With bulk tagging, you tick the boxes next to multiple emails and tag them all at the same time. It’s simple and easy.

Step 3: Pull up tagged emails with just a click

Review all emails that have the same tag. It’s a great way to build your case’s story, without damaging metadata.

Step 4: Redact and ‘produce’ your emails

Once you’ve got the information you need, you can redact parts of emails that have sensitive information and then produce those email for opposing counsel to review. You can’t do this with regular email apps. But you can with GoldFynch. Redact information and in the produced document the blocks of sensitive text will be hidden by a black box — the underlying text will be removed and is not recoverable from the produced document. But within GoldFynch, the redacted portions will appear as a translucent box over the text in the original file — and you can still search them.

GoldFynch does more than just email eDiscovery.

It’s a complete eDiscovery package and has some cool features for small law firms like yours.

  • You don’t need to set up anything. It runs in the Cloud, and you use it through your web browser. Plus, your trial case is free. So, you can start working immediately. No sales calls or emails. And no credit card.
  • You can work from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
  • It’s easy to use. Just like all the other powerful-but-simple apps you use.
  • It’s secure: Your data is backed up on multiple Cloud-servers with bank-grade security and encryption.
  • You get the best technical support: Its designed, developed and run by the same team. So, the technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means prompt and reliable service.
  • Most importantly, it’s affordable. Just $25 a month for a basic case. That’s significantly less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.

Intrigued? To find out more about Goldfynch:

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