How to Handle Large eDiscovery Cases [100+ GB], as a Small Law Firm

12 May 2019 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm

Takeaway: Small law firms can handle large cases if they, (1) Store eDiscovery data in the Cloud, (2) Upload and review fewer files, (3) Learn to use their eDiscovery search engine, (4) Tag and organize their files, (5) Ask for a ‘managed’ review if needed.

Even the smallest law firms can handle large eDiscovery cases … if they have the right strategy.

Small firms can’t use eDiscovery software designed for larger firms. That’s because small firms are set up differently. For example, they have smaller workforces, tighter budgets, small cases that stay dormant for a while but suddenly grow rapidly, minimal (if any) IT support, and so on. So, to handle large cases (100+ GB) they need to (1) Choose software designed for smaller firms, and (2) Use the right eDiscovery strategy.

Here’s a 5-step ‘large case’ eDiscovery strategy your small law firm can use.

And it’s simple enough for you to get started right away.

1. Get enough storage space by storing your data in the Cloud.

Many firms choose to store their files on private servers. They assume the data is safer on their premises than anywhere else. The reality though is that it’s much better to store your data in the Cloud. Here’s why:

  • You get near-unlimited storage space. Because the Cloud is a vast computer network that keeps expanding.
  • You save money every month. Other businesses store their data on the same Cloud servers as you do. So, you all split the bill. You can now use Cloud eDiscovery software for as little as $10 a month.
  • Your data is safer in the Cloud than on your office computers. Cloud providers like Google and Amazon have many security measures to protect your data from hackers and accidental breaches.
  • You won’t need to worry about technical issues. With private servers, you have to set up the hardware, install the software, and troubleshoot technical issues that pop up. With Cloud storage, your Cloud provider’s IT team handles all this.

Find eDiscovery software that stores your data in the Cloud.

2. Cut costs (and save time) by reviewing fewer documents.

Remember, the more data you have, the more your eDiscovery vendor will charge you to process it. And the more time you’ll take to review it. So, limit the number of documents you review. To do this:

  • Define and limit the scope of eDiscovery, early. Work with opposing counsel to negotiate how much data you’ll be collecting, reviewing, and producing.
  • Weed out time-wasting documents. Some custodians – like secretaries and assistants – will have gigabytes of email. But these emails will be copies of originals, which you’ve already collected from someone else. Spend time understanding how your clients’ business runs, and you’ll learn to spot and weed out these time-wasters.

3. Find evidence faster by learning how to use your eDiscovery search engine.

With the right keyword combination, you can give a highly specific command like, “Find all emails John Anderson sent Sally Nedry, which mention the Pfizer meeting. And which were sent before 2015.” With large cases, the trick is to build this sort of a search in stages. Use your search command on a small test-sample of files first. This way you can tweak it till it’s picking up the type of files you want. You don’t want a search that pulls up too many files – that would waste your time. But you don’t want one the misses out key files either – you’ll lose crucial evidence. Only after you’ve perfected your search should you use it on your large case. Learn more about the art of searching your eDiscovery case.

4. Build a case by tagging and organizing files.

With older ‘paper’ discovery, you’d use a highlighter and post-its to mark key paragraphs and pages of important documents. With ‘electronic’ discovery (eDiscovery), the best applications let you ‘tag’ these paragraphs and pages in your Word files, emails, and PDFs. Think of a tag as a virtual sticky note you tack on to files. It helps you categorize and filter them. As well as pull up related files for ‘production.’ Tags don’t modify files, so you can add and remove them freely. You can even bulk-tag multiple files at the same time.

5. Get help reviewing files

Even with these eDiscovey tactics and tools, some cases are too large to handle yourself. For these, consider using a ‘managed’ review. Here, you get a team of outside attorneys to review eDiscovery documents on your behalf. The more popular teams are highly qualified, experienced, and affordable. And they come with many advantages.

  1. You can take on more work. You get to add on a team of specialized attorneys on a case-by-case basis. This immediate boost to your workforce will mean you effectively get more work-hours.
  2. You can focus on strategy. Your ‘managed’ review team, meanwhile, will handle the technicalities of building searches and reviewing files.
  3. You’ll earn more. Having an add-on managed-review team will free up your workforce. So, your paralegals, associates, and partners can work on legal tasks with a higher rate of return. I.e., they get to use their time and skills doing things that only they’re trained to do.
  4. You’ll outsource the hassle. You don’t have to worry about putting a team together, making sure everyone shows up on time, handling personal issues that pop up, or Googling ‘Why has my computer stopped working?’ You can hand all this over to your review attorneys and get on with growing your practice.

Need the right eDiscovery software for these ‘large case’ strategies? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a next-generation eDiscovery application that prioritizes things that matter to small law firms. That’s why:

  • It costs just $10 a month for a 1 GB case: That’s $25 less–every month–than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars less than many others. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch has a flat, prorated rate. With legacy software, your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. It runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free, fully-functional trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • It can handle even the largest cases. GoldFynch scales from small to large, since it’s in the Cloud. So, choose from a range of case sizes (1 GB to 100 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need.
  • You can access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud. And you can monitor its servers here.
  • You won’t have to worry about technical stuff. It’s designed, developed and run by the same team. So, its technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means you get prompt and reliable service.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?