Why Set Up eDiscovery 'Managed Reviews'?

12 October 2021 by Anith eDiscovery Managed-review

Takeaway: Managed eDiscovery reviews give you access to rapidly scalable review teams that are both highly trained and cost-effective. These teams can take on lower-priority aspects of the review, which frees up your attorneys to focus on the strategy of building a defensible case.

Reviewing your clients’ documents is one of the most critical steps in eDiscovery. But you don’t always have to do it alone.

Discovery has changed over the last few decades. Nowadays, electronically stored information (ESI) like PDFs, emails, Word documents, etc., make up the bulk of most cases. And even with paper documents, you’ll end up scanning and converting them into ESI. So this means your review team doesn’t have to be physically present with the documents to review them. This significantly opens up a firm’s options because you can now outsource large chunks of your eDiscovery reviews. And this means you can take on more work, knowing that if things get too hectic, there’s an add-on review team waiting to help.

A ‘managed review’ is the perfect way to supplement your firm’s workforce. And it comes with a bunch of advantages.

A managed review is where you share eDiscovery case files with a reliable, highly qualified, and experienced team of review specialists. It might sound unnerving to let an outside team look at potentially sensitive data, but thankfully the best teams have a rigorous, trustworthy review process. And they come with some notable advantages.

1. You have a range of review options to choose from.

The whole point of an eDiscovery review is to uncover your case’s story – that is, what happened? When and how? Who was involved? What were their motives? etc. So, how you approach a case can determine how well you’re able to piece the story together. And the best review teams offer 4 related approaches.

  1. Exploratory reviews: Here, reviewers start by going through a few key documents, which lead them to other related documents, which are linked to more documents, and so on. Since they start with essential files and expand their search from there, the review team avoids unnecessarily collecting and sifting through gigabytes of junk data. An exploratory review often sets up the other approaches in this list or can be used to check if a prior review was thorough enough.
  2. Linear reviews: This is the more traditional approach to eDiscovery, where the review team takes in a massive data set and begins culling documents. They do this by filtering files based on keywords, dates, custodians, email threads, etc. Once the files have been culled, the reviewers can then tag the remaining documents.
  3. Technology-Assisted Reviews (TARs): Here, specialized eDiscovery software will use machine learning to spot patterns in how the reviewers tag files. And the software will then automatically start separating responsive and non-responsive documents. (Learn more about TARs.)
  4. Blended reviews: Researches use a combination of TARs and linear reviews. An initial TAR will separate high-priority and low-priority files. And these can then be split between higher-cost and lower-cost review teams that each perform a linear review.

2. The review is quick because the teams have years of experience using their eDiscovery software.

Even if you have easy-to-use eDiscovery software, a managed review team will likely work faster than you. That’s because their strength lies in mastering technology, while yours lies in building a defensible case. So it makes sense to hand over the technical parts of eDiscovery so that you can focus on strategy. This is especially true with larger cases where a difference in speed can save you days or weeks. The review team will know how best to:

  • Filter searches using keywords combined with boolean operators
  • Tag documents using a uniform, consistent tagging system
  • Redact sensitive information thoroughly (words, paragraphs, and even entire pages)
  • Split a case into batches of related documents and assign the batches to different reviewers. This means multiple reviewers work through a case simultaneously, which saves time.

3. The teams have well-tested quality control protocols.

Even with a lot of experience, reviewers make mistakes. For example, they could create an incomplete search command, tag a document incorrectly, forget to redact some privileged text, and so on. That’s why most managed review teams have quality control measures to catch these mistakes. Often, this includes multiple teams checking each other’s work and/or randomly sampling select batches of files. And all of this under the watch of an experienced attorney. (As a best practice, though, make sure you stay in regular contact with your review team and ask for regular progress reports. This will help you stay on top of the project and give the team a chance to ask questions at pivotal moments.)

4. The review teams are trained to keep your data secure.

Managed review teams carefully select eDiscovery software that can keep your data safe. Cloud eDiscovery services come with built-in advanced Cloud security. For example, Cloud data servers are protected from physical damage (e.g., fires and floods), and they have generators to keep their servers active 24/7. They also have rigorous background checks for maintenance personnel and encrypted biometric identification for anyone trying to connect to their servers. Further, they encrypt their data and use techniques like crypto-shredding to ensure that the data you delete stays permanently deleted. Similarly, your managed review team will have security protocols in their office, as well as contingency plans for if a data breach does take place. Again, their years of experience with the technical side of eDiscovery mean they’re well-equipped for data security.

5. Managed review teams can scale up or down on demand.

Ideally, you want to limit the amount of eDiscovery data you collect so that review costs don’t eat into your budget. But sometimes, a case can get away from you even though you’ve planned ahead. And this is where managed review teams can help by scaling up or down on demand. Often, they have a core team that takes the lead, and they’ll bring in supporting teams when needed. Crucially, they’ve got systems to keep these teams working together smoothly. Consider, instead, what you’d have to do without this option. You’d scramble to find qualified people to add to your team, waste time managing them, and have to review their work regularly. Instead, you can now click a button and instantly have access to a trained review team.

6. The right review team can save you money.

Law firms often spend up to 3/4th of their eDiscovery budget on the review phase alone. This is partly because larger cases simply need more reviewers and partly because per-hour review costs are often high. For example, an associate might charge – on average – about $200+ per hour. But the question that managed reviews force law firms to ask is, ‘Is this fee worth it?’ Because, why should you pay $200+ for an associate when a well-trained entry-level reviewer can do the same job for less? Especially when the associate would then be free for higher-level work that needs someone with their experience. This is a simple fix to most law firms’ budget problems and honors the proportionality principle. I.e., you don’t end up spending more on review than the case is worth.

If you’re keen on exploring managed eDiscovery reviews, here’s how to start.

At GoldFynch, we’ve partnered with a trusted managed review service that offers a one-click booking request. Once you’ve created your GoldFynch case and uploaded files, you’ll find a ‘Request Managed Review’ button on the overview page. Find out more about requesting a managed review.

If you’re looking for other ways to simplify and speed up your reviews, here’s how GoldFynch can help.

We designed our Cloud-based eDiscovery service for small and midsize law firms. And here’s why you might like to try it:

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. 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 charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up-front how much you’ll be paying. You can upload and cull as much data as you want, as long as you stay below your storage limit. And even if you do cross the limit, you can upgrade your plan with just a few clicks. Also, billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch 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 trial case (0.5 GB of data and a processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch, and you’re good to go. Plus, you get prompt and reliable tech support.
  • Access it from anywhere, and 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to find out more about GoldFynch?