In the context of eDiscovery, there is no one-size-fits-all document review solution. That is implicitly recognized in Rule 26 of the FRCP, as amended in 2015, which provides that discovery be “proportional to the needs of the case”, as all cases are different. There are also multiple entry points that lead to someone contacting us to perform a document review. The several different approaches employ varied protocols, technologies and applications. Depending on document volumes, timeframes, factual complexity, adversarial environment, budgets and other considerations, one approach might be more appropriate than another.
Legal Outsourcing 2.0’s expert document review attorneys are available to consult with Counsel to determine which approach would be best suited for the case at hand.
Generally speaking there are 4 approaches:
- Investigative Review: the process starts with a consultation with a world-class independent electronic discovery professional to assess the value, if any, of an investigative approach. The investigation starts with what is known, by collecting the email of just a few key people. Using cutting-edge technology in a strategic way, the investigative approach works outward from core relevant documents to find the remaining, additional relevant documents. Typically, an investigative approach is completed in a very short time-frame for considerably less cost than a Linear, TAR or a Hybrid Review. An investigative approach is useful in determining the scope for collection for a Linear, Tar or Hybrid review or in verifying the effectiveness of a review.
- Linear Review: in large cases prior to review, the initial data set is culled down using data filters and review accelerators (e.g., keyword searching, custodian, date range, concept, clustering, near duplicate and email threading), reviewers then perform document-by-document coding decisions on each document. In smaller cases, some clients have us do a linear review without culling down the data set.
- Technology-Assisted Review (TAR): used to bypass or modify Linear Review. Based on sample sets, predictive classification technology is applied to the data which then separates relevant documents from non-relevant documents.
- Hybrid Review: this approach supplements TAR results with a Linear Review approach: i.e. the highest scored TAR responsive documents are reviewed by case subject matter experts, while the remaining documents, (those deemed least likely to be responsive) are sent to a lower-cost review team.
Over time, the way document reviews have been staffed has evolved, affected by both legal AI technology and cost. Traditionally, document reviews were conducted at the lawyer’s office by Associates who billed at Associates rates, which today average $200+ per hour. Due to the high costs associated with Associates performing the routine tasks of document review, client pressure ultimately prevailed in shifting the work from expensive Associates to temporary lawyers, usually in the same high cost centers, and typically billed at a rate of $50-$60 per hour.
However, in today’s digital age, technology makes the still high cost practice of domestic outsourcing as unnecessary as the associate in the law firm approach did 30 years ago. Most documents are no longer produced in paper that can only be reviewed where the paper is physically located. Document review is now largely done by reviewing digital documents on a secure hosted platform. Reviewers no longer need to be in the same place. They do not need to be in a high cost center. Technology is already in place that allows for documents to be distributed in different places and reviewed by reviewers who cost different amounts based on characteristics of the documents to be reviewed. Clients are beginning to prevail upon law firms to take advantage of that technology and lower the cost of conducting document reviews. Legal Outsourcing 2.0 allows them to do so.
Legal Outsourcing 2.0’s unique staffing approach ensures the highest levels of quality and efficiencies. The document review teams are supervised by an experienced Am Law 100 discovery staff attorney. This plays a critical role ensuring that there are no miscommunications and allows us to deliver a more efficient and cost-effective work product without compromising on quality, defensibility and security.
Depending on clients’ needs, Legal Outsourcing 2.0 provides different review approaches and engagement models. Clients have the option to engage us for linear, TAR or hybrid reviews. We also can set up one-off document review teams, a dedicated team or a combination of a dedicated / flex team. Clients’ can move from one model to another as their needs change. As a best practice, we believe a combination of a smaller dedicated team, with retained knowledge and training of clients’ best practices, and a flex team that ramps up as needed, delivers the most value by allowing clients to leverage retained knowledge as they scale. This approach may not be the place to start for all clients, but we believe it is where it makes the most sense for clients to end up.
Whether you need a comprehensive document review service or simply staffing to augment your processes, Legal Outsourcing 2.0 has the experience, flexibility and scale to meet your needs, and at a fraction of the cost. All reviews follow rigorous, defensible processes and are supervised by expert U.S. licensed attorneys. Our reviews utilize the most advanced technologies and are performed by qualified Indian lawyers at our highly secure Calcutta facilities, where we apply the strictest security protocols and standards.