Document Review: What Comes Next?

By: J. Wes Kiplinger, Director of Review Services

When it comes to document review, understanding the specific purpose of the review is key to determining the most efficient and effective approach. While the number of reviewers, rate of review, and cost are all important considerations, there are additional factors to take into account based on the type of matter being reviewed.

For instance, in an internal investigation, the documents may not be produced, and privilege may be of lesser concern. However, conducting a thorough review is still essential to identify and address any potential issues. On the other hand, in a litigation matter, it is crucial to identify key documents for production, and privilege may be a major concern. Thus, understanding the specific purpose of the review can help determine which tools and workflows are most effective for efficiency.

Another important consideration is whether the documents to be reviewed contain trade secrets, such as in the case of Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) reviews, requiring extensive redaction. In such instances, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the specific trade secrets being protected and to use technology-assisted review (TAR) or predictive coding to speed up the review process while maintaining accuracy and completeness.

Similarly, in financial matters, compliance department custodians may be crucial custodians for potential privilege analysis. Here, it is crucial to identify the key custodians and ensure that their documents are reviewed thoroughly for potential privilege issues.

Beyond these specific considerations, it is important to take into account the broader context of the matter. Is the litigation contentious, and are there specific issues that the client is concerned about? Does the client even know what the documents contain? Understanding the client’s priorities and concerns can help shape the approach to the review and ensure that the most relevant documents are identified and reviewed in a timely and efficient manner.

In conclusion, understanding the purpose of the review is essential to ensuring that the document review process is efficient, effective, and cost-effective. By considering factors such as the type of matter, the specific issues involved, and the client’s priorities and concerns, attorneys and e-discovery professionals can develop a customized approach that meets the needs of the matter while minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency. So, it is crucial to take a thoughtful and tailored approach to document review to get the most out of the process.