Understanding Your Data Early is Vital to Review Success: eDiscovery Best Practices

Time for another “gotcha” in document review! As Brandon Mack of Sandline discusses, the right combination of expertise and technology today can help to understanding your data early, which enables you to minimize the number of documents being reviewed. The key word in that sentence is “early”.

In his article Failing to Understand Your Data Before You Begin Review is Perhaps the Costliest “Gotcha” of All, Brandon discusses the importance of early case assessment (ECA), which is about estimating risk (i.e., the cost of time and money) to prosecute or defend a legal case and a big part of that risk assessment today has to do with the ESI associated with the case. ECA has evolved to not only evaluate the risk, but also reduce that risk by enabling the review team to understand the collection they are reviewing, by making key decisions about which documents are: 1) likely to be important to the case, 2) potentially important, and 3) clearly not important.

With business data doubling every 1.2 years, the importance of understanding the data early within the collection (especially the portion of the data that doesn’t need to be reviewed) is more important than ever to keep review costs manageable.


A successful chef learns through training and experience how to cook multiple dishes and cook them all well.  An experienced review manager understands how to plan the right workflow for each unique review project.  They both understand what “done” looks like for their respective disciplines.

So, what are three components of ECA analysis that you need to know? And how will they help avoid your own “gotcha” in review? I won’t steal Sandline’s (and Brandon’s) thunder, you can check out the article here on the specifics. And check out Brandon’s previous post in the document review “gotcha” series here on knowing what “done” looks like!  🙂

So, what do you think?  What steps do you take for understanding your data early in discovery?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclosure: Sandline is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today


Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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