Efficient and Cost-Effective

Efficient and Cost-Effective eDiscovery Projects Start With A-B-C: eDiscovery Best Practices

Just as the classic movie Glengarry Glen Ross coined the phrase “Always Be Closing”, Prism Litigation Technology illustrates that efficient and cost-effective eDiscovery projects start with A-B-C too.

You remember the scene, right? Blake, the motivational(?) speaker stresses the importance of focusing on activities that lead to closing accounts by saying:

“A… Always, B… Be, C… Closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING!”


Prism’s post (Efficient and Cost-Effective eDiscovery is About Learning your ABCs, written by Sam Anderson and available here) discusses how, in eDiscovery projects, ABC is just as important to success, but with a different C — A… Always, B… Be, C… Culling. ALWAYS BE CULLING!

Out of an over-abundance of caution, the historical eDiscovery mindset has been to “collect everything, then figure it out later.” The process is this: 1) collect any potential custodian’s entire data corpus; 2) load it all into a review platform; 3) use a combination of culling and searching approaches to reduce the population to identify potentially responsive documents; 4) review those documents; and 5) produce documents deemed responsive but not privileged. This so-called “safe approach” means all culling occurs downstream in the most expensive phases of discovery.

However, because of the exponential growth of Big Data, the cost of the “collect everything” mindset has become overwhelming. As a result, legal professionals are using alternatives, such as choosing to employ index- and search-in-place technologies upstream to cull out clearly non-responsive ESI. This early screening leaves only potentially responsive ESI to be collected and moved downstream to discovery activities such as processing, hosting, and review itself. Reducing volumes where the data resides — before collection — is considered the most cost-effective approach for culling ESI.

So, which is the best approach to lead to efficient and cost-effective eDiscovery projects – culling upstream or culling downstream? And is there a “D” that comes after the A-B-C? (Hint: there is!). Check out their post here to find out what it is! Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for “cullers” only! 😉

So, what do you think?  What do you do to achieve effective and cost-effective eDiscovery projects?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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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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