Showing 3 posts from October 2009.

A Casual Conversation on Search and Collection

I'd like to thank Chris and Morris James for the opportunity to participate on this blog and share my thoughts.  Just the other day, Chris, as he is apt to do, sent me a provocative question: "Do you guys ever use keywords during collection?"  As a practitioner here in Wilmington, I enjoy this type of open ended question, because normally I can answer it and then riff on the topic like a jazz musician.  Here is the content of that improv we conducted via email:

VMC:  I wouldn't recommend keywords for standard collection from Email or other ESI repositories, but I would use searches for database applications to extract relevant info.  Also, there are some tools that, if you allow them the latitude, they can actually run searches in native stores such as server spaces.

CJS:  On one hand it makes sense to cull at collection to save loading costs, but you'd still have to pay to have it done, so maybe it's a wash?  It also seems easier to run searches on all the data at once after it's collected rather than multiple times on individual stores.

VMC:  I think if you have a relatively small universe (custodians in the 100's or one small business) using search tools to LOCATE rather than CULL is an interesting idea.  Provided all parties are cool with the terms, it would definitely cut down on review time and costs.  In theory, everything you collect would be responsive by the fact that it was hit by a search term.  Then your review can be very tactical in only looking for Privilege and concentrate on that.

CJS:  This is a bit semantic, but, if you otherwise would have collected everything then run keywords, isn't locating prior to collecting the functional equivalent of culling?  Also, while I agree it could cut down the review, wouldn't it still be difficult to implement?  I assume not all the employees are custodians, so we'd ID the custodians then run the searches on just their data?  Or would they be doing that?  Or would we be running the terms on all the employee data? Are we assuming all the data is in a single store?  Considering keywords aren't terribly accurate, would it be better to ask the custodians to collect their relevant docs?

VMC:  And so the questions continue along that line!  What I was suggesting is identification of data by using keyword searches by agreement.  This hypothetical search would take place across all data stores without the need to identify key custodians.  You are identifying records containing relevant terms.  Now, the adequacy of using terms to find relevant information has been debated.  So is there room for some sort of conceptual or analytical evaluation of the communication and not merely the terms used in the records? Culling occurs normally AFTER you have identified key custodians and key data locations.  By utilizing word searching, we are culling down the set of potentially relevant records to those containing the terms identified.  With the source search we are discussing, there would be no need for culling as you are doing that from the get-go.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Extend this conversation in the comments section.

What Every Businessperson Should Know About E-Discovery

This video has been on YouTube for a while and made the rounds before, but it's so straightforward I think it's worth sharing again here.


Old ZyLAB Promotional Video from 1994

This is apparently a 15-year-old ZyLAB promotional video recently posted on YouTube.  The video covers some eDiscovery related technologies, including OCR, fuzzy searching, and automatic bates numbering.  I figured all you eDiscovery geeks would enjoy this peek into the past.  The eDiscovery specific stuff starts at 3:41.