How do you decide whether to use an eDiscovery platform? Attorneys looking to advise their clients on this point, have often asked me whether there is a rule of thumb on the minimum size of the data on a matter which determines when it becomes more effective (cost/effort/time) to use an eDiscovery platform for review of the data, rather than a manual process.

Interestingly, some say there is no case too small for the use of a review platform, but it is likely that this position is influenced by the jurisdiction in which they practice, for example where the use of eDiscovery technology is provided for in the court rules. 

I suggest you consider the following in your decision whether to use a review platform:

  • What is the timeline? If you are under time pressure to complete the review, it is helpful to know that the technology can help you reduce the number of documents you have to look at, and hence review time.
  • In what format are the documents? If the documents are available in electronic format, it is best to keep it in electronic format to maintain metadata. It may also be more cost effective to upload than to print. 
  • Do you want an audit trail of the review process? The electronic review platform maintains an audit trail of all activities performed during the review and provides evidence to support a defensible review approach and process.
  • What is the size of the data? Here’s the rule of thumb: More than 10 000 documents (roughly 2-3GB of data) in your data set.

You can get access to eDiscovery technology through a service provider, who can provide both the review platform and the necessary technical and advisory support. It is important to understand the costs involved and the support you will receive from your eDiscovery service provider. 

As the particulars of each matter will inform the ultimate decision, it is best to discuss your requirements with a specialist who can advise you on the process, technology and costs. 

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