By: J.P. Midgley, President, Avalon Technologies
Over the last several years I have visited with several law firms and corporate legal teams to discuss efficient document reviews. One of the first questions I always ask is: “How many of you load the email discovery into Microsoft Outlook to do your review or to ‘take a quick peek?'”. Without fail, at least 70% of the attorneys raise their hands. There is a better way!
By loading the email discovery into Outlook you have only the very basic searching features Outlook provides. Also, once in Outlook, you can only have one person review the documents at a time. If multiple reviewers load the emails into Outlook, there is no way to prevent duplicative efforts. Additionally, this does not give you the ability to do up front culling on this data before review such as de-duplication, date, keyword, and spam filtering.
Intermingling of potential evidence with your own email is also a dangerous practice. This exposes your firm’s network to virus’ that exist in the loaded emails, allows reviewers to actually reply to these emails, and, if your firm does daily backups, you now have successfully backed up client data with your own firm’s.
There are dozens of reasons not to review in this manner. With so many new processes available such as advanced filtering, analytics, email threading and predictive coding out there; you should consider visiting these more modern, efficient strategies with your next review.