Updated December 9, 2010
The features and functionality provided by the review platform will help shape your workflow and is probably one of the most important factors when selecting your service provider. The following outlines some of the basic review features that need to be included in system:
3.1. Tag, Code or Annotate the Documents
Whether you require simple review and coding for Responsive, Non-Responsive and Privilege documents, or in-depth subjective coding, the system should allow you to create your own coding scheme and apply it to the documents loaded into the system. Some questions to ask are:
- Can the administrator add codes as needed?
- How many codes can be used?
- Can emails be coded separately from their attachments or are the email and attachments bound together?
- Can you execute batch/bulk coding of a large group of documents?
- Does the system provide tools to identify or safeguard against inconsistent coding?
- Can you auto-code duplicates with the same relevancy designation? If so, is there a way to apply an exception to a particular document(s) and how are family sets handled?
- Can you enter attorney notes and are they searchable?
- Can documents be highlighted?
- Can documents be easily redacted online?
- Can work product from document review be exported from the review platform to facilitate the creation of the Privilege/Confidential logs?
The review platform must allow basic Boolean or other robust searching of the text and metadata of the documents. Phrase, proximity, wild cards, concept, fuzzy, near-dupes and other types of search tools are beneficial, but their importance will be determined by your review strategy. The system should also allow you to sort your results by various criteria such as date, custodian, and subject line. Search speed will impact each and every operation, and thus system speed is a prime consideration.
Alternative search tools, such as concept searching and visualization, should also be considered.
3.3. Organization Tools
The ease and simplicity of creating and assigning folders or review sets to attorney review teams for review is essential. You should ask your service provider candidate(s):
- Can the administrator create their own logical review sets?
- Can the administrator easily assign those review sets to a user?
- Can the administrator monitor the progress being made on each review set?
- Can reports be generated detailing activities and progress made on the review sets?
- How many review sets can be generated in the system?
- How many can be assigned to a single reviewer?
- Can the system auto-assign a review set when a reviewer checks-in a completed review set?
- Can access to a review set be secured from other reviewers?
3.4. Integration of Electronic and OCR and TIFF Data into the Same Platform
Most discovery projects have both paper data as well as ESI. Identifying a service provider whose platform can handle both formats will allow you to centralize your review in one place.
3.5. Production Implications
Your review platform must support your production needs, and production processes need to integrate back to the review platform. For example, items previously produced need to be tracked in the review system, so you should factor these needs into your considerations.
Depending on your review requirements, redaction capabilities may be an essential feature for your review. If you are in a native format review platform, be sure to understand the workflow the service provider uses to generate image files for redaction purposes.
During production, you will want the redacted version to be the only one included in the produced dataset. It is important to understand how the service provider handles this to ensure that redacted text is removed from the Tiff or PDF image file, as well as, the text/metadata files if applicable.
3.7. Privilege and Confidentiality Logs
As you are applying redactions to documents within the review platform, is the application tracking this information to, among other things, automatically create Confidentiality Logs that correspond to the redactions on produced documents?
Likewise, when you code to withhold a document from production due to privilege, are those codes automatically generating Privilege Logs, complete with privilege codes and any other supporting information that you may want to associate with each record withheld from production?
3.8. Batch Printing, Download or Emailing
The system should have some functionality to print and/or share documents offline. Be sure to understand what capabilities you have available and any limitations or possible hardware or software requirements.
3.9. Administrative Functions
Administrative functions in the system should include the ability to:
- Create new users and assign passwords
- Generate review sets and dynamically assign sets to reviewers
- Monitor productivity of users
- Monitor review set completion
- Monitor consistent coding of parent emails and their attachment(s), as well as multiple versions of a duplicate document that is reviewed by different document coders
- Create your own production sets. If not, can you review prior production sets
The review system should allow you to effectively manage and report on your review team and document set. These reports should be produced daily or support a dynamic report generated through the administrative function in the system. The following reports may be desired:
- Daily User Productivity report of the # of documents reviewed and tagged by each reviewer
- Daily User Productivity report that tracks the volume of documents tagged as Privileged, Responsive or Not Responsive, by each reviewer, to assist with quality control screens and to identify areas where supplemental training of reviewers is necessary
- Daily Documents Reviewed report to monitor the volume of documents completed and the volume of documents remaining
- Data reports breaking out the review data by multiple criteria: custodian, date range, etc.
- Production tracking reports
- Privilege and Confidentiality Log creation
- Chain of Custody Reports
3.11. Other Review Workflow Features
Other review features that are not essential, but that are certainly beneficial may include: Hit highlighting, Concept searching, Auto-categorization, Email threading and Email visualization tools.