Modern day litigation involves an ever-increasing volume of data. In turn, the ubiquitous nature of data has caused significant financial strains on legal teams. Because of the financial concerns attendant to eDiscovery, it is imperative that today’s legal teams are conversant in defensible strategies to control legal costs without compromising the ability to understand their case and identify quickly critical documents.

Below are a few strategies that may help control eDiscovery review costs. These strategies are not exhaustive but worth including in your next ESI workflow.

  1. Use Early Case Assessment

Early case assessment (ECA) can play a critical role in decreasing data volume, which in turn will help control costs and budget spend. ECA is a process used to investigate ESI and reduce data volume in the early stages of a potential legal matter before review begins. Its purpose is to allow the legal team to gain critical insights into the nature and sources of relevant data; to identify and eliminate duplicate documents; to eliminate data based upon file type; and to make the review process more efficient.

  1. Embrace Concept /Topic Clustering

Document clustering, or “concept clustering,” helps legal teams identify, through the use of algorithms, patterns that will help one understand quickly their data. For example, without any human intervention, all documents relating to widely divergent concepts like “dinner parties,” “COVID-19,” and “home construction,” are grouped into separate clusters allowing legal teams to explore the contents and characteristics of topic clusters to inform a review strategy that prioritizes key clusters/themes.

  1. Allow Threading to be Part of the Process

Emails are a primary form of modern communication with people exchanging professional and personal emails daily. And so, emails often contain multiple, embedded communications. Because a single, complete email dialogue includes historical conversations contained within it, the individual messages contained in the thread are duplicative of the larger thread.

By activating threading to identify the “most inclusive” email within each chain, legal teams can eliminate the need to read each message more than once, reducing the volume of emails necessary to review.

In the face of increasing data volume, the above are offered as strategies that may help control legal costs without compromising one’s ability to comply with discovery obligations.