2 Responses to Model for e-Discovery Legal Practice Workflow and Best Practices

  1. […] Model for e-Discovery Legal Practice Workflow and Best Practices […]

  2. Melinda F. Levitt says:

    Ralph — I am not certain where this would fit in exactly, given it is a cross between the “blue” tasks of litigation readiness and the red cooperation phase, but I always recommend as very soon as possible — whether dealing with opposing counsel in civil litigation or with government attorneys in an investigation setting — trying to negotiate immediately (and before negotiating anything else) an agreement allowing the client to return to regular-course back-up tape rotation, as well as an agreement that voice-mails either do not have to be collected or that on a going forward basis they will not be part of the document corpus for purposes of discovery. I do this because in our practice we have found that if back-up tape rotation is not addressed right away, the client can spend months and months retaining back-up tapes (and buying new ones) simply because no one yet has bothered to talk about an agreed protocol –which leaves the client in retention limbo with no option but to save and save. As to phone messages –although some clients may have a system where the voicemails are retained along with their emails (and can be produced in native format), many others simply have a system that purges the voice mails after a certain volume has been reached or 30 days have passed, etc. While we have developed various “solutions” — such as having a special phone number set up where all relevant phone messages can be forwarded and held indefinately –none seems to be very ideal or particularly satisfactory. Moreover, because there is no automatic transcript of voice mails, the only way to review is to listen to the messages — and then develop an agreement for production — e.g., supplying a transcript (which costs a lot to do) or agree to supply the messages as audio recordings — which leaves the receiving party with the same problem — i.e., how to review. Bottom line –I try to get these voice mail messages off the table ASAP when a matter gets going and before anything else is negotiated. So, I consider these two things — back-up tape retention and voice mails as things to address even before the full cooperation phase. Food for thought . . .

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