Essential Discovery
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Large Scale Multi-District Foreign Language Review

Client- Fortune 100 Company (the “Client”).

Matter- Large-scale, multi-district patent litigation involving a foreign corporation.

Challenge- Client had collected over 20 million records, and over half of them were in a foreign language. This created an increased burden on outside counsel, given the overall volume of data and the foreign language component. In addition, it was necessary for outside counsel to implement a strategy aimed at decreasing the overall cost of the review.

Essential Discovery’s Solution- Essential Discovery deployed its Advance Review Team (a team of two to three highly experienced review attorneys led by a Senior Project Manager with deep subject matter expertise, technical expertise in the relevant review tool, and a thorough understanding of workflow design) to help implement a secondary culling strategy. In addition, the Advance Review Team further refined the flow of documents to either the foreign language or English review team. Finally, Essential Discovery created a tailored staffing model to create specialized, foreign language task teams to assist outside counsel recognize and identify the nuances in the foreign language documents.

Results- All production deadlines were met, and the volume of documents set aside for linear review was reduced by over fifty percent (approximately 10,000,000 documents).

Case Summary- The Client was involved in the defense of a large-scale patent claim. As the Client was a foreign corporation, many of the key custodians’ documents were in a language other than English. The scope of the collection was extraordinarily large and it resulted in over 20,000,000 million records being collected and set aside for linear review.

The particular review platform in use – though equipped with the ability to identify foreign languages – was not effective separating the documents into batches that were divided by language. In addition, outside counsel representing the Client needed help in deciphering keywords to adequately identify relevant foreign language documents, and help identifying “hot” documents. Further, due to the fact the Client’s employee index was so voluminous, there were multiple duplicative names within the corporate database. This, in turn, created additional collections from irrelevant custodians.

Methodology- Upon engagement, Essential Discovery quickly deployed its signature “Advance Review Team” approach in order to conduct a preliminary assessment of the data set. The Advance Review Team was tasked with reducing the total volume of documents set aside for linear review, and with improving the overall workflow of the review. Finally, it was also necessary to recruit aggressively from the foreign language review community to ensure we met the high volume need of our Client.

Shortly after the Advance Review Team was initiated, Essential Discovery was able to design and implement the following:

  1. Reduction of Data
    • The Advance Review Team sampled large portions of the data prior to batching out the review sets and quickly honed in on source code files that were easily identifiable, based upon their unique file type. This initial identification of source code significantly decreased the total volume of documents.
    • Following the reduction of files via the source code identification, the Advance Review Team leveraged their past experience on previous matters involving the Client to identify large data sets that could be set aside for a modified and accelerated review workflow.
    • Applying a combination of keyword searching and utilization of review platform technology, the Advance Review Team batched out the potentially non-responsive documents.
      The Advance Review Team members were assigned to these data sets, and confirmed that the data sets were non-responsive through various sampling methods combined with an overview of the metadata.
    • Another key factor in data reduction was the Advance Review Team’s ability to identify irrelevant custodian files. The Client had collected millions of documents from custodians with the same name, when, in fact, only a single custodian was relevant in the matter. The main reason for the large number of false positive collections was the nuances associated with the foreign language custodians. The Advance Review Team then coordinated, with outside counsel and the ESI vendor, to pull the documents of the irrelevant custodians.
    • The Advance Review team was able to reduce the total volume of documents that were originally designated for linear review by over fifty percent.
  2. Foreign Language Workflow Management
    • A key component to the successful management of this large-scale foreign language review was the creation of an effective batching/workflow design.
    • The ESI vendor had intended to create separate, designated foreign language and English batches. However, the English batches contained a significant number of foreign language documents.
    • Rather than creating a workflow to have English reviewers identify foreign language documents and then transition these documents over to the foreign language workflow, the Advance Review Team created a specific foreign language search. Specifically, if a document had a hit utilizing the foreign language search term, that document would automatically be batched with foreign language documents.
    • Further, the Advance Review Team identified custodians whose documents were primarily in a foreign language. These documents were then batched out to the foreign language reviewers directly.
      Both of these steps eliminated duplicative review of foreign language documents.
    • Additionally, it was important that outside counsel was able to utilize the foreign language review team, as specific case needs developed.
      In order to address this concern, a foreign language task group, consisting of elite foreign language reviewers, was created.
    • This task group would perform quality control, translations, document summaries and hot document identification.
    • These reviewers were successful in ensuring outside counsel was aware of the key foreign language documents and focused primarily on making certain that all productions to opposing counsel did not contain privilege communications.
  3. Staffing Sixty Foreign Language Review Attorneys
    • The above workflow design and additional culling of data would not have been possible if we were not able to meet our Client’s foreign language staffing needs.
    • Essential Discovery utilized traditional staffing methods to identify a first wave of reviewers but also leveraged its strong relationship with top-tier candidates to identify additional candidates.
    • Furthermore, we went deep into the foreign language community and reached out to community leaders in order to identify additional candidates. This outreach program targeted attorneys not normally aware of foreign language review work.
    • Essential Discovery provided document review training to foreign language review attorneys both as a readiness and feeder program but also to provide an extra layer of scrutiny of new candidates.
    • In addition, we recommended that the client staff in locations that had a high concentration of foreign language reviewers. By setting up multiple satellite offices in major metropolitan cities throughout the United States, we were able to pull in a large team of highly qualified foreign language reviewers.