With the extraordinary volume of data from ever-increasing data sources, eDiscovery is fraught with opportunities for error. Perhaps one or more of the following missteps has happened to you in a recent matter involving electronically stored information:
· You told employees to save everything instead of implementing a proper legal hold.
· You told employees to delete everything instead of implementing a proper legal hold.
· You missed collecting a custodian’s email.
· You overwrote the metadata on some critical documents.
· You recycled an old laptop when an employee left the company, even though he was a custodian of relevant files for a pending matter.
· You forgot to include employees’ smartphones in your data collection protocol.
· You skipped the deduplication of files.
· You ran the wrong search terms on your data set because you didn’t spend time validating them first.
· You omitted Bates numbers from the production set, so then you had to redo the whole thing.
· You failed to notice that the opposing party had a gaping hole in their production set.
Even in the best circumstances, with all of your litigation protocols buttoned-up and followed to a T, mistakes can happen in eDiscovery. Fortunately, eDiscovery project managers are here to save the day: they can optimize processes, tiptoe around potential hazards, avoid adding insult to injury if a mistake has occurred, and just generally save your bacon—and some dollars and time along with it.
Project managers serve as the rudder of an eDiscovery project, navigating it through dangerous waters from start to finish. They serve as a liaison between the eDiscovery provider and client, but they do far more than communicate the status of projects. They set a schedule for projects and ensure they amass the resources to deliver the results the client expects—on time, if not ahead of schedule.
They also have the technical knowhow that enables them to recommend tools, such as analytics, that create shortcuts to expedite document review without imperiling evidence, running afoul of privacy laws, risking spoliation, or breaking the chain of custody. They ensure that projects remain on schedule, deploy resources (both human and technological) effectively, and design end-to-end discovery workflows that optimize the client’s time and budget. They also look for potential miscues and provide quality assurance and quality control expertise. Throughout the project, they take responsibility for reporting, ensuring that the entire process remains transparent to all stakeholders.
In short, they’re a single point of contact for most any eDiscovery inquiry, regardless of the stage of the EDRM that it involves—and if they don’t know the answer, they know how to find it.