Document Review: No need to sacrifice quality for quantity

Posted by:

Kelli M. Clark, Esq.
Director of Professional and Litigation Services

The answer to the problem of shoddy review is to work smarter not harder. Like many attorneys I did my time in a doc review “sweatshop”. Even when time pressures are not imposed, I have to question the quality of the work product that comes out of these doc review factories. That being said, there is really no need to sacrifice quality for quantity these days. Early case assessment and data culling tools have reached such a level of sophistication that we can now use technology, not attorneys, to “review” non-relevant material. There is simply no reason to have attorneys billing hours to click through junk mail and meeting requests.

When the right technology is deployed up-front, most data sets can be reduced to a small fraction of their initial size prior to being handed over to attorney reviewers. Law firms that are undertaking massive doc by doc review on a regular basis are either missing the boat when it comes to technology, or are simply bilking their clients. There are methods that provide better quality and cost-effectiveness utilizing technology, and in some cases offshore managed review, to narrow the data set that needs to be reviewed by law firms. Over the last few years, I have begun to see the more savvy corporations switch to this approach with great success, and this approach is only going to continue to gain traction over the coming years.

This is obviously an ongoing issue in the industry, as shown in the recent ABA Journal Post,  “Lawyer’s Lament: Pressure to Review 80 Docs an Hour, for $23 an Hour

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