The process of e-discovery is complex and therefore the need to find e-discovery software that can make the work easier for you. The success of e-discovery efforts rests largely on your choice of e-discovery software and how well you use it to find what your lawyers need for the case. Most software is meant to perform two functions; the first and most important is to sort through the mountains of electronic information available to get the information that is relevant to a case. The second function is to offer a medium for reviewing the information.
To properly perform the above basic functions, each software provides some features and these features vary depending on the software. To make a good choice of e-discovery software, you need to do enough research so that you clearly understand what each feature does. Some features allow you to review one document after another, while others allow you to review information in smaller chunks rather than the whole volume of information at once. Other software uses words and phrases searches that group related documents together so that lawyers can quickly determine what is relevant to a case. This kind of software has a search engine feature which can further simplify the job by using different search terms.
Whatever software you choose, your aim should be to do the e-discovery work on a larger scale. It must also allow you to do document review quickly. It is also important to make sure that the e-discovery software you choose is stable and secure. This is important because you might end up losing valuable time if you are using unstable software that crushes anytime you try to use it. Unstable software can also take time to load which can be very frustrating; not to mention that it is time consuming. It is obvious what unsecure software can do to your organization – crucial documents could get altered or lost making it virtually useless for trial.
Remember to ask a vendor if the e-discovery software converts documents into PDF or TIFF formats before review. Although converting documents to these formats makes them easier to review, conversion costs money. This expense is unnecessary especially if the conversion is done on a large collection that may contain many irrelevant documents. Only consider converting documents that have already been determined to be relevant to a case and now need to be produced.
Always go for e-discovery software that will make marking the documents easy and fast. Because you are dealing with many documents while reviewing, you need a way to be able to identify the documents you have already reviewed and determined to be relevant or not. The relevant documents also need to be marked according to how relevant they are. Software that allows you to mark these documents quickly and easily can save you time and expense.
Choose software that is very good at maintaining a chain of evidence. This will ensure that the documents remain unchanged and unaltered from the way they were collected even after they go through the review stage. This is precisely the reason why you should avoid using untested software.
Ultimately, choosing the right ediscovery software can be a complex process sometimes better left to professionals. Putting together a dedicated team including of attorneys, IT and consultants may be necessary to make the right choice.
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