Tricks of the Trade: Five Technologies That Improve eDiscovery Workflow

There have been many different eDiscovery workflows used over the years as tools and technology have evolved, with some that worked well to improve productivity, and others that failed. Over the years, you’ve likely tried tools that have had the appearance of real promise, only to fail in areas like error handling, support and workflows.

At the same time, real progress has been made with technology and workflows that are making a positive impact on time and money savings. Here are four tools with proven workflows that legal professionals should consider to improve productivity on every eDiscovery project.

Oasis Patterns and Reg Extract

The handling of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) has long been problematic in eDiscovery. There are solutions to automatically redact it but identifying those documents so they can be built into review has always been a challenge.

One tool that works directly in Relativity that simplifies the handling of PII and PHI is called Oasis Patterns and Reg Extract. PII and PHI needs to be collected, identified, redacted or obfuscated prior to production. The tool works based on regular expression patterns. It includes several canned patterns that can be added to the workspace automatically through a script. It then extracts all the PII or PHI information into a new object and field inside of the Relativity database.

Users can report on the PII and search and replace on any identified matches with replacement text inside the workspace as well. PII is logged and users can see and reuse that information.

Some of the canned patterns available include tax forms, birthdays, phone numbers, bank cards, social security, credit card, and more. Custom patterns are also supported and can be added as additional patterns within the application.

Tag Sync

Often, corporate legal departments have documents that are duplicated across various eDiscovery workspaces or matters. Tag Sync allows users to take any tags or any work product that exists in one workspace and apply the tags across different workspaces when the documents match. Coding is maintained across duplicate documents within various workspaces. This works especially well for privilege documents, where one document is tagged as privilege in a workspace, the privilege tag will be synced across the same document in other workspaces.

Master Database Repository

It’s simple to reap the benefits of a master database repository for eDiscovery, but businesses and law firms sometimes forget to inquire about master database repositories from the other parties engaged in the case while looking for a service provider to house their data. If the proper procedures are followed, there are significant benefits for both parties in using the same supplier and few drawbacks. These advantages include:

  1. Reduced hosting and review fees. Co-defendants or co-plaintiffs who want to split the expense of eDiscovery can find the ideal answer in a master database model. In order to improve their eDiscovery workflow and cut costs overall, lawyers from various firms representing parties with largely congruent interests may feel comfortable sharing a workspace and even work products.
  2. Decreased production costs. Depending on volume, the production requirements for ESI document outputs can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s becoming more widespread practice in the sector to deliver papers to the opposing counsel by giving them online access. Giving opposing counsel access to the environment in which they are now hosted would be the most economical course of action.
  3. Uniformity of work product. The same processing tools and procedures will be used to complete the task when parties are utilizing a master database repository. Information and work product can also be reused and instantly shared by request, saving time, money and improving consistency between efforts on the same data set.
  4. Enhanced efficiency and dialogue. Information may be easily shared between parties, and they can gain from efficient processing and data reuse. Additionally, there is no lost time or misunderstanding brought on by the requirement for various vendors to cooperate.

Despite the advantages, data security and privacy should always be a priority. Relativity, for example, offers administrative users the ability to configure quite detailed security settings. Work product or even specific documents can be restricted to only being viewed by particular law firms or people who are a part of organizations who have access to the same hosted environment.

A master database repository needs to be accessible to litigants who are on different sides of the same case. However, it’s possible that, due to human mistake, opposing parties may unintentionally access work products or documents that weren’t meant for their consumption. In these situations, setting up a separate production workspace to store production data for online review would be the safer alternative that still permits data exchange.

If you are thinking about using a master database repository, it is crucial to collaborate with a service provider who has the necessary credentials, such as:

  • High-end equipment and technology for regulated, monitored, secure access
  • Permissions at the enterprise and user levels
  • Extensive knowledge of managing complicated multi-party projects.

Inventory Filtering

One feature within Relativity web processing is called inventory filtering. Inventory filtering allows users to run filters early so there is a lighter data footprint when it is loaded into the workspace. You can filter by file size, file types, locations, sender domains for email and more. Users can also report on some information very quickly without having to go through the time and effort of moving documents to a live database.


One tool used towards the end of eDiscovery is the privilege log technology called Chronicle. It is built directly into the review workspace and automates workflows to gather information that goes into a privileged log. Privilege log creation no longer needs to be a manual effort because Chronicle automates the process. It also offers a shared environment rather than exporting something to an Excel file that gets emailed from one team member to the other. Chronicle offers a single interface in the same place users reviewed documents to manage their privlogs.

Technology and effective workflows can ease the pain of eDiscovery, saving time and money, and making it easier for legal professionals to sleep at night. Check out our recent webinar on the topic here.