Creating an Effective Guidance Document for Discovery
Discovery is critical in every case, but it is especially important in complex litigation, in-depth regulatory investigations, and due diligence for large transactions. In each of these situations, attorneys will create a guidance document for discovery before the team reviews what can be an enormous number of documents to determine which information is relevant for a particular dispute or issue.
This process can be extremely time-consuming. However, when the discovery team has their strategy defined, the entire process can be much more efficient.
Creating an Effective Guidance Document
Setting out an appropriate plan for complex discovery starts with creating a comprehensive instructional document. This information will be the guidepost for discovery teams so they know exactly what they are searching for and how information should be evaluated and classified so as to be useful in the overall litigation process.
An effective guidance document will often include the following information:
- A general description of the case or the transaction at issue
- The source of the discovery documents that need to be reviewed
- The overarching goals of the document review (including whether the documents have been produced or may be produced)
- General classifications that the attorneys may want to use (relevant, responsive, protected, etc.)
- A list of any specific information of interest to “red flag”
- A list of specific issues that the attorneys should identify and instructions on how to code any applicable documents
- A description of potentially privileged information, including names of relevant attorneys, law firms, or matters
- A description of how final results should be presented
Developing specific goals for the document review is perhaps the most critical piece of information in a guidance document for discovery. Once those actually reviewing the documents understand what they are looking for and why, they can provide much better search results. Context is always critical in providing guidance for a document review project.
Document review support teams can help streamline the process for many organizations. Learn more about how Baer Reed can help assist your organization with document review by contacting our team today.
- On January 19, 2023
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