Compelling Case Study for Remote eDiscovery Collection in a High-Stakes Litigation

By John Patzakis

While our personal and business lives will hopefully return to normal soon, the trend of an increasingly remote and distributed workforce is here to stay. This “new normal” necessitates updated workflows enabled by the latest technology to comply with legal, privacy, and information governance requirements.

We have all sat in on many COVID-themed webinars and read just as many articles and blog posts discussing the new challenges in the abstract. But Mark Anderson, UK Director of Complete Discovery Source, recently provided welcome actual insight with a case study from the field on how he and his firm addressed remote collection challenges in a high-stakes multi-national litigation involving approximately 100 custodians and data sources spanning several countries.

Speaking in a live webinar, Anderson first noted that the legacy manual collection workflow involving travel, physical access and one-time mass collection of custodian laptops, file servers and email accounts was a non-starter going forward, given the high cost and logistical challenges under the new normal of remote workforces, current travel restrictions, and social distancing. According to Anderson, in previous cases “it was very difficult and very expensive to be on site that long to travel to those locations, to be very intrusive to a business, all for collecting data in an eDiscovery case.”

For CDS Legal’s recent major litigation matter, three key priorities needed to be addressed: 1) Gaining insight to the data to determine its potential relevance, which had to be determined remotely prior to collection; 2) Addressing privacy considerations pre-collection as the custodians were EU residents, and; 3) Collecting the data remotely and transmitting it directly from the endpoints to a load file or review platform.

Anderson noted that X1 Distributed Discovery, which is specially designed to search, analyze and collect data from remote and dispersed workforces and data sources, uniquely fulfilled these requirements. To enable early data insight, Anderson said that X1 indexed many terabytes of client data remotely and in place behind the client’s firewall, which “allowed us to search those indexes remotely very quickly, very effectively and very easily.”

For the very important privacy review requirement, Anderson reported that “By using X1, we were able to push the (search results) to the client on the machines that did the indexing and allowed them to review the data and flag it for release to us, so that we could collect it to a central location.” Anderson recounted how before using X1, CDS Legal would have to employ a much more time-consuming and cumbersome workflow, involving manual over-collection of data and then temporary installing a review platform on site, and having the client conduct their own review of a much larger subset of documents and emails with their own ad hoc searches.

For the final collection step, Anderson said that the targeted and privacy-reviewed client data transfer was effectuated with X1 remotely in an automated manner. Anderson also lauded X1’s ability to upload data straight into Relativity as being a “real time saver,” that is “a cleaner workflow in terms of the direct connection to Relativity rather than the manpower needed to transfer data.”

A recorded copy of the 30-minute webinar featuring Complete Discovery Sources’ case study can be accessed here.

X1 Distributed Discovery (X1DD) enables enterprises to quickly and easily search across up to thousands of distributed endpoints and data servers from a central location.  Legal and compliance teams can easily perform unified complex searches across both unstructured content and metadata, obtaining statistical insight into the data in minutes, and full results with completed collection in hours, instead of days or weeks. The key to X1’s scalability and remote collection capabilities is its unique ability to index and search data in place, thereby enabling a highly detailed and iterative search and analysis, and then only collecting data responsive to those steps. To learn more about this capability purpose-built for remote eDiscovery collection and data audits, please contact us.

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