A leading Law Firm Faced a Significant eDiscovery Challenge
Facing an eDiscovery Challenge
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP is ranked by The National Law Journal as one of the largest law firms in the US—but even with its large roster of 800 attorneys across the country, the firm had a considerable eDiscovery challenge in one of its clients’ pending litigations, which involved over 1 terabyte of potentially relevant data contained in electronic client documents.
If collected and processed through a traditional linear review, the large amount of client data would cost the firm $5 million, in addition to an equally large amount of attorney review time. Time and money weren’t the only issues. Some data needed to be collected from Indonesia, and the firm needed to navigate that country’s legal limitations for exporting information. Additionally, the data needed to be translated into English. As a last hurdle, the opposing party sought sanctions for spoliation due to allegations that case-relevant documents were deleted from a former employee’s laptop.
“We teamed with Canon because it offered the eDiscovery expertise, technology and consultative skills that could help us reduce attorney review time and costs associated with managing such a large amount of data as well as solve other issues,” explained a partner with the firm.
We had previously worked with Lewis Brisbois on a separate initiative, and the firm was confident that we could now help it overcome its present challenges. This time, we were tasked with applying our expertise, technology, and litigation support skills to process 1 terabyte of data—some in a foreign language, some deleted from a laptop—by implementing a defensible workflow. We were on the case.
A CaseData™ Solution
After consulting with Lewis Brisbois and identifying its challenges, our legal consultants came up with a solution: CaseData™, our own cloud-based document review tool for legal teams. CaseData allows the firm to manage all the details:
- Collaboratively review documents from different locations
- Streamline the review process by clustering related documents
- Analyze documents in multiple languages
- Eliminate non-relevant documents by using global de-duplication, keyword searching, clustering, email threading, statistical sampling, and other analytical methodologies
Between these CaseData benefits and ANSI-based sampling techniques that our legal consultants and Lewis Brisbois collaboratively used to eliminate non-relevant documents, we were able to cut attorney review time and associated costs by 90%.
The next issue to address was the overseas data. A team from Canon traveled to Indonesia to collect the electronically stored information (ESI); once there, the team created forensic images of all data and loaded those images—totaling over 1 terabyte—onto encrypted drives, staying within the legal limitations for exporting data, and processed them in the U.S.
Finally, we worked to overcome the allegations of spoliation. To do this, we created a “virtual mailbox” consisting of the former employee’s ingoing and outgoing emails that included data from the documents he’d deleted. We made this “mailbox” available to the opposing party, and the presiding judge ruled that the firm’s client had presented no prejudice in the discovery process. Allegations overruled.
“This was a global case involving an overwhelming amount of data,” said the partner for Lewis Brisbois. “Combined with the other challenges, the case potentially could have been more expensive than profitable. But with Canon’s tools, expertise, and efforts, we were able to represent our client very admirably while saving both time and money.”
Between legal motions, depositions, and trial preparation, Lewis Brisbois spent just $1.5 million—a savings of 90% compared to the costs associated with the firm's traditional linear reviews for case data of a similar size. It was a case of finding the right tools to handle the data, and the right partner to help the firm accomplish it.