Reviewing Potentially Relevant Data

By Scott A. Kane  |  Posted 2011-03-04 Print this article Print

Reviewing potentially relevant data

One portion of the e-discovery process that is frequently ignored is the plan for eventually reviewing potentially relevant data that has been collected in response to a specific legal need. E-mail systems and file servers in even small companies may contain hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of documents. Only a small fraction of them are likely to be relevant to a particular dispute.

An e-discovery strategy that adequately identifies and preserves potentially relevant ESI is not operating efficiently if it does not include a plan for reducing the amount of this data that must then be reviewed. Our law firm of Squire Sanders & Dempsey ("Squire Sanders") has addressed this need through its "Intelligent Discovery" initiative, which seeks to reduce client costs by limiting-to the greatest extent possible-the amount of time devoted to human review of large data populations.

Traditional discovery processes often involve a "linear" review in which each document (that is, piece of potential evidence) is individually classified as to its relevance. This process is time-consuming and expensive. For very large populations of ESI, the potential costs of this exercise can approximate the true economic value of the matter in dispute. In addition, because of the amount of material that must be reviewed, key evidence might not be seen by the legal team until well after important strategy decisions have been made.

Scott A. Kane is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP. Scott represents financial institutions, manufacturers, technology companies, design and construction firms, securities and investment companies, and other businesses in a variety of commercial litigation matters in courts and arbitration proceedings throughout the United States. Scott also has extensive experience representing both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy-related litigation. Scott is co-chair of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey's e-discovery and data management team, which serves as a resource for lawyers and clients in matters involving the preservation and discovery of electronic documents. Scott teaches a course on e-discovery issues as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, College of Law. Scott is a frequent speaker in this practice area to clients, bar association groups and professional organizations. He is a member of the Electronic Document Retention and Production Working Group of The Sedona Conference. Scott also serves as president of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Prior to law school, Scott served in the United States Army and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. Scott received his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Cincinnati. He can be reached at

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