Five tips for running an effective electronic discovery
Displaying documents on shared screens can be easy, but here are some considerations to take into account prior to commencing your next eDiscovery.
Determine a naming convention for your documents
You’ll find you’re faster at locating what you’re looking for if you create a naming convention early on. Many of our clients use PDFs, name file folders as appropriate, and then place relevant documents within those folders.
File Folder: 2013 Board and Committee Meetings
Contents of the Folder:
February 2013 Minutes of Board Meeting
May 2013 Minutes of Board Meeting
August 2013 Minutes of Board Meeting
November 2013 Minutes of Board Meeting
May 2013 Audit Committee Minutes
November 2013 Audit Committee Minutes
Notice to Shareholders
Decide on a document format
Whether you decide to use PDFs, Excel spreadsheets or your database, think about what will be easiest for you to move around in so you can find and display documents quickly.
Choose a viewing system
iPad? Surface? Laptop? What you need to keep in mind is how you’ll be displaying documents to others in the room. If you are connecting to a system, be sure that you have the right adapters to do so, as each system has its own type of connection (USB, mini USB…) There’s nothing worse than showing up only to find you can’t connect to a system!
When the document is on the screen
- Ensure the person questioning understands your document naming protocol; it’s helpful to work on the outline prior to discovery or trial so both you and the questioner have the documents lined up
- Use Bates numbering or other identifier when calling out the document
- Size the document to the screen
- Both you and the person reading/referring to the document should be in the same place within the document
- If someone is reading from the document, be sure to keep the quoted text on the screen; don’t jump around – it’s hard to read when the screen is moving
- Pay attention to where the questioner or witness is within the document. If people are relying on only electronic documents, it’s important to be on the same page (excuse the pun!)
Hyperlink the transcript to the exhibits
At Neesons we encourage those who have electronic documents to provide us with a copy that we can use to hyperlink the exhibits to the transcript – all electronically – keeping the paperless benefits flowing! Likewise, law clerks or lawyers can hyperlink their own electronic transcripts, creating a double benefit of going paperless.