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Paper-based Document Review Is Killing Your eDiscovery Process

If you’re still bringing paper to today’s digital fight, you’re definitely losing time, money and marketing share. It’s time to get out from under the pile of your paper-based document review.

Businessman reading papers in office settingWhile FRCP 34(b) has reduced the appalling habit of printing out electronically stored information (ESI), paper still exists in various phases of the eDiscovery process. Corporations that don’t have established information governance policies and procedures might have entire warehouses of paper documents that, once litigation starts, can’t be destroyed. That doesn’t mean, however, that legal teams should be working directly with all that paper in a paper-based document review.

If you’re still using color-coded sticky notes to tackle bankers’ boxes for even a small percentage of a matter, or if you’re hiring additional review attorneys to manage all the manual work, it’s time to reevaluate. The risks are many—from missing metadata to human error—and it’s extremely time consuming and costly.

Don’t bring paper to a digital fight. Talk to corporate clients about the amount of paper needed for the matter or case and then show them the benefits of scanning it all in electronically before review begins. Advising clients even before litigation about improving (or establishing) a clear information governance policy that will reduce the amount of paper they may be holding onto is ideal, but companies aren’t always ready to hear that message until they have a reason to.

It is cheaper, in the long run, to scan paper information and push it all through electronic processing and review than to work through a paper-based document review manually. With optical character recognition (OCR), the information can then be searched as part of early case assessment (ECA) efforts, tagged with issue codes, marked as privileged or further review, or redacted quickly, efficiently and with the utmost security. Plus, let’s be honest, no one wants to hear they’ve spent an extra half a million on a case because they held on to too much paper.