Law firms and the cyclical nature of litigation, investigations, and dispute resolution
By Vince Neicho, vice president, legal services at Integreon
How does it work?
Based on the approach taken by Integreon, the way it works is as follows:
- The client (law firm or corporation) engages with the ALSP to provide legal document review services – be it for fact-gathering, litigation, arbitrations, investigations or any other discipline which requires the review of documents or data.
- As the ALSP focuses on document review and is not distracted by other aspects of the eDiscovery process, it will work with one of its partners or the client’s preferred eDiscovery provider to prepare and host the data.
- There are a number of review models available, but the following example is based on Managed Document Review.
- Having agreed timescales, cost, etc., the law firm (or client legal department) will produce a briefing protocol for the outsourced review team – much the same as they would have done with their historic review teams. The ALSP experts will be available to contribute to the drafting of the protocol to ensure that it is framed in such a way as to get the best from the review team.
- Once finalised, the instructing lawyers will review the protocol with the ALSP review team. The team will have read the protocol in advance and team leads/project managers will have the opportunity to ask questions to gain a better understanding of the review task ahead.
- Once the review is underway, a short calibration exercise will take place over a few days, whereby selected documents will be presented to the instructing lawyers with suggested coding decisions to ensure that the review team and instructing lawyers are thinking as one.
- There will be regular communication between the ALSP project manager and instructing lawyer. The project manager will also lead a comprehensive quality control exercise with senior members of the review team to ensure that protocols have been applied consistently throughout.
- Reviewed and quality control-checked batches of documents will be released by the ALSP to the instructing lawyers, who will then carry out an agreed level of sampling of the review work product, feeding their findings back to the project manager as necessary. This ensures that the review team applies a consistent and accurate approach to the remainder of the review set.
- Once the sampling demonstrates the quality and serves to gain the confidence of the instructing lawyers in the review team’s work product, the legal team can conduct any subsequent review of the document set that might be necessary.
In addition to significant cost savings, efficiency gains, and the ability to scale resources as needed, clients do not have to divert their already stretched key personnel from other tasks to conduct a document review. Instead, they can rest assured that the review will be carried out by a review team whose members are fully focused on a single task and free from other distractions, such as attending to other aspects of running the case or investigation.