Background - Practices (Details)

E-Discovery and Information Management


Crowell & Moring is at the forefront in the field of electronic discovery. The E-Discovery and Information Management Group (EDIM) has advanced legal and technical experience with the full range of issues businesses face in managing electronically stored information (ESI) for litigation and investigations. We handle all aspects of E-Discovery. We counsel clients on best practices for maintaining, preserving, collecting, and producing ESI in a cost-effective manner, and help them develop tailored and effective workflows leveraging the most advanced technologies. Our professionals provide thought leadership, participating in leading industry and academic groups, speaking engagements and conferences, and publish on a wide variety of topics related to electronic discovery.

While we do it all and embrace automation, Crowell & Moring does not have a “one-size-fits-all” approach to designing a discovery process. We get to know our clients, their business and data infrastructure, and evaluate the unique characteristics of each matter to help determine the most efficient, effective and defensible end- to-end process. Among the factors we consider are: budget; type of matter, business priorities and risks; types and volume of ESI and timeframe for collection/production; data infrastructure and sources; data retention and usage policies; and litigation tactics, including offensive discovery strategy. We utilize our knowledge of technology and service provider options, including our own C&M Discovery offering, to develop the most efficient and cost-effective e-discovery solution.

C&M Discovery (CMD)

To better serve our clients, we have developed C&M Discovery (CMD) as a one-stop solution to support E-Discovery needs. CMD provides access to cutting-edge analytics, processing and hosting technology, and AI-driven workflows combined with our Chambers-rated legal advocacy, consulting, review and professional services, to accelerate and improve data analysis. This powerful, scalable solution managed and overseen by the EDIM team simplifies the E-Discovery sourcing and execution process, introduces significant economies, bolsters defensibility and speeds time to review. Please click here for more information.

Our Team

The attorneys and professionals in our EDIM practice have broad experience in addressing the full range of electronic discovery issues and developing and implementing effective and efficient discovery response efforts. In addition to developing efficient and defensible preservation and work-flow processes, we handle meet and confer conferences, negotiate with regulatory agencies and opposing counsel regarding discovery issues, brief and argue discovery motions and take and defend E-Discovery related depositions. Our team includes Practice Technology professionals, dedicated IT/technical specialists and project managers, who design and implement document collection and review processes that take full advantage of the most appropriate, effective and cost-efficient technologies. EDIM attorneys and professionals have broad experience across the full range of document review analytics and case analysis technologies, as well as computer forensics and emerging and advanced E-Discovery technologies, which drives significant gains in quality and cost reduction by targeting and minimizing attorney review time.

Our Use of Advanced Process and Technology

Crowell & Moring works on the bleeding edge of legal process and technology. We look to make data-informed decisions, and emphasize people, process and technology as a means to promoting quality, efficiency and accuracy. We develop work flows that leverage technology to quickly identify key documents as well as to cull out vast amounts of irrelevant data. We regularly deploy artificial intelligence and other advanced analytic tools to rapidly assess data, identify patterns and escalate important information to drive matter understanding and management. In this way, we can interrogate massive volumes of data in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the costs, relative to traditional E-Discovery methodologies.

By way of example, in one government investigation, we collected ESI from approximately 300 custodians. We designed a multi-phased process to understand and cull the data in an analytics platform, and then refined our target set to achieve greater than 95% accuracy through the application of predictive modeling and other analytical tools. The first two phases – eliminating bulk categories of obviously non-relevant data, and then deploying search terms, concept clustering and other analytic techniques – reduced the post-deduplication data set by 50%. Predictive modeling identified approximately 20% of the remainder for further analysis and review. Thus, of the original 3+ terabytes of data, we used technology and process to exclude 90% as non-relevant before engaging a single contract attorney. We pay scrupulous attention up front and throughout to planning, documentation and validation to ensure a defensible process.

Discovery Readiness Planning

Cost-effective management of discovery begins with developing plans and protocols to prepare for litigation and regulatory compliance. Our E-Data Checkup allows our team and clients to gain an understanding of the organization’s unique data infrastructure and assets. We help clients understand and rationalize their disparate practices and systems, and to align their data management strategies with compliance and litigation risk-reduction needs. We do this in a way that is consistent with evolving legal requirements and uses the most efficient and cost-effective technologies available. In addition, we help our clients analyze corporate litigation vulnerabilities, map corporate information management infrastructure — including inaccessible, legacy, and back-up sources – and identify custodians and sources of data most likely to be relevant to high-risk litigation.

Based on the results of this Checkup, we offer tailored solutions to reduce the potential for loss of electronic information (and the accompanying risks that could result, including sanctions) and advise on updated data management policies, legal hold protocols, and the adequacy of security, privacy, and appropriate usage policies. We also work with clients to develop customized protocols for document preservation, collection, review, and production, which can dramatically reduce the overall burdens of complying with E-Discovery requests.

Document Review Services

Manual review of documents is the most expensive part of any e-discovery project. Our EDIM team helps clients reduce these costs in a number of ways. First, our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating E-Discovery issues in courts and agencies to reduce the scope and burden of requests. Second, we use advanced technologies, including through CMD, to reduce the volume subject to manual review and the privilege log process. Third, we provide in-sourced document review at highly competitive rates and further employ innovative staffing models that allow for further flexibility and creativity in order to sharply reduce costs. We have reviewed and produced electronic documents on a wide variety of matters, ranging from several thousand to more than one hundred million pages, and our professionals are trained on the most cutting-edge review technologies and best practices. Together, these advantages give us the capability to offer alternative pricing and shared-risk approaches to the total cost of document review services.