A Survival Kit for Cross-Border Discovery

September 16, 2015 Rachel Teisch

“One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.” This quote, from Fireside Poet and literary critic James Russell Lowell, described Shakespeare, but it applies equally to the practice of cross-border e-discovery. As those of us in the trenches know from experience, the key to surviving cross-border litigation and investigations is to equip yourself with the right tools.

Here are the five things you need to add to your cross-border discovery survival kit, also known as your e-discovery platform:

  1. Flexible Deployment

    To avoid triggering data privacy statutes, it may be necessary to conduct e-discovery where the data resides rather than transferring it out of the country. In that case, you’ll need a vendor with the flexibility of a solution that may be hosted in a local datacenter, or, if not, the flexibility of a “backpack” model. In this deployment model, e-discovery professionals literally backpack in to the client site with an e-discovery appliance and work with you to conduct comprehensive e-discovery management, including collection, processing, review and analysis, on site.

  2. Automated Data Detection

    Many foreign countries have statutes that specifically protect personally identifiable information, nonpublic information, and consumer information. To ensure that this sensitive data remains protected, choose an e-discovery platform with technology that can automatically detect patterns, such as a series of numbers that form a Social Security number or bank account number.

  3. Automated Redaction

    Limit the risks associated with transferring personal information by using automated redaction tools to remove sensitive information from responsive documents, such as Microsoft Excel files. With automated redaction, you run a search across the text of documents for a set of provided terms or even a pattern, such as a Social Security number. Then, instead of requiring users to manually redact each occurrence of the text, the software automatically redacts it in bulk, saving time and money—while improving accuracy.

  4. Reverse Redaction

    In some cases, the majority of the document will consist of sensitive information and require redaction. In this case, it would be incredibly tedious and time-consuming to redact all but a few lines of text. With a platform equipped with reverse redaction, also called inverse redaction, users can select specific text to retain in a document and redact the remainder.

  5. Foreign Language Identification

    In an international document collection that consists of terabytes of information, it is likely that at least some documents contain text in at least one foreign language. In the past, reviewers have had to look at documents one by one or guess at what languages might be present in a collection. Now, platforms with foreign language detection technology afford lawyers the chance to assemble the appropriate workflow, resources, and budget to accommodate their translation and review needs. The e-discovery tool should be able to search at the sentence level, not just the document level, and provide a breakdown of the languages present rather than just identify the majority language.

With these five tools in their survival kits, lawyers can gather—and preserve—the critical intelligence they need to survive cross-border e-discovery unscathed.

About the Author

Rachel Teisch is Vice President, Marketing at Conduent. She can be reached at info@conduent.com.

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