What is Matter Management in the World of Ediscovery?

Well-defined project management practices are becoming commonplace in corporations worldwide, and according to Lexology, the skill set necessary for effective project management translates directly into the ediscovery industry. Ediscovery matter management is increasingly being considered the way for legal teams to control spending and help ensure the overall success of an ediscovery project. But that being said, what is matter management in regards to ediscovery?

What is Matter Management?

Matter management describes the activities performed by attorneys who work on large-scale, document-intensive litigation. When handling these complex matters, legal teams are frequently required to work together to manage mountains of paper and electronically-stored information (ESI). An efficient case management system helps streamline the process of tracking and managing the enormous volumes of documents associated with these types of litigation.

Managing multiple legal matters simultaneously, particularly when the parties operate across geographical locations, is extremely challenging. Typically, the ultimate success of legal matter management depends on three critical factors:

  • The way a project is set up.
  • Who has access and to which documents.
  • How efficiently workflows can be replicated.

Complex ediscovery matters also require strict information governance and adherence to compliance requirements. With the recent uptick of remote work, ediscovery managers and other administrators also have additional responsibilities to maintain data security and ensure that ediscovery teams can access the proper documents and cloud-based tools to manage these complicated processes. 

Matter Management, Ediscovery Style

According to eDiscoveryPM.com, “Project management is the structured application of skill, knowledge, tools, and techniques to organize activities and bring about a desired outcome that meets a project or business need.” Legal professionals use their litigation and ediscovery experience to manage data throughout its lifecycle so that case teams and clients can utilize it in litigation.

The five phases of a project, according to the Lexology report, including where ediscovery falls within the framework of these phases, include:

  • Initiation. When done in a thorough manner, the fact-gathering stage of litigation provides a legal team the opportunity to determine what will be required during the planning stage. Key components include determining case issues, ediscovery scope, timeframe, and the critical stakeholders in the litigation.
  • Planning. With proper implementation, a practical and targeted plan of action helps legal teams stay on track. Key components include establishing the workflow, developing a strategy regarding data handling, and analyzing the estimated costs of the litigation.
  • Execution. The execution phase of the litigation process is when data is collected, reviewed, and produced. Key components include assigning resources and deadlines for completion, developing and maintaining documentation through collection logs, custodian logs, production specifications, and production logs, and modifying the initial framework as needed.
  • Monitoring/Controlling. Monitoring processes helps legal teams detect changes in a case so that adjustments can be made in the litigation management. Key components include regular team meetings, monitoring work quality, and managing the budget to ensure that both legal and business concerns are met.
  • Closure. Effective case closure will allow the team to identify procedural changes that need to be made for better positioning in future litigation. Key components include project review of what worked and what didn’t, documentation of case closure, and assessment of the final budget to guide the planning phase of future litigations.

Cloud Technology Enhances Matter Management

Project management principles can be beneficial in the successful management of any litigation process, including ediscovery. Cloud-based ediscovery platforms, such as Everlaw, can address the pain points that arise when managing intricate ediscovery matters by allowing legal professionals to easily upload documents to the platform and review and redact various data file types. These capabilities create a more efficient workflow and eliminate wasted time spent completing manual and time-consuming tasks.

To find out more about how Everlaw can boost your team’s ediscovery matter management capabilities, view our webinar, “Secure, Efficient, Remote Review: Organization Administration Made Easy,” today.