Speed, search, share and smarts: Enabling continuous discovery in the fight for accountability and justice
Sher Edling LLP represents states, cities, public agencies, and businesses as plaintiffs in high-impact litigation. The San Francisco, California-based law firm is a leader in litigation to hold some of the world’s most powerful corporations and biggest polluters accountable for harms they caused, including cases arising from the consequences of climate change and drinking water contamination.
Discovery is a continuous process in complex environmental litigation. Document review happens before a major lawsuit is even filed, and collecting a client’s documents begins before day one. Although a case has a start date, document gathering, collection, and review are non-stop. Multiple streams of documents come in at various stages of the litigation, and millions of documents from defendants and third parties must also be reviewed. Evidence can be decades old and originate from multiple investigations done by individuals, entities, and government agencies.
As the document volumes grew at Sher Edling, their previous document review platforms presented certain challenges that hindered their ability to effectively prosecute their cases:
- Speed: It took a long time to move from document to document, and even from page to page, in their former platform.
- Collaboration: The ability to build and share research with the team was key, especially in complex cases.
- Multi-case view: Sometimes, cases present related issues, and Sher Edling needed a platform that could interplay across all those cases, not just one matter.
- Self-reliance: With diverse levels of document review and technical expertise, the team was spending time and cycles with outside experts to do simple day-to-day tasks like tagging.
- Pricing: The firm wanted cost predictability and didn’t want to be “nickel and dimed” for add-on tasks or features.
Searching and sharing are both really important for what we do. Litigation in general is a time-sensitive profession. When I am looking for a document that has certain keywords, or if I need to share a document with someone to discuss its import – the ability to do that, and the ability to do that fast is critical for our firm and clients.
-Stephanie Biehl, Senior Associate, Sher Edling LLP
The Everlaw Solution
Sher Edling needed a solution that met their requirements of “Speed, Search, Share, and Smarts.” Although Sher Edling evaluated other leading ediscovery vendors, they chose Everlaw for its end-to-end platform capabilities, including collaboration, technology-assisted review functionality, and price transparency. The firm’s attorneys and staff use Everlaw daily.
The Everlaw platform gives the team the ability to manage and monitor large groups of reviewers and provides key insights including how long an individual spent reviewing data. In multidistrict litigation stemming from PFAS contamination, over a hundred individuals—including daily document reviewers, co-counsel, and outside experts—are collaboratively reviewing the document sets on Everlaw and the work product derived from Everlaw’s features.
Sher Edling team members found onboarding the cloud-based, intuitive platform to be extremely easy. They could build searches quickly and run productions on their own, making review faster, a critical factor given the complexity of the discovery process in their cases. Users could also see coding or rule conflicts in the database, which helped to resolve issues and ensure accurate coding. The predictive coding capability helped them quickly narrow down critical pieces of information amidst vast troves of evidence.
Everlaw is helping Sher Edling continue the fight for accountability and justice, with a solution that improves productivity, enhances search, and boosts collaboration with large legal teams. Everlaw’s cloud-based, modern ediscovery platform enables continuous discovery in the most complex cases. Says Sher Edling’s Katie Jones, “Everlaw is future-facing.”
Everlaw is future-facing. Everlaw is not about making an online platform seem like physical document review, but unlocking capabilities that couldn’t have existed before. It gives us a peek into what lawyering could look like in the future.
-Katie Jones, Senior Associate, Sher Edling LLP