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From Review to a Case-Narrative: A Case Study on Everlaw’s Storybuilder Tools


The In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation is a highly complex matter involving 31 law firms, 200 reviewers, and 2.5 million documents. Firms on the litigation include: Bailey Peavy Bailey Cowan Heckaman; Boies, Schiller & Flexner; Grant & Eisenhofer; Hagens Berman; Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales; Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; Motley Rice; Otterbourg; Podhurst Orseck; and Susman Godfrey.

The Challenge

The size and scope of the GM litigation review introduced a number of interrelated challenges. The team needed to:

  • Efficiently identify the most important documents in the case, and maintain an easily searchable and sortable database of these documents for future use.

  • Collaborate across jurisdictions and time zones on case strategy, and jointly formulate arguments for motion practice, trial preparation, and trial using key documents discovered during review.

  • Share knowledge and work productwith colleagues, co-counsel, and outside consultants in a precise and secure way.

Key Takeaways

Storybuilder Chronology and Outline, Everlaw’s case-building tools, allowed the team litigating the GM Ignition Switch case to:

  • Save time and money by enabling real-time, seamless collaboration on vital work product across 31 firms, 200 reviewers, and multiple jurisdictions and time zones.

  • Jump-start the creation of case strategies andarguments through the efficient identification and use of 15,700 (out of 2.5 million) of the most important documents in the case.

  • Create workflows that allowed for frictionless, remote collaboration among co-counsels and expert consultants, resulting in a more effective review.

Everlaw’s Solution – Storybuilder: An Integrated Suite of Case-Building and Document Management Tools

Using Storybuilder Chronology, the team collaboratively curated 15,700 of the most important documents in the case without having to use cumbersome third-party tools like Excel. The resulting chronologies were easily accessible, richly detailed, and wickedly fast to sort and filter. Case leads were able to quickly review the most important documents without needing to view them one-by-one, saving valuable time and effort.

After populating the Chronology, the team used Storybuilder Outline to create dozens of key arguments,depositions, case strategies, and event timelines.For example, the team created a timeline spanning two decades of relevant GM events and history. Using documents discovered during review, they substantiated key assertions by simply dragging and dropping evidence to the appropriate place in the outline. Storybuilder allowed the team to collaborate remotely and in real-time on their outlines, while eliminating the need to worry about pesky things like version control or reconciling documents generated by different review groups.

Finally, Storybuilder’s robust permission system allowed users to specify exactly who had access to certain work product, and the types of actions they could take on the work product. This made it much easier to integrate the work of co-counsel and expert consultants without having to worry about improper access to information.