Troutman Sanders faced a review of 742,000 documents. Of those documents, 441,362 were emails. Using email threading in Relativity, Troutman Sanders eliminated 148,329 emails with 84,224 attachments.

Troutman Sanders eMerge – Email Threading Cost Comparison


Troutman Sanders eMerge—a subsidiary of international law firm Troutman Sanders LLP—provides clients combined legal and technology expertise and services specific to ESI and discovery in litigation and investigations.

Chris Haley is the director of litigation technology at Troutman Sanders eMerge, where he is responsible for the selection, testing, and implementation of new technologies. He has worked in the practice support and litigation technology industries for more than 15 years.

The Problem and Approach

Recently, Troutman Sanders eMerge assisted a client in responding to a government subpoena, in which they faced a review of 742,000 documents. Of those documents, 59 percent were emails—and those emails spanned 60 different custodians.



The team set up an analytics index for their document collection and employed several Relativity Analytics techniques, such as categorization. However, because of the large amount of emails in the data set, Troutman Sanders eMerge thought email threading might be particularly effective.

The Troutman Sanders eMerge team applied email threading to the 441,362 email messages in the data set. Relativity grouped these messages by conversation, identifying and labeling all inclusive emails. In other words, the software identified the subset of emails that contained either unique content that needed to be reviewed or entire conversations in the body of the message. By only reviewing emails and attachments that contained entire conversations, Troutman Sanders eMerge could avoid reviewing repetitive content such as the individual replies, forwards, etc. that were part of those conversations.

Fast Results


Troutman Sanders quickly determined that only 293,033 of their emails were inclusive and needed to be reviewed, allowing them to eliminate 148,329 of the emails—and 85,224 attachments to those emails—in their data set from review, as they were either non-inclusive or duplicates of inclusive emails.

As a result, Troutman Sanders’s team was able to focus their efforts on only 66.4 percent of their emails, significantly reducing the cost and time of their review.

Even with a conservative cost estimate of one dollar per document reviewed, email threading helped Troutman Sanders save their client approximately $233,000 by allowing their team to review only the inclusive emails and attachments from their document set.

“We were very pleased with the email threading results in Relativity,” said Chris. “Aside from helping us save time and money, the whole process took only a couple of hours to set up—which is just another reason it’s so enticing. It’s easy to use and a major cost savings.”

Case Summary

Troutman Sanders faced a review of 742,000 documents. Of those documents, 441,362 were emails. Using email threading in Relativity, Troutman Sanders eliminated 148,329 emails with 84,224 attachments—34 percent of the total emails—from their data set, which ultimately saved their client an estimated $233,000 in review costs.

Troutman Sanders LLP is an international law firm with more than 650 lawyers in 16 offices located throughout North America and Asia. Founded in 1897, the firm’s lawyers provide counsel and advice in practically every aspect of civil and commercial law related to the firm’s core practice areas: Corporate, Energy and Industry Regulation, Finance, Litigation and Real Estate. Firm clients range from multinational corporations to individual entrepreneurs, federal and state agencies to foreign governments, and non-profit organizations to businesses representing virtually every sector and industry. See for more information.