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How Dickinson Wright Crushed a 4-week Deadline


Dickinson Wright PLLC is a full-service law firm with more than 40 practice areas and offices throughout the U.S. Their litigation practice includes antitrust, automotive, class action, commercial and business, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, product liability, and personal injury.

Kim Fisher is the practice support manager for Dickinson Wright. She has ten years of experience as a paralegal and in the IT field.

The Case

In a 2011 employment agreement dispute, Dickinson Wright represented an international real estate company versus their former president. The complaint accused the former employee of breach of contract, which set off alternating counter suits that ranged from failure to meet fiduciary responsibilities to libel to fraud.

During litigation, Dickinson Wright received a court order to pull out the former employee’s documents from two hard drives—which ultimately totaled 232,350 records—review them, and produce the responsive documents to the court in 28 days.

Dickinson Wright received a court order to review and produce 232,350 records in 28 days.

Meeting the Deadline

“Being able to publish documents directly into our review workspace cut out four or five major steps that typically slow us down.”
KIM FISHER, Practice Support Manager

The team of attorneys assigned to this case was a group from Dickinson Wright’s newly acquired office in Phoenix—a group that previously did not have much access to e-discovery software. For this group, the deadline for processing through production was a real concern.

The team was unsure of what to do with the hard drives, and didn’t see how they could possibly organize all of the information and complete the review in time. “While visiting the office, I showed them how easily I could pull the data from the hard drives and get it straight into their review workspace with Relativity Processing,” said Kim. “I also showed them some basic main screens of Relativity—document views and coding layouts—to ease their concerns about the review portion. They were relieved to see that we could get the raw data processed into the system, and completely organized for review within a few days.”

Using Relativity Processing, Kim was able to take the 161 GB of raw data that was collected, and process it into a Relativity workspace in less than 32 business hours. Most importantly, she processed the data on a rolling basis—so the team could begin sorting and reviewing the documents immediately.

A Collaborative Effort

Throughout this case, the attorneys were able to work closely with lit support, easily combining the technology with their process to streamline efforts.

Kim used Relativity’s reporting features to provide the attorneys with charts and numbers outlining which files were excluded—because of De-NISTing or because they were duplicate files—for each processing set. The attorneys could follow Kim’s process along the way, so they could readily answer questions about the data set and provide proof if asked by the court.

The attorneys had their eyes on the entire collection of documents within five business days, and the tight integration between processing and review helped the team complete the project with ease.

“Being able to publish documents directly into our review workspace cut out four or five major steps that typically slow us down,” said Kim. “All of the documents were processed, reviewed, and produced in Relativity, and our attorneys were grateful to have a resource to help them complete the project within the court-appointed deadline. Because of our success with cases like this one, we’re starting to use Relativity for processing through production more consistently, to be faster and more cost effective for our clients.”

Case Summary

Dickinson Wright received a court-appointed deadline of 28 days to process, review, and produce the responsive documents from two hard drives—a total of 232,350 records. Using Relativity Processing, the team processed the data on a rolling basis so they could begin sorting and reviewing the documents immediately. The entire 161 GB collection was processed into their review workspace in less than 32 business hours, allowing ample time to review and produce the necessary documents within the deadline.

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