Government Discovery Case Challenges
The Challenge: Produce a very large Rule 4 file in only 30 days.
A $40 million plus contract dispute before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals consisted of hard copy and electronic data. After unpacking the electronic data with all the attachments, the collection ballooned to more than three times the size of the client’s original estimates. Significant Privacy Act and privileged information throughout the collection had to be withheld and the filing deadline was unmovable. So the pressure was on.
The Solution: Deloitte's technical and legal staff worked together using automated search and culling techniques to isolate materials containing Privacy Act information and other privileged material. These were placed in electronic notebooks for attorney review. Automated coding/indexing techniques based on document and data categories yielded significant savings in both time and budget.
The Deloitte team did a first pass review to remove PII, which also saved time and money. Electronic filing, which eliminated the need for hundreds of binders, saved thousands of dollars and days in time. The filing was completed on time and within the original allocated budget.
The Challenge: Multiple users with different perspectives need to review a large document collection and the government’s resources are limited.
Attorneys working on a large Title VII class action in Federal Court needed to respond to a request for production of documents on an ongoing basis. A variety of participants, including attorneys, custodians, and experts, needed to review and assess the responsive data, which included Privacy Act material collected from many locations and numerous document custodians. The attorneys also needed supplemental legal review support to assist with the document review prior to production.
The Solution: Deloitte’s Technical Team created five interlinked web-based repositories, enabling client attorneys, testifying and non-testifying experts, and other interested parties to separately access information pertinent to their needs.
This structure enabled interested parties to access differing types of information about the case, including document-centric material, anecdotal information, statistical data, electronic data from monthly backup tapes, and email, while maintaining document-level security to prevent inadvertent disclosure of information to adverse party or testifying experts. The case data included information from government personnel databases, automated staffing solution systems, and email from both archival tapes and current messages.
Our Legal Services Team helped meet the challenge presented by the lack of resources by performing initial reviews, providing interview and deposition support, and maintaining electronic notebooks for each stakeholder.
The Challenge: How to present 70+ case issues in a contracts dispute and not lose a single one.
In a complex case before a Board of Appeals with a $10 million plus exposure and more than 70 issues, the trial attorney wanted to ensure clarity and also reduce the amount of paper involved. Would an electronic method for presenting the Finding of Fact to opposing counsel and to the Board work?
The Solution: Deloitte developed an electronic brief that contained citation links to each imaged exhibit within the brief. In addition, Deloitte assisted the government in presenting many of the complex issues graphically to the Board in the pre-hearing and hearing. The matter settled favorably for the government.
The Challenge: Find a way to save on the review budget and still meet the Court’s timeline.
An agency client used an email archiving tool to do a broad-based collection and then employed a well-known Early Case Assessment tool to remove duplicative emails. The client needed help with first pass responsiveness and privilege review. When the collection was processed to identify the number of attachments, the expected number of documents requiring review almost doubled to 500,000.
The Solution: Tools are useful on their own, but when adding people with years of experience and expertise to the mix, the playing field can really be leveled. The Deloitte Project Manager, working with feedback from the client, used a layered approach to culling and was able to get the collection down to 300,000 documents in a matter of hours. However, that was still too many to review with the time and budget available. Bringing in the Legal Review Team with more than 35 years of litigation experience, we worked with the client’s very specific review instructions and used targeted searches to eliminate non-responsive documents from the collection. Within a day, the collection was 15,000 documents, a much more manageable number. The methods and instructions were fully documented, so when a subsequent collection required processing and review, the same methods were applied. Experienced people used technology to save hundreds of thousands of dollars for the client.
The Challenge: Extensive document review by geographically dispersed government attorneys in a short timeframe.
An environmental matter in Federal Court required multiple document reviews by 19 government attorneys based in Washington, D.C., and three Virginia locations.
The Solution: Deloitte legal staff helped perform the initial review to narrow the document universe. An automated process was designed for assigning documents to attorneys conversant with the document content. Real-time results tracking helped manage the number of attorneys needed to complete the review and meet the deadline.
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. As a nonlegal service provider, Deloitte’s services are provided under the direction and supervision of the client’s legal counsel.