When opposing counsel on a large, multi-million dollar construction law case filed a Motion to Compel in the state court against Foles & Hill PLC (“Foles”)*, a 35+ attorney law firm with five offices in the Midwest, Paul Reinhardt* recognized the predicament his team now faced.
Paul had joined Foles as an Associate the previous year, eager to contribute to the firm’s strong construction law ediscovery practice and to build out the firm’s nascent ediscovery capabilities. Working closely with Nextpoint, Paul and his team not only addressed opposing counsel’s immediate concerns; they also seized the moment to dramatically advance their litigation technology and operational capabilities.
Construction Law Ediscovery: The Challenge
The characteristics of Foles’ construction case were consistent with the traits of most large construction law matters. Paul and his team were managing an enormous volume of documents collected from multiple sources (i.e., the client, sub-contractors, expert witnesses, various consultants, etc.). A significant percentage of the documents were in hard-copy form, predominantly stored in bankers boxes.
Complicating matters, the electronic data they had collected arrived in varying formats from a number of different sources. Working under tight deadlines with a non-uniform set of documents, the Foles team produced the documents as best they could to the other parties involved in the case.
Lacking a comprehensive ESI protocol, Foles had unfortunately produced the documents to the other side in a manner inconsistent with opposing counsel’s wishes. Although the state courts did not require ESI protocols at the time, to avoid costly and unproductive discovery-related motion practice, the Foles team sprang into action and decided they would reproduce the documents in a more usable format alongside the desired metadata.
Having already invested significant time and effort in their original review, reproducing the documents all but guaranteed incurring significantly more costs – costs that could not easily be passed through to the client.
Foles partnered with Nextpoint to quickly address their data challenges and leverage Nextpoint’s cloud-based platform to manage the review going forward. In parallel, Paul and his team collaborated with Nextpoint’s Ediscovery Services team to develop a firm-wide ESI protocol and enhance their review procedures.
* The names of the law firm and associated professionals in this case study have been changed to preserve their anonymity.