Monday, 22 June 2009

Discovery and keyword searches

Lexology has an article about the increasing importance of constructing proper keyword search phrases in order to produce email and electronically stored information in the discovery phase of litigation. Citing William A. Gross Const. Associates, Inc. v. American Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co.256 F.R.D. 134S.D.N.Y., 2009 WL 724954, they report that the judge in the case found himself in “the uncomfortable position of having to craft a keyword search methodology for the parties” ; the written opinion expressed frustration with this “latest example of lawyers designing keyword searches in the dark, by the seat of the pants, without adequate . . . discussion with those who wrote the emails.” He concluded that lawyers should not rely on their own non-scientific guesses about what keyword searches will yield the most appropriate universe of ESI. Instead, lawyers should consult with the individuals who wrote the emails, as well as qualified search designers. "

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