Other than ethics, what's to prevent a doc review attorney from flagging a "hot doc" as "not relevant"?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 350597
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Other than ethics, what's to prevent a doc review attorney from flagging a "hot doc" as "not relevant"?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:49 pm

Bored from doc review and had a question.

How would the other party know if you didn't disclose a relevant, but detrimental document? Is there something in the software that lets them know what has been left out? Since you don't normally produce irrelevant documents, is there a real risk that attorneys/paralegals may miss, or intentionally omit to produce, a document that is potentially dispositive to the case? All I see from my end is thousands of documents with coding tags to be marked privileged, confidential, not relevant etc... I'm wondering what everything looks like from a broader perspective.

User avatar
polareagle

Bronze
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Other than ethics, what's to prevent a doc review attorney from flagging a "hot doc" as "not relevant"?

Post by polareagle » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:49 pm
Bored from doc review and had a question.

How would the other party know if you didn't disclose a relevant, but detrimental document? Is there something in the software that lets them know what has been left out? Since you don't normally produce irrelevant documents, is there a real risk that attorneys/paralegals may miss, or intentionally omit to produce, a document that is potentially dispositive to the case? All I see from my end is thousands of documents with coding tags to be marked privileged, confidential, not relevant etc... I'm wondering what everything looks like from a broader perspective.
They wouldn't necessarily know, but that doesn't mean it works out for you because you have no idea how the case will develop over the coming years. I have been in trial against firms that did a shitty job producing documents (whether through negligence or malice, I don't know). If you don't produce it, you can't use it at trial. And the document that seems detrimental now could seem much less so in 5 years. We definitely won one trial in large part because of the other side's shady tactics during discovery (not listing relevant witnesses on their initial disclosures, failing to turn over documents, etc.). Trials are rare, of course, but judges don't forgive and forget those sorts of discovery screw-ups. Not listing a witness on an initial disclosure ended up being a multi-million dollar mistake.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7380
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Other than ethics, what's to prevent a doc review attorney from flagging a "hot doc" as "not relevant"?

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:16 am

In addition to what has already been said, there's a good chance the other side will notice if it's a significant document. Those things rarely exist in isolation, and if you produce 30 emails referring to "Presentation X," someone is going to start wondering why Presentation X wasn't produced.

So yeah, you might be able to not turn over a one-off significant email in an initial production without anyone noticing, but odds are that you'll eventually pay for it. As polareagle mentioned, judges are not forgiving about these kinds of mistakes.

Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”