How to Handle Uploads With Multiple Custodians

To read more about uploading documents on Everlaw, feel free to refer to the articles in our Uploads section.

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In order to make the native upload process as smooth as possible, there are a few things to know about custodians before you begin: 

  • When uploading native data, you have the option to define custodian values. 
  • Uploads from your local machine handle custodians differently than uploads from a cloud-based app, such as Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc. 

This article will enumerate the main differences and will provide solutions so that you can make sure your uploads are optimized.

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Handling multiple custodians for machine-based uploads 

If you have documents with multiple custodians, make sure documents of the same custodian are organized in their own sub-folders. You can create one top-level folder with any number and depth of sub-folders, but make sure that all documents within each sub-folder are from the same custodian. This is useful for preserving document path information, and will save you from having to specify the proper custodian at the document-level during the native upload process.


Preparing your data in this way simplifies the custodian naming process upon upload. Here is an example of what the step will look like: 


Notice how much easier it is to name the sub-folders by custodian. You can click the pencil icon by each folder to automatically fill the value with the custodian's name. Without established foldering structures, you would need to individually name file custodians, or name all files the same custodian by default. 

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How to handle multiple custodians for cloud-based uploads

When uploading folders or files from a cloud source, you can only set one custodian for the entire upload, and cannot set custodians at the subfolder level. If your files contain documents from multiple custodians, you have a few options: 

Option 1: Upload the files using the cloud uploader, specifying a single custodian, and then create editable metadata user fields in Project Settings that will allow you to specify custodians for the subfolders. Note this option is only viable for review projects and not ECA projects, as project admins cannot make editable metadata fields in ECA projects. 

Option 2: Separate your files into multiple uploads based on custodian. This will allow you to specify a custodian for each set of files, although you will be creating separate uploads.

Option 3: Download the files and upload them as a zip file using the non-cloud uploader. This will allow you to specify a custodian for each subfolder. (Please note that only zip files can have different custodians assigned to different subfolders. This will not work with file formats such as RAR, 7Z, or BIN.)


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