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You can learn about grouping actions in-platform by clicking "Walk Me Through" in the bottom right of your results table and choosing "Group Documents from Results Table" under Review.
Grouping allows you to organize your search results in a variety of ways, making it easier to conduct review. You can group documents from the search page or results table, as well as specifying additional options for including or excluding documents related to your search criteria from the results table.
The grouping icon is found in the results table toolbar. Clicking the icon will prompt a menu of options.
Depending on your project settings, you may see the option to include or exclude exact duplicates from your results table. This option will not appear for projects that have search deduplication disabled. Databases that were opened after March 23, 2018 have search deduplication disabled by default; if your database is older and you are unsure if this option is enabled or not, contact Everlaw support.
The sampling option allows you to see only a randomly sampled percentage of your results.
There are four grouping parameters available:
- Attachments: Documents in an attachment family, including the parent email
- Email Threads: Emails that comprise an email thread, including replies, reply all, and forwarded emails. Grouping by email thread will also include attachments.
- Exact Duplicates: Any exact duplicates (documents with 100% similarity).
- Versions: Versions of the same document (produced and pre-produced, translated and untranslated, etc.)
There are also five document removal options available. These will filter out certain members of document families and prevent them from appearing among your search results:
- Parent documents: This will remove the topmost member in a document grouping (for example, in an attachment family, the parent document is usually the email to which other documents are attached). You might use this option if you know that certain emails are relevant, and you only want to view their attachments, to see if those documents are relevant as well.
- Child documents: This will remove any non-parent documents from your results table. You might use this option if you have chosen to group by exact duplicates, but only want to see one copy of each duplicate group in the results table. Alternately, you might only want to see the parent email in each email thread.
- Search hits: This will remove documents that were responsive to your search criteria, before any grouping settings were applied. You might use this option if you know that certain documents in the group are responsive, and only want to review those documents that you are unsure about.
- Grouped non-hits: This is the opposite of search hits. It will remove documents that may have been included in the results table as a consequence of a grouping operation, but that are not responsive to your pre-grouping search criteria. For example, let’s say that you perform a search for documents containing the word “California,” group by attachments, and remove grouped non-hits. If one of your results is an email with 5 attachments, but 3 of the attachments do not contain the word “California,” then your results table will display an email with 2 attachments.
- Non-inclusive emails (only available for complete projects): This filtering option is only visible for complete projects, and you can only select it when grouping by email threads. Using this filter will keep inclusive emails (and associated attachments) that match the original search criteria. It will also keep inclusive emails and associated attachments that were pulled in when grouping that logical term by email threads. Finally, the filter will keep all documents matching the original search criteria that are neither emails nor email attachments.
After you select your grouping, the results table will update to include the selected grouping information. This will also save your search as a separate card on the Everlaw homepage. A new grouping column is added to the left side of the results table, indicated by the expansion icon. Clicking the arrow next to the expansion icon will allow you to expand (open) or collapse (close) all document groups in the results table.
The total number of children in a document grouping is also displayed in parentheses (in the case of email threads, only other children and duplicate emails are included in the count, even though related attachments are grouped in this particular family).
This column, in conjunction with the row number and Bates columns, indicates whether the document in that row is a standalone document, a parent document, or a related document that was not a part of the original results set.
- Parent documents have an arrow in the grouping column that indicates there are documents that fall into its group. Click on the arrow to open all the additional grouped documents that were added to the results set. The arrow will change orientation, and the grouped documents can be distinguished by the decimaled row numbers in the row number column.
If you have removed parent documents from your results, they will appear as greyed-out documents, with any family members visible under them:
- Grouped, non-parent documents do not have any icon in the grouping column, and can be further distinguished by the decimaled row numbers in the row column.
- Standalone documents do not have an arrow and the grouping column, and do not have decimaled row numbers.
- Documents with the paperclip icon will appear when the table is grouped according to email threads or attachments. They represent attachments that were attached to documents in the thread, and will always be grouped under their parent documents.