Production Workflow Guide and Best Practices

Table of Contents 

This workflow guide illustrates how to best leverage Everlaw’s review platform and services to streamline your production process. We recommend reading through this document before beginning your production preparation efforts.

It Helps to Start Early

It is never too early to start thinking about your production needs and how that will affect your review setup and strategies. If you have agreed upon a production protocol, try creating it in Everlaw using the production tool. If you need help with negotiating your production protocol, just contact your Everlaw account representative or support@everlaw.com. We are happy to help you at no extra charge.

Return to table of contents

Preparing Documents for Production

  • Turn on Production Mode

When setting out to review documents for production purposes, the first thing to do is to make sure “Production mode” is on. This setting is on the General tab of the Case Settings page. Please note that redaction functionality is only available in “Production Mode”.

During the initial case setup, Everlaw support will usually toggle “Production Mode” on for you if you’ve informed them of your intention to produce documents out of Everlaw. 

  • Configure Production Codes

The Code Wizard will walk you through the process of configuring your production codes. If you are not familiar with how to create codes, please refer to this article for detailed guidance.

Below are some sample codes you can use:

Confidential and Highly Confidential - These codes designate which documents should be stamped for confidentiality. When you fill out the production protocol, you can customize the text to be stamped on the documents, but these are the codes you will use to indicate which documents should be stamped.

Production [set name] - You can use this code to track documents you intend to produce for a specific production. When you are ready for production, you can search the documents with the corresponding production set code and group them in a pre-production binder.

Privileged and Not Privileged - You can use these codes to identify whether documents are privileged. You can also set up Attorney Client and Work Product codes to designate privilege types.

Redaction Needed and Redaction Completed - These codes are particularly helpful if you have different teams handle review and redaction. One team can identify documents needing redaction, which will then be assigned to the team performing redaction. 

  • Review Documents for Production

There are many considerations when reviewing documents for production. For example:

- which documents to produce and whether to include all family members

- whether there are privileged documents and how to handle them

- whether any documents need redaction

Applying the appropriate production codes enables you to easily gather documents for production, withhold privileged information, and flag documents for customized stamping or redactions.

Identify documents for production - When reviewing documents for production, apply the production set code to all documents you would like to produce. Please make sure to review and code all family members if you are required to produce the entire family.

The 'Produced' search term can help you to easily exclude any documents produced in any previous productions.

Capture_-_Not_produced_search.PNG

Identify privileged documents - use a privilege code to identify privileged documents and what you intend to do with them. For example, you can use “Privilege: Privileged” to flag privileged documents you would like to withhold, and “Privilege: Partially Privilege” to flag partially privileged documents needing redaction. In addition, you need to decide whether to produce a placeholder for each privileged document. If placeholders are required, include all privileged documents in the pre-production binder and specify how you want to handle them in the production protocol. Otherwise, exclude all documents coded Privilege: Privileged from the pre-production binder.

Identify documents needing confidentiality stamping - use “Confidentiality: Confidential” or “Confidentiality: Highly Confidential” to flag documents needing confidentiality stamping. When creating a production protocol, you can customize the text we will stamp on the documents.     

Identify documents needing redaction - Use a redaction code such as “Redaction Status: Redaction Needed” to flag documents for redaction. Once redaction is complete, you can switch the redaction status to “Redaction: Redaction Complete”.  

Please note that the Venn diagram icon signifies that these codes are mutually exclusive.

  • Apply Redactions

You can redact documents in the review window using the tools from the toolbar or the Hit Highlighting section.

Special Notes on Redacting Metadata - In order to redact any metadata, you need to take the following steps:

    • Create a user editable metadata field with same name as the metadata field you intend to redact and set the datatype as “Text”. See Section “User Editable Fields” of this article for detailed instructions.

    • Set the value for the user-editable field to "Redacted".  

This is most common when you redact certain metadata values of emails. For example, when you redact the sender, recipient(s), subject or attachment(s) on a document, you must also redact the “From”, “To”, “Subject”, or “Attachment Names” metadata fields. Please note that this method does not work for any “Date” metadata. If you intend to redact any “Date” metadata, please contact Everlaw support. 

Return to table of contents

Gather Documents For Production

Once you have completed coding documents, you can now create the pre-production binder and add all the documents you intend to produce to that binder. Here is an example: if you want to produce all documents coded “Production: PROD001”:

  1. create a binder named “Pre-Production PROD001” or “To Produce PROD001”;
  2. search all documents coded “Production: PROD001”;
  3. batch add the search results to the binder you created.

Return to table of contents

Pre-Production QA

Pre-production QA is a crucial step to ensure you produce the correct documents in the format agreed upon in your production protocol. We highly recommend you follow the steps below:

  • Check whether all attachment groups/family members are included.

If you intend to produce entire attachment groups/family members, you should start by checking whether all attachment groups/family members are in the pre-production binder.

How to check? The easiest way is to open the pre-production binder, group by attachments, and then flatten the group. You will know you missed some family members if the total number of documents after flattening is greater than the total number of documents in the pre-production binder.

How to add the missing family members to the pre-production binder? If you want to add all missing family members to the pre-production binder, without further review, you can simply group all documents in the pre-production binder by attachments, and batch add them to the pre-production binder.

How to identify and review the missing family members? Most likely, you would want to review the family members that are not in the pre-production binder to determine whether they should be produced and whether they are properly coded. To do so, please

    1. group all documents in the pre-production binder by attachments and batch add them to a separate binder, e.g. Pre-Production [name] w/ family,
    2. search for documents in the binder you created in the previous step AND NOT in the pre-production binder,
    3. review the resulting documents, code and add them to the pre-production binder, if necessary. 
  • Check whether privileged documents are properly included or excluded from the pre-production binder.
    1. If you intend to produce a placeholder for each privileged document, make sure all privileged documents are included in the pre-production binder and specify your choice in the production protocol.
    2. If you want to exclude privileged documents from the production entirely, make sure none of them are included in the pre-production binder.
  • Check whether all documents are properly redacted
    1. Check whether any documents in the pre-production binder still need redactions.
      • Search for documents coded "Redaction Status: Redaction Needed"Capture_-_Redaction_Needed.PNG
      • Review these documents and apply redactions or change the Redaction Status code
    2. Check whether documents coded “Redaction Status: Redaction Completed” have been redacted.
      • Search for documents coded “Redaction Status: Redaction Completed” AND do not have any redactionsCapture_-_No_Redaction.PNG 
      • Add redactions or remove the “Redaction Status: Redaction Completed” code as necessary
  • Check whether metadata have been properly redacted.

If you redacted any metadata of any emails (e.g., To, From, Subject, Attachments), you might want to check whether you have also redacted the corresponding metadata value. To do so, search for all emails in your pre-production binder that have redactions, and then review the resulting documents to make sure that any redacted metadata has a corresponding user editable metadata filed stating “Redacted”.Capture_-_emails_with_redactions.PNG

Return to table of contents

Contact Everlaw for Help with Productions

If you ever have questions about producing documents, please contact your account lead or customer success team (support@everlaw.com).

Return to table of contents

Have more questions? Submit a request

0 Comments

Article is closed for comments.