Context Panel

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What is the context panel?

The context panel allows you to quickly identify and view documents that are related to the document you are currently viewing. There are four contexts, or types of document relationships, that are shown in the context panel:

  • Duplicates and near-duplicates: Everlaw displays duplicates down to 95% similarity.
  • Attachment families: If the document you are viewing is an email with attachments, or an attachment to an email, you can see both the parent email and the other attachments, if any. 
  • Email threads: If your document is an email that is part of a larger email chain, you can see other emails in the chain along with any attachments to those emails.
  • Versions: You can see different versions of the document, if any (translated versions of foreign language documents, produced and pre-produced documents, etc.).

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Where is the context panel and how is it organized?

The context panel is located on the left side of the review window. The right edge of the panel contains icons that allow you to navigate to different contexts. By default, the context panel is collapsed when you first open the review window.

  • To open the context panel, click on any of the icons.
  • To collapse the context panel, click the “←” icon in the upper right corner of the context panel.
  • To undock the context panel, click the “undock” icon to the right of the collapse icon. Undocking will allow you to drag the context panel to another position in the review window.

Within each context (duplicates, attachment families, email threads, versions), you can see a list of the documents in that context. The parent document of any context is listed at the top. You can also distinguish the status of documents in the context panel using the following convention:

  • The document you are currently viewing will have a yellow background.
  • The document that you first opened can be distinguished by the blue bookmark icon.
  • Documents you have already viewed will have a gray background.
  • Documents you have not yet viewed will have a white background.

Clicking on a document will pull up the content, metadata, and review information (coding, rating, bindering, etc.) in the review window. This allows you to quickly review documents related to the one you originally opened. Changing to a different context will automatically switch the displayed content and information to that of the original document you opened.

On occasion, you might want to open a document family in a new results table based on the context you are currently viewing.  Instead of building a new search to retrieve the document family, you can click on the magnifying glass icon in the context panel.  This will open the group you are viewing as a new search.  Your current and previous searches will be saved as search cards on the homepage, so you don't have to worry about losing your previous search.  

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Applying the same review decisions to all documents within a context

You may want to code some, or all, of the documents in a particular context the same for the purposes of consistency. You can do so via the “update selected” button which appears at the bottom of the list of documents in a given context. By default, all documents in a context are selected and will be affected by the group action. Using the checkboxes by each document, you can select which documents you want to affect. If you want to easily include duplicates in the batch update, simply expand the duplicates by clicking the correct link on the document label(s) in the context you are viewing.

Clicking the “update selected” button will bring up the batch coding panel. The panel is prefilled with the current coding status of the original document you opened. You can add labels into one of two categories: add or remove. Labels in the “add” category will be applied to the documents while labels in the “remove” category will be removed if they are applied to the documents the group action is affecting.

To select a label to add, click once on the label in the body of the coding panel; to select a label to remove, click twice on the label. The labels will appear in the correct category in the summary at the top of the coding panel. In addition, you can visually distinguish the status of labels using the following convention:

  • Labels with a gray background will not be applied to the document(s) once the changes are executed and saved.
  • Labels with white backgrounds and green text/outlines will be added to the document once the changes are executed and saved.
  • Labels with white backgrounds and red text/outlines will be removed from the document once the changes are executed and saved.

Once you are done selecting your combination of labels, click “apply” to save your changes.  A notification will appear to let you know that your changes have been applied.


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The duplicates context

The duplicates context displays duplicate documents down to 95% similarity. Next to the Bates number of each document, you can see the degree of similarity to the document you originally opened. The fraction underneath the duplicates icon displays the number of exact duplicates over the total number of duplicates in the system, with duplicate being defined as documents that have a similarity percentage of 95% or more relative to the document you originally opened.


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The attachment family context

Attachment families are displayed here. The parent document in the attachment family context is the email to which the other document(s) are attached. Note that we do not display attachments that are also emails with attachments.


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The email threading context

Email threads are displayed in chronological order, with the first email in the thread appearing at the top.


Attachments can be viewed within the email thread as well. This gives you a truer sense of the context of your email thread and its components.


Attachments will always appear below their parent email, as seen above (EVER477897 #1688.1 and #1690.1 are attachments to Allan’s email). You can also quickly tell how many attachments and emails there are in an email thread by looking at the numbers below the email threading icon. The number to the left of the line is the number of emails and the number to the right of the line is the number of attachments. In the example above, there are 3 emails in the thread and 2 attachments.

Everlaw’s email threading displays both replies to, and forwards of, the original email. Anytime an email is replied to, or forwarded, it creates a new branch distinguished by colored bands at the left edge of the email.


The parent email of the above thread, for example, is an email that Kay sent to Tana. After sending the email to Tana, Kay forwarded it to Carlos. Tana’s reply to Kay, which occurred sometime after Kay forwarded her email to Carlos, has a pink band and is located on a separate branch of the thread. This signifies that Kay’s original email (the “parent email”) has branched into two conversations: Kay-Carlos and Tana-Kay.

This color-coding and branching can be highly useful if you have to keep track of complex threads that involve many replies to a parent email. 


In the thread shown above, the parent email, from Enron Announcements, has several replies, from Kay, Sheila, and Marie. For this reason, Kay, Sheila, and Marie’s emails all have differently colored bands. (The first chronological response/forwarding of a parent email is always colored the same as the parent email, regardless of who the sender is.) Marie also received two separate replies to her email, from Millie and Chris. To show that Marie-Millie and Marie-Chris are two separate conversations, Millie and Chris’ emails have differently colored bands. Prashant’s email is coded the same shade of brown as Millie’s because he is directly responding to Millie’s message.

As with documents in the other context panel views, individual emails in a thread will receive colored bands on the right side of the email once they have been rated. In the example above, Sheila’s email has been rated “Cold”, which is why a blue band is displayed to the right of the email.

In addition, Everlaw can also detect and display the existence of “extracted emails.” “Extracted” emails are emails that appear somewhere in the body of the email chain, but were not produced as standalone documents in your document set. For example, let’s say James emails his team, and that email is produced. Jo replies all to James’s email, but that email is not produced. Adam then replies to Jo’s email, and his reply is produced. Because the content of Jo’s email is is present in the produced version of Adam’s email, Everlaw knows of its existence, and displays it as an extracted email.

Below is an example of an extracted email:


In the example above, the original email from Matthew (labeled "extracted email") was not produced, but its content is present in Phillip's reply. Phil’s reply to Matthew created the blue branch. 

Email attachments are also shown in the email threading context. Attachments will always appear below their parent email, and can be distinguished by the paperclip icon, as seen above. You can also quickly tell how many attachments and emails there are in an email thread by looking at the numbers below the email threading icon. The number to the left of the line is the number of emails and the number to the right of the line is the number of attachments.

The email threading context also shows duplicate emails and their attachments. Duplicate emails are displayed underneath the original email, and will have the word "dupe" by the bates number. You can collapse or expand the list of duplicate emails by pressing the blue link at the bottom of the original document card that tells you how many dupes of itself exists. 

You can highlight inclusive emails by checking the “highlight inclusive emails” box below the list of documents. The labels of non-inclusive emails will become grayed out. This will identify the email that is the last email in a branch. Because it is the last email in the branch, all previous emails should appear in the body of the document. Reviewing inclusive emails can drastically cut down on the number of emails you have to review.

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The versions context

The versions context allows you to pull up different versions of the same document. This can include pre-produced and produced versions, original and translated versions, etc. You can see a count of the total different versions of a particular document by looking at the number below the versions icon.

When you produce documents on Everlaw, your original and produced version can be viewed here as well. For more information on producing your own documents on Everlaw, view our production articles

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