Creating Productions in Everlaw

 

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Producing documents in Everlaw

Everlaw has a cloud-based production system which allows you to automatically generate productions at any time of your choosing. You can create and save an unlimited number of production protocols in your case, and produce documents under a particular protocol.

Your production will be packaged as a zip file that can be shared with opposing counsel through various mechanisms. Please see the ‘Sharing a production with external parties’ section. We automatically generate load files in the following five formats for each production: .DAT, .OPT, .DII, .LST, and .LFP.

Produced documents will also be uploaded into your database for your reference, and will be searchable and viewable.

The details and specifications for a production (e.g. what formats to produce? which metadata fields to include?) are often negotiated at the beginning of a case. If you have questions about negotiating a production protocol, we are happy to help; please reach out to your account representative or support@everlaw.com.   

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Permissions associated with productions

Only admins* are able to access and use the productions feature. Production mode must also be turned in on your case. Some databases may have child projects (ie. databases that share some or all of the same underlying documents). If productions are generated in a child project, the production status cards will not be visible in the parent database, but the produced documents will appear in the parent database. Productions generated in the parent database will not appear in child projects (until they are explicitly shared with the child projects).

*Admins are users who are in user groups with administrative privileges.

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Preparing and packaging documents for production

Documents should be coded and redacted before production. Common production codes, such as those related to confidentiality, redactions, and responsiveness, can be added to your case through the production wizard. You can also create or delete codes through the coding sheet.

There are two ways to collect documents for production once they have been reviewed:

  • You can run a search to fetch the appropriate documents. If you use the ‘Produced’ search term, and negate the term, you can easily exclude documents that have already been produced. From the results table view, you can launch a production. All selected documents in the table will be produced.
  • During review, or before production, you can add documents to a binder. When setting up a production, you simply need to specify that you want to produce the documents in a particular binder. 

You can also use any combination of codes and binders to identify the documents you want to produce.

If you want to discuss review and production workflow ideas, please reach out to your Everlaw account lead, or support@everlaw.com. You can also review our assignments documentation to get ideas about how to set up a review workflow.

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Pre-production quality assurance

Performing quality assurance on your documents before producing them will help ensure that there are not any mistakes, such as missing family members or redactions. For recommended best practices and suggested pre-production QA steps, please visit our production workflow guide.

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Creating or editing a production protocol

A production protocol specifies the rules for a production. Protocols can be created either (i) independent of a production or (ii) during the process of creating a production. You can store any number of protocols for future use, allowing you to reuse previously created protocols. 

We strongly recommend that you create a protocol in Everlaw as soon as you know what the agreed upon settings are, as opposed to when you need to run your first production. Creating protocols early will give you a chance to see whether or not you need Everlaw to set up custom settings or fields. For example, a production protocol might require you to produce a field that is not in your database. In that event, Everlaw can add custom metadata fields to your case.

If you have questions about creating a protocol, adding custom fields, or non-standard production requests, please reach out to support@everlaw.com.

Otherwise, follow these 8 steps to create or edit a protocol:

 

Step 1 - Navigate to the productions page

You can reach the productions page using the admin icon in the navigation bar.

admin

Once you reach the production page, there are three paths depending on what you want to do:

  • To create a protocol without running a production: Click the “Saved Protocols” button in the upper right. Then, click the “Create a protocol” button in the left panel. The protocol wizard will appear.
  • To edit an existing protocol without running a production: Click the “Saved Protocols” button in the upper right. Then, select the protocol you want to edit from the list, click the menu icon in the upper right, and select 'edit'. The protocol wizard, with your chosen protocol’s settings prefilled, will appear.
  • To create a new protocol and run a production: Click “Create a production”. You must first create a search to identify the documents you want to produce. Once you click “Next”, you’ll be brought to the protocol wizard.  

 

Step 2 - Bates settings

Note: If you are accessing the protocol wizard as part of the process of creating a production, you will have the additional ability to prefill protocol settings from a drop-down list of existing protocols, or create a new protocol. You can also name and describe the production you are generating in this view. Toward the left, you will be able to see the total number of documents you’re producing, as well as the number of documents in that set that contain redactions.

There are three Bates options that you can modify:

  • The Bates Prefix: You can use an existing prefix by selecting from the drop-down list, or create a new prefix by typing into the input box (new prefixes will be highlighted in yellow as you type).
  • The Starting Bates Number: The starting Bates number is the number that will be applied to the first document in a given production. This will affect the numbering of subsequent documents/document pages in a production. By default, the ‘use next number for the prefix’ box is checked. This means that one greater than the highest number for a particular prefix will automatically be chosen as the starting number for a production. For example, let’s say you ran one production using the ‘Prod’ prefix. The last Bates number applied in that production was 4000. If you run a new production with a protocol that uses the ‘Prod’ prefix, 4001 will automatically be chosen as the starting Bates number for the new production. We recommend keeping this default setting as it will ensure that overlapping Bates numbers will not be applied. However, if you deselect this setting, you can set whatever starting Bates you want.
  • Number Padding: The number padding is the minimum number of digits you want to reserve for your Bates number. If the actual number has fewer digits than the number you input, the space between the Bates prefix and number is filled in with zeros. In other words, if you input “6”, and the Bates number is 4 digits long, there will be two zeros appended between the prefix and the number. If the actual number has more digits than the reserved number, there will be no zeros separating the prefix and the number. A preview of the Bates stamping is shown at the bottom.

If there are concurrently running productions using the same Bates prefix, Everlaw will attempt to reserve the necessary Bates range for each production to prevent overlaps. If there are numbering overlaps, the affected productions will fail and register an error. You can delete failed productions from the productions page.

 

Step 3 - Image and Bates/text stamping settings

Many production protocols require you to provide the documents in image format. You can think of images as essentially digital snapshots equivalent to what the documents would look like if they were printed out. You can also modify these images during production. For example, you can redact privileged content, Bates number the pages, or apply other desired annotations. This step, and the two subsequent steps, all deal with how images should be generated.

  • Image format: By default, Everlaw produces images as PDFs, which can display color. However, you can choose to produce no images or images as black-and-white TIFF files. If you choose to produce images as TIFF files, you have the additional option to produce a subset of those images as color JPGs. To produce color JPGs in addition to TIFF, click the “Color JPG” box and create a search for the documents that should be produced in color. All documents in a production matching this search will have color JPG images instead of black-and-white TIFF images.  
  • Bates and endorsement text stamping: If you want to Bates-stamp the produced images, you can choose which corner of the document you want the Bates number to appear in. By default, they’ll be stamped in the lower right corner.

    You can also add arbitrary text, otherwise known as ‘endorsements’, to any corner of the document. For example, you might want to stamp custodian information on documents in a production.

    Endorsement stamping can also be done programmatically (according to a set of rules). These rules are tied to the coding sheet, which means that documents must be coded for programmatic endorsement stamping to work. For example, you might want all of the documents in a production coded as ‘Confidential’ to be stamped with the phrase “Confidential’ in the upper right corner.

    To create a rule, first select which corner the text stamping should appear in under the ‘Endorsement - By Code’ section. In the dialogue that appears, choose a code from the dropdown list and input the desired text. All documents in the production that have the chosen code will be stamped with the inputted text in the selected corner of the document. You can add multiple rules or delete rules from the table. Using this method, you can stamp documents from the same production with different endorsement text. If a document matches more than one rule, all the applicable stamps will be applied.

    A preview of the Bates and endorsement stamping will be generated on the right.                     

 

Step 4 - Redaction, privilege, and native settings

  • Redactions: Everlaw automatically detects which documents in your production have redactions applied. During production, Everlaw will burn the redactions into the produced images, and re-OCR the text such that redacted text will not appear in the produced text file. If you want to control how redactions appear (as a black or white box, with or without text stamped on the redacted area), click the customize button and make your selections in the dialogue that appears. If custom redaction stamps are being used in your case, the custom stamps will appear on the completed redactions, overriding any text you may specify here. Note that native documents will never be included for redacted documents, since it is not possible to redact a native document. If you do not want to apply redactions during production, click the ‘do not include redactions’ button.
  • Privileged Documents: Because the system allows you to identify privileged documents by any set of codes, it cannot automatically withhold privileged documents until you specify how to identify them. If you want to withhold documents, click the ‘withhold privileged documents’ button. Then, create a search that the system will use to identify documents to withhold; all documents in a production that match the search will be withheld. This means that the images, text, and natives of these documents will not be included in the production. Instead, Everlaw will create a placeholder image for the withheld documents. You can modify the text that will be stamped on these placeholders in the next step of the protocol wizard.   Placeholder images for withheld documents usually result in a single Bates number gap per placeholder in a production. However, you can also choose to reserve the full bates range for each withheld document. For example, if you are withholding a 20 page document, a 20 Bates number gap will be in your production instead of a single Bates number gap. One advantage of this is that if you do happen to produce a withheld document at a later time, Everlaw can allocate the document its full Bates range without any overlaps.
  • Native documents: Finally, you can choose if you want to include native documents in your production. Native documents are the files in the format of their originating application, such as .xlsx and .docx. You can choose to produce natives for all documents in a production, no documents in a production, or a subset of documents in a production. If you choose the last option, you’ll be required to create a search to identify the subset of documents that should have natives included.

    Regardless of your selection, Everlaw will never produce natives for documents that are redacted or that you’ve chosen to withhold.  

 

Step 5 - Placeholder settings

Placeholders are automatically created for withheld documents in lieu of the actual documents. These placeholders are generated under the default 'Privileged' rule that appears at the top of the table. However, you can also create image placeholders for other documents as well. Unlike placeholders for withheld documents, image placeholders will only replace the image file for documents. For example, filetypes like spreadsheets and CAD don’t image well. If you know that you’re going to include the native file for these documents, you might want to create placeholder images instead of images of the actual document. Remember that you chose which files to produce natives for in the previous step. We cannot produce natives for documents that you’re creating placeholders for in this step unless they are captured by your native production settings from the previous step.

Placeholders are generated according to rules which govern which documents to produce placeholders for, and what text to stamp on the placeholders. To create a rule:

  • Click 'add a rule'
  • In the dialogue that appears, name the rule and specify the text that you want stamped on the placeholder
  • Create a search for documents you want to apply this particular rule to. If “Include Families” is toggled on, this rule will propagate to all family members of documents captured by the search. Toggle this setting off if you don't want the rule to affect family members. The total number of documents matching your search in the production will be shown right below the query builder. If you are creating a protocol independent of a production, the number shown corresponds to the total number of documents in the database that match your search.
  • Click “save” when you’re done

Multiple placeholder rules can be in effect simultaneously in a single production protocol. Rules at the top of the table take precedence over rules below.

To edit the name of a rule, click on the name so that it is highlighted. Then, input the new name. You can do the same to edit the display text associated with a rule. If you want to edit the search used to identify which documents to apply a rule to, click on the total number of matching documents corresponding to the rule you want to edit. Note that you cannot change the search for the privilege rule in this view as these documents were identified in the previous step of the production wizard. You can, however, change the display text associated with the privilege rule.

 

Step 6 - Metadata settings

You are given a lot of control over which metadata fields to produce, and the naming of the chosen fields. You can even group fields together for production.

There are two primary components in the metadata step of the production wizard: the left panel shows available metadata fields; the right panel shows the fields that you’ve selected to produce.

To select individual fields to produce, click them in the left panel and they will be added to the right panel. Fields with the blue information icon are either custom fields or production fields. All other fields are originally part of the documents in your database. You can use the filter box at the top of the left panel to find fields by name. If you want to use Everlaw’s recommend fields, click the ‘load default’ button.

If you want to remove a field that you’ve chosen to produce, simply click on the red ‘x’ associated with the appropriate field in the right panel.

You can also combine fields together into a single field. To combine fields, click and hold a metadata field, then start dragging it. Boxes will appear next to the selected fields in the right panel. If you want to group the field you’re holding with a selected field, simply drag your cursor to the box of the field that you want to group it with. A green plus icon will appear in the box. Once you let go of the mouse, the fields will become grouped. The names of the fields included in the grouped field will be added in gray, and a pencil icon will appear in the far right that you can use to remove fields from the group. The name of the grouped field will be the name of the first field in the group. However, it is very easy to rename fields.

To rename any field, click on the name of the field in the right panel so that it is highlighted. Then, input the desired name.

Some production protocols require the inclusion of fields that might not appear by default in your database when the documents are uploaded. If you don’t see a field that you need in order to abide by a production protocol, please reach out to support@everlaw.com. We’d be happy to add a custom field to your case. Custom fields can often be added the same day as the request.

 

Step 7 - Production file structure settings

Everlaw’s productions have a set file structure that cannot be changed. There is one top-level folder that contains sub-folders for image folders/files, text folders/files, native folders/files, and load files. You can, however, change the name of the folders. To rename a folder, select the default name and type in your new desired name.

Other production file settings include:

  • Split: Our folders have a soft max document size of 1000. For example, if your document production results in 2000 tiff files, they’ll be split into two sub-folders within the top-level image folder, with 1000 files in each sub-folder. By default, we keep files from the same document together, even if the max size has been reached. This means that some sub-folders can exceed 1000 files. If you want to strictly enforce the max folder size of 1000 files, check the ‘split’ option. Enforcing the max folder size might result in files related to the same document appearing in multiple sub-folders. Some ediscovery platforms cannot handle processing sub-folders that exceed 1000 files, so please coordinate with the parties that will receive the production.
  • Password protection: If you want to password-protect the enclosing Zip file for the production, input the desired password in the password box. Your password will be saved in the production configuration. There are two different types of encryption for password-protected files that you can choose from: AES-256 or ZipCrypto. AES-256 is more secure than ZipCrypto, but can only be extracted by applications that support AES-256 encryption, such as 7-Zip or WinZip. If you choose to encrypt using AES-256, remember to notify the receiving parties.

 

Step 8 - Saving a protocol

The last step of the wizard will have different options depending on whether or not you are creating a protocol independent of generating a production:

  • If you are creating/editing a protocol independent of a production: The last step of the protocol wizard summarizes the settings you’ve chosen. Save the protocol by clicking “save”.
  • If you are creating/editing a protocol as part of a production: The last step will summarize the protocol settings. You can save the protocol by inputting a name into the “protocol name” box. Clicking “submit” will save the protocol (if the name field is filled), and start the production process.

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Creating a production

To create a production from the productions page:

  • Navigate to the productions page
  • Click on the 'Create a Production' button in the upper right of the page (if there are existing productions) or the big 'Click here to start a new production' box (if there are no productions in your case).

  • In the first step of the production wizard, create a search to fetch the documents you want to produce.

You can also launch a production from the results table.

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Accessing and monitoring productions

Upon completing production, your produced documents will be fully rendered in Everlaw.  They will be full first-class docs, with their own images, text, and metadata.  Each production from a database will be stored on the productions page as a card. The card are arranged by date created, with more recent productions at the top. If you want to filter the production by keyword or date, use the filtering options at the top of the page.

For ongoing productions, you will see the name and description of the production, and a progress bar.

For successfully completed productions, you’ll see:

  • The name of the production (1)
  • The description (2)
  • The date the production was generated (3)
  • The Bates range of the produced documents (4)
  • The total number of documents in a production (5)
  • the total number of documents that were either stamped with programmatic endorsements ('endorsed'), redacted, withheld ('privileged'), or had placeholders generated (6)
  • A download button that will allow you to download the full production (including load files) or just the .DAT load file. If you don’t want to download and transmit the files yourself, you can also get shareable links for the full production or load files that recipients can access in order to download the production. These links expire 30 days after they are created. (7)
  • The three dot menu icon in the upper rights allows you to open the source files, view the production configuration, or delete the production. (8)

Cards for failed productions have much of the same information and functionality as cards for successful productions, with the following exceptions and changes:

  • The card will have a red border, font, and alert icon (1)
  • You can see the total number of documents that registered an error next to the total number of documents in a production (2)
  • You cannot download a failed production (3)

If your production has any errors, please reach out to Everlaw support (support@everlaw.com) immediately.

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Finding produced documents and post-production quality assurance

Your produced documents are also displayed as a new version of your original documents.  Once documents are successfully produced, they are linked to their pre-production counterparts through the versions context. There are many ways to locate produced documents:

  • Click on the number of total produced documents in the appropriate production card
  • Run a search using the ‘Produced’ search term. You can also find documents based on specific production errors or attributes using the second parameter of the ‘Produced’ search term. If you want to find the pre-production counterparts, simply select the 'Original Docs' flag.
  • Run a search using the prefix and Bates range of the produced documents
  • Group any results table by the ‘versions’ context
  • View the ‘versions’ context in the review window

Before sending a production out the door, you might want to perform quality assurance to make sure that everything looks correct. Teams will perform different checks depending on their needs. We’ll go over how to perform one common QA check in detail and recommend some other checks that you might want to perform using similar methods.

Let’s make sure the redactions look correct:

  • Pull up the documents from a particular production. Using the ‘produced’ search term is the easiest way to do this for QA purposes. Select the production name you want to QA for the first parameter, and choose ‘Redacted Document’ for the second parameter.
  • If this search returns a lot of documents, you can use the ‘sample’ search term to pull up a more manageable randomly sampled subset of the results.
  • View the returned documents to verify that redactions were properly burned in and redacted text does not appear in the text file

We also recommend checking that the Bates and endorsement stamping look correct, verifying that redacted and special metadata fields show up correctly, and confirming that privileged documents are properly withheld. You can use the ‘Metadata’ search term in conjunction with the ‘Produced’ search term to find documents for the metadata check. Please reach out to support@everlaw.com if you need help QAing your documents.

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Sharing a production with external parties

To share a production, find the appropriate card on the productions page, and click the download button. There are a couple of options. You can:

  • Download the production (including load files) as a zip file and transmit the production yourself
  • Download only the .DAT load file
  • Obtain shareable links that the external party can use to access and download the full production or just the .DAT load file. The links with expire within 30 days of creation. 

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