Work with time zone information on Everlaw

Time zone information is important to establish the timeline across your dataset. It's especially important if your data originated in multiple time zones and you want to establish a unified order of events or communications. On Everlaw, a document's time zone (e.g. PST, EST) or its offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (e.g. -8:00, +5:00) is always appended to its displayed time value. This way you can track your data's timeline even if it's coming from different time zones. 

This article describes how you can specify and track time zone information for your data, including while reviewing documents. 

  • Administrators can use this article to help them understand the best way to set time zone information for their database to facilitate review
  • Reviewers can use this article to understand the time zone information they come across during review

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Time zone information when you view documents

This section describes time zone information in a document's image and native views in the document review window. Time zone information is derived differently for native and processed data, so these two data types are described separately. 

To read about time zone information elsewhere in your project, see the section on the Project Timezone. 

Native Data

The headers for natively uploaded emails and chat data display datetime information about when the messages were sent. The table below describes how this information is displayed when you review these documents.

Document view Displayed time zone Time zone description
Native view Raw (original) time zone

UTC offset showing the original time zone that was extracted from the document during upload; it is not user-specified

The timestamp in a document that was sent from Pacific Standard time will look like this: 

Date Sent: 06:32:12 -800 (PST)

Natively uploaded chats or emails that do not specify their time zone in their metadata will not have a time zone displayed within the native view.

Image (PDF) view Default time zone

The default time zone is set to UTC unless the person who did the upload or reprocessed the data specified otherwise. The document's native/original timestamp is converted into the default time zone, and the converted value is denoted by its offset from UTC.

The image view of the above document with a native PST time zone and uploaded with a UTC default has a timestamp in its header that looks like this:

Date: 14:32:12 +0000

If instead this document is uploaded with an EST default, it will have a timestamp denoting that the time is 5 hours behind UTC

Date: 09:32:12 -0500

Processed Data

The time zones displayed when you view processed documents come directly from the files that were produced to you; Everlaw does not process or update this time zone information in the image view.  See the section on changing the time zone if the time zone information for processed data is not correct 

Project timezone

The project time zone is set by a Project Administrator from the Project Settings page. Time zone information everywhere other than within the document view, such as in a  results table, is in the project time zone. If a Project Administrator does not specify, then the project time zone is UTC. You can always find it by pressing the help button.

project tz.jpg

The time zone information for both native and processed data is converted into the project time zone wherever the project time zone is displayed. This allows you to search for and compare data using a single, unified time zone. 

Note:  Data that was uploaded without a specified time zone in its load file does not have its datetime information converted into the project time zone. Its datetime information will always be displayed with the exact value as it was uploaded, with "(unknown timezone)" appended to it.

The project time zone conversion is:

  • Displayed in the metadata tab of the review window
  • Displayed in the results table
  • Used when you build a search
  • Used for datetime values for documents added to Storybuilder

For example, a document uploaded with an original timestamp of 15:00 PST into a project with a UTC project time zone will have its datetime information displayed as 11pm UTC everywhere that the project time zone is displayed.Time zone.png

Search for date ranges

Searches for date ranges, such as "Date Sent" use the project time time zone unless you specify otherwise. In almost every search, your results will fall within the date range you specify, but there are two situations to be aware of when searching for date ranges that don't specify time values:

  • If you edit the time zone when you search for a datetime value , it's possible that you get hits from either a day before or a day after your date range. This happens because Everlaw returns hits with datetime values that fall within the specified date range when converted from the specified time zone to the project time zone.
    For example, if your project timezone is UTC and you run a search for documents with a "Date Sent" of June 30, 2022 and specify the timezone PST, an email with a "Date Sent" July 1, 2022 could be returned as a hit, because anytime after 4pm PST on June 30 is July 1 in UTC time.
  • If an Project Admin changes the project time zone, the search results for a given date might change. For example, if the project time zone is set to UTC, an email sent on Jul 1, 2022 at 6am UTC is returned as a hit for the date range of July 1, 2022. If the project time zone changes to PST, this document no longer be returned as a search a hit  for July 1. Instead, its new date and time are converted to June 30, 2022 at 10pm PST and it is now returned as a result for June 30, 2022. 

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Set the time zone

You are able to set the time zone for your documents on Everlaw.

Set the time zone for native uploads

Required permission: Database Administrator, Upload, or Organization Administrator

Upon native upload, Everlaw extracts time zone information from the native file.  This time zone information is determined at the time of collection. A document’s original time zone information cannot be changed as part of the upload, though it can be changed by a later overlay.

Optionally, the user doing the upload can change the default time zone on the Details page of native uploads. The default  is set to UTC, but can be adjusted to any of the time zones in the dropdown menu.

The default time zone can influence your documents on Everlaw in two ways:

  • The default time zone is applied to metadata for documents without an explicit time zone. This is useful if the user uploading the documents knows the actual time zone for data that does not specify its time zone within its raw metadata.
    By setting the default time zone to the known time zone of their data, the person doing the upload can make sure that it is displayed correctly on Everlaw. 
    • The metadata for documents that have time zone information are not affected
    • Note: this does not change the underlying metadata of the documents; it only changes how the information is displayed in Everlaw.
  • Everlaw-generated headers in the PDF view display datetime information converted to the default time zone, denoted by its offset from UTC. Therefore, a document with an original time zone different from the default time zone will have its time zone converted and displayed differently in the PDF view than in the Native view. You can see an example in the above section on reviewing documents.
  • The default time zone does not affect deduplication. The same document uploaded twice with different default time zones will be identified as duplicates

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Set the time zone for processed uploads

Required permissions: Database Administrator, Upload, or Organization Administrator

For processed uploads, a document's time zone is determined from the values provided in the load file and are not set by the uploader. The datetime information in the load file is converted into the project time zone wherever the project time zone is displayed.

Data uploaded without a specified time zone has its time zone identified as "(unknown)" everywhere the project time zone is typically displayed.  If you received data without a specified time zone, you have two options: 

  • You can request it from the producing party and perform a metadata overlay of your datetime information
  • If you know the time zone, you can append it to your datetime values in your existing load file either prior to upload or as a metadata overlay

Please see the section on changing your data's time zone to learn more about how overlays can affect your data.

Set the project time zone

Required permission: Project Administrator

Project Administrators can set a Project time zone from the Project Settings, which affects how time zone information is displayed in the review window, during search, and in the results table. The default project time zone is UTC.

Export time zone information

From a results table, you have several options to export documents and metadata from Everlaw. This section outlines the time zone information included with each export type.

Export to PDF

Required permission: PDF Export

Documents exported to PDF mirror their image view on Everlaw. For natively uploaded documents, this means they have the default time zone (denoted as the offset from UTC) displayed for timestamps in the image header. If you include timestamp metadata in a separator sheet, the metadata time zone information is converted to the project time zone, with the project time zone appended to the datetime values.

Export to ZIP

Required permission: ZIP Export 

When you export to ZIP and include Load files, the datetime fields in the load files are converted into the project time zone, with the project time zone appended to the datetime values.

Export to CSV

Required permission: CSV Export

Document information exported to a CSV has its datetime metadata converted to the project time zone, with the project time zone appended to the datetime values.

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Produce time zone 

Permissions Required: Admin for Productions

The time zone for datetime data displayed on produced images is the document's default time zone at the time of upload or reprocessing. This is the same as what is displayed in the Image view of the document review window. 

You can set the time zone of produced metadata, as well as whether or not that time zone is displayed in the load file, in the load file step of creating production protocol. Datetime values for documents you produce are converted to this time zone. The time zone set at this step is used to set the time zone:

  • for any datetime metadata fields you include in the load file 
  • information in the privilege log 
  • appended to datetime information displayed in any image endorsements (if applicable). 

Your load file can only have one time zone.

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Change the time zone for your data

You can adjust the time zone information for your documents after they are uploaded to Everlaw. For native data, you might want to do this if you didn't set the default time zone correctly when the data was originally uploaded. For processed data, you might need to do this if you receive updated time zone information. You can update time zone information using these options: 

  • Reprocess: Updates the default time zone for natively uploaded documents and for the image file of processed data uploaded with a native file
  • Overlays: Can update the time zone information for native files, image files, and/or metadata 
  • Edit metadata: You can edit the time zone individually as you review documents.

Reprocess natively uploaded data

Required permission: Database Administrator, Organization Administrator, or Upload 

If your documents were uploaded without the correct default time zone (which affects the time zone displayed in the image view of documents and the metadata value of documents without a raw time zone value), you can reprocess them from the results table to update their time zone.  To do this, expand the advanced settings and select the correct time zone for this dataset when you reprocess.

Reprocessing results: 

  • Reprocessing changes the PDF view of the document so that the timestamp displayed in the document header is converted from the original to the time zone selected during reprocessing.
  • For documents with time zone information in the native file, reprocessing does not affect the metadata of your documents
    • The values displayed in the project time zone do not change
  • For native files that do not have time zone information in their metadata, the default time zone is assumed to be the new default time zone for the metadata fields.
    •  If the project time zone is different than the default time zone, the displayed timestamps are converted from the default time zone and displayed in the project timezone.
      • For example, changing the default time zone to PST for a spreadsheet with a "Date Created" of 10:15am, with no time zone information in the native file, will cause Everlaw to assume that the spreadsheet was created at 10:15 am PST. If the project time zone is in UTC, then the timestamp wherever the project time zone is displayed, the "Date Created" field shows 6:15pm 

Reprocess processed data

Required permission: Database Administrator, Organization Administrator, or Upload 

If your processed documents include native files, you can update the time zone information displayed in the image view of these documents by reprocessing. Reprocessing extracts the time zone from the native file and converts it into your selected time zone to display in the header of the image. 

  • Documents without native files are not affected by reprocessing 
  • Reprocessing does not affect the time zone of datetime metadata uploaded with a load file

Important

The reprocessing and merging steps below can update more metadata than just the time zone information. If there is a metadata field extracted from your native file during reprocessing that wasn't in your load file, that metadata field will be added to your document. If a document already has metadata values in certain fields, the original values are retained. Reprocessing does not overwrite existing metadata. Contact support@everlaw.com if you have questions about this process.

  • For example, if your load file didn't contain a value for "Subject" and you reprocess the native email, the "Subject" value will be populated for this document
  • You can identify the source of metadata by hovering over it in the metadata tab of the review window 
  •  

To reprocess:

  1. Select Batch > Reprocess.
  2. Make sure the menu is acting on Non-Everlaw processed documents.
  3. Expand Advanced settings.
  4. Select Merge.

  1. Select your Default time zone.
  2. Select Reprocess.

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Overlay

Required permission: Database Administrator, Organization Administrator, or Upload

You can update the time zone information of your documents by doing an overlay. For example, if your data did not originally have time zone information in the load file, but you later receive time zone information, you can do an overlay to add that information to Everlaw. 

For processed data, this is the only way to bulk-update metadata time zone information.

Update the metadata of your documents 

To update your document's metadata you can do a metadata overlay, by either adding a time zone to the datetime fields or by changing it. This will change the displayed time anywhere that the project time zone is displayed. 

  • Time zones are converted from the newly overlaid time zone and displayed in the project time zone 
  • The native view and PDF view are not changed by a metadata overlay

Update the time zone information on the image of processed data

To update the time zone information on the image of processed data, you can Overlay images that contain the correct time zone information. 

To update the time zone information on Native files

 To update the time zone information of native files, you can overlay it with a new version of the original (native)  file that has the new time zone, then reprocess to update the time zone information on the image view and metadata values.

Edit metadata

Required permissions: Edit Metadata

To update timezone metadata values document-by-document, reviewers can edit individual metadata fields. This can be useful if you need to change the time zone of just a few documents.

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Time zone best practices

If you are reviewing lots of emails and chat data, it is best to match the project time zone and default time zones to minimize the range in time zones your reviewers will need to keep track of. By default these are both set to UTC (and therefore match), but can be adjusted at any time.

It is best to coordinate time zone settings because, if they vary, a document might have its times displayed in three different time zones, depending on where a user is reviewing time information. 

For example, a natively uploaded email with an original time zone of PDT, and uploaded with a UTC default time zone into a project with  EDT project time zone will have its original, UTC-converted, and EDT-converted times displayed in specific parts of the Everlaw platform. If you are reviewing lots of emails in their image view, it is best to match the project time zone and default time zones to minimize the range in time zones your reviewers will need to keep track of. 

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