For more information on productions in Everlaw, please see the help articles in our Productions section.
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Production criteria
- Step 2: Document settings
- Step 3: Configure image settings
- Step 4: Redaction, native, and text/transcription settings
- Step 5: Withholding or privilege rules
- Step 6: Placeholder settings
- Step 7: Load file metadata settings
- Step 8: Additional options
- Step 9: Saving a protocol
To produce documents on Everlaw, you must first create a production protocol. This specifies both the rules for a production as well as the documents that you want to produce. In Everlaw, you can store any number of protocols for future use, allowing you to reuse previously created protocols.
If you have Admin permissions on Productions, you can navigate to the Productions page by clicking the Data Transfer icon and choosing Productions. Please note that if you only have Share permissions on Productions, you will be able to navigate to the Productions page and download/share completed productions, but you will not be able to initiate or edit them yourself.
Assuming that you have appropriate permissions, from here you can create a new production protocol by clicking “+New Protocol” on the left panel.
You can also create a new protocol based off an existing protocol's settings. To do so, navigate to the protocol of interest on the Protocols tab, and click Copy.
This article will go through the nine steps of configuring a protocol on Everlaw.
Step 1: Production criteria
The first step of the protocol wizard is to add a production criteria search, which defines the full scope of documents that you intend to produce with this protocol. Though optional, adding this is recommended as Everlaw can use the production criteria and protocol settings to automatically set-up a pre-production quality assurance workflow for you and report on any documents with potential issues.
By default, the production criteria excludes documents that have been produced on Everlaw. These are both original source documents from the database and its produced versions.
To include families in your production criteria, make sure to click "More Options" on the bottom right of the search builder, and group by attachments.
If you are copying from an existing protocol, the production criteria will also be autofilled in the new protocol wizard.
Step 2: Document settings
The second step is to name the protocol and define some basic information for documents that you want to produce, including their sort order and how their Bates numbering is configured.
By default, Everlaw uses filepath as the sort order for a production. Families will be grouped together, with the parent documents immediately followed by respective attachments in the Production Bates range, as child attachments are extracted from their parent. The children are also sorted by filepath within their family.
You can adjust the sort order of your produced documents and choose additional sub-sorts. The selected fields will be applied in the order that you choose them, but families will be kept together regardless of sort order. Any custom sorting will affect the parents of the family, but all children will remain in filepath order within that family. In the example below, produced documents will be grouped by family and then sorted by custodian (with children sorted by filepath still). Should multiple documents have the same custodian, the documents will then be sorted by their Date field:
If you do not select a particular sort preference, your documents will be sorted by their original file path.
There are a number of Bates options that you can modify:
- Other Bates: If you have assigned Other Bates numbers to your documents, you can choose to use these values for your documents' Bates values upon production.
- Use page numbering: Checking this box will Bates stamp your documents such that each page of a given document will receive a different page number. You can also specify whether or not to display page numbers on the first page of your documents, the number of digits padding your page numbers, and the page number separator character (period, dash, or underscore). A three-page document with page numbers on the first page, six digits of page number padding, and a period separator character would have the following Bates stamps on its first, second, and third pages, respectively: ABC000001.000001, ABC000001.000002, ABC000001.000003.
- 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). Please note that if you have added any spaces before or after your Bates prefix, these will be deleted upon production. However, documents grouped by produced versions will account for spaces in the Bates prefix.
- 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 (pre-page separator). 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: Configure Image Details
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 when printed. You can also modify these images during production. For example, you can redact privileged content, Bates number the pages, or apply other desired annotations.
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. 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.
You can also specify the Bates stamp location on the produced document. By default, the Bates number will be stamped in the lower right corner. You can choose to stamp the Bates number in any corner, or in the top/bottom centers of your produced documents.
Endorsements: You can customize endorsements for arbitrary text, codes applied to the document, and/or metadata values in your protocol. Endorsements will be applied to produced documents, when applicable. You also have the option to create endorsements in red or black text. Note that image endorsements only support ASCII printable characters (generally, all letters, numbers, and symbols available on a US keyboard). Any non-ASCII characters will not be produced. Also note that for PDFs and color JPGs, you can choose to use red text for your endorsements. Endorsement text for Tiffs will always appear in black.
- Code endorsements: You can use document coding to automatically endorse document images. First, select the location on the page for your code endorsement. Then, a dialog will appear where you can add or remove codes and associated endorsement text to be stamped on images with that code. Selecting a category will add all of its codes, and editable endorsement text is prepopulated with the name of each code. Once you’ve closed the dialog, you can use a checkbox to copy your code endorsement rules as native filename endorsements on the next step.
- Text endorsements: You can also add text endorsements to your images, applying your chosen text to all images in a production. Select the location of your endorsements, and enter your text endorsement in the input box. You can create one text endorsement per protocol.
- If a selected center stamp is accompanied by a left or right stamp at the same vertical alignment, text endorsements may wrap after the character limit exceeds allowable space. Generally, the text will wrap after around 30 characters if space is limited.
- User-determined line breaks will be respected.
- The preview will not reflect text endorsement wrapping but will reflect any user-determined line breaks.
- Metadata endorsements: You can stamp metadata values on your produced documents. First, select the location of your code endorsement. Then, select the field you wish to stamp on the produced document’s image. If the document has a value for that metadata field, the value will be stamped. If the field is redacted, and the Redaction stamp toggle is turned on in Project Settings, then the metadata value will be replaced with “REDACTED." If that setting is toggled off, no endorsement will be stamped for redacted metadata. You can create one metadata endorsement per protocol.
Step 4: Redaction, Native, and Text/transcription settings
- Redactions: Everlaw automatically detects which documents in your production have image and native redactions applied. If you do not want to apply redactions during production, click the ‘Do not include redactions’ button.
- During production, Everlaw will burn the image redactions into the produced images, and re-OCR the new image to ensure 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 dialog that appears. If custom redaction stamps are being used in your project, the custom stamps will appear on the completed redactions, overriding any text you may specify here. Generally, native documents will not be included for image-redacted documents.
- For native redactions, redacted text is removed from the document at the time of production and the document text is then extracted to ensure redacted text will not appear in the produced text file. Generally, images will not be included for natively-redacted documents. If a document has both image and native redactions, the native redactions will take precedence. Note that Everlaw will automatically produce the natives for any files with native redactions even if the production protocol is configured to not produce natives.
- If you chose to exclude images from your production on the previous step, include redactions, and your production set includes image-redacted documents, you will be presented with an option to select what format, either PDF or TIFF, to produce your redacted images in.
- The parent documents of any redacted documents will not be produced natively. Instead, only the image and text formats of the parent documents, if available, will be produced. For example, if you redact a PDF that is an attachment to an email and produce the entire attachment group, the native format of the parent email will not be produced; the same is true for emails and attachments embedded in other emails. Since native email files often contain associated attachments, this precaution prevents the redacted content from being accessible from anywhere in the final production. Please note that this functionality is only available for Everlaw-processed documents.
Native documents: 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. When producing natives, you can choose from the following options:
- Include natives for all documents
- Include natives for all documents without images (default)
- Do not include natives
- Custom… (If you choose this 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 redacted images or documents that you’ve chosen to withhold. Additionally, natives will not be produced for the parents of documents that have been redacted, withheld as privileged, or are not included in the production, unless a project admin has elected to exclude attachments when producing native emails in Project Settings.
If the checkbox below the dropdown is selected, Everlaw will automatically generate a placeholder rule for documents produced in native. This rule will be displayed on the Placeholders page of the production wizard. You can learn more about this rule in the Placeholder section below.
If your production does not include natives for documents without source images, you’ll see a warning. Documents without natives or images will be produced in text only, or, if you haven’t included text files, will be entirely replaced with a placeholder image.
To address this, you can choose to produce natives for those records or reprocess the original documents to generate source images from your natives for those images to reflect the content of each document. Learn more about reprocessing here.
- Native Filename Endorsements: You can choose to endorse native filenames in your production with codes and/or metadata for documents including native versions. These endorsements are appended to the end of the Bates number in native filenames, e.g. ABC001_Confidential.xls. To create native filename Endorsements, first click the arrow to expand out the native filename Endorsement section, hidden by default. Then, choose codes and/or metadata in the same manner you would select image endorsements on the previous step, described above. As you make your selection, a preview below will show a sample native filename matching your choice. Note that you can use a checkbox on the previous step to copy over your code endorsements as native filename Endorsements.
- Text: You can choose whether you want your production to include text files in the ZIP folder included in your production. Because Everlaw automatically creates transcripts for all media files with extractable voice text that are uploaded to the site, you can choose to produce no text files, all text files including media transcripts, or all text files excluding media transcripts. Text files will not be produced for privileged media files that are withheld from production, regardless of whether you have selected the option to produce media transcripts in this dropdown.
Step 5: Withholding or Privilege Settings
In this step, you can choose withholding rules. You have the flexibility to define what documents you want to withhold and customize what placeholder text appears in place of those documents. These selected withheld documents can also be automatically added to a privilege log (see step 8, below). Because you can choose to withhold documents based on a wide variety of criteria, privilege settings do not automatically withhold documents until you specify how to identify them.
If you want to withhold documents, click the “withhold documents” button. Then, click "add a rule" to create a search that Everlaw will use to identify documents to withhold. Note that 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 “placeholder text” input box.
Click advanced settings” to configure withheld bates range and placeholder text files. 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. 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 overlap.
Under advanced settings, you can also choose to produce placeholder text files for withheld documents. By default, no placeholder text file is produced for withheld documents. This has the advantage of not mixing placeholder text with the underlying searchable content of produced records. By selecting the checkbox, productions will instead include a text file with the same placeholder text as the standard image placeholder. If you instead wish to produce privilege rules or placeholder text in a metadata field, you can do so during the load file step.
If you withhold documents, parent documents that are associated with the documents will not be produced natively. Instead, only the image and text formats of the parent documents, if available, will be produced. Since the native files of parent documents often contain associated attachments, this precaution prevents the privileged content from being accessible from anywhere in the final production. This functionality is available to documents whose parent is embedded in a third document. However, it is not currently available for documents that were not processed by Everlaw.
A note about creating disclosure lists: Some of our clients need the ability to create disclosure lists. Our privilege log functionality allows you to do this. Remember, because Everlaw cannot automatically detect privileged documents, you can specify whatever criteria you need for your list of withheld documents. This allows you to select whatever criteria you need for documents to be withheld in this step and exported in step 8 (Privilege log).
Step 6: Placeholder settings
If you chose to include placeholders for all native documents in the Natives step of the production wizard, you will see an automatically generated placeholder rule highlighted in gray.
This placeholder rule uses the search you defined in the Natives step to identify the documents that need placeholders.
Any other placeholder rules you generate will take precedence over this automatic rule. If you go back to the Natives step and modify the natives search, the placeholder rule will automatically change to match the new natives search. Changing this rule's name or search will break its automatic link to the Natives step, deselecting the checkbox to automatically create placeholders on that step. You may change the placeholder text for this rule without breaking its link to the Natives step.
If you didn’t select this option and your production includes withheld documents, placeholders will be automatically created for these withheld documents only. These placeholders are generated under the default “Privileged” rule that appears at the top of the table.
You can also create image placeholders for other documents as well. Unlike placeholders for withheld documents, image placeholders created in this step will only replace the image file.
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 dialog 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 would receive the placeholder. If you are creating a production, the number corresponds to the number of documents within your production set that would receive the placeholder.
- 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. As a result, documents matching the search criteria of multiple rules only contribute to the document count of the top rule. Similarly, documents already withheld at the Privileged step do not contribute to the document count of placeholder rules.
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 7: Load file metadata settings
In this step, 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.
Load files are included by default. To create a production without load files, simply select “Do not include load files” at the top of the page.
If you decide to include a load file, you can specify how you would like your date and time metadata to be produced. For example, you may want your Date field to show up as DD/MM/YYYY instead of MM/DD/YYYY. Once you select your date format, you can select a time format as well. You can choose between a 12-hour, 24-hour, and hour/minute/second format.
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. 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 recommended fields, click the Load Preset 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.
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. Note that the renamed metadata field will not be found in metadata search, or available as a results table column. Instead, the Everlaw metadata field used to populate this load file field will be populated on your produced document.
Some field names allow you to pick a specific field to use in its place. For example, you can select a field that allows you to show either the date or the time value for a specific field, e.g. "Time Sent". To do this, drag a "Date Only" or "Time Only" metadata field to the right panel. Then enter the name of the original metadata field that you would like this value to come from e.g. "Date Sent". You can then rename this field as described above.
Below is a table of metadata fields for which you can specify how the metadata is structured:
|FAMILY VALUE||If there are attachments to the document, uses the parent value for the selected field for children documents (ex: a parent email's date sent value used for child attachments).|
|If a field contains both date and time values, uses only the date portion of the selected field.|
|TIME ONLY||If a field contains both date and time values, uses only the time portion of the selected field.|
Upon production, Everlaw will populate existing Everlaw metadata fields on your newly produced document, regardless of the load file name configured, i.e. if you produced the ‘Custodian’ field under the name ‘CUST’ then the produced document on Everlaw would still have a value under ‘Custodian’ and no ‘CUST’ field would be created. This is true for all produced fields, including aliases and combined fields. Only the value used in the load file will be populated on your produced document.
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, you can use freeform codes to accomplish this workflow. This article will explain how to create freeform codes.
If you have chosen to produce metadata fields that are redacted on some documents, those metadata fields will be replaced in the loadfile with the redaction stamp you applied. If you did not apply a redaction stamp, the redacted fields will be replaced with the word “REDACTED.” If you would like to leave the unstamped fields blank instead of printing “REDACTED,” please refer to this article.
Please note that redacted non-text metadata fields, such as fields with DateTime values, will still be left blank. This ensures that production loadfiles will remain compatible with Everlaw and other platforms by avoiding introducing text into non-text type fields. However, redaction stamps for non-text metadata fields will appear in the production privilege log, which you can create from the Additional Options step in the production wizard.
If you are on Everlaw Australia, please visit this article to learn about producing to a Microsoft Access Database format.
Step 8: Additional Options
In this step, you are able to configure additional settings for your production.
In this section, you can create a privilege log listing the documents you’ve withheld or redacted in your production. If you would like to create a privilege log, click Enable on the Privilege Log card, and then click View/Edit.
From there, you can choose to export your privilege log as an Excel (CSV) file or a Concordance (DAT) file.
Next, select which documents you would like included in your privilege log. By default, only privileged documents will be included. You can choose to include both privileged and redacted documents in your privilege log by checking the “Redacted documents” checkbox. If you have chosen not to withhold any documents in your production, this selection will result in your privilege log containing only redacted documents.
Finally, if you check the “Non-privileged documents” checkbox, redacted documents will automatically be included in your privilege log. This is because, by choosing to include all privileged and non-privileged documents in your privilege log, redacted documents will necessarily be included.
Once you have decided which documents to include in your privilege log, you will need to decide how to configure your metadata for your log. You can drag and drop metadata fields from the left side to the right side panel. Once they are included, you can rearrange them by using the up and down arrows to the left of each field. You can also click Load Preset to load a set of commonly configured metadata fields.
The mechanics of the builder are the same as the load file metadata settings in the previous step, with additional field options to include in your privilege log. Notably, you can select fields such as category, code, endorsed text, privileged type, and placeholder from the left panel into the right panel. If you include the Privilege Type field in your privilege log, any privileged documents will receive type values, and any redacted documents included in your privilege log will receive the value “Redacted.”
Sometimes, privilege logs must include different metadata fields for documents depending on the reason they were withheld. This is especially relevant for disclosure lists in the UK, but is also useful for some protocols in the US. You can customize metadata for each privilege rule, for non-privileged, or for redacted documents.
If you selected to include non-privileged or redacted documents, and/or you created more than one privilege rule, you will see a dropdown menu that says Default in the metadata configuration dialog. If you do not need to differentiate metadata fields by document type, simply populate the Default configuration in the same way as described above, and the metadata will apply to all documents.
However, if you'd like to differentiate the metadata between these various document types, click the word Default to see a dropdown menu of your other document categories. Select the one you'd like to configure. Then, configure the metadata for that category in the same way that you did for the Default.
This step allows you to copy the review work (e.g., ratings, codes, notes, etc.) of your source documents to your produced documents. If migration is disabled, no review work will be copied to your produced documents, with the exception of redactions as determined by your redaction settings. Clicking Enable will open the migration dialog.
From the migration dialog, you can choose to copy over Notes and Highlights, Ratings, as well as specific coding categories. Any review work that you migrate will appear on the produced documents in Everlaw; however, review work will not appear on your downloaded produced documents, nor will it appear on documents that you send via shareable link. Redactions will always be applied to your documents based on your production’s redaction settings, regardless of migration settings. Note that since productions do not respect source image size dimensions, highlights may be misplaced on your produced documents. This may occur, for example, when your source image is cropped.
Everlaw’s productions have a set file structure that cannot be changed. There is one top-level folder that contains subfolders for load files, image folders/files, text folders/files, and native folders/files. You can, however, change the names of the folders. To rename a folder, select the default name and type in your new desired name.
Additionally, production folders are by default split per 1000 files, but you can choose to adjust the file count limit to any number between 100 to 65,000 files. Some ediscovery platforms cannot handle processing subfolders that exceed 1000 files, so please coordinate with the parties that will receive the production.
If you are a user on Everlaw Australia, please visit this article to learn about leveled packaging.
Step 9: Saving a protocol
The last step of the protocol wizard summarizes the settings you’ve chosen. After you’ve reviewed them, you can click Save to save a new protocol, which you can access in the Protocols tab of the Productions page afterward.
Once you have created a production protocol, Everlaw automatically runs checks for common production errors for you based on the documents you aim to produce, as well as the protocol settings.
To read more about this pre-production QA, please refer to the Productions 2 of 3: Pre-production QA on Everlaw.