Document Access Management

 Table of Contents


Document Access Management allows Project Administrators to control which documents a user group can view or modify on Everlaw. This is useful if you would like to manage access to specific document sets and do not want to create a full break in terms of coding, messaging, and administration by creating a new project. 

Note that restricting a user’s document access will restrict their access to other functionality throughout the rest of the platform, as outlined in the Affected permissions section of this article.

Configuring document access

To configure document access, navigate to the Permissions tab on the Project Settings page. Use the drop down menu to select the desired group, then select “Change document access” in the Document Access section. This will bring you to the Document Access Management page.Change document access management.gif


By default, user groups will have full document access. To restrict a user group’s access, change their Document access from Full to Partial. Note that restricting access to some documents may restrict that group’s permissions on other parts of the platform. For a list of all affected permissions, read the Affected permissions section at the end of this article.  


Changing a group’s access from Full to Partial

When document access is set to Partial, you can decide which documents you’d like the user group to access. 

The documents you specify in the query builder will be visible to the user group. Any document excluded from the search will be restricted. 

As an example, let’s say you are a Project Admin and would like a Reviewer group to only have access to documents from a folder called "Docs about financial controls." You would change the Reviewers’ access to Partial and build a query that captures only the documents you want them to be able to access—in this case, the binder.


If you’d like to search for documents to restrict, then you can negate a term in the query builder. This will restrict access to specific documents. For example, if you would like to restrict the Reviewers group so that they do not have access to any document coded Confidential, then you should build a query for NOT Coded: Confidential.


The Document Access Management page also allows you to toggle the checkbox labeled Access via assignment, shown below. Access via assignment allows users access to restricted documents that are assigned to them. For more information about Access via assignment and how document restrictions affect assignments, read the Assignments section of this article.

Users with restricted document access will not see the query that defines which documents they can access and they will not get any information regarding which documents they cannot access. Please note that permissions changes may take up to one minute to take effect.

To learn more about building a search using the query builder, check out the Search Overview documentation.

If a user is in multiple groups, they will be able to access all of the documents available to each group. For example, if a user is in a group that only has access to emails, and another group that only has access to spreadsheets, then that user will have access to both emails AND spreadsheets.

Please note that if your query includes a binder(s), it will be shared with all Project Admins on your project so they can continue to manage document access.

Determining user access

Once document access settings have been configured, you or other project administrators may need to know which users have access to various documents. You can access these details in project settings, the review window, and via search. 

Review Window

Project admins may see which users have access to a specific document by clicking the Document Access icon in the review window. 


Document Access Icon

This will open the Document Access page, where you can see all the groups and users who can view this document. All user groups on your project will appear on this list. You can click each group to see a list of users in the group and their document permissions. The information in the list will be as follows:

User’s permission What will be shown in the Document access list
A user has access to the document  green.png
A user has permission to view the document because of an assignment group, but doesn’t otherwise have access  yellow.png
A user does not have access to this document  red.png 

You can hover over “Can access” to see which group memberships are granting a user access to this document.


Determining user access on the Document access page

Has Access search term

To build a search that captures all the documents that are visible to a user, use the Has Access search term. This search term will return all of the documents accessible by a particular user or group. Searching against a particular user will return all documents accessible by that user, including via assignment. Searching against a user group will only return the documents specified in the Document Access Management query.

search has access.gif


Document Access Management detailed view in Project Settings

The Document Access tab under Permissions in Project Settings shows you a detailed view of each group’s document access permissions.


In the example shown below, 635,703 documents are visible to this user group, and 910,404 documents are restricted. You can select the numbers above Visible and Restricted to open a results table with the respective document(s). This is an easy way to find all of the documents that a group can or cannot access. Note that these numbers reflect the total number of documents captured by the query and do not include documents that a user may have access to through an assignment. 


Determining document access via the Document Access Management page

Document Access Management table view

You can also view an overview of every group’s permissions by toggling to the table view of the Document Access Management page. 


dam table.gif

Toggling the table view

The table view shows an overview of all groups and their document permissions on your project. The Access configuration column shows the query that captures a group’s visible documents. You can select any of these values to view or modify the query. The last two columns show the counts of visible and restricted documents. Note that these numbers do not include documents a user may have access to through assignments. You can select these entries to open a results table with the respective documents. 


Table view

Feature dependencies

Document level permissions may affect a user’s experience with other features on Everlaw. Because a user does not know what they do and do not have access to, it is important as a project administrator to understand the implications of your settings before configuring them. The below features include behaviors that are dependent on document access permissions. 

Assignment groups

On the Document Access Management page, you have the option to grant users Access via assignment. Access via assignment gives users access to restricted documents if they are assigned to that user. Unless this option is selected, users will only be assigned documents that they have permission to view. Similarly, users self-assigning will simply pass over documents they cannot access. When this option is turned on, users will be given permission to view any documents assigned to them. In this case, assigners will be shown a warning that they are granting permissions by assigning the documents. Additionally, users will be able to self-assign and view restricted documents. Please note that selecting this option will restrict access to all documents unless they are assigned or included in the visible documents criteria. 

Grant permissions on assignment

In the case where some users do not have access to all of the documents in an assignment group, and Access via assignment is not turned on, documents will be assigned such that restricted docs are assigned only to the users that have access. If there are remaining documents that no users can access, a warning will display and the remaining documents will be unassigned. To assign these documents, you will either have to modify your user group’s access, attempt to reassign the documents to users that do have access, or turn on Access via assignment permissions.

If a user without assignment access loses access to documents that are assigned to them, they will become invisible to the user (including in all document counts) but will remain assigned. The assignment group page will show a warning when there are assigned documents that some users are unable to view, and there will be a button to batch unassign the restricted documents.

Batch actions

Batch actions will only modify documents that a user can access. For example, take a user that has access to some, but not all PDFs on a project. If they perform a search for all PDFs, they will only see a subset of the total PDFs on the project. If the user then batch modifies them, only the documents visible to the user will be affected. 

Users will be able to undo batch actions, even if they no longer have access to the documents.

To learn more about batch actions and how they may be affected by document permissions, visit this help article on Batch Actions.


Auto-code rules will only affect documents that a user has permission to access. Note that this could potentially create auto-code violations on your project.

Context panel

The context panel will only display information a user has access to (e.g. only the emails in the email chain they have access to). Users with document restrictions will be notified in the Context Panel that restricted documents will be hidden. Additionally, the file path explorer will be turned off for users with document restrictions, as this could potentially give a user information about documents that they cannot access. Please note that if a user selects “Highlight inclusive emails” when they do not have access to the most inclusive email, no emails in the context panel will be highlighted. As a result, the user will know that they do not have access to every email in the thread.

Data visualizer

Data Visualizer will still be accessible to users with restrictions, but it will automatically filter out any documents a user does not have access to. As a result, users in groups with differing document permissions may see different document counts for the same visualizations.

Affected permissions

Restricting a user group’s document access will change that group’s access to other parts of the platform. For example, a user that does not have full document access will not be able to use Predictive Coding. A comprehensive list of all features that are affected when a group has restricted document access can be found below.  



Search Term Reports


Predictive Coding



No access


Users will only see documents in the results table that they have access to.

Context Panel

The Context Panel may be incomplete if users have restricted document access. The Context Panel has a warning that not all documents are available. 

The document’s file path will not be explorable.

Shared Searches and Binders

If any user receiving an object has document restrictions, the sharer will be given a warning that the recipients may not be able to see all of the documents. When the recipient(s) open the search/binder they will see the subset of documents that they can access.

Assignment Groups

Users without full document access will not be allowed to manage assignments or access assignment groups.

Project admins will not be able to assign documents to users with restricted permissions on those documents, unless they have enabled the Access via assignment setting.

Storybuilder (Story, Drafts, Depositions)

Users will not be able to access Storybuilder objects (Story, Drafts, Depositions) that contain any documents they cannot access.

Metadata auto-complete

Metadata auto-complete will be turned off for users with document restrictions.

File Path search term

The “File Path” search term will be turned off for users with document restrictions.

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