October 8, 2021 Release: Legal Holds, results table filtering, and more!

Expected US Release: October 8, 2021

Expected International Release: October 15, 2021

With this release, we’ve added legal holds, filtering in the results table, and more — read on for more information about the features coming out this month! If you would like to learn more about the features in this release, join us for a live training session.


Everlaw Legal Holds

Legal holds: Introduction

Everlaw now offers a legal hold notification, tracking, and management system that is available in every database, including ECA databases, at no extra cost. With Everlaw Legal Holds, you can create and send hold notifications, schedule automatic renotification and escalation notices, track custodian acknowledgement, and connect holds and custodians to documents uploaded to the platform. You can send as many legal holds as you like to as many custodians as you like with no limits.


Legal holds are stored at the database level, so all legal holds within one database should be related to a single matter. To access legal holds, you will need to be granted the legal holds database permission. Database administrators can grant this permission alongside other database permissions when adding a new user or from the Database Settings page.


Everlaw Legal Holds can be accessed from the Data Transfer icon in the navigation bar. Click on the icon and then select Legal Holds from the menu.



Legal holds: Custodians tab

In Everlaw, the recipients of legal hold notifications are known as data custodians or simply as custodians. Later, when documents from these custodians are uploaded to the database, these custodians will become regular Everlaw custodians that are stored in document metadata and searchable in the query builder. The process of linking custodians from legal holds to uploaded documents is covered in detail in Connecting legal holds to documents on the platform below.

Custodian information is stored on the Custodians tab of the Legal Holds page. To add custodians, click on the “Add custodians” button in the upper right, then select whether you want to add a single custodian or import many custodians from a CSV file. A CSV import template is provided on this page. To learn more about uploading custodians, visit our legal hold custodian documentation here


After upload, all custodians will be displayed in a table on the Custodians tab. Clicking on the custodian’s row in the table will bring up a side panel where users can view and edit custodian information. To edit custodian information, simply click on the field you want to edit and type in the new entry. This side panel also contains information about the legal holds in the database that the custodian is under.



Legal holds: Creating and issuing legal holds

To create a new legal hold, head to the Legal Holds tab and click the green “New legal hold” button. After clicking this button, you will see a dialog where you can enter the name of the hold. If any other holds exist in the database, you can choose to copy all settings, including custodians, hold notice text, and renotification and escalation settings, from that hold, or start with a blank hold.


After clicking Create, you’ll be taken to the legal hold creation wizard. The first step in the legal hold creation wizard asks users to select relevant custodians from the custodian list.


Next, you’ll need to draft the hold notice email. You must enter a subject, hold issuer name, and hold issuer email address. The issuer email address will be used as the reply-to email if custodians try to reply to the hold notification email.


To edit the hold notice text, click on the body of the email. A dialog box containing an email editor will appear. From here, you can copy the text of the hold notice from another hold in the database using the “Copy from” button at the top of the dialog, or create the hold notice text from scratch. In your notice, you can include merge fields such as #CustodianName and #CustodianEmail, which will personalize the hold notices for each custodian. Note that the “Go to acknowledge hold” button will automatically be attached to the hold notice email and cannot be deleted.


You can also send a test email from this page.

The next two steps in the wizard define automatic renotification and escalation settings. Renotification emails are emails that remind custodians they have not yet acknowledged their legal hold, and escalation emails are emails informing the custodian’s manager that the custodian has not yet acknowledged their hold. If you turn on auto-renotification and auto-escalation, these notices will be sent automatically after the selected interval. You can edit the message attached to the automatic emails, as well as include additional cc and bcc recipients. 


The final step in the wizard displays a summary of all chosen settings. From here, you can view a list of all custodians selected for the hold; send test emails for the initial hold notice, renotification notice, and escalation notice; and make any necessary changes.


Finally, you can send your hold notice by selecting “Issue & send emails” at the bottom of the wizard. Please note that once emails have been sent, they cannot be unsent.

If you check the box to send summary emails, anyone in the Recipients box will receive a summary email including all the settings displayed on the summary page of the wizard, the text of the hold notice and any auto-renotification and auto-escalation notices, the date and time that the hold was sent, and the name of the associated database. This information can always be accessed on the platform later even if you choose not to send this email.


Legal holds: Custodian acknowledgement

Once the hold notice has been issued, custodians will immediately receive the notifications in their email inboxes. When custodians click the button at the bottom of the email, they will be taken to their personal custodian acknowledgement portal. Custodians do not need to have Everlaw accounts to access this portal. In fact, if custodians do have Everlaw accounts, this portal will not be associated with their existing Everlaw account in any way.


After checking the box and clicking “Confirm acknowledgement”, custodians will see a confirmation page and will receive a confirmation email including the date and time of their acknowledgement. If custodians try to access the portal again, they will simply see a notice informing them that they have already acknowledged their hold.


Legal holds: Hold tracking and management

The legal holds tab contains a list of all holds in the database. Legal holds can have the status Draft, meaning that the hold has not yet been sent out; Issued, meaning that the hold has been issued and is active; and Released, meaning that the hold was previously issued but now custodians have been released from their holds. Draft holds display the date last edited; issued holds display the date issued; and released holds display the date released. 

Issued and released holds also display the number of custodians under the hold. For issued holds, this number is broken down into the number of custodians who have acknowledged the hold, the number of custodians who have not yet acknowledged the hold, and the number of custodians who have been released from the hold (if any).

Notably, only drafted holds can be deleted. Once holds have been issued, that record is preserved until the entire database is deleted.


Clicking “View” will take you to a dashboard where you can view information about all the custodians who have ever been issued this hold. As you can see in the image below, the Custodians subtab contains a custodian table with information broken down by custodian. 


The “Hold status” column indicates whether that custodian is under an active hold. The custodians who are under active holds will have their hold status marked as Issued. If any custodians have been released from the hold, their status will be marked as Released. 

Custodians who are under active holds will also have the “Acknowledgement status” column filled out, indicating their current acknowledgement status on the active hold.

The “Communication history” column contains a record of every single event involving that custodian. Events are generated whenever a hold notice, auto-renotification, auto-escalation, manual renotification, or manual escalation email is sent; whenever a custodian acknowledges their hold; and whenever a custodian is released from the hold. You can download the information in this table by selecting custodians, clicking the 3-dot menu that appears at the top of the table, then clicking “Export report”.


From this same table, if you select only custodians who have not yet acknowledged their holds, the buttons Renotify and Escalate will become active. Selecting these buttons will send a manual renotification notice to the selected custodian or manual escalation notice to the selected custodian’s manager. You will be able to edit the renotification or escalation message before sending the emails. 


If you want to view a chronological list of all events on the hold, not broken down by custodian, click on the Activity subtab. From here, you can filter by event date and export a record of chronological events by clicking on the Export button at the upper right of the table. Within the table, clicking the blue text (“5 custodians”) will pop out a list of custodians involved in the event. Clicking on the preview icon under “View emails” will bring up an exact record of the email(s) sent, including email text, email issuer, date/time sent, and To/From/Cc/Bcc/Subject fields.



Legal holds: Editing and releasing legal holds

If you need to make changes to your legal hold notice or settings after it has already been issued, click on the 3-dot menu at the top right of the page. From here, you will see options to add more custodians to the hold, and view or edit the hold notice email, issuer contact, auto-renotification settings, and auto-escalation settings. 


Editing and reissuing a hold notice email will reset all custodians’ acknowledgement statuses to Not Acknowledged, although old acknowledgement events will still be recorded in the Communication History column and on the Activity tab. All custodians on the hold will be required to acknowledge the updated and reissued notice.

To release some but not all custodians from the hold, select the custodians they want to release, then select the Release button at the top of the table, next to the Renotify and Escalate buttons. To release all custodians from the hold, select the “Release hold” button in the upper right. Holds will only receive the status “Released” when all custodians have been released from the hold.

Whenever any custodians are released, users will be asked to select whether they want to send release notice emails to custodians or silently release the custodians from the hold without notifying them. Release events will be recorded in the platform whether or not custodians receive release emails.



Legal holds: Connecting legal holds to documents on the platform

Users with both upload and legal hold permissions will now see a legal holds section on the Details page when running a native upload. If the documents in the native upload should be associated with a legal hold in the database, select that legal hold from the dropdown. Once the legal hold has been selected, the custodian dropdown on the Custodians step will automatically include all custodians on that legal hold under the header “From legal hold”.


From here, users should select the appropriate custodian from the legal hold. Users can select different custodians for each subfolder.

Once the upload has been completed, documents associated with each custodian will be displayed on the legal hold custodian table under “Documents collected”. 


Users can click on the blue number in this column to be taken to a results table with all documents collected from this custodian.

To learn more about legal holds, please visit our legal hold documentation center here.


Filtering in the results table

Everlaw now allows users to filter columns in the results table. To add a filter, click on the filter icon next to the column header, make your selections, then click Add.


You can choose whether you want the documents to have all of the selected values or any of the selected values (for filters where it makes sense to do so). In the Codes filter shown below, the user has selected to include documents that have been coded with any of Color: Blue or Type: B.


The number next to each value indicates the number of documents in the table with the associated code. Before a filter has been applied, filter values are displayed in order of document count. After a filter has been applied, selected values will be brought to the top of the filter menu for ease of use.

For numeric filters such as Num Pages, Billable Size, and Date Sent, you will see sliding-scale filters as shown here. If you are viewing the filter for an alias field, you may see that the menu displays “Hits in this range” instead of “Documents in this range”. This is because an individual document may have values for multiple fields combined in one alias field.




If a column, such as the Notes column, does not have a filter icon, no filter is available for that column at this time.

Once a filter has been applied, the filter icon will change shape and become blue, and you will see a filter label appear above the results table. The label will contain information about the column, the selected elements, and whether documents must contain any of or all of the selected elements.


Clicking on the filter label or clicking on the filter icon again will reopen the filter menu. From there, users will be able to make changes to the existing filter. To delete a filter, simply click the trash can icon at the bottom left of the filter menu.


If you want to apply their filters to the underlying search, click on the 3-dot menu at the top right of the results table, then select “Create new search from filtered results”. This will create a new search card with no filters applied; the filters will be integrated into the base query itself. However, the old search card with filters will not be deleted.


Filters are persistent, and they will be saved when users refresh the page or return to the results table from the homepage. Homepage cards for filtered searches, binders, and document sets will now include a filter icon and the number of documents displayed after the filter has been applied. In the example below, the binder “Example binder” has 915 documents, but the applied filters mean that only 75 documents are currently visible.


Because filters can be saved, Everlaw will no longer merge two search cards with identical underlying search queries. You will be able to create two identical searches and apply different filters on top of those searches. Furthermore, sharing searches will also share filters.

Results table filtering is integrated with the data visualizer tool. If a filter menu has a data visualization option, you will see the option to “Open Visualizer for advanced filtering” at the bottom of the menu. This will open the data visualizer to the page that corresponds to the selected filter menu. 


If you’ve already applied a filter in the results table, that filter will persist in the data visualizer. Likewise, if you create a new filter in the data visualizer, then returns to the results table via the “View results table” button, that filter will persist in the results table. All data visualizer filters now have Any of/All of options (where it makes sense to do so) to more closely match filters in the results table.


To learn more, please visit our article about filtering in the results table.


Allow for ordered fields within aliases

When creating metadata aliases under Project Settings, you can now choose the order of the metadata fields being aliased! This will allow searches with that alias to pull from the fields in the order they are listed, rather than just in alphabetical order.

To configure the order of fields in an alias, go to the Metadata tab of Project Settings. Click on an alias to expand it. Then, simply drag and drop the fields to reorder them.

Field order for metadata aliases can be configured under the “Metadata” tab of Project Settings. Users can expand an alias and drag and drop the fields to reorder them.


You can also use the icons in the alias toolbar to alphabetize the fields again, as well as show or hide all the fields in an alias.


You can learn more about metadata aliases in our article on document metadata.


Sorting and filtering homepage cards

You can now filter and sort your homepage cards! Simply click on the expand icon next to each column’s title to access sorting and filtering options. Both sorting and filtering can be applied simultaneously to cards; for example, filtering by card type and sorting alphabetically by card name. Card sorting will persist across sessions while filtering will reset upon collapsing the associated column. To return to your default homepage, click on the collapse icon next to the column’s title. 


Sorting and filtering are available on all homepage views, such as in the “Favorites” and “Shared with me” view, as well as in any of your folders. Learn more about filtering and sorting homepage cards in our general homepage overview article


Organization Page updates

With this release comes a renaming of the “Organization Admin page” to the “Organization Page.” This renaming also includes updates to the Organization page’s user interface. Namely, a new icon on the toolbar, as well as breaking the Projects and Users page into a Projects tab and a Users tab. 


The new Organization page


The old Organization Admin page icon, to be replaced in this release


The new Organization page icon


Allow for overlapping Bates ranges

With this release, Everlaw provides users the option to upload documents with overlapping Bates ranges. Database Admins can now allow for overlapping Bates ranges by enabling the “Overlapping Bates” setting which is a toggle located within the General tab on the Database Settings page. When the “Overlapping Bates” setting is toggled, documents with overlapping Bates ranges will be allowed for new uploads to that database.


Additionally, Everlaw’s processed data uploader can now identify documents that overlap with the Bates ranges of documents in the same upload or that already exist in the same database. 


Note for AU, UK, and EU users: By default, the “Overlapping Bates” setting will be enabled for all new databases.

Learn more about the "Overlapping Bates" setting in our article on database administrators. 


Document access management for ECA projects

Document access management is now available in ECA projects. Administrators can create user groups in ECA projects, then restrict certain groups’ access to certain documents. Please note that document access management is the only permissioning available in ECA. Users with document access restrictions will no longer be able to access other parts of the ECA platform, including uploads, search term reports, analytics, clustering, and project settings. However, these restricted users will still have access to normal ECA workflows, including document promotion.

To create a user group in ECA, head to the Groups tab of the Project Settings page and click on the green New Group button.


Users can choose to create a new group with default permissions, meaning that all documents are accessible, or copy an existing group’s permissions if any groups exist.

Users should then go to the Document Access tab, choose the newly created group from the dropdown, and change document access to Partial. From there, users will be able to select the documents that should be visible to the users in the restricted group, using the same process as they would in a normal review project.


Please note that at least one administrative group with full document access must exist in the ECA project. To learn more, check out our article on ECA.



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