Document review is the process of examining documents to identify relevant, responsive, and privileged information. It is an essential part of the litigation process, as it helps attorneys to prepare for trial and to present their case to the court.
There are many reasons why document review is important. Here are just a few:
- To identify relevant information. Document review can help attorneys identify relevant documents to their case. This is important because it helps narrow the scope of the case and focus on the most critical evidence.
- To identify responsive information. Document review can also help attorneys identify documents responsive to discovery requests from the opposing party. This is important because it helps to ensure that all relevant information is disclosed.
- To identify privileged information. Document review can also help attorneys identify privileged documents that cannot be disclosed to the opposing party. This is important because it protects the client's confidential information.
- To prepare for trial. Document review helps attorneys prepare for trial by allowing them to review the evidence and develop their case.
- To present their case to the court. Document review also helps attorneys to present their case to the court by allowing them to select the most important evidence and to prepare their arguments.
Document review can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is essential for successful litigation.
- American Bar Association: Document Review Basics: Research Guides: Secondary Sources: ALRs, Encyclopedias, Law Reviews, Restatements, & Treatises: American Law Reports
- Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 26: Discovery: 28 USC App Fed R Civ P Rule 26: Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery
- Sedgwick: The Importance of Document Review: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick | Writing - Articles
In addition to the reasons listed above, document review is also essential for the following reasons:
- To comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Many industries are subject to regulations that require businesses to retain and review certain documents. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires publicly traded companies to retain and review all financial records for at least seven years.
- To protect the business from litigation. Document review can help businesses to identify and address potential legal risks. For example, a business may review its contracts to identify potential breaches or employee policies to identify potential violations.
- To improve the efficiency of the business. Document review can help businesses to identify and eliminate unnecessary or outdated documents. This can help improve the business's efficiency and reduce costs.
Overall, document review is an essential process for any business. By regularly reviewing their documents, businesses can identify and address risks, comply with regulations, and improve efficiency.