As they prepare for trial, attorneys have a lot on their minds beyond managing their data and evidence. Most are aware that they’ll need a trial presentation tool once they’re in court, and of course they’re right about that. But they do not consider bringing their entire document review database into trial because they either assume it won’t be necessary, or that the technical logistics of doing so would make it impossible. After all, they’ve carved down the relevant population and believe that’s all they will need during the trial. But trials can be unpredictable even at the best of times.
Searching for and Recalling Documents
When you’re in the courtroom, a lot can come up that you may have overlooked in your document review process. In those instances, it is invaluable to have your discovery review platform at court with you so that you can quickly retrieve and review any documents being discussed.
Today most document review tools are cloud-based, which means you can bring them with you to court provided the courthouse has a reliable internet connection. It’s more efficient to do this than to wait until court closes for the day to find and review any new materials that may have come up, then backtrack on proceedings the following day.
While document review databases may not have been traditionally used in trial, having all of your data at hand can offer your team certain efficiencies, like accelerating your ability to search for and recall documents in the moment at court.
Document review tools offer the ability to quickly search by keyword, similar to how you would in an internet browser like Google. This enables you to easily pull up a document that perhaps you overlooked and now need in the moment during trial.
When You Might Need a Document Review Database in Court
Imagine an instance where someone is giving testimony at trial. They make a fleeting reference to a company email that is not part of the data population you’ve brought to court. If at one point during eDiscovery you reviewed this person’s emails, then they will still be in your review platform and if you’ve brought that database with you to court, you’ll be able to quickly pull up the specific email referenced and examine it for any additional insights.
Or perhaps you are responding to an ad hoc argument and remember a document that will support your point. Having the flexibility to quickly search for and bring up that document will strengthen your case and allow you to avoid stalling for too long as your team hastily searches for it. Document review tools tend to be easy to operate, allowing searches by keyword, relevancy, concept and data type, among other attributes.
You can also use your document review database to pull up metadata on relevant evidence. If someone makes a claim at trial relating to timing or location but you do not have the information to hand, you can use your review tool to do a quick search and identify this key contextual information.
The next time you’re going to court, consider bringing your discovery review tool on the trial laptop. It may seem counter-intuitive but can help you save time and resources, particularly in complicated cases with a large data population to comb through. Whether responding to new information or reviewing a document your team previously overlooked, bringing your review database into court offers you and your team additional flexibility and efficiency.