Tutorial #7 – Indexes of your evidence

Juan PortilloTraining

Download your production

(aka Your Secret Weapon—Discovery Genie’s Indexes of Your Evidence)

After you process a Job, you will download a zip file containing two folders: one containing documents to be disclosed or produced (helpfully named “Draft Production”), and another for your firm’s use in ongoing litigation activities (named “Internal Use Only”).

The “Draft Production” folder contains Bates-numbered PDFs of the documents you have designated for production, together with a spreadsheet-compatible file called “Draft Privilege Log,” which is, well, a draft privilege log. The privilege log can be cut and pasted into a Word document, or else attached to a pleading as Exhibit A (with whatever minimal modifications you use in your practice). In short, the “Draft Production” folder contains parts 1 and 2 of the Genie trifecta—the simple and painless production of electronic records.

Part 3 of the Genie trifecta is in your “Internal Use Only” folder, and consists of two spreadsheets and one subfolder that give you complete mastery of your evidence.

Metadata is power!

The power of the Genie’s indexes comes from metadata, descriptive information about the produced documents. For emails, the metadata is the to, from, cc, bcc, subject, date/time information. For electronic files, like Word documents, the Genie uses the filename and last-modified date.

Metadata is a superpower for understanding and mastering your evidence. With a spreadsheet of the metadata in your case, for example, if you sort the documents by date, voila, you have a timeline of your case, email by email. Or, if you want to see every email from, say, Smith to Wesson, just search your spreadsheet, and bingo, an instant list of all of those emails appears.

Unfortunately, converting records individually to PDF (for example, using Acrobat, print to PDF, or scanning) destroys the metadata, and turns your file into a petrified image of its former self. Some firms realize that an index of their evidence provides a critical advantage in litigation, and actually create an index by hand, by (in essence) retyping the same metadata they destroyed in converting the document into PDF. Other firms just skip this step and surrender a powerful advantage.

No more! The Genie captures metadata, combines it with your notes, and turns it into a complete roadmap of your case.

Discovery Genie doubles the power of metadata.

Discovery Genie not only retains and uses the metadata but enhances your mastery of the evidence by combining your observations from the Notes field in the Review module with the documents’ metadata to create two indispensable litigation tools: the production log and the key documents log.

The production log is a complete roadmap of your production, built from the metadata collected from each and every document you process. How many times has a new issue arisen midstream in litigation, making you go back to review your production yet again for the new issue? Now you have a powerful starting place: instead of going to the documents, first search the production log to find the most likely documents.

The key documents log is even more powerful for most litigators. Any document marked with a check in the Key box tells the Genie to do two things: add the document to the separate Key Document Index, and put an extra copy of the doc into a separate “Key Documents” subfolder. Make notes like “use for Smith depo” or “relates to damages” or “see admission in paragraph 3” so that you never again have to look through stacks of documents to find that one thing you saw that one time. Use your Key Index to plan your depositions and pre-trial motions, find your trial exhibits, and keep your notes on your evidence in the one place you always know where to look. Add notes, color codes, or any other methods you prefer—after all, it’s a spreadsheet you can add to and edit any time you want. If new issues arise and new documents become important, just cut and paste from your Production Log into your Key Document Log to keep your logs up to date. And just add a copy of the document into your Key Documents folder, so that your hot evidence is always in exactly the first place you look. That’s mastery of your evidence, and a genuine advantage to help you win your lawsuit.

The Genie will revolutionize your document production workflow, and turn a gigantic liability into your firm’s secret weapon.

The rest of your Internal Use Only Folder

The Internal Use Only folder also contains a few more important items:

  • A folder with your privileged documents, Bates numbered with a special “PRIV” prefix to ensure you never inadvertently disclose privileged documents.
  • An “Irrelevant Log,” keeping an audit trail of irrelevant records.
  • An invoice, ready to add to your firm’s billing system and to provide to your client.

After you download your files, the Genie keeps them for three days (so that you can download as many copies as you want, or download onto additional computers), and then permanently deletes them. You manage your own documents the way you prefer—and the Genie just helps keep things cheap, fast and easy.