5 Legal Document Review Challenges and How to Overcome them

by Conor Looney | CEO | Dec 19, 2022 | Document Review, LDM Global

Legal Document Review continues to be the main building block for legal cases. However, reviews are much more challenging, as data expands from multiple sources, with a wide variety of information in the form of text, images, call recordings, audio, videos, emails, social media posts, etc. A document review now is much more than just about verifying the accuracy of contracts, pleadings, and other legal documents and support data.  

To finish strongly, Attorneys need to start strong. Document review forms one of those initial pillars that define the outcome of a legal matter. We have identified some of the key challenges lawyers face during the Document Review phase and offered solutions that can resolve issues:  

#1 The ever-increasing eDiscovery Costs 

Legal document reviews are often costly due to the amount of time, resources, and expertise needed to complete the review. Even without a qualified workforce, the expense of hiring lawyers to go through a massive volume of data would have been exorbitant. Considering the enormous annual rise in the video, photographs, and other ESI content, the time required for eDiscovery can increase exponentially and add to the overall cost for the end clients.  

An electronic management system can quickly and efficiently address this issue. With up to terabytes of available storage space, it is convenient and cost-effective. And with just a press of a button, it is quickly retrievable. By making the switch to digital, businesses may store all of their data in the cloud and backup copies on several drives, making it possible to retrieve the original copy in the unlikely event of a crisis or accident. Finally, by incorporating a scheduling function into the data management system, lawyers may swiftly scan and determine which papers should be retained, saving significant time and money. 

#2 Managing Talent and Transparency  

Finding skilled staff is an issue when a large amount of unstructured data exists. Media files frequently contain sensitive, private information that not everyone has access to, notably those found in surveillance tapes, lawyer-client phone calls, and even personal mobile recordings. As a result, businesses cannot just engage anyone to perform eDiscovery. 

Customer service excellence is one of the major drivers of corporate success in many industries, including the legal one. When it comes to paperwork, communication, and other financial matters, clients demand total transparency from legal firms, and to maintain this, a qualified work group is required. This is particularly true for regular, non-corporate clients, who make up the bulk of the clientele for the majority of legal offices. 

Applicants that fit these demanding requirements are frequently limited, and there is fierce rivalry for their attention. Therefore, the availability of a skilled workforce is already one of the greatest obstacles that every large-scale document review face, and it is further made more difficult by the growing volume of ESI content. 

#3 Hard-Pressed Delivery Timelines 

Document reviews can be lengthy and time-consuming because the flexibility of the court may not be expanding along with the volume of unstructured ESI, which puts lawyers in an impossible scenario. 

Time must be invested effectively to meet deadline constraints, and for reviewers to achieve that, there must be clarity from the start of the document review process. Moreover, without initially knowing what evidence is present, the kind of evidence they won’t have until discovery is well underway, legal teams find it challenging to give clear, straightforward instructions. 

As a result, legal methods necessarily change as discovery discloses new information, necessitating additional reviews, more time, and more money, and the most unfortunate part is that it creates more room for error. 

#4 Command over Data Errors 

 When reviewing legal documents, errors in the document can occur if the document is not properly reviewed and analyzed. It is crucial to precisely record and maintain all information during various stages of the legal process, such as client intake, eDiscovery, and court filings, so that it may be used or referred to later. 

Any comprehensive review will inevitably contain some degree of inaccuracy. Attorneys can try to narrow this gap by conducting eDiscovery in phases, with each file going through numerous stages of inspection before receiving a full pass. Multi-tiered reviews do, however, sometimes make the problem worse while also helping to reduce the margin of error. 

These misunderstandings will at the very least result in other rounds of review from the already time-constrained legal staff. With this, they can lead to the omission of an important key piece of evidence or even the publication of data that ought to have been suppressed due to its privileged or classified nature. 

#5 Maintaining Privacy and Security  

Privacy concerns may arise when reviewing confidential documents. Legal documents are sensitive, so maintaining their security is essential. A law firm may determine the amount of security it needs for a given file, aside from records that are governed by the government or other legal entities. 

Failure to remove privileged or confidential material can cause major repercussions for a case’s outcome as well as the future of the entire firm. From the incorrect release of text documents, there are additional risks to consider, such as identity theft, images of a home address, car plates, conversations, and other private activities. However, these are not the only risks that could jeopardize the efficacy of document review. 

Additional issues with Legal Document Review 

Bias: Bias may enter into a review if the reviewer is extremely subjective in their analysis. 

Complexity: Legal documents can be complex and difficult to interpret, causing potential misunderstandings. 

Misrepresentations: Misrepresentations may occur if the document is not accurately interpreted. 

Incomplete information: The review may be incomplete if certain documents are not included in the study.

Unfamiliarity: If the reviewer is unfamiliar with the legal documents or laws, they may miss important details or interpret the documents incorrectly.  

Summing Up  

One significant step toward lowering legal document review expenses is to become aware of the main inefficiency traps affecting your review process and learn how to prevent them.  

Consider collaborating with a review group that has the relevant experience and is supported by analytics, cutting-edge technology, and efficient workflows. To guarantee that your document review is consistently effective, accurate, and defendable, your review team should collaborate with the client, counsel, and a world-class eDiscovery partner such as LDM Global.