eDiscovery Pro Tip: Review 100% of Your Emails By Reading a Fraction of Them

eDiscovery Pro Tip: Review 100% of Your Emails By Reading a Fraction of Them

When going over an email thread during your document review, you might be tempted to read each and every one of the emails to make sure that you don’t miss any important detail. But did you know that, on average, 75% of the emails in a thread include 100% of the content?

There are tons of emails that you can skip in your review since the same information will be contained in subsequent emails. That’s why we’ve created the QC tag called “Inclusive Email.” By just clicking a button, you’ll slash your review set by 25% on average—across all matters. 

Read on to better understand this simple but helpful feature and how to make the most out of it. 

How many times has it happened? You collect all relevant emails from all relevant custodians, you upload them to your eDiscovery platform, you try to get smarter about your review by narrowing down your search to the specific time period where the events of the case took place—only to realize you still have thousands of emails to review.

Frustrating, isn’t it? 

In this day and age, the volume of digital information we generate is vast. An average person receives more than 120 emails a day, and with the spread of remote work, that number keeps growing exponentially by the second. 

Therefore, eDiscovery technology needs to constantly come up with new and innovative ways to cull through those growing volumes of data. 

While basic culling techniques like deduplication or email threading are really helpful to focus the review on the most worthwhile documents, even more sophisticated features are necessary to keep up with this explosion of data and ensure that you’re always looking at the least number of documents possible, without leaving out anything potentially relevant. 

The latest way Logikcull has found to tackle this problem is by allowing you to filter by the most inclusive emails. 

You Don’t Need to Read All Your Emails to Review All Your Emails

What’s an inclusive email? Simple. 

As clearly explained in our recent article about inclusive emails, an email is considered inclusive when it has content (text, metadata, attachments, etc.) that is unique, and therefore not included in any other email of the same thread. What this means is that you won’t need to look at emails that are not inclusive ones, because they are all contained within the inclusive email. 

This apparently banal filter can actually reduce your data set by 25% or more across all matters without losing any relevant detail. You’ll see 100% of the content from potentially relevant emails by reviewing just ¾ of them. 

And how do you use it? Well, you click on the QC tag that says “Inclusive Email.”

But to illustrate the benefits of inclusive email detection, let’s take a typical email thread: 

One custodian, Tib, sends an email to Laura, who replies back and adds an attachment. Tib wants to get Robbie involved in the discussion, so he adds him into the thread and replies to both Laura and Robbie. The latter replies to both of them sending an attachment too. Tib then replies again to both but accidentally removes the attachment Robbie had previously sent. And, to end the conversation, Laura sends a final note to both her colleagues. Thread closed.

As you’ll see on the diagram below, this interaction generated six total emails but resulted in just three inclusive emails, which means that you would have only needed to review half of the emails generated instead of the entire thread. 

To better understand why these three are inclusive emails, note that the last email of the first interaction between Tib and Laura contains all the information and attachments from that exchange. Then, there’s Robbie’s first email, which contains an attachment that gets  deleted later, and finally, there’s Laura’s final email, which includes the complete interaction between Robbie, Tib, and Laura—minus the deleted attachment.

That thread got very messy very quickly. And we’re only talking about three custodians and a total of six emails. Imagine a thread with dozens of custodians involved that branch out several times with attachments being added and removed along the way. Inclusive email filtering lets you focus on the smallest set of emails that contain all the information you need to see. 

You can also use the “Inclusive Email” QC tag in combination with the “Last Email” tag to see all the emails that contain unique information on a thread plus the one email that ended the conversation, to quickly understand how the interaction concluded.

These useful tags make it much easier (and faster) to cull out those documents that don’t require eyes-on review. Used in combination with any other relevant filters such as date ranges or email senders and recipients, you’ll make that you review 100% of all relevant documents by actually looking at the smallest data set possible. That’s what one would call “efficiency.”

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