MS36Fail: eDiscovery Pitfalls Hiding in Plain (Pur)view

MS36Fail: eDiscovery Pitfalls Hiding in Plain (Pur)view

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with special guest Liz Victor, senior paralegal at  Williams Companies, about the perils and pitfalls of the Microsoft 365 Purview eDiscovery tool, a session we cheekily called MS36Fail: eDiscovery Pitfalls Hiding in Plain (Pur)view.” (Ba-dum-tss!)

In this session, Liz was kind enough to give us some tips and tricks on dealing with Microsoft data in eDiscovery. You can watch the whole webinar below, or read on for a summary of the biggest challenges with Purview and all the helpful best practices provided by Liz.

The Challenges

We’ve written about some of the issues with Purview before, but this webinar dove a little deeper and identified 6 main challenges you will face when using Purview to conduct eDiscovery. 

Challenge #1: Unindexed Data

There’s a lot of data that gets labeled by Purview as “Unindexed,” which in eDiscovery language means, “Unsearchable.” This is often data in attachments — but Purview won’t even index the email that the attachment is in. Once data is deemed unindexed, you can’t even carve it out by date. If you don’t find a way to go through that data, you could miss crucial evidence (more on that later).

Challenge #2: Limited to Microsoft Data

Except in the top-tier plan, Purview can only process Microsoft data. But since data sources don’t play by Highlander rules, there can be more than one. 

In fact, companies use 73-200 external applications on average, and most of the data in them is discoverable. And even if you have that top-tier plan, loading outside data into Purview is an extremely complicated and involved process that will require your IT team. 

Challenge #3: Weird Limitations

From limitations on the number of searches you can run to the lack of QC tags and full-page redactions, the limitations within Purview are just weird. Or, to use Liz’s term, “Funky.” 

Challenge #4: Unreliable Productions

No Bates stamping. Redactions and deduplication are so unreliable that Microsoft actually recommends using another tool to ensure accuracy. Sensitive metadata sometimes shows up in productions. All signs point to yikes.

Challenge #5: Unintuitive and Slow

All the issues listed above, plus a lack of templates and the requirement that you learn Microsoft’s specific search query rules add up to a LOT of time just learning how Purview works. 

We heard tales from Liz and some webinar attendees about keeping stacks of Microsoft support articles on hand, or even a binder full of them! Learning an eDiscovery tool should not require you to assemble your own encyclopedia. 

Challenge #6: Weak Support

We’ve heard mixed stories about this, with some folks having good experiences and seeing quick response times to support inquiries, and others receiving cryptic answers or waiting as long as two months to hear back.

A lot of these challenges likely stem from the simple fact that Purview wasn’t built for legal teams — it was built for IT. They’re obviously making efforts to make the platform more accessible to the non-IT crowd, but for now, it’s not quite there. 

So what can you do?

The Solution

Liz’s advice is to learn how Purview’s process works so you can develop your own process to deal with Microsoft data, which should involve a more robust eDiscovery tool. This is actually Purview’s recommendation too, as they recommended Liz to use the premium version of Purview as an early case assessment (ECA) tool, and an external tool for actual eDiscovery.

Here’s how a non-Microsoft eDiscovery tool like Logikcull can address those pesky Purview challenges:

#1: Index the Non-Indexed Data

Lots of eDiscovery tools have more robust indexing abilities than Purview. Liz actually experimented with this: She put a data set into both Purview and Logikcull. Nearly 100% of the data that wasn’t indexed by Purview was indexed by Logikcull. And the kicker was that in that unindexed data, she found a responsive document

#2: Handle All Data Easily

Some non-Microsoft eDiscovery tools have integrations with tons of data sources like Google, Slack, and of course Microsoft itself. Logikcull is one of them 😀.

#3: Ditch Limitations

In a proper eDiscovery tool, you can search, tag, and redact to your heart’s content. Logikcull will even do some of that tagging for you automatically with key data like PII or potentially privileged files.

#4: Reliable Productions, Every Time 

When you’re doing a production through an eDiscovery tool, you should never have to worry about whether your redactions will be there, or if sensitive metadata might be included. Look for platforms that were built toward productions: Not only will they be more reliable, they’ll give you a lot more options like producing natives and non-redacted PDFs, applying bulk tags and redactions, and much more.

#5: Speed Up Your Process with Intuitive Tech

I won’t say that every non-Microsoft eDiscovery platform is incredibly intuitive, but they should at least be usable by your legal team and not just IT. 

Logikcull was actually purpose-built for in-house legal teams, and is intuitive enough that your team members can usually just jump in and start culling. Plus, Logikcull and other eDiscovery tools will have far more options to speed up your process, like bulk actions, tons of search options, and templates (to name just a few).

#6: Support That’s Superman Swole

Two months for a response from customer support? Try two minutes. Logikcull’s support team is a legendary group of Kryptonian warriors who channel all the energy of Earth’s yellow sun into helping our customers 24/7/365. We guarantee a response within five minutes –but we average within two. 

So there you have it. Learn the processes and the pitfalls, and then, as Liz said, “Go directly to a [non-Microsoft] tool.” 


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