What is a review platform?
A review platform is a method of allowing people from within an office, or around the world, to view, search and identify documents as part of an electronic discovery case.
What goes into a review platform?
Data that has been collected, culled and processed is loaded into a review platform, which allows the legal teams or investigators to review the data. The interface for the most review platforms is a web browser; with the most well known exception being Attenex, which uses Citrix, due to some of the more advanced functionality of the interface.
What does a review platform do?
A review platform can host all of the documents for a case, and allows some or all of the following functions:
- Keyword searching of documents
- Filtering, de-duplication, and ordering documents by dates, file types, location, etc.
- Marking of documents for relevance/privilege
- Redaction of documents
- Document management for disclosure. Tracking the speed and quality of the review, and production for courts
Some review platforms have the ability to conduct near-duplication, find conversations threads for of emails, and concept searching, though the traditional “linear” review is simply based on reviewers going through one document at a time.
There are a wide variety of products on the market, but they all serve the same basic functions highlighted above. What distinguishes one product from another is the ease of interface and the ability for a law firm to manage their review. E.g can searches be saved? Is it clear which document has been marked relevant or not relevant, and by who? How are families of documents kept together? Can you redact a document easily? How are spreadsheets handled? Does it have its own viewer? Can you print out documents required? Is tiffing conducted on the fly or separately?
On face value all review platforms may appear the same, but the devil really is in the detail.
Are review platforms secure?
Review platforms are built to be secure, with a variety of security policies that are available. For example, in addition to a user name and password required for access, the sites access can be restricted to IP address; this means that only certain offices can view the documents. Some review platforms even allow security to be increased by the use of RSA dongles. Its impossible to make anything online 100% secure, but there have been no reported case of review platforms being hacked (and there must be a lot of incentive to do so), so something must be working.
How much do review platforms cost?
In the UK there are generally two options available for companies who are keen to have their data on a review platform, they can buy a review platform and host the data themselves or they can ask a vendor to do this. The first option is expensive, often running into $100,000s once all the servers, training, and rack space has been allowed for.
This option is normally only taken by large law firms. The second option is to ask a vendor to host the data. The prices just for hosting vary from one company to a next, and the review platform, but there are normally costs per GB per month. The costs can vary from tens to over a hundred pounds per month per gigabyte. Its also not unusal for companies to charge loading fees, which are also based on a gigabyte fee.