Effective data management in the face of disputes and investigations.
Celerity’s senior management team has been assisting with in-house counsel and law firms for years on a wide range of cases and proceedings, including those related to:
- Breach of Contract
- Class Action
- Intellectual Property
- Joint Defense
- Labor and Employment
- Unfair Competition
Recent and current Celerity clients include Fortune 500 companies and 14 of the AmLaw 2016 top 25 law firms for whom we have assisted in one or more of the following areas:
Because hoping for the best is not a strategy.
The fact is, companies need to have an efficient and defensible process – before litigation hits. Our services cover the spectrum:
The goal of the assessment phase is to provide the legal team with a clear view of the company’s litigation readiness state and obtain the needed details to define a strategy for improvement. We’ll interview key employees in the legal and IT departments, as well as outside counsel and your discovery services providers, to understand all functions in the process, current procedures, and the distinct needs and constraints of your business. We’ll also assess your company’s litigation risk profile based on your particular industry, line of business, and relevant historical information. We then evaluate your current legal hold and discovery approach against real-world scenarios to identify potential gaps and associated risks. Based on your particular business constraints – budget, IT infrastructure, resources, existing applications, and existing records management program – we’ll also propose a strategy for improvement.
Discovery Plan Development
Based on the learning acquired in the initial assessment phase and the resulting litigation readiness strategy, Celerity will help you define a tailored discovery plan and legal hold policy and process. The litigation plan serves as a systematic guide that covers all phases of the discovery lifecycle. It includes the roles and responsibilities of legal staff, IT, records management, outside counsel, and discovery service providers. It also provides process workflows, tools and templates for preservation, chain of custody, collection, review, and production and serves as a complete, transparent, and auditable process to follow. Celerity can also assist in testing or auditing the plan and train internal staff on the process.
ESI Data Mapping
Understanding your electronically stored information (ESI) is vital. This knowledge, summarized in an ESI data map, facilitates the execution of legal holds and the entire discovery process. We’ll consult with you regarding the repositories and data types that should be contained in your ESI data map and then conduct interviews and surveys to complete this essential document. An up-to-date and complete map will eliminate the need to reinvent the wheel each time you have a discovery matter and will enable greater consistency in your discovery responses and disclosures. It also serves as a foundational element in your records management program.
Our key strengths are our understanding of the interplay between records management and litigation readiness, our decades of hands-on legal hold and discovery experience, and the fact that we are technology agnostic – we are very familiar with the major litigation readiness solutions on the market as well as ECM and records management tools and how they relate.
Whether you are looking for a high-level understanding of your litigation preparation needs or detailed assistance with implementing a solution, we’d be happy to provide you with a complementary consultation. Contact us today.
Providing beginning-to-end legal discovery services and solutions.
Celerity provides a full range of consulting and technology, on both a strategic and tactical level, across the discovery lifecycle:
Celerity professionals advise on discovery scope and strategy to help ensure an effective and successful litigation. Our team has a depth and breadth of discovery expertise dating back to 1986. Since those early days, when WordPerfect tables were considered cutting edge, we have continuously evolved to stay at the forefront of discovery technology, rules, and protocols, to help you craft a winning approach, including:
- Informing early-stage discovery strategy: Performing high-level data mapping and search-term analysis
- Preparing for Rule 26(f) meetings: Advising on scope and limits, rolling discovery, production formats, waivers, etc.
- Advising on and assisting with legal hold: Helping with hold message distribution, and interviewing custodians to identify who may have responsive information
- Mapping ESI data: Identifying where responsive data may reside
- Creating the discovery plan: Including collection scope control, evidence tracking and workflow protocols, reporting , schedule, and early data assessment tactics
Beyond the identification phase, Celerity makes a point of providing a strategic perspective while managing and executing the discovery support tasks required. We also can help you develop a proactive litigation readiness strategy and a standard approach to discovery across cases.
Preservation and Collection
When discovery begins, you need a partner focused on ensuring potentially responsive data is both protected and collected in a defensible manner. Celerity assists with:
- Legal hold: Managing dissemination of and response to preservation orders.
- Collection strategy: Recommending the right data collection approach (e.g. imaging or targeted collection or a combination of the two, custodial versus enterprise collection, back-ups versus live data, etc.).
- Data source scoping: Assessing which data sources may contain responsive information (through server scans, back-up tape header scans, viewing sample files in native format, etc.) to narrow the population to collect.
- Web-based surveys: Fielding web-based, standardized surveys to initially scope the sources and quantities of responsive data.
- Custodian interviews: Phone and in-person interviews to clarify the existence, types, and quantities of responsive data.
- Forensic collection: Rapidly deploying EnCase Certified Examiners and consultants to collect the evidence in a forensically sound manner, protecting against spoliation. Additional digital forensics services such as finding and restoring deleted or hidden files, or researching computer usage. Restoration and collection of archives and backup data
Throughout, Celerity follows best-practice protocols, preserving chain of custody through proper approvals and documentation, reporting on progress from point of identification to final delivery, and performing gap analyses upon collection completion to verify no data was missed.
Celerity helps clients get better visibility into their case data and to defensibly reduce the data set to process and review, thereby reducing the discovery cost and timeline.
- Early Data Assessment
Our clients make better early case assessment decisions with our advice on early data assessment, helping craft and execute a strategy for defensible culling decisions before processing and before review.
- Pre-Processing Culling: After collection, Celerity uses proven techniques such as “de-NISTing” and metadata searching and filtering to weed out significant quantities of non-responsive data. Through real-time reporting on the impact of various searching and filtering criteria, and the ability to preview data in native format prior to processing, and random and logical sampling of the excluded data set to confirm non-responsiveness, you’ll be able to make defensible decisions about your final culling criteria.
- Pre-Review Culling: Celerity can run similar search and filter analysis after processing, when files have been de-compressed and de-duped, and more meta-data is available. Again, we recommend performing both random and logical sampling to the excluded data set prior to finalizing the culling criteria.
- Review Optimization
Whether you choose to do your review in Relativity, Oliver, or another review platform, our analysis services can dramatically improve your review and overall case effectiveness.
- Near Duplicate Analysis: This technique groups documents which are nearly identical in content and word order, based on similarity thresholds established by the client, improving responsive, issue, and privilege coding consistency and decreasing review time.
- Email Threading: Similar to near-dupe analysis, email threading groups emails together to decrease review time and improve coding consistency. Independent email messages that are part of the same “thread” or conversation are linked using content, not just metadata, with the last email in the thread identified.
- Technology-Assisted Review / Predictive Coding: A predictive-coding, or “TAR,” approach relies on user-defined “exemplars” of responsive and non-responsive documents to train a coding engine, which then applies those decisions across the data population. Predictive coding can both improve coding accuracy and dramatically decrease review time.
- Conceptual Search/Clustering: This technique groups documents together based upon conceptual similarity, providing both a broader and deeper view of the data by letting the documents “speak to you” and reveal common themes or “clusters” that may not have been identified through Boolean or “2G” search tactics. Used in conjunction with a linear review, it can be a valuable addition to your case research toolkit. Or, it can be used as a primary tool for performing a non-linear review.
- Review Verification: Prior to production, Celerity recommends random sampling of the non-responsive data set to confirm exclusions and strengthen the defensibility of your discovery process.
Whether your requirements are in MB or TB, we mobilize rapidly to ingest your electronic data and process it according to industry-standard protocols.
- Filtering, pre-processing, in a forensically-defensible manner
- Creating MD5 hash values
- Extracting metadata and handling attachments and email threads
- Performing OCR of hard copy images or PDF documents (as needed)
- Handling password-protected or encrypted files and processing exceptions
- Tagging or removal of duplicates
- Indexing to optimize searching
- Providing additional bibliographic and subjective coding if needed
- Converting native files into PDF or TIF as/when required
- Processing of mobile device data and voice mail
- Exporting data to all common litigation support packages or uploading it into our hosting solutions, Relativity and Oliver
While our team handles all manner of projects, we shine in complex and large-scale processing efforts, with very large data sets, a multitude of data types, and extreme deadlines.
Celerity offers clients two hosted review options.
- Oliver Hosted Review: Celerity’s online document review platform provides a lean and customizable feature set at a very fair price.
- Relativity Hosted Review: Relativity is an industry-leading, fully-featured review platform with self-administration capabilities to allow clients to handle the management aspects of the review.
A range of training and support services ensure your team makes the most of the hosted solution, including an option for a dedicated 24-hour support hotline. Hosted data security is ensured through a world-class data center, featuring:
- Compliance with SSAE 16 (via an SOC1, Type II Report), International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board ISAE No. 3402, and PCI Security Standards
- Restricted access (bio-metric scanners, 24-hour surveillance, FOB key entry)
- Fault-tolerant building and server architecture
- Redundant power
- Mirrored disaster recovery
- 99.9% up-time guarantee
Should you need additional assistance with your review, we can advise on the approach, handle the recruitment, deliver the training, provide the facility and workstations, provide analytical help in optimizing the review, manage the reviewers to ensure both quality and productivity, and report daily on progress and results.
Celerity can handle your attorney review from start to finish. By taking away the management headache, Celerity allows you to focus on responsive data and how it impacts your legal strategy. And, our lower cost structure and finely-tuned solution provide cost savings over traditional law-firm-run reviews. Key points of our solution:
- Management: Celerity provides a dedicated project manager to serve as your single point of contact. This manager will help you define the review workflow, report regularly on productivity and results, and handle the challenges of managing multiple reviewers, multiple waves of review and criteria changes.
- Quality: In addition to ensuring proper review workflow and management, your manager will further minimize risk of error by ensuring appropriate training at project inception and throughout. In addition, our team uses production line quality control techniques such as performing 100% QC on beginning reviewers, “halting the line” for ad-hoc training if review criteria changes, and performing regular random sampling of reviewed documents to confirm accuracy.
- Staffing: Celerity can hire contract attorneys and/or subject matter experts to supplement client attorneys as needed. We work with proven legal staffing agency partners who offer competitive rates. Many of our consultants are also skilled at document review and can be leveraged as needed.
- Choice of Review Platforms: Choose between Oliver or Relativity for your review platform.
- Review Facilities: Our primary review facilities in San Francisco and Seattle can provide up to fifty dual-screen workstations. We can also provide technology, hardware, and staff to conduct a document review at the client site.
- Review Optimization: Celerity can provide analytics such as email threading, near de-duplication, predictive coding (Technology-Assisted Review or TAR) , and concept clustering for an accelerated review. Celerity can advise on non-linear review methods as well.
Our years of experience running hundreds of document review matters with a wide array of review platforms allow us to deliver the best combination of technology, service, and support.
Executing a document production requires careful oversight, especially in cases of rolling productions to multiple parties, where significant redaction is required or where delivery formats are unique. With Celerity as your review partner, you can ensure this crucial step goes flawlessly by tapping into our exceptional production support, which includes:
- Recommendation of most effective production delivery formats
- Aggressive project management of production deadlines
- Assistance with performing and managing document redaction
- Tracking production to multiple parties
- Privilege log generation
- Final QC of production set prior to delivery
- Additional services such as image endorsement, TIF/PDF conversion, high-speed printing, and witness binder creation
Celerity has assisted on productions to meet the specific requests of parties, such as the DOJ and the SEC, and is especially qualified in cases where production specifications or logistics are highly complex.
Celerity also provides ad-hoc assistance for productions or other litigation efforts; see our document services.
Data expertise to prepare case strategy, support or disprove damage claims, assess class certification, and more.
Celerity’s information management expertise extends well beyond discovery. Our historical roots are in forensic accounting and claim analysis and, while we’ve evolved to emphasize discovery and trial support services, our skill at gathering, coding, processing, normalizing and reporting on underlying financial and business data is second to none.
Our experience ranges from gathering and analyzing employee payroll data in order to report on employee health care benefits eligibility…to integrating and analyzing sales data in support of a multi-billion dollar, multi-year settlement…to reviewing and compiling thousands of SAP records and invoices to document a breach of contract claim. And, much more.
We are well-versed in working with structured data from most electronic sources, including individual computers, company networks, accounting and payroll systems, complex data systems such as SAS and SAP, and proprietary databases. In addition, we have the ability to convert unstructured data, such as data contained within Word or PDF documents, into the structured format required in order to be properly analyzed. From basic queries to complex cursors and algorithms, all of our work is performed in a systematic manner and can be supported through declarations or testimony.
An advantage of engaging us early is that we may perform a first-cut assessment of potential damages prior to bringing in experts, which allows our approach and findings to be evaluated under the veil of privilege.
We can quickly assemble the appropriate team of analysts and consultants to meet your project’s needs in a cost-effective manner as our rates are generally lower than those of accounting or audit firms.
When a deeper look into electronic evidence is required.
Celerity’s forensic analysis services can help clients find answers hidden within electronic data that typical processing, analysis and review don’t reveal. These services are especially helpful when electronic evidence has been damaged, when there are concerns that custodian evidence may have been tampered with, or when file or system metadata may hold the key to critical case questions.
Specifically, our forensic consultants can:
- Find and restore lost, hidden or damaged files
- Analyze operating system and file artifacts to understand user behavior, including file deletion and anti-forensic activity
- Analyze other forensic expert reports
Our team includes professionals with EnCE credentials and experts who have provided affidavits, opinions and expert testimony.
When it is time to go to trial, it’s time for the right trial partner.
Celerity consultants have supported attorneys at every stage of the litigation and trial process. Our electronic discovery and information management experience helps you take that final winning step.
|Data Preparation Services||Exhibit Creation Services||Trial Presentation Services|
Our points of differentiation are our expertise at managing data and providing support under pressure.
Cost-effective help with claims tracking, management, and technology.
Celerity has significant claims administration experience, as well as experience in identifying eligible claimants or class members and quantifying claimant awards. Key services include:
- Management of claims distribution process (either electronically or in hard-copy format)
- Claims receipt, tracking, and management
- Secure, hosted claims tracking database application, configured from our existing platform, Oliver
- Claims resolution support, including research and discovery
- Quantification of claims (see also our Analytical Services web page)
- Development of Proof of Claim (“POC”) Forms
Our claims identification, quantification, and notification experience includes work on multi-billion dollar bankruptcy matters and class action litigations involves tens of thousands of class members.