Journal of Conflict Resolution
E-Discovery Mediation & The Art of Keyword Search
By Daniel B. Garrie and Edwin Machuca
Identifying keywords when combing through large volumes of electronically stored information (“ESI”) is a necessary requirement of electronic discovery. Finding ways to streamline this process in order to achieve maximum efficiency is a major priority for any party involved in the process of electronic discovery, to say nothing of the need to maintain the costs associated with such search at an economically feasible level. A workable solution to both needs is the use of a mediator, neutral, or special master (collectively, a “Special Master”). The process of selecting a Special Master can be daunting, however, choosing one with the ability to not only comprehend the legal elements of the case, but also grasp the different technology systems utilized in e-discovery and keyword search, is critical. The right Special Master will benefit the interests of both parties because she will be able to assist in narrowing the scope of the search to a manageable extent. This alternative is also a boon to both parties, as well as the court, because a mediator can expedite an agreement and the parties maintain control over the keyword selection process. Not having a qualified Special Master can result in, among other things, a poorly designed search, which will cause the parties to have to perform a series of subsidiary searches as gaps and problems in the original search become apparent.
To read the full article, go to Court Appointed Masters