Why Smart Litigators Avoid Outlook Based Email Review.

A Summarized Overview of… I mean come on how long have you been doing this? Seriously. The time you waste must be extraordinary.
Ok. Lets do this.

Outlook is great, but not for that.

Outlook is not defensible search.

This is not a search engine.

Outlook’s search function is a useful tool for finding specific emails or content within emails. However, there are limitations to its capabilities. One of the limitations of Outlook search is that it may not be able to search within attached containers, such as compressed files or encrypted attachments, or proprietary files that outlook cannot open natively. This is a huge limitation.

This means that if the content or information being sought is stored within an attachment or compressed file, the search function may not be able to find it. This can result in important information being overlooked or missed, potentially leading to negative consequences in a legal case or investigation.

It is important for legal professionals to be aware of these limitations and to use alternative tools, such as e-discovery software like Reveal, to ensure a more comprehensive and thorough search. E-discovery software can search within attachments and compressed files, as well as provide additional features like keyword searching, de-duplication, and metadata analysis.

Top Reasons you Should Never use Outlook for Review.

Don’t take it from us. There’s a ton of opinions, sanctions and precedence on this. Its expensive, wasteful and about as fun as an open casket funeral.

  1. Limited Search Capabilities: Microsoft Outlook has limited search capabilities, which may not be sufficient to perform a thorough search for relevant email evidence.
  2. Limited Filtering Capabilities: Outlook has limited filtering capabilities, which may result in irrelevant emails being reviewed by the attorney, wasting time and effort.
  3. Risk of Spoliation: Metadata such as email’s read or unread status and more can be altered by reviewing an email container in Outlook. Outlook additionally supports a litany of hotkeys. An accidental press could materially alter the collection.
  4. Security Risks: Reviewing emails in Outlook can pose a security risk, as Outlook may not have the same level of security features as eDiscovery software. See this article for a recent example of how this could be a substantial security issue.
  5. Inefficient Review Process: The review process in Outlook can be inefficient and time-consuming, as it requires the attorney to manually review each email.
  6. Risk of Missing Important Information: The manual review process in Outlook can increase the risk of missing important information, as the attorney may not have sufficient time to review all emails thoroughly. Also, search is very limited. You can’t search effectively or reliably inside containers, attachments and more.
  7. Lack of Collaboration: Outlook does not offer the same level of collaboration features as eDiscovery Review software, which can make it difficult for multiple attorneys to work on the same review project.

When preparing for a production of evidence in litigation, attorneys should be aware of the limitations of using Outlook as a search tool.

Firstly, Outlook’s search capabilities are limited, making it difficult to perform a thorough search for relevant email evidence. In addition, its filtering capabilities are also limited, resulting in irrelevant emails being reviewed by attorneys, which wastes time and effort.

Moreover, there is a risk of spoliation when reviewing emails in Outlook, as metadata such as the email’s read or unread status can be altered, and accidental keystrokes may materially alter the collection. Security risks are also a concern, as Outlook may not have the same level of security features as eDiscovery software. Recent examples have shown that this could lead to significant security issues.

Furthermore, the manual review process in Outlook can be inefficient and time-consuming, as it requires the attorney to review each email manually, which can increase the risk of missing important information. Additionally, search is limited and unreliable when searching inside containers and attachments.

Lastly, Outlook does not offer the same level of collaboration features as eDiscovery Review software, which can make it difficult for multiple attorneys to work on the same review project. In summary, the limitations of using Outlook for eDiscovery highlight the importance of using dedicated eDiscovery software such as Reveal, which offers a more comprehensive search, filtering, and review capabilities, leading to a more efficient and effective eDiscovery process.

Its critical for legal professionals to thoroughly review client-provided evidence before producing it to another party. One of the primary reasons for review is to ensure that only relevant content is produced. Failure to conduct a thorough review can result in the production of irrelevant or extraneous information that could weaken the case’s strength. Additionally, a review allows for the identification and screening of potentially privileged content, ensuring that it is not disclosed to opposing counsel.

A strong review strategy can also help attorneys in crafting an effective case strategy. By thoroughly reviewing the evidence, attorneys can identify strengths and weaknesses in their client’s case, and use this information to develop an effective legal argument. Furthermore, reviewing evidence can help attorneys anticipate potential challenges from opposing counsel, thereby allowing them to be better prepared to defend the information produced.

Finally, failure to review client-provided evidence can result in significant penalties for legal professionals and their clients. Sanctions can be imposed for producing privileged information or failing to produce relevant information, and these penalties can be severe. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a thorough review of client-provided evidence to ensure that only the most relevant and useful information is produced, and to prevent any potential penalties or sanctions that could weaken the case.

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Now for some of the top reasons you should use Reveal for Email review instead.

One of the biggest advantages of Reveal is its AI-powered review capabilities. This feature can drastically reduce the time and cost associated with email review, making the entire process more efficient and cost-effective for legal teams.

In addition to saving time and money, Reveal’s advanced search capabilities are another major advantage. With these capabilities, attorneys can quickly identify relevant emails and reduce the amount of irrelevant emails they have to review. This can help them focus their efforts on the most important emails and streamline the entire review process.

Another great feature of Reveal is its automated email threading capabilities. This feature can help organize related emails into coherent conversations, making it easier for attorneys to review and understand the context of email communication.

When it comes to redaction, Reveal’s intelligent redaction feature is another standout. It can automatically detect and redact sensitive information, such as social security numbers, reducing the risk of inadvertent disclosure. This can be especially important in high-stakes litigation where a single mistake could be costly.

Reveal’s built-in analytics tools are also incredibly valuable for legal teams. They can help identify trends and patterns in email communication, providing valuable insights that can be used to build a stronger case.

Another advantage of Reveal is that it can handle multiple email platforms, allowing attorneys to review emails from various sources in one central location. This can save time and reduce the risk of missing important information that may be stored in different email platforms.

For legal teams who value a defensible process, Reveal provides an audit trail of all actions taken during email review. This ensures that the entire process is transparent and can withstand scrutiny.

Finally, Reveal’s cloud-based platform provides secure access to email data from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easy for legal teams to access and review email data even if they are working remotely or from multiple locations. Additionally, Reveal’s user-friendly interface and customizable dashboards can be tailored to the specific needs of each case or matter, making it easier for legal teams to stay organized and on top of their review.

What are you waiting for! Do a free month or two on us. Check out Reveal and learn how we’re changing everything with our all-inclusive managed eDiscovery and Managed Hosting offering, Cost Confidence.

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