By Debora Motyka Jones, Esq.

Published on Fri, March 4, 2011

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I speak about cost mitigation strategies in ediscovery several times a year so it is no surprise I am a big proponent of producing documents natively. If you can skip, or limit, imaging documents, you are saving yourself a significant amount of money. I recognize that in certain cases, a native production is not appropriate (e.g. where excel formulas are proprietary). But where possible, counsel should at least consider producing all documents natively.  How do you do that?

In order to successfully execute a completely native production, there must be a cooperative atmosphere between the disputing parties, primarily because traditional reliance on bates numbering is not effective in native productions. While common sense suggests the naming of files with a bates number should be adequate, parties often fail to account for how to identify specific pages within a document. In a deposition, one cannot just refer to “page 3” of the document bates labeled ABC000005 because different operating systems will paginate the documents differently.,,)

 

So why not just image and bates label the documents you will use? I know of one instance where the parties agreed to produce natively but then TIFF the relevant documents prior to each deposition and bates label them at that time. The problem here was that you had to notify the other side of which documents you were going to use (because under the agreement they needed notice of what would be TIFFed) thus revealing your strategy. It also meant that the order of the bates numbers actually correlated with what order documents were used in the case, rather than with the order the documents were kept in the ordinary course of business. Finally, this method could mean higher charges for each imaging project since the volume of each project is so low, and minimum charges may apply.

 

There are a multitude of ways to handle this issue and frankly who has time to try each out! Instead of reinventing the wheel, we can just read about what worked in Craig Ball’s article on how he handled this exact problem!

 

Also if you have produced documents natively and have a good way to handle this issue, I’d love to hear it.

About the Author
Debora Motyka Jones, Esq.

Vice President

As Vice President, Debora plays an essential role on the company’s executive team by collaborating around new markets, and bringing a customer-centric and pragmatic approach to achieving corporate and customer goals. She is responsible for building out a robust team of legal and technology experts in the eastern US, driving forward partnerships focused on delighting clients, and expanding the company’s brand through thought leadership events and new relationships. Debora’s background as a litigator and buyer, as well as her vast client-facing and operational experience will enable Lighthouse to provide the high-caliber, consultative client experience, the company is known for.

Debora has been with Lighthouse since 2009 and has made a significant impact on the company’s growth and business strategy during her tenure. With a background in litigation from practicing at law firms in both Washington D.C and Washington State, her expertise and deep understanding of complex ediscovery matters enabled her to create a resonating brand and architect the innovative products and services that keep Lighthouse at the forefront of the ediscovery market. She led the execution and implementation of the company’s rebranding in 2012 and developed the marketing department from the ground up. In addition, she has been instrumental in spearheading the company’s strategic technology partnerships, driving the formation of Lighthouse’s product strategy, and the evolution of Lighthouse’s SmartSeries. She also instituted and continues to maintain a client advisory board to ensure strong alignment with market demands. Finally, in 2015, Debora lead the company’s expansion to the eastern seaboard by managing the development the New York office and team, as well as expanding upon the company’s current set of services and clientele.

Prior to joining Lighthouse, Debora was a Complex Commercial Litigation Associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in Washington, D.C. where she worked on matters such as the WorldCom and Enron bankruptcies. Her practice also included multi-million-dollar commercial and securities litigation, and internal investigations. While at Weil, Debora was recognized three times for her dedication to pro bono service. Debora also practiced as a litigation Associate at McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC. Her practice included commercial, employment, and securities litigation, as well as legal malpractice defense.

Debora received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington where she graduated magna cum laude. She received her law degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. She is admitted to practice law in New York State, the District of Columbia (inactive membership), and Washington State. Debora is Level II Pragmatic Marketing Certified. Debora is actively involved in the legal community as the former Director of Women in eDiscovery, as a mentor with Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle, as an Advisory Board Member for the Organization of Legal Professionals, as the former Chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)'s New to In-House Committee, and as a former board member of the Washington Women Lawyers (WWL). Debora was also recognized for her contribution to the ACC and was named 2012 WWL Board Member of the Year. Debora is a frequent speaker on eDiscovery strategy, a former instructor for the Organization of Legal Professionals, and a regular Lighthouse blog contributor.