How Courts Are Using TAR

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How Courts Are Using TAR

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In this class action lawsuit the plaintiff alleged that companies in the broiled chicken industry were colluding in order to limit the supply of chickens.  This in turn was causing the cost of broiled chickens to raise 50% for the end consumer.  This was an incredibly document intensive antitrust case and the judge appointed a special master to assist the parties in handling their eDiscovery disputes.

The court issued a detailed procedure for how the parties were to conduct TAR, including search, validation and document sourcing approaches.  The order can be divided into three primary components.  The first being how the parties will act, the second would address search technologies to be used, and the third and outline of a document validation protocol.

Ruling:

Detailed TAR Process Defined. The court’s order addresses elements of the review process including: (1) how the parties will act, (2) what search technologies will be used, and (3) an outline of a document review validation protocol.

Cooperation between Parties Mandated. Equally important to the technology to be used in document review, the ruling stipulates that the parties communicate frequently, proposing and revising search terms by “work[ing] together in good faith.”

Court Retains Final Authority. While the ruling puts the onus of cooperation on the parties, it retained the Special Master’s prerogative to provide “assistance… in resolving such disputes” and “render a decision, subject to the Parties’ rights to petition” when the plaintiff and defendant could not reach agreement.

While TAR may be the latest push in reducing the burden of eDiscovery their are still important factors on how the court is interpreting the use of this technology.

 

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