Sample eDiscovery Document Production Protocol

Posted by Robert Powell | Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Electronic documents should be provided to the following specifications.  


1) Single Page TIFs

Except as discussed below in section 6, all documents existing in electronic format shall be produced in a Group IV TIF compression, single-page, black and white format at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. 

 

2) Document Level Text Files

For each document, a text file shall be provided along with the TIF images.  The text of native files shall be extracted directly from native files, one text file per document.  Each text file will be named with the first production number of the images which comprise the original document followed by the extension TXT.   Documents for which no text is extracted will be OCR scanned using best reasonable efforts by the parties and such text provided as separate text files, one text file per document.

 

3) Unique ID Numbering

Each TIF file shall be named with a unique production number followed by the extension “.TIF.” In addition, each text file (whether derived from direct extracted or from OCR) shall be named with the unique production number of the corresponding TIF image, followed by the extension “.TXT.”  Each media produced shall be uniquely named with a sequential number that includes an identifier unique to each party.  The parties will cooperate to ensure that the logistics of production are efficient and economical, including production media, and naming conventions and procedures for directories and subdirectories.

 

4) Load Files

Both electronic documents and hardcopy sourced documents will be provided with 4 load files:

1) an IPRO delimited file;

2) a Concordance delimited file or Concordance database;

3) an Opticon delimited file

4) a metadata load file with the fields noted in paragraph

Every electronic document must be referenced in a load file.

Metadata and any objective coding provided should be provided in the following format:

  • Metadata should be pipe (|) delimited;
  • String values within the metadata file should be enclosed with carats (^};
  • The first line should contain metadata headers and below the first line there should be exactly one line for each document; and
  • Each row of metadata must contain the same amount of files as the header row.

 

5) Metadata Fields

The parties shall identify and produce metadata fields, as set forth below, for all electronic documents.  Specifically, in addition to the text file associated with the TIF images a separate load file with accompanying metadata will be provided.

 

Metadata load files shall also be provided for certain hard copy and scanned documents where manual coding has been conducted.  If manual coding has been conducted and the fields noted below are available they shall be provided but there is no obligation to create metadata that does not exist.  For hard copy sourced documents, the parties are obliged to provide custodian and location information to note the source of the material.

 

Metadata fields

  1. Title (or subject);
  2. Date created;
  3. Last date modified;
  4. Created by;
  5. Edited (modified) by;
  6. For email: sent from, to, cc, bcc or recipients;
  7. Starting production number;
  8. Ending production number;
  9. Starting production number of attachment(s);
  10. Ending production number of attachment(s);
  11. Custodian;
  12. Document type or file extension; and
  13. Original File path.

 

Parent-Child Relationship (the association between an attachment and its parent document) should be indicated in the metadata.  All parties will produce document(s) attached to an email sequentially after the parent email.

 

6) Native Format

After reviewing the TIF production, parties can, upon demonstrating a particularized need for production, request a TIF image at a higher resolution or color depth; color or other high quality hard copy, or native format of any documents by identifying such documents by production number range.  Should the parties be unable to agree on the production request of a particular document under this paragraph, the requesting party may move to compel such production and the producing party shall have the burden to establish that the burden of producing the document substantially outweighs its benefit.

 

Should single-image TIF files from Excel spreadsheets (or other spreadsheets or databases) reproduce in an unformatted/unwieldy way, the receiving party can request and upon showing particularized need the producing party will provide native Excel files with locked cells and no metadata (or other spreadsheet files or database files in like manner).  

 

Certain multi-media files, audio and visual presentations, and other files that cannot be rendered as static TIF images will be produced in native electronic format by the parties.  In such case, a placeholder slip-sheet TIF image indicating that the original electronic file could not be converted to TIF will be included in the appropriate sequence with the production number indicated.  The native file will be provided concurrently with the placeholder slip-sheeted image.  The file name will have the production number appended to the original file name with the original native file extension.

 

Source code produced through discovery will be pursuant to the terms of the protective order.

 

7) Production Media

All discoverable electronic information shall initially be produced in electronic image format in the manner provided above, on a hard drive, CD, DVD, or other mutually agreeable format on the most reasonable capacity media for each production set in capacity to ensure efficient handling by all parties.   One USB hard drive is preferable to 5 DVDs, for example.

Because of the potential for a large number of documents to be produced, it may not be possible to review all images immediately upon production.  The parties agree that no rights are waived should an issue not be immediately identified with the production media or the document images. 
 

Topics: Sample Agreements

Written by Robert Powell

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