Electronic Discovery – Blowbacks

In the electronic discovery industry, we deal primarily with data in its electronic form. However, there are instances where we receive requests to print the electronic documents to paper. The term we use for this is “blowback”. This term originated from the microfilm and microfiche industry.

Typically, the electronic documents will be reviewed from within a database and they will be categorized. For instance, there could be a category related to preparation for an upcoming deposition. Once the documents are categorized in the database, the attorney will request that a paralegal prepare deposition binders that will contain these documents. Litigation Support can assist with getting the documents printed. We will provide a vendor with the electronic data for these specific documents and we will request “blowbacks” of the documents.

When we request the “blowbacks”, there are some options we can choose. We might suggest that the documents be printed onto three-hole punch paper so that it will be easy for the paralegals to prepare the binders. Another option might be to request “slipsheets”. “Slipsheets” are single pages, typically printed on colored paper, that will be positioned between each document. The process of slipsheeting the documents can be accomplished automatically using multiple paper trays in the printer. Additionally, we can request that certain information be printed on the slipsheet that will assist in identifying the document that follows the slipsheet. For example, it might be helpful to have the document title or document date printed on the slipsheet. Often times, the printed documents are organized in chronological order within the deposition binder, so having the document date from the database as a reference on the slipsheet can be helpful to the paralegal.



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    • Dave White

      Now I know what was in all those banker’s boxes that the lit support vendors brought in every other afternoon….thanks for the info!

      • LitSuppGuru

        Ha! Boxes and Boxes!

    • LitSuppGuru

      Comment from Renee Gauci:

      Hi, I’m a Legal Project Coordinator from Sydney, Australia and one of my tasks is to coordinate from start to finish the requests of the “blowbacks” or “Print Sets” as we call them. I deal with the vendor in getting all the requirements right for the lawyer. In all requests we use the “Slipsheets” only we call the “Separators” and we always have the Document ID on these. Depending on the matter i have had jobs completed where we had different color separators for hosts documents and attachment documents and also for distinguishing Privileged documents from non-privileged ones.

      It is amazing how many different variables need to be stated in getting a set of electronic documents printed and if one thing is left out it can cause a whole lot of extra work for me!

      Thanks for the blog! Interesting to see its the same all over the world!

      • LitSuppGuru

        Hey Renee – I added your comment manually. Disqus lost it, but I had it in an e-mail.

        The slipsheets for privileged documents is a great idea. Keep sharing your experiences.

    • Amako

      Hi Amy, I am an unlicensed attorney that has worked as a lit support doc reviewer for 3 years. I’m interested in eventually becoming a project manager or consultant. Although very familiar with user end – reviewer functions (mainly Relativity), I’d like to learn how to manage a review from start to production. Where do I start? How can I gain the knowledge .

      • Thanks for reaching out. There are many good articles on this site, including the Tools of the Trade category. There are podcast episodes you might find enlightening as well. There is a checklist you can download that points you in the right direction. Lastly you can go to the Training Program page and sign up to get more information about my upcoming Blueprint course or other courses. They will all teach how to do the full litigation support cycle.