Electronic Discovery – FamilyDate and FamilyID

Many litigation support professionals are processing electronic discovery at a service provider (or in-house) and then loading the data into a Concordance database. When an attorney begins to review the documents, one of the first things they want to do is sort the documents in date order. If they simply sort the entire database on a date field such as DocDate or Date Sent, the documents will be sorted in date order, however the parent e-mail will become separated from any attachments it might have. The attorney will prefer to review the e-mail family together as a whole.

In order to make this happen, we can ask our service providers to provide two additional fields for the database. The fields are called FamilyDate and FamilyID.

The FamilyDate field is populated with the Date of the parent e-mail.

The FamilyID field is populated with the BegDoc of the parent e-mail.

1. Once these two field values exist in your database, open the Concordance database.

2. From the left pane in Concordance, click on the Sort option in Concordance. It can be found in one of two locations.


3. Double-click on the FamilyDate field below to add it to the Sort By box above.

4. Double-click on the FamilyID field to add it to the Sort By box above. Click on the Sort button.

The database will be sorted in date order and it will keep all of the e-mail families together.

Below is an example of the documents listed in Table view.

Remember my article about creating Cheat Sheets in Litigation Support? Well, I had to create a cheat sheet for a partner last week so that he could follow these steps on his own. I am sharing that cheat sheet with you so that you can share it with your users.

Use this link to download the cheat sheet.

Let me know if you found this useful. If you have a simple alternative way for a newbie in Litigation Support to accomplish this (that means without using Microsoft Access), please share it below in the comments.

ADVANCED USER TIP: These two fields can be added to an existing Concordance database, but it involves a manual process of exporting data, assigning the new values using Excel and then importing an overlay to populate the new fields.

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