You Need a New Cake - eDiscovery Production and Cake


What You Need to Know about Building and Changing Productions

Finally! The review is done and the production is built, but WAIT! One more person wants to run “a few searches as a quick QC”. And now everyone involved in finalizing and building the production holds their breath hoping nothing changes. Why?

A production volume with load files linking files and metadata to records is a self-contained, interdependent data system.

Review and production is usually scheduled to coincide with court-ordered deadlines. Working backward from that deadline date, there isn’t much flexibility for last-minute changes. Consider that large productions can take 24 hours or more of machine-time to build and export from software. Depending on the size and format, compressing and copying can take another 24 hours or more. Then there is the shipping time to consider. Taking out one document could delay a production delivery by more than a full day.

Let them Bake Cake

Building a production is like baking a cake. Once you bake a cake, you really can’t take out any of the ingredients – the only real option is to toss the old cake and make a new one. Similarly, when a production is created, the files in the production become part of the whole. Remove one document and all manner of internal production references cease to work. A complex series of ordered steps create a production to create a uniform set of records formatted with dependencies and references as between all the data in the production set.

Uh, Oh! We Need to Change the Production!

So you need to change the production. What should you do? Changes to a production are best accomplished with a full re-run to ensure that Bates numbers are updated, continuous, and accurately applied to the files in the pointers and metadata .

Building a production is like baking a cake. Once it’s baked, you can’t take out any of the ingredients – your only option is to make a new cake.

Manual manipulation of a production after creation is possible, but it is not recommended because it is fraught with the risk of human error. Without rerunning the production and re-Bates stamping all of the images and renaming the files, removing records will cause Bates gaps in the images. And if the removed files had any associated metadata, natives or text, just deleting those images will not prevent the receiving party from seeing the metadata, opening the names, and reviewing the text. BUT that still does not address the vacuum created by Bates gap that may be filled with questions about the possibility of mistakes, errors, or even misconduct from improper privilege designations.

Don’t Overlook Production Building Logistics When Negotiating Your Schedule

Building and changing a production doesn’t have to be a Herculean task; after all, the software does it all for us. But production build logistics can get overlooked when drafting the timeline steps to complete a review before a production deadline. When that happens, the inherent complexities and machine time to build (and delete and rebuild) can work against producing parties. Machine time and data transfer are governed by the laws of physics – and there’s no overcoming those limitations.


Aaron Patton, Managing Director

Aaron Patton is a managing director at Precision Discovery who is always on the hunt for common sense solutions to persistent discovery problems. As a Wisconsin Law graduate (2001), Aaron is fascinated by “Law in Action”, especially the intersection of discovery rules and discovery reality. Aaron is based in the Washington, DC area.`



Jeremy Applebaum.jpg

Jeremy Applebaum, eDiscovery Consultant

Jeremy Applebaum, a 2004 graduate of Cumberland School of Law, is an eDiscovery Consultant with Precision Discovery. He has successfully navigated cases ranging from personal injury to complex environmental contaminations and large product liability actions. Jeremy recognizes the importance of focused and productive discovery, and enjoys using his experience to guide others through this process.

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