By Anne Kershaw & Joseph Howie
If you send an e-mail to three people, your system keeps one copy, with all three people listed in the "To" field. If you need to see all your e-mails to just one of those people, you search for that name. It's still just one copy. Indeed, it would be silly to have multiple copies. The same holds true for document discovery repositories, yet a recent survey suggests that lawyers still don't "get it," and often insist on keeping multiple, unnecessary copies.
Lawyers who fail to check for duplicates across multiple custodians, instead removing only duplicates from within the records of individual custodians, end up reviewing at least 20% more records on average. Whether or not their document review bills are ever audited, these lawyers are not meeting their ethical obligations to both clients and the justice system.