Bill Hubbard is a partner in the product liability and construction practices at the Cleveland office of Thompson Hine, focusing on class actions and other large cases – in other words, matters with a lot of documents and privilege reviews.
Hubbard is the first to admit that, all too often, eDiscovery isn’t an enjoyable process. “All eDiscovery software is somewhat universal. Where you distinguish yourself is in your responsiveness and just how much of a partner you are,” he explains. For Bill, Consilio did just that.
He first connected with Consilio last fall, because Consilio was the preferred vendor of one of his clients. It was a small construction dispute where the client had been subpoenaed to produce documents. This was a valued client who didn’t have the bandwidth to do the production in-house, so Hubbard’s team agreed to handle it on a flat fee. That meant it was important to do it effectively and efficiently, and Consilio made that possible.
Consilio senior project manager Saul Maslansky was instrumental in helping define the universe of documents that had to be pulled and collected. While Bill’s team had developed what they thought were very good search terms, Saul was proactive in giving advice and identifying search terms that would eliminate mis-hits and narrow the results down to a smaller universe of documents. This resulted in a manageable batch of relevant documents that could be reviewed quickly.
“When we first got started, Saul quickly understood the goal of what we were trying to do,” Bill says. “This was a partnership, and Saul was involved in looking at the production with us and trying to just figure out, based on his experience, how to narrow down the universe of documents we had to review.”
When it ultimately came time to pull and produce documents, the process went incredibly smoothly, and Saul was able to pull things together in a day, if not a couple of hours. Even then, he made helpful suggestions on how to treat attachments. “He suggested ways to manage the production that were much easier and more efficient,” Bill says.
“Rather than just doing what was asked, Saul was much more engaged and knew what we were trying to do. I was very impressed by his proactive approach, as if it was his production.”
Teamwork and Trust in Action
For Bill, Consilio felt like part of his small in-house eDiscovery team, with whom he has a great standing relationship. “Saul and his team felt like they were part of our litigation team,” he says.
At the end of the day, it comes down to trust for Bill. Unlike in the old days when you could walk into the warehouse and physically assess what needed to be done, eDiscovery is less tangible and feels more nebulous. Practitioners like Bill need to rely on their vendors to bring concreteness to the process. When the vendor immediately understands what you’re trying to do, it gives you the confidence that you’re doing the production the right way.
So would Bill work with Consilio again? “Absolutely. I would definitely use them in the future,” he enthusiastically says. “It just went so smoothly, and the communication was so easy. This was a small case, but I’d love to see how they perform on a bigger one.”