When a new matter is presented to litigation support, we typically request a meeting with the legal team and we like to refer to this meeting as a Project Design Meeting. Since the majority of our role is project management and we are methodical in our work, this meeting should provide us with a good foundation to move forward with the project.
I will be honest though. Sometimes this project design meeting either never happens or it happens in the wrong order. For instance, ideally we prefer that the legal team engage litigation support very early on in the matter. However, many times we are notified of the matter when the first set of data either arrives in our office or is about to arrive.
The project design meeting that occurs early in the matter would look something like this:
Gather background on the matter.
Find out who is involved, both inside the firm and outside the firm (co-counsel).
Request a copy of the subpoena or investigative demand.
Ask questions about what has happened so far and what is going on currently.
Ask questions about the anticipated volume (small, medium or large).
Ask for the number of custodians (if they don't know yet, ask if it is less than 10 or more than 20).
Have any service providers been proposed yet? Sometimes the client has their own relationship with a service provider and dictates that we use them.
Ask if they intend to conduct a document review or have associates handle the review.
Find out the current timeline and the overall timeline.
Find out the timeline as it pertains to litigation support specifically. What do they need from litigation support immediately?
Find out the overall goals of the legal team and how litigation support can assist.
There are many other items that can be discussed at the project design meeting, but I wanted to give you an overview so that you can make sure you are requesting these meetings. I also wanted to define it since it is often mentioned in job descriptions for litigation support professionals.
Chris – I will have eLearning courses around Litigation Support project management on this site for sure. In the mean time, I will point you to a book that Georgetown University is using for their Legal Project Management course and a blog that is focused on it as well. Neither of these are specifically for litigation support though.
Stephen Levy’s book – http://www.amazon.com/Legal-Project-Management-Schedules-Maintain/dp/1449928641