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                                   LITIGATION CODING

What is Coding?

Since images are not searchable unless we attach some searchable information, finding relevant documents from an image collection is not much more efficient than looking through boxes of paper.  Coding is the process whereby a human looks at an image of a document, and type information in the fields of the case database.  The term “auto-coding” refers to a software process of using OCR to populate fields in a database.  This technology is improving, and is appropriate for certain documents collections where time or budget constraints apply.

Why are electronic documents important?

          It is estimated that over 70% of all corporate data exists solely n electronic formats.  This is due in large part to the growing custom of e-mailing documents as e-mail attachments.  Many of these e-mails and attachments are never printed to paper and thus exist solely in electronic form.

          In order to conduct comprehensive discovery, this information needs to be reviewed.  Otherwise, over 70% of all potential evidence may be left un-examined.  Reliable can help you to develop an effective and cost efficient plan to deal with both paper based and electronic documents.  No two cases are the same and each case demands its own document management approach.

          We recognize that a single document could contain the vital piece of information your clients are searching for and have worked to create a culture of accuracy and quality through out our litigation coding operation.  In addition to a comprehensive initial screening and training process, we have highly trained dedicated litigation coding processionals undergo specific project-based refresher training to understand the unique aspects of each project.


Litigation coding services includes:

Data Capture-we can save valuable time by capturing data during the imaging process.  Simultaneously, this data can be objectively coded for delivery into a fielded database.  Depending on your instruction, we then enhance the database by performing additional bibliographic and in-text coding.


Determination of Physical or Logical Document: Multi-page documents residing in electronic form can easily become problematic if not properly organized.  Litigation Outsource unitizes these document types within your document population according to the search parameters you specify.

          Document scanning and document processing: These include scanning individual pages to create images, which are reviewed and grouped to create image files forming the basis for documents.  Such documents that contain either a single image or image files are then subjected to unitization.

          Unitization: This process is carried out to determine the boundaries of these documents.  It involves:

Logical document determination (LDD): where logical document boundaries are determined by inspecting individual pages and attachment pages are linked to the respective documents.

Physical determination: where physical boundaries are determined based on binding elements like clips or stapler pins.

Throughout the coding process, staff uses strict rules to assign document boundaries in order to perform logical document unitization.  If a large number of batched document types exists such as a set of manuals, we will set document boundaries per your instruction for the most efficient use of these documents within your database.


Optical Character Recognition:

In order to search the text within imaged files,

It is necessary to covert these files into readable text.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to convert this imaged text into computer readable ASCII text.

This important step enables you to search all of your documents for key words or phrases, giving you a more efficient and powerful litigation database.

Necessary steps taken during the imaging process to obtain the best possible capture of the original document in order to later conduct a successful OCR conversion.


Bibliographic Coding-

Objective or bibliographic coding: This is done on standard fields like begin date, end date, document date, title, type, etc.

Basic coding service provides you with bibliographic information: document page numbers, attachment ranges, authors, recipients, parties copied, date, document type, document title etc.

Locating important facts about a document’s origin can be time consuming and frustrating.

 In bibliographic coding techniques we capture the creation date, author, recipients, document type, document title, signature and organization of origin.

Based on your needs, fields can be added or deleted.

We can also customize your database with codes that apply specifically to your case.

We support a wide range of formats for data delivery and provide customized load files to bring documents into your document management software including Concordance, Summation, and JFS Litigators Notebook and any system utilizing ASCII or TXT load files.


Advanced Coding Services

          More comprehensive service that provides a database with bibliographic information and relevant data extrapolated from the document body: names and organizations in-text, key-words, marginalia, created and enhanced titles etc.

OCR Clean-up/Full-text Keying services: Our experienced data capture technicians’ correct OCR errors and when greater accuracy is required we offer full-text keying services with a double keying process.


Subjective or in-text coding: For comprehensive coding requirements we perform subjective or in-text coding on specific fields like product name, person name, or document summary, etc.


In-Text Coding-


Finding multiple references of a name or organization within your document population can help you building a more effective case.

In-text coding is used to extrapolate this data for rapid sourcing of every reference.

Names of individuals and organizations along with other key words or phrases within the body of each document are coded based on your instruction.

Many times data and names are found in various formats (ie. John Smith, Mr.Smith or John A.Smith) within the same document population.

At your discretion, we uses data and name normalization procedures to uniformly assign the same reference throughout the database.  This process guarantees optimal database search capabilities with no reference overlooked.


Subjective Coding-

What is Subjective Coding?

subjective coding requires knowledge about the case and is usually done by paralegals and attorneys.

Like objective coding, subjective coding requires manually looking at a document and typing information about the document into the database.

Examples of subjective coding include:

Hot Document





Coding documents based on subjective interpretation, rather than the verbatim capture of words or terms.

The subjects may be represented in shorthand “code” form to facilitate searching, sorting and reporting. 


What is a Database?


A Database is a collection of records.  A record is one complete set of fields.  A field is a single piece of information about a document.  A telephone book is a database.  It contains a list of records, each of which consists of three fields: name, address, and telephone number.  Concordance and Summation are databases specifically designed for litigation support.


What is a Field?

A field is a single piece of information about a document in the database.  The following are examples of fields in a typical litigation support database:

Begin Bates

End Bates

Document Date

Document Type



Document Source

Document Characteristics


Databases for a variety of clients and projects:

Pharmaceutical Litigation

Patent Litigation

Insurance Litigation

Labor/Employment Litigation

Criminal Investigations

Environmental Litigation

Construction Litigation

Anti-Trust Litigation

Contract Disputes

What is Document Imaging and Scanning?

Document Imaging and/or scanning refer to the process of making a digital photocopy from paper-based documents.

Images are stored on digital media such as hard drivers, CDs, DVD, etc.

For litigation support purposes, the terms “imaging” and “scanning” mean the same thing, and these terms can be used interchangeably.

What is OCR?

OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a process whereby an image file (which is inherently not searchable) is used to create a parallel text file, which is searchable (or editable).

The accuracy of the text file resulting from this process is entirely dependent on the quality of the original.


What is TIFF?

TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is a common image format for litigation support.  Tiff Group 4 is generally the file format created by scanning paper documents for litigation support purposes.  Tiff Group 4 is an image compression format, which is used to keep file sizes as small as possible.


What is Metadata?

Metadata is frequently described as data about data.  An image or paper document does not provide you with significant information about its history.  The Metadata in an electronic document, however, can provide valuable information about a document’s history such as its author, creation date and modification date.

The following are examples of Meta data found in a typical Word document:

Author’s name/initials

Author’s company/organization name

Server name on which the document is stored

File properties/summary information

Non-visible portions of embedded OLE objects

Previous author’s names and initials

Document version, editing time and revision information


What is Concordance?

Concordance is a database commonly used for litigation support.  Concordance is designed to work its own (Opticon) and third party image viewers (eg., IPRO). Concordance and summation are the industry leading software products for litigation support databases.


What is Summation?

Summation is a combination of litigation support database and image viewer software program.  Summation and concordance are the industry leading software products for litigation support databases.  Summation has its own internal image viewer although it can be used with third party viewers as well.


What is IPRO?

IPRO is a software product, which is generally used in conjunction with a litigation software database such as Concordance.  The primary function of IPRO is viewing images associated with a litigation support database although IPRO also contains some database functionality.  See IPRO for more information.


What is Opticon?

Opticon is an image viewer frequently used with concordance.  Opticon is not a database.  The primary function of Opticon is viewing images associated with a litigation support database.  It can also be used for annotating images and blowbacks.


What is Storm?

Storm is litigation support database, which Reliable can provide its clients on each CD of images.  Storm permits clients to view images, search coding, search OCR, mark hot does and privilege documents, blowback images and print reports.


Quality management in coding


Litigation Coding Quality control Process includes:

After coding is completed --- 100% quality comparison of all coded information to the document image to confirm accuracy and completeness.

Detected errors are corrected and databases updated.

Computerized checking using specialized digital tools on each and every document.  All data is run through rigorous final checking for proper data formatting, field size validations, multi-field relationship and presence of mandatory data.

Lastly, quality Assurance Audits are performed on randomly selected documents by our Project Managers. Cenza’s experienced Project Managers then ensure that outputs are customized to specifications.


Litigation coding Processes:

We prepare customized in-house project manuals for every case. Detailed internal specifications are developed to ensure adherence to project guidelines and instructions.

Training and retraining form an inherent part of our processes and after the internal manual is prepared our coding staff is trained by our experienced coding supervisors.

Tools are designed in-house and are modified by our software professionals to make each project more efficient.  Our programmers customize and test these tools before document coding begins. Examples of the customization of coding tool are creating the authority or drop-down lists of fields such as Document Types and validating date ranges and attachment ranges.

Project Managers, are assigned to each project and to ensure consistency, remain involved through the life of each project.  They monitor quality levels and serve as a single point of client communication on all project-related issues. 


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