Electronic Production Checklist | Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP


It’s a Friday afternoon and your weekend is about to begin… and yes – you guessed it… a last minute production request is coming up and your plans are not the same. Due to court orders and agreed deadlines, productions tend to take priority over other data-related tasks. And due to ESI orders with specific production specifications, privilege issues, and privacy concerns, productions require extreme level or care. Like many other e-discovery professionals, I have been in this position too many times to count. To make sure I remember all of the different conditions that need to be considered, double-checked and double-checked when preparing for productions, I recommend using a checklist to make sure you are on top of things. all of this !

Why are productions complicated?

Although electronic productions occupy a single step in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), they are complex. We no longer simply add a Bates stamp to a scanned pdf and send it to the opposing lawyer. In today’s high-tech litigation, we often produce thousands of documents at once, in many different formats, and often with multiple levels of privilege and complex drafting. It is extremely important to focus on the details of quality control.

Key points to consider

For the reasons identified above and many more, I keep a checklist of key points when preparing for a production. I have included this checklist at the end of this blog. In addition to the items in the checklist provided below, you should also consider the following:

# 1: Format

At the outset of the case, the parties should discuss possible and appropriate production formats, and formats that can be generated. Any format selected to produce a discovery should, if possible, conform to industry standards. Parties should discuss what metadata to produce and what types of files to image and which to produce natively. Parties should also consider what documents might need to be produced in color. The requirements for electronic productions should make sense from a legal point of view as well as from a technical point of view. In most cases, the format will be described in detail in the ESI protocol.

# 2: Volume

At the start of the case, the parties should disclose the potential volume and whether they plan to send slippery productions. When preparing for a production, the producing party should also assess how the production will be delivered based on volume (eg hard drive or secure ftp site?).

# 3: third party productions

Electronic discovery received from third parties may be produced in the format in which it was received, but if it has not been processed or buffered, consider whether you should take these steps to ensure that the documents are usable and consistent. .

The checklist

An electronic filing is a critical step in the electronic discovery process and if not managed properly, all the diligence and time spent in the previous phases could be wasted. It is therefore important to plan and communicate on production with the legal team from the start and apply quality controls on production assemblies to ensure that the end result meets all requirements, deadlines and expectations. .


Control List

Upload file for metadata

o Does your client have a standard list of metadata fields to produce?

o Is there an ESI agreement, subpoena, or other agreement that provides specifications for the metadata?

o What are the upload file requirements and delimiters for the metadata?

o Are there any redacted documents that require redactions in the upload file?

Upload file for images

o Is there an agreed format for the upload file? (e.g. DII, LFP, OPT, etc.)

Searchable text files

o Is there a specific format for these files? (for example, multiple page text files or single page text files)

o Is there a maximum number of files per folder?

o What is the naming convention for text files?

o Do the edited images have edited text files?

o Are any foreign language documents included and is the text of these documents accurate to produce?

Single Page Tiffs / JPGs

o What are the specifications for the images? The standard format is tiff files for black / white at 300 DPI and color images should use a color (jpg) format.

o Is there a maximum number of files per folder?


* If the recipient does not have an eDiscovery software tool, they can request pdf productions, which do not require uploading additional files, texts or images.

o One pdf per document (prefer format because it establishes the boundaries of the document)

o Bundled PDF

Native files

o Are there guidelines for producing native files?

o Does the production set include files that are not created for printing? (e.g. spreadsheets, databases, audio, video, etc.)

o Does the production set include files created by non-standard software? (for example, drawings)

o If the requesting entity requests to produce all files in native format, discuss with the legal team / client and review the requirements and format of the documents drafted.


Control List


o Are attachments included?

o Is the coding and branding consistent and sequential for emails with attachments?

o Do you need to check the indentation output of emails on images and text files?

o Are there any online objects, logos or images integrated into your set?


o Are the text messages produced on a spreadsheet or as separate files?

o What is the format used for text messages and corresponding attachments?

o Are the metadata fields mapped to normal production fields or do you need to generate additional fields?

PC or network

o Are the source of these files and the custodian documented in a field?

o Do you need to check file extensions and file types to provide native files for unknown extensions?

o Are there any objects embedded in the dataset?

Archiving systems

o Do you include emails from an archiving system?

o If so, are the attachments to these emails available and linked to the emails?

Data base

o What is the exported format of structured data sources?

o Are there any additional field names or field values ​​that need to be added to the standard metadata fields?

o Do you include standard “kept” reports in production?

Social media

o Are the sources of the files documented on a field?

o Are there any additional fields that need to be added to the standard metadata fields?


Control List

Sort order

o Is there a specific order for production? (for example, by custodian? application number?)

Group treatment

o Are the coding and confidential designation consistent for emails and attachments?


o Are there any documents marked as privileged? Are there any waivers of privileges?


o Is there a protection order entered or drafted?

o Are there different levels of confidentiality?

o Is there a specific phrase for the confidential stamp?


o Are there any image editors?

o Are there native editors?

o Do the text and metadata also need to be written?

o Are there PII editorial staff? Wrong writing?

o Do you need to confirm the color of the writing labels or if they should display a text sentence?

Interleaved sheets

o Do you include dividers for written documents?

o Do you include slip sheets for lien documents?

o Do you include slip sheets for non-compliant documents?

o Do you include slips for certain file types or processing errors?

o Do you have different sentences to use on the leaflets?


o Are there any file extensions that do not display correctly or that generate many pages with irrelevant text?

o Are there any password protected documents in the set?

o Are there 0 KB files?

Bates number to use

o Confirm the start number (check if there are any gaps in the sequence of bates to be used)

o Confirm the number of digits

o Confirm prefix

Name / Volume No.

o Confirm the name or number of the production volume

o Check for gaps and consistency with requirements and format of previous production volumes

Delivery options

o Is there a secure file transfer site?

o Do you have a methodology for encrypting files?


Control List

American law firm

o Confirm the format with the recipient


o Check SEC data delivery standards


o Check the standard specifications for the production of ESIs used by the DOJ

Outside the United States

o Data privacy concerns and restrictions may impact non-US jurisdictions, so check with a lawyer for local requirements


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