Placeholder Files

This technical note discusses access and review of placeholder files and files not converted for self-upload jobs.  The Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP) converts files to PDF or TIFF files as part of ESI automated processing.  See Standard File Types for more information.  

Files fail to convert for a number of reasons including: file corruption, print or text extraction protection, file type is not supported, and password protection.  If a file is not converted, LEP generates a PDF or TIFF placeholder page and flags the file as either Not Converted or Failed to Convert.  A placeholder page indicates a file was not converted and therefore, cannot be Bates-stamped. 


Files Failed to Convert v. Files Not Converted
 
Files Failed to Convert
Standard file types may fail to convert for a variety of reasons, including:  file corruption, file type mis-identification, print or data extraction issues, and password protection.  Inherently, password protected files are not searchable (even with dual index) and require extra due diligence.   

Some non-converted standard file types can be converted manually as a technical service (billable hourly or per GB, depending on file type and issues involved).

Files Not Converted:  Unsupported file types (non-standard file types) will not auto-convert.  Instead, placeholder file is created and it is noted in the database record that the file was Not Converted (i.e., is not supported). 

Some non-converted, non-standard file types can be converted manually as a technical service (
billable hourly or per GB, depending on file type and issues involved).

Files that do not convert include: media files, some container files, some email files, database files, and others.  

Failure to convert a file does not mean it does not contain probative evidence, only that it did not convert with automated procedures.  These files should be reviewed and further steps taken to convert, when appropriate.

How to Identify Files Marked with Placeholders

From the Browse or Search page, apply filters on the field Placeholder = Unsupported or Failed To Convert, to filter for files flagged as Unsupported or Failed to Convert.  


Best practice in order to optimize document review is to display some fields in the Browse or Search pages.  The example below displays the following fields:  Title, Extension, Source FilePath, Pages, Size, Master Date, Date Sent, Subject, Attachment, and Placeholder.
 

Working with Native Files

If there is a placeholder in the PDF tab of the Document Viewer, click on the Original tab to download the file in native format. The file can be opened locally if the associated application is installed on the local computer and the file is otherwise accessible.


Case Assessment Reports (Self-Upload QC)

Use the Case Assessment page to create advanced visual reports to track placeholder files during the review process. From the tab Analysis->Case Assessment, it is possible to create the following reports:

Built-In Reports: Processing: Doc Count Unsupported by Extension and Processing: Doc Count Failed to Convert by Extension. Use the Custom Reports section to customize the report to include optional fields, such as Placeholder.






Container Files

Container files are marked as Not Converted, whether expanded or not.  Container files that fail to expand are not specifically identified.  

Help

Some non-converted, non-standard file types can be converted manually as a technical service (billable hourly or per GB, depending on file type and issues involved).