Attorneys' Eyes Only (AEO) Document Designation

This technical note will discuss the confidential designation of Attorneys' Eyes Only and how to apply the AEO designation in LEP.

AEO is a restrictive document production designation requiring that documents produced and information disclosed are only shared with the parties’ legal counsel, including legal staff, and possibly outside experts under specified protocols.  None of the specific information in documents with an AEO designation can be revealed to anyone associated with the client or the client itself.  The party seeking an AEO designation typically bears the burden of proving that each document labeled as “Attorneys’ Eyes Only” is sensitive enough to warrant such a restriction based on an adequate factual basis.

How do AEO documents receive the designation?

The AEO designation is typically granted and defined within a Protective Order.  The designation could also be stipulated in an ESI agreement, protocol or order, or in a Scheduling Order.

What are typical provisions?

The standard custom designation will be embossed on Production PDF or TIFF files on the footer of each page designated as AEO. Depending on the ESI agreement, the information may be required to be included in the metadata file (.DAT file).

Best Practices in Creating Productions with AEO documents in LEP

During document review, select Confidential and Custom Designation in the coding panel. Any document designated with a Custom Designation must also have Confidential code selected for the production to process the  AEO Custom Designation.


Once the production set has been created, the Custom Designation text can be added in the production settings. Additional custom designation tag information can be found on the Productions help page.


Once the production has been processed, the AEO custom designation text will be applied to the footer of all documents coded as such within a production.

Best Practices in Handling Incoming Productions with AEO documents in LEP

AEO docs may be indicated in the metadata load file (if the information is provided), counsel production transmittal letter or file extensions in production files that reflect the AEO designation (i.e., file name of BATES000001_ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY.xlsx).

As a precaution, a user may choose to place AEO documents in a separate case or account.  Ensure that no prohibited persons are users of a case with AEO docs and that prohibited persons are not administrators of an account with a case or cases with AEO documents.  Be sure to alert administrators of accounts with AEO docs in a case, if needed, so they don't accidentally add inappropriate users. 

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