Folders vs. Custom Fields

This technical note describes the differences between Folders and Custom Fields in the Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP) and best practices for organizing and retrieving documents in a case.

Folders in LEP

Folders (and sub-folders) in LEP act as virtual file locations for documents, like folders or directories on a Windows or Mac. Folders and documents react the same way in LEP as they do on a local PC or Network.

Nested Folder-Structure

LEP does not map to folders during document upload.  If there is a nested folder structure in the container file (e.g., Zip, PST), the paths will automatically be mapped to the Source FilePath.  Use Saved and Shared Filters to organize and work with sub-folder structures.  

Fields/Tags and Filters in LEP

LEP includes built-in fields (Responsive, Confidential, Key Document, etc.).  Admin Users may also set up an unlimited number of custom fields (tags).  See Manage Custom Doc Fields for more information.  Built-in and custom fields may be assigned using multidoc edit and retrieved using Filters and Saved Filters. 

One Place or Many Places

A key disadvantage of using Folders in a litigation database is that a single document often needs to be identified with many tags.  For example, one file can be tagged as a Hot document, identified with deponents Smith and Jones, and liability issue: negligence.  This can be done easily with Fields/Tags, but cannot be done with Folders without duplicating the file.  Duplication of files in LEP or any litigation database program should be avoided as it leads to inconsistent coding and other problems. 

Folders are one-dimensional (cannot multi-tag) and work well as long as there is only one criterion for the case and for the documents (e.g. Transcripts). However, if one transcript with exhibits needs to belong to multiple categories such as Transcripts, Transcripts to Send to Client, the use of Folders results in problems.

Folders vs. Doc Fields

Duplicates - Why Not?

Exact file duplicates can cause problems in a litigation database. This is because duplicates require individual coding and can complicate review and increase storage space. Worse, duplicates can lead to inconsistent coding as all versions may not be coded exactly the same. This is a particularly a problem with privilege review and some but not all versions of a file may be identified as privileged.

Pinned Filters - Combined Advantage To Folders and Custom Doc Fields

Any filters applied from the Browse and Search pages are automatically saved under the Filter Quick Links section and preserved on the list view under the Recent section.  The user may rename and Pin the filter hyperlinks to separate and keep track of the most used filters.  Pinned filters look a lot like Folders, but without the disadvantages.

Filtering on the Source Filepath to find the Original Folder Structure

During an eDiscovery job upload, we retain and field the Source File Path, which often includes the original folder structure. The user may filter on the original folder name to retrieve files that were within that folders. This retains the original structure for evidence purposes and cannot be moved. The retrieved filter can be saved and retrieved later.