Tracking Files By Custodian


A Custodian is a person who has responsibility or control over electronically stored information (ESI). For example, if John Smith owns and controls a laptop computer, Mr. Smith would be custodian of any ESI found on the computer.  Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP) tracks Custodians.  Custodians can be the litigants, deponents, witnesses, and other individuals and organizations in the case that provide factual information.   

Custodians in LEP

Custodians can be assigned to documents at the time of an upload or after upload through Multi-Doc Edit or in the Document Viewer (each discussed below). Prior to making assignments, set up Custodians in LEP (Case->Custodians).

Assigning Custodians as Part of Document Upload

To assign Custodians upon upload, upload documents into the case in batches, one Custodian at a time from the Case->Add Case Documents page.  On the Upload page, assign each batch of files to the appropriate custodian.  All files in the batch will be associated with the appropriate Custodian.

Assigning Custodians to Files through Multi-Doc Edit

The user may assign Custodians to multiple documents simultaneously from the Browse or Search pages using Multi-Doc edit. See Shared Functions for more information.  

The user may import Custodians and assign them to multiple files by generating custom Excel spreadsheets for upload to the Platform.  See Custodians for more information.  

Assigning Custodians to Files from the Document Viewer 

The user may assign Custodians on an individual document level from the Document Viewer.  Click on any link to a document title in LEP from the Search, Browse or Facts & Issues pages and assign existing Custodians to selected documents.

Identify Custodians with the Source FilePath Provided with Emails Metadata or Batch Upload

If there is a nested sub-folder structure in uploaded container files (e.g., Zip, PST), the paths will be mapped automatically to the Source FilePath field in LEP.  This may indicate the custodian/location from which the document was collected and so can be used to assign Custodians after upload.

Use Saved & Shared Filters to organize and work with sub-folder structures when a Custodian is identified in the Source FilePath field.

Ways to Track Files by Custodians

Filter. Filter by Custodian from the Search and Browse pages.  

Sort. From the Search and Browse pages, select Sort->Sort By->Custodian->OK.  LEP does not index the Doc Id or other fielded data to make search query faster.  

Export Custodian Logs to Excel

Use the Export Log to Excel feature to generate a report of all Custodians that can be filtered, sorted for further analysis, reporting or printing.  See Shared Functions for more information.  

Culling by Custodian

It is a common practice to collect and preserve ESI from Custodians who may eventually be culled from the case when it is determined that their ESI is not required. ESI must be assigned to a particular Custodian to effectively cull by Custodian. See ESI-Culling for more information.  

Reviewing and Deleting Files by Single Custodians

Run documents through a Review Set to recapture email family associations and make email families complete within a single Custodian before deleting documents. Do not delete partial email families (e.g., email bodies and attachments).  See ESI Culling-Expand Documents to Retain in a Cull to Avoid Partial Email Families for more information.

Deduplication Within or Between Custodian Collections

See Deduplication for more information.  

Importance of Tracking Custodians

It is important to track collected files back to the Custodian for several reasons including the following: 

Checking ESI collected per Custodian is a quality control check of collection procedures.

Inclusion of particular Custodians in a discovery plan may be dynamic and change, particularly in the early stages of litigation.

Deduplication of email and other ESI is usually done per Custodian.

Custodian attribution may be required as part of a production.

Admitting the ESI as evidence at trial may depend on being able to track the evidence back to the Custodian in possession.

Need Help

Project Management and Professional Services (billable hourly) are available to support document review, Custodian assignment, and other services.  Contact your sales representative for a quote.