Technical Competence ‘mini’ Litmus Test (Part III)

This is the final piece in the Technical Competence ‘mini’ litmus test.  Prior to this, we focused on general questions related to technical competence and then in Part II we addressed questions related to Information Governance, Identification, Preservation and Collection.  Hopefully you have your notes from Part I and Part II as they will serve you well in identifying the areas of competence that need improvement.  If you have not read Part I and II, I would encourage you to do so as they complement this final piece.  


Let’s proceed with additional questions relevant to the phases and complete our progress through the end of the model (Information Governance, Identification, Preservation and Collection were covered in part II)

Processing –


  • Can you explain the difference between deduping across a data set vs. per custodian?
  • Do you understand the benefits of OCR as compared to metadata?
  • Are you familiar with the concept of clustering?
  • Once you have developed a guideline for processing data, do you believe the same approved standard should be used for all matters?
  • Do you accept most productions or are you equipped to go back to opposing counsel and challenge the format?


Review and Analysis –

  • Are you familiar with these terms or have understandings of syntax, queries, connectors, filters, clustering, or conceptual searches, threading, near dupes, and predictive coding?
  • Since the rules require more transparency – do you have the knowledge to even provide that transparency?
  • Are you familiar with the different TAR workflows?
  • Since proportionality is so important, have you taken the necessary steps to incorporate technology so that you can reduce the costs and pursue the important issues for which your client sought your services?
  • Have you seen an effect as a result of incorporating technology into your review practice that you can market to your clients?


Production/Exports –

  • Do you have a practical understanding of the benefits of a native production vs. searchable PDF?
  • What about other forms of production?
  • Could you argue why the discovery was not produced in a good format?
  • Is a PDF file consisting of 20,000 pages considered “native” file format?
  • Do you ever take advantage of the Rules of Federal Evidence, more specifically Rule 502?
  • As a corporation, do you have the tools to export data in the format requested by local counsel or do they manipulate the data for importing into their own platform?

Presentation –


  • Are you comfortable with technology that allows the legal team to quickly and efficiently mark or tag the information identified as an exhibit?
  • Is it important to you to gain access to the courtroom ahead of trial in order to survey the room and explore any skepticism the judge might have about trial graphics and the use of electronics?
  • Is it common practice for you to employ a data backup / redundancy plan?

Congratulations!  You not only finished the test but should now have an awareness of which areas you’re comfortable and which areas need some work.  Take a few minutes and ask yourself how beneficial it would be for you, your staff, and your clients if the level of eCompetence in these areas were stronger?  After that, I would encourage you to employ a consultant, mentor, or instructor to work with you and your staff in a collaborative effort to move from A to B.