Case Study – Responding to a Summons

Aug 23, 2020

A case study in best practice approach to responding to a summons to produce records.


How do you quickly collect and review documents from a client in order to respond to a court summons to produce documents within 10 days. Especially where the client is in a regional location preventing electronic transfer of files due to internet speed.

Infographic of responding to a summons

How ELMS Solved the Problem

The first decision made was that the most efficient way to identify the documents responsive to the summons was to collect all of the client’s business and iPhone records and ingest them into a litigation database for searching.

This approach raised an initial obstacle of obtaining the records from the client because the client was based in regional Queensland and their internet speed was not sufficient enough to upload documents in a timely manner.

After working out that it would take in excess of 5 days to upload the documents, the solution was to have the client copy the business records onto a hard drive and physically drive them to a meeting point for personal collection by one of the ELMS team.

This process raises different security risks, but in this case it was the only way to get the data to us fast enough to be ingested into the litigation database and leave enough time for legal review.

  • The client’s records after ingestion numbered 403,812.
  • Deduplication reduced the number of records to 203,492.
  • ELMS applied agreed search criteria for custodians and keywords which reduced the set to 67,604 documents for review by the law firm.

The documents were ready for review by the law firm within 1 day of collection. The lawyers reviewed these documents for responsiveness against the summons and ultimately 4,360 documents were coded as relevant and produced to court in time.

Benefits of this Approach

Without the use of the litigation database this type of review could not be achieved in the time available.

The technology allowed the lawyers to identify the relevant documents quickly and get access to that material in a matter of days.