In Documents, Documents and More Documents, construction site expert witness writes:
Some cases have as few documents as 50 to 100 pages for an expert to review, while others have thousands. When choosing an expert witness for a case, an astute attorney needs to consider whether the case will have a large volume of pages of documents and/or evidence.
The reality is that, while an expert may have the qualifications and expertise for the case, not all experts are equipped to document, catalog or evaluate large volumes of documents and evidence efficiently or properly — this requires a qualified and trained staff. “The devil is in the details,” and thousands of pages to review means thousands of details, all potentially significant.
I have had cases in which there were in excess of 80,000 pages of documents and exhibits. Yes, I said eighty- thousand pages. The sheer volume of documents requires that my staff carefully catalog each page. We start by scanning each page into a database using a high-volume scanner, and then add tags, keywords, Bates numbers and other identifiers. While this is time-consuming work up front, it saves countless expert labor hours later in the process. Upon completion of this process, I am able to pull up any document and see links to related documents and exhibits instantly, which assures accurate, detailed analysis and review of the documents in an efficient manner. It also allows for fast and accurate citing of evidence during the expert report writing process. A detailed catalog is instantly generated and updated including a compact disc (CD), which links to the actual PDF scanned documents. One click and the document I want to see is instantly before my eyes, with no more hunting or searching through file after file of hard copies.
If your case involves thousands of pages of documents, be sure to ask the prospective expert if he or she has the knowledge, staff and capability to provide you with just such a vital system of document management.
William Gulya, Jr., President & CEO, Middlesex Trenching Company for more than 35 years, specializes in excavation & construction site preparation