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Case study: Litigation law firm

Winning a case of redacting information on-the-fly.

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One of the most prominent litigation firms in the U.S. was representing a large healthcare organization governed by strict HIPAA laws. Most litigation information is electronic, requiring digital tools to strike confidential information such as phone and social security numbers from the public record (a process known as redacting). However, just days before files were due to the court and opposing counsel, the law firm received files from its vendor that were not redacted. There were more than 30 multi-tab Excel spreadsheets that converted to 7,000 TIFF pages. If the confidential information wasn’t redacted, fines would be up to $10,000 per incident. The law firm needed a knowledgeable and thorough partner to correct the errors — quickly and affordably.

We devised a redaction solution that was expedited much more quickly than the traditional digital process.






Ricoh’s Managed Review Services was uniquely equipped to handle an extremely tight turnaround with necessary care while containing costs.

When brainstorming a solution, Ricoh discovered that 99 percent of each document needed to be redacted. We decided on an approach called inverse redaction that draws around the information that doesn’t need to be redacted — the opposite of the normal process.

Another creative tactic: Instead of working on the spreadsheets within the TIFF images, where it’s difficult to line up rows and columns, why not work in the native Excel files? With this approach, we could search for the limited information that didn’t need to be redacted and then black out the remaining lines of information. It was much like the old paper and marker approach, yet digitized. Once complete, TIFF files were produced that were truly redacted and unalterable so no claims of information tampering could be raised by opposing counsel.

About the customer

The customer is one of the nation’s largest plaintiff’s litigation firms with deep expertise in complex litigation, trial and resolution involvement. Attorneys handle individual, consolidated, mass torts and class action cases in state and federal courts across the country.


The results

The redaction project was completed in a mere 12 hours — half the anticipated time allotted — with plenty of time to provide the court and opposing counsel with high-integrity documentation. In addition, costs were reduced substantially from the original estimate for traditional digital redaction services. In the end, we were able to complete the work for 80 percent less than the original estimate.

With the recent addition of Managed Review Services, Ricoh now has a full suite of services that law firms and corporate counsel can enlist to handle the growing volume of information generated in legal proceedings.