Tonight at the offices of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, I attended a Relativity User Group presentation on Email Thread Visualization conducted by Joe Riley of KCura. Here are my notes on what seemed most significant about the presentation.
Email Thread Visualization allows users to perform faster, more consistent, conflict checks on how identical emails or attachments are coded for responsiveness. It also facilitates finding emails which are missing from discussion threads.
Email Thread Visualization is an operation run in a Structured Analytics Set. An Structured Analytics Set can be set to perform email threading and textual near duplication identification.
An email threading view will display the following fields:
1. Email Thread Display [a summary field which shows the author name and subject, plus an icon indicating whether or not a record is inclusive or not. A black box is an inclusive record - it contains content not in another record; a white box is non-inclusive. A number in the box indicates the message's position in the thread.]
2. Email Thread Group
3. Email Threading ID
4. Inclusive Email [a Yes or No field]
5. Inclusive Reason [MESSAGE or ATTACHMENT]
6. Email Duplicate Spare [a Yes or No field]
The Thread ID lists a control number followed by successive four digit numbers indicating a message's position in the thread. A plus sign following this Thread ID indicates that the email is available in the repository, a minus sign that it is absent.
In determining which emails are inclusive, Relativity does not consider the To, CC, or BCC fields. These fields are not always available in data sets.
Inclusiveness is based on the original message; the presence of attachments, and how the text of the thread changes. The review of the FROM field takes into account various aliases for the same email address. The subject field is trimmed for FWD, and RE: prefixes. The date is placed in a range to account for variations in time zones. The attachments are hashed. Relativity does not take into consideration the Microsoft Conversation Index (see the Tip of the Night for September 9, 2016).
The Email Thread Visualization in the Core Reviewer Interface will display information about each email in the thread when you hover your cursor over it. There are links to attachments on the icons in the thread.
This hover over feature cannot be disabled.
At the presentation there were a number of experienced Relativity administrators and there was some debate about emails not included in a review data set would be displayed in the ETV. Some thought a question mark would be shown, others said that they would be omitted altogether.
As shown in the above image, when there is a conflict in how emails are coded (the same email is coded differently for for privilege; responsiveness, etc.) a exclamation point in a red circle is displayed.
Very complex threads of dozens of messages won't be displayed in the ETV. Propagation is not used for coding decisions made in the thread visualization.
Some members of the group raised the possibility that attorneys would object to email threading because they might be required to produce the data to opposing parties. It was noted that while in practice mass tagging of email threads should be not done based on a review of a single message, in practice staff attorneys often make this inadvisable coding decision.