A Breakdown Of The Lehman Docs Provides A Painful Road Map Of Discovery

Huge Paper Stack/Paper Mill

Photo: AP

You know that any report that totals 2,200 pages — like the Lehman examiner’s report does — must be distilled from no less than a mountain of underlying documents.An interesting DealBook piece breaks down how these documents were attacked (review-wise, of course):

  • There were 350 billion pages initially;
  • Search terms were created to toss out irrelevant documents and then 70 contract attorneys narrowed those to “documents of possible interest,” the court-appointed examiner, Jenner & Block’s Anton Valukas, told DealBook;
  • Then Jenner & Block lawyers reviewed those “possible interest” documents (no specific number provided); and
  • Finally, Valukas himself reviewed a whopping 34 million pages

Granted, this was one huge document review (150 times the information in the Library of Congress, according to DealBook’s maths), but it does not sound like that much more than what all the lawyers currently slaving away on any of the other huge banking-related cases pending are dealing with.

Or the process is the same anyway — save the lead partner reviewing that many documents. That, we think, is unprecedented.

But in general — compile huge, soul-crushing database, enter search terms, hire contract attorneys, cull what the contract attorneys have done, lather, rinse, repeat.

We’ve said many times that flipping through document 127,356 on Concordance at 11:30 pm made leaving big firm life fairly enticing. For those of you still doing it…power on, little soldier, power on. 

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