Adequate Search Terms Are Important

Via Legal Technology Blog, a great post titled Wake-Up Call on Slipshod Search Terms, discusses the important of proper search terms. U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew. J. Peck recently issued,

a self-styled “wake-up call” to members of the bar in the Southern District. Instead of attorneys designing keywords without adequate information “by the seat of their pants,” Peck appealed for keyword formulations based on careful thought, quality control, testing and cooperation.

Further, Magistrate Judge Peck, in an order of William A. Gross Constr. Assoc., Inc. v. Am. Mfr. Mut. Ins. Co., 256 F.D.R. 134, 2009 WL 724954 (S.D.N.Y. March 19, 2009) endorsed

Magistrate Judge Grimm’s description of the proper procedure for devising search keywords. He emphasized in a footnote that what is required is more than a lawyer’s guesses, without any quality control testing to ensure the search results are minimally overinclusive or underinclusive for responsive e-mails.

A plug for the Pace Law Library, take a moment to listen to the law library podcast Food for Thought: Generating Search Terms.

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