The Power of People: Quickly Spot Deficiencies in Incoming Productions

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You spend weeks, maybe months, negotiating your ESI agreement with the opposing party. You fight tooth and nail for every custodian and search term. You graciously grant extensions to the other side for unforeseen circumstances once, twice, three times. Finally, you get their production. 

You know there should be interesting emails between their internal employees in there — you have plenty of second-hand evidence from your clients to know that these were some unsavory folks. But you click through email after email only to find perfectly bland communications between the opposing party and their various external partners. You’ve reviewed thousands of documents and have a growing suspicion that they didn’t actually give you what you were most interested in — their internal communications. 

But how do you prove a negative? And, importantly, prove it quickly? You suspect you’ll need to file a motion to compel for this one, which means you’re going to be racing against your statutory deadline. 

Historically, you likely had to export the to/from metadata out of an ediscovery platform and manipulate it in a spreadsheet before you could prove your suspicion that internal communications were missing from the production. 

But that’s all changed with DISCO’s new search syntax: domainCount. This search syntax allows you to specify the number of domains that appear on a given email. In this case, you’d simply run a search for domainCount(1) & domain( When it returns zero results, you can be certain that they didn’t give you the internal communications you asked for — proven in less than five seconds! 

If you’re lucky, opposing counsel will cave quickly, just like they did for DISCO customer Emil Forsblad. Listen to his story here. 

Interested in learning more about how you can use people-based metadata to streamline your document reviews? Check out this whitepaper on using email metadata to reduce risk and boost your review or set up some time to chat with one of our experts.

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Caitlin Ward

Caitlin Ward is a product marketing manager at DISCO. She has more than a decade of experience leading ediscovery initiatives and advocating for the adoption of legal tech as an attorney. Since joining DISCO, she focuses on helping lawyers innovate to overcome their ediscovery and case management challenges.