Folders vs. Document Fields/Tags

This technical note describes the differences between Folders and Document Fields/Tags in Lexbe eDiscovery Platform and best practices for organizing and retrieving documents in your case.

Folders In Lexbe eDiscovery Platform

Folders (and sub-folders) in
Lexbe eDiscovery Platform act as virtual file locations for documents, like folders or directories on a Windows or Mac computer file system.  As with computer file systems a document can only be in one location in a folder.

Fields/Tags and Filters In Lexbe eDiscovery Platform

Lexbe eDiscovery Platform includes a number of built-in Fields such as 'Responsive', 'Confidential' 'Key Document', etc.  Account administrators can also set up an unlimited number of Custom fields for any purpose.  We also call Fields 'tags' sometimes.  Built-in and custom fields can also be assigned at one time using multidoc edit and can be retrieved using Filters and Saved Filters. 

One Place or Many Places

A key disadvantage of using Folders in a litigation database is the need that a single document needs to be identified with many tags. 
For example, one file can be tagged as 'Hot' document, identified with deponents 'Smith' and 'Jones', liability issue: 'negligence'.  This can be easily down with Fields/Tags, but cannot be done with Folders without duplicating the file.  Duplication of files in Lexbe or any litigation database program should be avoided as it leads to inconsistent coding and other problems. 

Folders are one-dimensional (cannot multi-tag) and they work great as long as you have one criterion for your case and for the documents (e.g. 'Transcripts'). But as soon as you want one transcript with exhibits to belong to multiple categories such as; 'Transcripts', 'Transcripts to Send to Client', use of Folders cause problems.

Folders vs. Doc Fields

  Advantages Disadvantages


>Folders are familiar and simple, if not very functional.

>Folders can be created automatically in
Lexbe eDiscovery Platform on upload of a ZIP compressed file containing an existing folder structureThe upload will carry over the same sub-folders titles that you can manage under the Management>Manage Folders.

>Sub-folder and all of its contents can be moved to another location without using multidoc edit.

>Document can only live in one folder at a time. If you need the same document to be located in multiple folders it will be necessary to re-upload the same file, introducing duplicates, which should be avoided.

>Use of Folders can encourage users to create duplicates of files to get desired file organization.

>Finding documents in highly nested folders is difficult.

>Users can't apply Search within sub-folders.

Doc Fields

>Multidimensional coding. One document can have many tags as needed without creating duplicates in the case.

>You can display multiple Coding fields at the same time in Browse, Search or the Document Viewer.

>You can also filter or apply searches to multiple criteria to group documents. Filters, particularly if saved and named, act a lot like a folder, but with more functionality and without the restrictions.

>When uploading Native files,
Lexbe eDiscovery Platform automatically extracts metadata and codes to built-in fields.  For example, Outlook email 'Sender', 'Date Sent', Date Received', etc. is automatically extracted and fielded to built-in fields in Lexbe eDiscovery Platform.

>Coding may be included in a case from a Load file (e.g., Concordance or Summation) and these will be coded to fields, not folders.

>The original folder path of a document when uploaded from a Zip is saved read-only on the 'Original File Path' field and can be accessed and filtered on and saved filters can be created.

>They can be
accessed from the Browse, Search, Document Viewer and Case>Add Case Documents pages.

>More work to set up than Folders, so Folders may be adequate in small, simple cases.

>Folders can be automatically created on upload but Fields/Tags and Saved Filters cannot.

Duplicates - Why Not?

Exact file duplicates can cause problems in a litigation database like Lexbe. This is because duplicates require individual coding and can complicate review and increase storage space. Worse, duplicates can lead to inconsistent coding as all versions may not be coded exactly the same. This is a particularly a problem with privilege review and some but not all versions of a file may be identified as privileged.

Uploading Folders & Sub-folders Structures on Lexbe eDiscovery Platform

Please visit our help page 'Upload Folder Structures' for more details.

Pinned Filters - Combined Advantage To Folders & Custom Doc Fields!

Any filters applied from the Browse and Search pages are automatically saved under the 'Filter Quick Links' section. Whenever you click on the ‘Apply’ button, this action automatically preserves the filter records on the list view under the ‘Recent’ section and creates filter hyperlinks to open specific set of documents. Last but not least, you can also rename and 'Pin' the filter hyperlinks to separate and keep track of the most used filters.  When this is done Pinned filters look a lot like Folders, but without the disadvantages.

Filtering on the 'Source Filepath' to find the Original Folder Structure

During an eDiscovery job upload, we retain and field the Source File Path, which often includes the original folder structure.  You can filter on the original folder name to retrieve files that were within that folders.  This retains the original structure for evidence purposes and cannot be moved.  The retrieved filter can be saved and retrieved later.