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Complex Litigation & Discovery Center

Steptoe’s Complex Litigation & Discovery Center (CLDC) provides innovative, efficient, and cost-effective solutions to help clients meet the ever-growing challenges of their eDiscovery obligations, including the legal review of documents and electronically stored information (ESI).

Established in 2003 in Rockville, Maryland, Steptoe’s CLDC has been producing high quality results for its clients for more than a decade by utilizing a team of experienced attorneys and professional staff dedicated to working on a broad range of eDiscovery issues for clients across a number of different practice areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Litigation
  • Antitrust and Hart-Scott-Rodino compliance
  • Transactional due diligence projects
  • White-collar criminal defense
  • Internal investigations
  • Government subpoenas and investigations

Steptoe’s CLDC attorneys and professional staff bring a wealth of eDiscovery experience and subject matter expertise that comes from the management of more than 200 document reviews and productions for the firm’s clients.  The CLDC’s scalable discovery and review services cover a wide array of practice areas, jurisdictions, and complexities, including matters involving foreign languages.  Some of the CLDC’s representative matters include:

  • Reviewing 2.5 million documents as part of a high-profile government fraud investigation
  • Reviewing 1.6 million documents in connection with an IP matter pending in federal court
  • Reviewing one million Japanese-language documents in connection with a US antitrust investigation over a two-year period

Although client eDiscovery matters are becoming increasingly complex, the CLDC’s fundamental approach remains simple:  people and process.  Every client document review is managed by an experienced Steptoe CLDC attorney who serves as the project manager for the duration of the review.   And as an established firm-managed facility, the CLDC also offers clients the benefit of having Steptoe—as their outside counsel—directly apply its best practices and operational controls over the document review process.   Mike Bergeron, of counsel with Steptoe for more than 12 years and operations director of the CLDC, has more than 34 years of legal and management experience, and previously ran corporate legal departments and served as a senior executive in operations capacities.   Mr. Bergeron is joined by Patrick Tofilon, who serves as the CLDC’s lead attorney and has more than 10 years of experience handling complex litigation and managing discovery matters. 

At the inception of every document review, the CLDC’s lawyers and staff carefully develop culling strategies, identify workflow optimizations, create flexible staffing plans, and draft well-defined review protocols that achieve accurate and defensible results on schedule and at a reasonable cost.  Throughout the review process, our lawyers also actively manage and monitor document review metrics and production milestones to meet even the most aggressive discovery deadlines.  In addition, every CLDC matter, regardless of its size or prevailing schedule constraints, receives multiple levels of quality control checks to ensure productions are complete, contain no privileged or otherwise withholdable materials, and comply with other discovery requirements, such as protective orders. 

The CLDC also leverages our team's experience and understanding of leading technology to reduce the volume of documents that may require review, and to optimize and create workflow efficiencies to ensure greater levels of consistency and reduce costs.  The CLDC team regularly works alongside the firm’s eDiscovery and Practice Solutions group (ePS) and outside vendors to utilize technology-assisted review (TAR), email threading, foreign language identification, clustering, and other data analytics to maximize overall efficiency.   In doing so, CLDC lawyers effectively and defensibly integrate these technologies into the review process, delivering practical and economic benefits to best service our clients’ needs.

To learn more about the capabilities of Steptoe’s Complex Litigation & Discovery Center, please see the videos below or email us at cldc@steptoe.com.

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