Practical applications for document permissions


DISCO’s document permission options are an intuitive and powerful way to create groups of users who have access to only the documents they need.

In this article, we'll first look at how Gayle, a partner in a small firm, uses document permissions to divide up review work and protect sensitive information. Then we'll see how Derrick, the head of litigation support, uses the same features to improve the review workflow.


noun_folders_289353_00afa9.png Gayle uses permissions to divide review work.

Gayle has taken on a case defending Juan Lobos from accusations of intellectual property theft. Juan's former employer, Super Cool Gadgets, claims that he stole details about a project he was working on for them and used them to develop a similar technology at his new employer, Stylish Widgets.

Gayle and her co-counsel will do the initial case assessment. She decides to divide the work by custodian. To make this easy, she puts herself and each co-counsel into a separate permission role. She sets the default document access level for these roles to Not viewable. Finally, she gives each role editing access to documents with the assigned custodian.


This means that each attorney does not have to remove other custodians from their searches, since their searches will now only include documents from their assigned custodian.


noun_Lock_287787_00afa9.png Gayle uses permissions to secure documents for attorneys' eyes only (AEO).

Gayle’s firm signed a confidentiality agreement in which her client is not allowed to see certain sensitive data from either Super Cool Gadgets or Stylish Widgets. For example, Juan is barred from viewing financial records from both companies.

To protect this data, Gayle’s team tags all of the relevant documents with the tag AEO. Then, she sets Juan’s default document access to view-only. Finally, she creates a rule disallowing him from viewing any documents with the AEO tag.



noun_page_1173930_00afa9.png Gayle uses permissions to secure documents when bringing in an outside expert.

The technology Juan helped build at both companies involved artificial intelligence (AI). Gayle decides to hire an expert witness, Anthony, who specializes in artificial intelligence technology.

Gayle doesn’t want Anthony to have access to her entire review database. During early case assessment, she and her co-counsel add any documents relevant to AI to a folder titled AI Expert Witness. She creates a role for Anthony and sets the default document access to Not viewable. Then, she gives him permission to edit documents in his folder.



noun_page_1173930_00afa9.png Derrick uses permissions to review documents for quality control.

Before the reviewers start their work, Derrick wants all the documents in the database to be reviewed by the litigation support team for quality control. Gayle wants to move quickly, so Derrick wants the review team to be able to start review as soon as any documents are QC-ed by his team.

When Derrick ingests the documents, he adds a tag titled Ingest hold. Then, he creates two custom roles: one for the litigation support team and one for the reviewers. He sets both default document access levels to Not viewable. Next, he'll build rules to determine what each team should be able to see and edit. 

For the litigation support team, Derrick sets editing permissions for all documents with the tag Ingest hold


For the review team, Derrick sets editing permissions for all documents without the tag Ingest hold.


As a document is QC-ed, the litigation support team removes the Ingest hold tag. The document will disappear for the litigation support team and appear for the review team.


noun_page_1173930_00afa9.png Derrick uses permissions to prevent produced documents from being edited.

Once a document has been produced, Derrick doesn’t want any users to be able to edit it. So he creates a new permission rule that makes documents view only once they have been produced in DISCO. He applies this rule to all the non-admin roles.


For more information, see Document permissions.

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