Scared straight? Reviewing Excel files in the wake of Wells Fargo

Scared straight? Reviewing Excel files in the wake of Wells Fargo

25 August 2017

The Wells Fargo inadvertent disclosure episode provides a high-profile reminder that attorneys who are responsible for reviewing and producing client documents must thoroughly understand those documents.

As reported by the New York Times, the inadvertently produced material "included copious spreadsheets with customers' names and Social Security numbers, paired with financial details like the size of their investment portfolios and the fees the bank charged them."

Here is a list of skills that I think every reviewer must have to competently review spreadsheets in the eDiscovery context:

  • Reviewing the entire workbook, not just the current tab.
  • Understanding Filters.
  • Identifying hidden rows, columns, and worksheets.
  • Identifying & deciphering formulas.
  • Understand the Freeze Panes display feature.
  • Finding and expanding truncated text.
  • Identify the boundaries of a worksheet.
  • Finding each worksheet's print formatting.