A well known PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP study found professionals spend 50% of their time looking for information. Can you afford to have the professional staff of your organization waste half of their time just looking for information? Probably not, and therefore storing documents as paper is an expensive proposition.
Conventional wisdom, and technology, suggests you install and manage two systems just to manage your documents: a document management system for work product and a litigation support system for evidentiary documents. But even if you install two systems, what are you going to do with the paper documents?
You know, the ones that drown your office every day. They seem to come from everywhere: your client, the opposing side’s counsel, co-counsel, external organizations and expert witnesses, etc. The list is endless.
And what about signed or stamped and filed copies of your own documents?
Remember this scenario from our earlier post?
You’ve reviewed one of your client’s documents stored in your litigation support system and had some questions, so you wrote to your client but your letter is stored in the document management system. When your client replied, they answered your questions so this was new evidence for the litigation support system. However, they also asked you to update the status of the case, advised you of changes in strategy they felt were needed, and also raised some other administrative issues.
So what are you going to do with this letter? Put it in both systems? What about security considerations — leading litigation support systems don’t allow you to keep individual document private. What about other paper documents: which go where and how will you remember? Typical leading document management and litigation support systems have not been integrated to work together.
Document management (DM) system vendors tell you to just scan the documents and store them in the DM system, along with all your other work-product. However the documents are not OCRed so they can’t be indexed and content searched. And even if they were, many leading DM systems are not designed to let you take thousands of documents on the road with you — they don’t even offer full text searching of content when you’re disconnected from the network!
Litigation support systems, on the other hand, are designed to manage scanned images and OCR them. But then your case file is split — outgoing work product and work in progress documents in the document management system and incoming documents in the litigation support system.
Clearly, as we’ve pointed out in Managing litigation and work-product: Are two systems really needed just to manage my documents?, something is wrong. Having two systems just to deal with documents simply doesn’t make sense.
MasterFile’s single-file-per-case repository not only eliminates these issues and the costs and hassles of managing two document systems, it also provides you with the tools you need to efficiently process paper, electronic evidence and work product. For example,
- MasterFile’s Watch Folder Monitor makes short work of dealing with incoming mail each morning;
- Express Load’s semi-automatic Power Assist mode let’s you bulk load small document batches; and /li>
- Its fully automatic batch or CSV mode bulk loads thousands or tens of thousands of documents.
Then there’s our optional integrated Evidence Cruncher module. It makes short work of
- OCRing image documents, converting them into searchable PDF — before or after importing them into MasterFile, or
- bulk conversion of common office formats like Word and images into industry standard PDF format
And in either case, you’ll find MasterFile’s exclusive Extract Repository indispensable to cull what’s important from any document. The net result: what’s critical can be seen at a glance in any MasterFile view across all your documents — saving you hours re-reading, hunting and searching.
MasterFile — We focus on the technology so you can focus on your cases.
MasterFile makes a collaborative case analysis and evidence management platform for lawyers and litigators. Everything that matters is right at your fingertips in an intelligent system built for simple document management or complex litigation that transforms your practice.
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