Regular mail and new paper documents — why conventional systems are unsatisfactory

Document management system vendors tell you to just scan evidence and store it in the DM system, along with work-product. But 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 evidence and images and OCR them. But then your case file is split — outgoing work product in the document management system and incoming documents in the litigation support system. We (naturally) think MasterFile is better and explain why.

Managing litigation and work-product

We wondered: “Why should legal firms incur the costs of acquisition, installation, support, maintenance, and training of two major systems just for documents. Could one be sufficient?”

Case Knowledge Management

At its heart, making your case is about proving the facts related to each issue with concrete argument, substantiated with key extracts of information (raw facts) drawn from the documents or evidence — exactly what MasterFile was designed for from the start.

Importing CaseMap cases with the CaseMap Importer

Our CaseMap® Importer lets you import any CaseMap case from CaseMap version 4 and up. Transferring your CaseMap cases to MasterFile’s integrated document and fact repository is quick and easy. In this article we show you how the CaseMap Importer works and some results — the differences are startlingly clear! After switching, browse evidence and extract key information, dive deep into facts and issues, explore relationships, and analyze, set out and substantiate argument, point by point — unique capabilities that only MasterFile brings you. With everything in one place, MasterFile gives you clarity. And makes you more effective.

Working efficiently with views

Views are where you find what you’re looking for in MasterFile. There are over 50 different views that slice into your case evidence, facts, issues and more. You can create your own too. Since they’re one of the keys to using MasterFile efficiently, we’ve put together some tips making views more useful and enjoyable.

Using full text search

One of MasterFile’s most valuable features is its full text search engine. You can perform simple Google type searches or Boolean searches or if you turn on the proximity option, even searches like ‘car PARAGRAPH wheels’ which finds documents in which ‘car’ and ‘wheels’ appear in the same paragraph.

MasterFile and Practice Management Systems

Linking your MasterFile databases to your practice management system is as simple as filing MasterFile’s NDL file(s) as a new document for the relevant client and/or matter in its document’s tab. When you double click or open the relevant .NDL “document” shown in the client or matter’s documents tab in your practice management system, the related MasterFile database opens.

Using doc-links

MasterFile has only one linking technology — doc-links. One of MasterFile’s most valuable features, they’re simple to understand and easy to use. It doesn’t matter why you’re linking or what you’re linking — they’re used for everything. MasterFile’s doc-links substantiate argument, provide security over e-mail, eliminate file links, and more. They let you link work product, evidentiary documents, transcripts, extracts, or facts to any other document, extract or fact. They’re self-descriptive so there are no short names (as in CaseMap) to remember, and because MasterFile stores everything in its database, unlike external document file links, they never break.

Working with profiles

Document, extract and fact profiles are to MasterFile what e-mail messages are to e-mail  — without them your database is empty! Learning their features, how they work together and how they relate to views will help you get the most out of  MasterFile. Here are some tips we hope you will find useful.

Bookmarks and shortcuts

Like browser bookmarks and desktop shortcuts, you can create shortcuts to MasterFile databases and critical information for instant access. In this post, we show you how to do that in MasterFile’s “Favourite Bookmarks” panel and on the Windows desktop — using simple drag and drop.

Innovative uses of MasterFile beyond the obvious

One of MasterFile’s unique design points is its single file database architecture and browsing metaphor. This architecture makes MasterFile simple to understand and ideal for small project and case files — or even just a few documents that need to be organized, secured and shared. In this post we look at how MasterFile’s unique browsing metaphor and issue/topic categorizations let you customize it to use in creative ways you might not have thought of — without any programming.

Cross-examination questions and interrogatories and handling them in MasterFile

In this post we look at how MasterFile lets you stay on top of questions, set out interrogations, helps you record the answers and more importantly, quickly use that information in your argument.

Setting out argument — Strategies and techniques

One of MasterFile’s unique features is the ability to let you set out and substantiate your argument or thesis, point by point. Why? Because setting out and proving the facts related to the issues with concrete argument, substantiated by key extracts from evidence is what it’s all about. In this post we cover how, based on what we’ve learned and refined from actual cases argued with MasterFile.

3 Tools for Maintenance

To help you complete bulk revisions or corrections quickly and easily, MasterFile provides three easy to use, visual maintenance tools: “Global Replace”, “Global add/remove” and “Power Assisted Revision”. We explain them here.

Loading documents and email

Documents are at the heart of your work and being able to efficiently load existing documents and e-mail, and manage work-product, is essential. MasterFile’s unique document repository is designed to manage both evidence which is generally static and work product such as correspondence, pleadings, reports, etc. that is often also revised.