PDF Print E-mail

Chapter 7 - Managing Litigation Information Using Technology


Delegation and Assignment of IT Tasks and Workflow

One of the difficult transitional areas for legal professionals is the reassignment of workflow processes as we change from a “paper” to a “paperless” case system. Digital control of case information presents new methods and skills that are obviously not present in a paper or analog system. A paper system requires documents, folders, expandos, filing cabinets, etc. A “paperless” system requires ASCII disks, OCR software, a scanner, database design, etc. Below is a beginning checklist of tasks that need to be assigned for a digital case management system. Many of the areas discussed below are covered in other parts of the book, such as Hardware and Software descriptions in Chapter 2. The following section is designed to start the process of assigning these areas to the lead attorney, associate, paralegal, computer support staff or others.

Outliners (See chapter 6)  
- Initial outline/trial notebook of case Attorney
- Review of outline for suggested changes Support staff
- Updating case outline Attorney/support staff
- Connecting to other digital information – full text depositions, etc. Support staff
- Training on how to use software Support staff
Database – for document control and other applications. (See Chapter 6 & 7)  
- Legal needs assessment. What will the database be used for – document information, witness information, etc.? What information should be collected? What reports are needed? Attorney
- Design of the database(s) Support staff
- Testing the database Support staff
- Designing and printing reports Support staff
- Approval of database design and reports Attorney
- Formatting existing computer data for importing into database Support staff
- Formulate legal and factual issues, witness and other codes. Attorney
- Develop document and image numbering system Attorney and support staff
- Inputting objective data into database Support staff
- Inputting subjective data into database Attorney
- Editing database Attorney/Support staff
- Periodic printing of reports Support staff
- Backup computer data Support staff
- Training on how to use database Support staff
Images – to attach a digital copy of a document to a database record for viewing on the computer screen. (See chapter 6 & 7)  
- Determine needs assessment of why documents will be imaged and attached to database record. Attorney and support staff
- Select imaging software depending on case needs Support staff
- Determine who will do initial scanning of documents – in-house or outsourcing. Attorney
- Accumulate client and opposing party documents Support staff
- Scan documents and convert to images. Support staff/outsourcing
- Attaching image to database record Vendor or Support staff
- Training on imaging software Support staff
Full Text – to search depositions or other litigation material by individual words. (See Chapter 6 & 7)  
- Select full text software after needs and comparison study. Carefully consider advanced search features. What will needed to be accessed – depositions, OCR’ed materials, etc. Attorney/Support staff
- Set up case file Support staff
- Determine computer format that full text material needs to be in. Support staff
- Determine if images will be linked to full text materials Attorney
- Determine if video depositions will be taken and whether they will be synchronized with the full text testimony. Attorney
- Contact court reporter to provide copy of depositions and exhibits (if you are having them attached as images) in specified format. Also, contact court reporter to set up video dispositions. Support staff
- Link images to specific transcript passage Support staff/Ct.Reporter
- Determine if you want to convert paper documents into full text data by using OCR. Determine if you want or need to clean up the converted full text documents. Attorney
- Convert selected documents into full text data Support staff or outsource
- Import full text depositions and other material into full text software program Support staff or outsource
- Train attorney and others on software program Support staff
- Design reports for on-screen review or printing Support staff with attorney legal analysis needs
- Review and code deposition by issue, witness or other codes Attorney and/or support staff
- Search depositions for specific testimony from witnesses for impeachment, etc. Attorney/paralegal
- Compile and review reports for case analysis Attorney
- Print out reports on a periodic basis Support staff
Real-time Transcription of Testimony – instant translation onto a computer screen of a witness’s testimony. (See Chapter 7)  
- Determine if you want to use real-time reporting. Explore the benefits of using real-time technology. Attorney/Support staff
- Formulate best strategy to use in deposition. Is opposing counsel cooperative? Should you use it without notice to the opposing counsel? Attorney
- Do you wish transmission to a remote location such as your office, expert witnesses’ office and so on? If so, does court reporter have proper communication setup? Attorney
- Select a certified real-time reporter Support staff
- Select and purchase real-time software and train litigation team. Support staff
- Select hardware equipment needed for the deposition. Support staff
- Install and test system with court reporter two weeks before deposition Support staff
- Train attorney on use of real-time software Support staff
- Using real-time during the deposition. Have a specific strategy as to who will be using the real-time computer and their objectives. Attorney

Find Legal Software


Digital Practice of Law Book

Digital Practice - TOC
Ch.1 - Automating the Practice
Ch: 2 - Computers
Ch: 3 - Networking and Group Computing
Ch: 4 - Internet & Telecommunications
Ch: 5 - Management and Personnel Considerations
Ch: 6 - Computer Concepts and Legal Applications
Ch: 7 - Managing Office and Litigation Information Using Technology
Implementing Litigation IT
Ch: 8 - Using Multimedia in Legal Proceedings

eDiscovery Alerts

Click here to sign up for ediscovery e-mail alerts that provide news on the latest electronic discovery and evidence issues.