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Moving to the Paperless Law · PDF file What is the paperless law office? • - The paperless law office is an office dedicated to reducing and eventually eliminating the use of paper

Apr 21, 2020

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  • Moving to the

    Paperless Law Office

    Michael W. Reagor

    Denver CLS

    March 13, 2009

  • Does your office look like this?

  • Is this you?

  • Why go paperless?

    −Think of all the paper you save

    because “someday you might need

    that document”, only to never use the

    document again.

    −How much time and effort does it cost

    us to close and store files?

  • Why go paperless?

    −Have you ever wasted time looking for a

    single piece of paper?

    −Have you ever spent hours rummaging

    through redropes of documents?

    −When you try cases, do you carry boxes

    “trees” into the courtroom?

    −Can you easily find your exhibits at trial?

  • Why go paperless?

    • Cost savings

    − Costs up front to digitize your office

    − Costs saved at “back end of process”

    • No storage costs

    • Can locate documents

    • Ease in use of documents

    • Saved paper costs (80% estimate)

    • Immediate access to information, to avoid “general”

    conversations

    • Easy to reorganize a case

    − Better stewardship

  • Why go paperless?

    - The need to collaborate electronically

    • With clients

    • With courts

    • With co-counsel

    • With experts

    - Mobile efficiency

    - Become a better lawyer: work smarter

  • What is the paperless law

    office? • - The paperless law office is an office dedicated to

    reducing and eventually eliminating the use of paper in every

    aspect of the practice.

    • - The paperless law office focuses on converting paper to

    electronic format upon receipt and storing documents

    electronically.

    • - Change of attitude and approach: abandoning paper files

    as our basic organizational approach and instead embracing

    electronic documents as our primary or even sole files.

  • What is the paperless law

    office? • - The paperless system is tied to every aspect of the firm’s

    • operation including case preparation, use at trial and

    • for office administration.

    • - Create a single workflow process which is applied to all

    cases, litigation and non-litigation/transactional, small and

    large.

    • - But, use the traditional workflow of your office and

    implement paperless technology changes at particular points

    and in particular processes.

  • What tools are needed?

    • Hardware

    − High speed scanner:

    • Don’t scrimp

    • Key to successful conversion and operation

    • Must be networked

    • Must be able to save and send documents as PDF

    • Must be able to send documents directly to email

    recipients

  • What tools are needed?

    • Hardware

    − Larger flat screen monitors (22 inches or larger)

  • What tools are needed?

    • Hardware

    − Networked workstations:

    • Even in small firms

    • Connected with the high speed scanner

  • What tools are needed?

    • Hardware

    − Digital faxing:

    • Faxes arrive as emails and are sent as emails

    • Get rid of your facsimile machine: use software to

    convert or use a service

  • What tools are needed?

    Hardware

  • What tools are needed?

    • Hardware

    − Optional

    • Tablet computers

    − Functions:

    • Pen input: ink is integrated in 2007 Office products

    • Capacitive touch: using your finger to scroll

    • OneNote 2007: electronic notebook

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software − Adobe Acrobat (9 Pro):

    − Portable document format reader

    − PDF editor

    − Universal “printer”

    − Bookmarks and nesting

    − OCR functions: Acrobat 8 Pro and later

    • Text on image = searchable PDF

    − Document security

    • Removal of metadata

    • Signatures

    • “Locking”

    • Can establish have not been altered (evidence rules)

  • Software options to Acrobat

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software

    − Office 2007 products:

    • Outlook 2007 functions:

    − Creating and managing folders

    − Search function

    − Works like you do

    − Acrobat integration

    − OneNote integration

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software

    − Office 2007 products:

    • Word 2007:

    − Review and redlining functions

    • Deltaview compatability

    − Email integration

    − Acrobat integration

    − Mailing integration

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software

    − Optional software:

    • OneNote 2007

    − For notebook and tablet users

    − Electronic file management system

    − Fully searchable

    − Convert handwritten notes

    − Audio/video integration

    − Never lose information again

    − Find your notes immediately

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software

    − Optional software:

    • Acrobat add ins:

    − Autoink (http://www.evermap.com/autoink.asp)

    http://www.evermap.com/autoink.asp

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software

    − Optional software

    • PDF Annotator

  • What tools are needed?

    • Software

    − Optional software

    • Xobni: email searching and organizing

  • What tools are needed?

    • Database manager

    − Manages all of your data

    − Often integrates with other programs and add-ins

    to eliminate repetition

    • Timeslips and HotDocs integration in Abacus

    − Can integrate with document management

    software

    − Eliminates error caused by paper management

    (such as calendaring errors)

  • Basic Document Management

  • Basic Document Management

    • Incoming documents

    − Documents coming into the office are scanned as PDF and

    sent to the recipient

    − Original mail is also delivered to recipient for redirection

    or destruction

    − Certain original incoming documents are retained

    • Examples: conformed liens, negotiable instruments,

    conformed court documents

  • Basic Document Management

    • Incoming documents (continued) − All other documents are destroyed

    − “Junk” or advertising mail is not scanned

    − Recipient then saves documents into the proper folder using proper naming

    protocols

    − In those cases where client has elected to receive documents via regular mail

    (which is now generally the exception), the attorney or legal assistant will

    send that paper copy received by this office to the client

    − If the client has elected to receive documents electronically, then the

    electronic document will be forwarded by email to the client using the

    Outlook return receipt protocol

    − Faxes are received by the receptionist as email, and then forwarded to

    intended recipient; once received, all of the incoming protocols apply

  • Basic Document Management

  • Basic Document Management

    • Outgoing documents − Document is saved to proper folder using proper name

    • E.g., court pleading is saved to proper folder and then served and filed

    electronically

    • Correspondence is saved to proper folder and then sent via email with

    return receipt request, or is saved and then printed and sent snail mail

    − Usually only electronic copies are retained

  • Digital Filing System

    • Logical folder system

    − A logical folder system is an intelligently

    designed folder system, used in every case and

    matter, which ensures consistency and

    predictability in use and storage of electronic

    documents

    − The key is to ensure consistency in practice

  • Digital Filing System

    • Logical folder system

    − Litigation example: • CLIENT NAME/CLIENT MATTER

    • ATTORNEY NOTES

    • CORRESPONDENCE/INCOMING/0UTGOING

    • FEE AGREEMENT

    • PLEADINGS

    • DISCOVERY/PLAINTIFF/DEFENDANT

    • DISCLOSURES

    • FACTS

    • PAID LITIGATION BILLS

    • RESEARCH

    • WITNESSES/EXPERTS/LAY WITNESSES

    • DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS

    • TRIAL MATTERS/JURY INSTRUCTIONS/WITNESSES/LAY WITNESSES/EXPERT WITNESSES

  • Digital Filing System

    • Logical folder system

    − Non-litigation example: • CLIENT NAME/CLIENT MATTER

    • ATTORNEY NOTES

    • CORRESPONDENCE/INCOMING/0UTGOING

    • FEE AGREEMENT

    • PAID BILLS

    • RESEARCH

  • Digita