Written by Anderson Hind, National Technical Lead
After a quick triple check you seal the letter and dispatch a paralegal to serve before the COB deadline. Discovery list complete, exchange disc delivered, mission accomplished. Cue Gwyneth Paltrow Sliding Door’s moment. Do you?
- Turn off your review platform, wave goodbye and think ‘until next discovery’; or
- Get on the phone to your litigation support team to flush out how to best leverage your review platform for the rest of the case.
Your review platform has come a long way in the past five years. Whether it is Relativity, Ringtail Summation or Delium, all software packages have developed different and interesting tools to assist you and your team with not only the discovery process, but also the entire case management process. Below are three examples:
A critical document, the chronology links your list of events to your documents. As events and documents are linked it makes sense to be able to prepare this in your document management platform. Challenge your litigation support team. An ideal solution would allow you to prepare a chronology by allowing you to: create and amend events, link events to documents, link events to people, prepare a timeline report and allow you to export the chronology in a format that you and your team can easily integrate into your internal documents.
Witness statement and pleadings support:
Some of the most interesting work I have completed at my time at Law In Order has been in assisting legal teams break down pleadings and integrating into their document management platform. For example, another parties statement of claim can be broken down and imported into your platform on a per paragraph basis. Document’s that are referenced in the paragraph can then be automatically linked to the paragraph they were referenced in. The legal team can then systematically make an assessment of every paragraph, quickly review the associated documents, write notes, decide if they agree or disagree, prepare a report and start preparing their argument.
By breaking down all your and other parties pleadings also exposes you to potentially interesting information. Quickly find documents commonly referenced by all parties and in what context they are referenced in other parties pleadings. More importantly you can quickly find the unique documents referenced by other parties in the matter and in what context they are being referenced.
Porting Related Information:
In my experience, just about any document in a tabular format, referencing back to documents can be integrated into your document review platform. Anyone who’s ever worked on a large construction dispute will have prepared a similar document and appreciates the challenges when trying to manage and group documents pertaining to drawing plans, variation requests, site instructions and the like. Usually this information is stored in another software solution, but this information can be exported and integrated in your document review platform and allow you to focus on any dimension you would like at any time. Focus on your variation requests and you will be able to determine what documents and drawing numbers are associated. Researching a specific site instruction? Find all documents, drawings, correspondence etc. that pertains to it quickly and efficiently.
Integrating a chronology, breaking down pleadings or porting other software information into your document management platform might not be effective in all scenarios, but in the right scenario the information garnered can be powerful, the insights advantageous, and the efficiencies significant. Talk to your litigation support team and see what they can do for you.
I can’t guarantee that it will eventuate with you having a temporary, dual, diametrically opposed existential reality and a spiffy haircut, but it could help you and your client build a better case.