"Consultant Compatibility: Take the Quiz"

Always good to have thoughtful checklists for hiring vendors, I say. And this quiz from Legal Technology looks very helpful:

"There's a saying that starts, 'You know you're in trouble if ...' But sometimes, by the time you know you're in trouble, it's too late to start asking 'Why?'

"One example of such a time is with e-discovery and legal technology projects. If you're halfway through the project and run into trouble, backtracking to correct the problem usually isn't an option. A nearly ironclad way around that problem includes proper preparation and having the right team. These are key elements to the success of any legal technology project, from e-discovery to product-implementation schemes to training sessions.

[snip]

"In this article, we offer the nitty-gritty for attorneys and others involved in e-discovery and other legal technology projects. Start the process of answering key questions by taking the consultant compatibility quiz...."

Authors Christin Martin and Kelly Lumpkin are consultants with Simpson Neely Group Inc., which provides technology consulting services to corporate law departments.


Optimize Information Management Operations with Interwoven

Good old index cards are surely not of much use for law firms or legal departments with thosands & thousands of files. Read how Frost Brown Todd upgraded to Interwoven:

"...Frost Brown Todd LLC, an AMLAW 200 law firm, has adopted Interwoven Records Manager to enable comprehensive information management.

"Combined with Interwoven WorkSite, the industry-leading document management solution, Interwoven Records Manager enables law firms to optimize their file room operations and bring together paper and electronic documents and e-mail under a uniform information retention policy. The solution is seamlessly integrated into the user's working practices, allowing professionals to participate and engage in the records process without sacrificing productivity.

"Frost Brown Todd (FBT) was formed through the 2000 merger of two premier regional law firms, a union that brought consistent rankings in The National Law Journal's NLJ 250 and the AmLaw 200 -- as well as introducing new information management challenges. In 2005, with its user population reaching 900 attorneys, paralegals, and staff, the firm grew concerned about its ability to effectively manage the documents in its possession.

"'Post merger our records management challenges were steep. We were reliant on a series of index cards, access databases and outside vendor databases for finding information. Our file rooms were spread across multiple offices and floors, which made it very challenging to track our files. Each site was handling records differently. Our need for space and better organization led us to search for a long term solution for managing both paper and electronic records,' said Paul Bromwell, CIO at Frost Brown Todd."


Houston's State-of-the-Art Electronic Data Discovery Lab

Ths news sounds wonderful doesn't it? I'd sure like to take a tour!

"UHY Advisors today announced the opening of its newly constructed electronic data discovery lab, a state-of-the-art facility for processing large volumes of electronic evidence and conducting sophisticated computer forensics investigations, at a secure location in downtown Houston.

"The lab is unique for its flexibility to be used for both high-volume electronic data discovery -- including data processing, culling with search terms, de-duplication and file conversion -- and complex digital forensics activities. The facility is  [PDF] secured with biometric locks and the evidence storage 'vault' is also secured with advanced motion detectors."


"Exterro Gets E-Discovery Down to Business"

Quite readable article about new litigation software -- "centralized management of litigation lifecycles" -- with helpful "show & tell" screenshots:

"Exterro isn't the first software vendor to apply a business-process-management approach to the legal discovery process, but with the launch of its flagship product Fusion, it is breaking new ground with a solution that combines BPM with collaboration capabilities and centralized management in an integrated environment.

"Aimed at law firms and corporate legal departments, Exterro's newly unveiled Fusion is essentially a portal for controlling the discovery process. However, Exterro's chairman and CEO, Bobby Balachandran, prefers to call it a litigation-support-management platform, from which his customers can monitor progress, track costs, set and manage schedules, and evaluate vendor performance.

"'During complex litigation, negotiations or time-intensive governmental investigations, the process of managing legal teams needs some automation, otherwise it all just gets away from them,' Balachandran says. 'We're trying to bring reliable management control and predictability to a process that is typically loaded with surprises and unexpected costs.'"

BTW, there's currently an open position for Litigation Support Consultant (scroll down; position is in Chicago or Portland with flexible work hours!).


Paralegal Now Lit Support Company Project Manager

News of staff additions at TDCI (Technology Concepts and Design, Inc), shows how to use paralegal skills to advance into a different kind of job:

"TCDI®, a market leader in Litigation Technology, announces the addition of five new employees. These additions help TCDI focus on further improving the quality of services provided to clients and highlight the continued development of TCDI in large-scale electronic discovery and litigation case management solutions.

[snip]

"Melissa Sorrell joins TCDI as a Project Manager where she is responsible for day-to-day management, reporting, and coordination for several TCDI projects. She previously worked for Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, P.L.L.C. in Winston-Salem as a Litigation Paralegal. Sorrell received her B.S., magna cum laude, from East Carolina University."


"EDD Rules: Fact or Scary Fiction?"

What do you think about all the EDD news? Too much hype? Or information you really need?

"Wherever you turn these days, there seems to be a new CLE seminar being offered or white paper being written on the 'sweeping changes' to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as they relate to the discovery of electronically stored information.

"And most of them are tied together by a common thread: an alarmist air of hype.

[snip]

"Many e-discovery vendors would have people believe that the landscape surrounding electronic discovery has completely changed. From this author's perspective, that's a gross exaggeration of the truth designed to stir up angst (and business) in the legal marketplace. That said, the amended rules do offer important guidelines about the relevance, discoverability, production and costs associated with electronic discovery. The trick, as in much of the legal game, is to know how to separate fact from fiction."

Author Sean M. Byrne is a business development manager with UHY Advisors FLVS Inc. Since 1998, Byrne has worked as a practicing litigator and litigation consultant.


"Document Imaging: Keeping It Simple"

Author Tony DeLoera, the chief technology officer at Ice Miller, describes how to manage document imaging the right way:

"Simplicity. This was the guiding principle in our selection of a document-imaging system. In early 2005, Indianapolis-based Ice Miller was overrun with paper. With 225 attorneys, and three branch offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Naperville, Ill., we decided to leverage the decision to change our office copiers as an opportunity to gain more control over our workflow.

"We needed a document-imaging system that our attorneys and other professionals could use with little or no training. We wanted our users to be able to walk up to a copier and scan documents directly to a PC desktop or to software, such as Microsoft's Word and Outlook, or Hummingbird Enterprise. We wanted a simple system so our users could copy without calling the IT help desk.

"But simplicity didn't mean we wanted a simplistic application. We did not want to scan documents only to have them scatter, unindexed, inside our IT network. All that would do is transfer our document handling difficulties from unstructured paper to unstructured electronic data. Rather, we wanted a program that integrated with our existing software (Hummingbird Enterprise, Captaris Inc.'s RightFax, Word and Outlook) and would improve our office efficiencies."

The full article is a must-read for those interested in expanding their roles into firm management...


"How a County Attorney's Office Is Streamlining E-Discovery"

Hmm, sure sounds like this vendor might be worth investigating:

"While the revised Federal Rules of Civil Procedure pertaining to electronic discovery that hit the books in December may have caused headaches for many in the legal profession, some discovered unexpected benefits. Case in point: the Nassau County Attorney's Office in New York, which implemented new technology to meet the updated requirements and found that it made e-discovery more efficient than expected.

"Nassau County deployed Clearwell's Intelligence Platform -- a program applied to e-mail and electronic documents that automates the analysis, culling and review process -- in February, to comply with the amendments to the FRCP rules 16, 26, 34 and 37. Those rules now require anyone who can be involved in litigation in federal court to retain electronic records -- such as e-mails, instant messages and text documents -- and be able to retrieve them. The rules also require all parties to present a description of all electronically stored information within 99 days of the beginning of a legal case.

[snip]

"'The whole idea about searching to data is a complete transformation from the way we used to do things,' [said Peter Reinharz, chief managing attorney for the Nassau County Attorney's Office]. In the past, e-mail retrieval was turned over to the county's IT department, which would assign someone to isolate items from backup media and conduct manual searches. 'It was very labor-intensive for our IT department, so it was both cumbersome and costly,' he said.

"'Now, he said, any attorney can easily conduct Boolean searches and sift through PST files with a much greater degree of focus. And the IT department is thrilled.'"


"ONSITE3 Launches DXR Mobile at Paralegal SuperConference"

Good chance for SuperConference attendees to check out this new mobile document 'exchange & review' service:

"ONSITE3, a leading global provider of eForensics, eDiscovery, eReview and consulting services offering one source litigation support for law firms and corporations, is pleased to announce the launch of its Document Exchange & Review (DXR) Mobile service, provided in a portable appliance platform designed specifically for electronic data discovery, review and production. On demonstration at ONSITE3's exhibit during the upcoming Paralegal SuperConference Miami 2007, the new service utilizes a convenient industrial strength laptop-based system that can travel and be used almost anywhere, securely process 5 to 10 gigabytes of electronic discovery data per day, store up to 100 gigabytes of processed data and permit rapid searching and review from the same platform."


KMWorld: List of knowledge management vendors

If you're looking for vendors in the KM space, this magazine has compiled a thorough list:

"The KMWorld Buyers Guide is packed with leading vendors offering real solutions to knowledge management dilemmas that will help users gain and maintain control of their enterprise environment.

"There are two ways to access the information in this guide: you may select a vendor name..., linking directly to a detailed page containing information about the specific company, its products, solutions and contact information OR select one (or more) categories from the list on the right for a list of corresponding solution providers.

"Participants in this guide are all cross-indexed. To develop a customized list of solution providers corresponding to your search criteria, select one or more categories from the RESEARCH CENTERS or SOLUTIONS, then click the Search button."

For example, searching the 3 selections below returns 5 matching vendors:

Research Centers
Solutions