management today requires Law Offices to have PDF conversion
capabilities and the use of PDF files. Law Offices are paper
intense. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent yearly on
case management. Attorneys and staff spend the vast majority of
their time creating, filing, managing, storing and retrieving
legal documents. PDF files, like no other file format, makes
optimum efficiency possible.
PDF Files Adopted By U.S. Federal Courts
After an extensive study on how to improve court processes and
procedures, the U.S. Federal Courts have concluded filing and
sharing legal documents related to court cases is faster, easier
and less expensive using PDF files. To streamline courthouse
procedures the Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts
developed the Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF)
prototype project using PDF files as their electronic
document format. The CM/ECF system now allows submission and
access to entire case files and dockets in PDF files via the
Web. Michael Greenwood, program manager for the CM/ECF prototype
virtually all documents submitted to the U.S. Courts to be
stored electronically as PDF files, which attorneys, judges,
court personnel, other trial participants, and the public can
access via the Web."
system with electronic PDF files is currently in place in 9
districts and is targeted for rollover to all 200 federal courts
nationwide. To date, more than 80,000 case documents, and over a
million PDF files are available electronically.
Key Objectives For Implementing a Document Imaging System
We have found that law firms have two primary objectives when
considering implementing a document imaging system:
To enhance case management, and
To reduce paper storage cost.
Because paper evidence is the cornerstone of litigation,
attorneys spend significant amounts of time collecting and
reviewing these documents and filling their files with more and
more paper. Our document imaging system brings new levels of
accessibility and interactivity to case management. It also
meets the three essential requirements of the legal profession.
Electronic documents must be visually identical, like
photocopies, of the paper documents,
They must be compact and easily shared with others, even
outside the office, and
They must be easily searchable.
Attorneys, PDF files provide extremely powerful case management
tools, which is why the U.S. Federal Courts have adopted this
file format as its electronic filing system. Attorneys can
quickly search these documents and in seconds assemble PDF
versions of key trial material that would take legal assistants
days to find in paper form.
Collaborating on a case is handled more quickly and easily with
our document imaging system. PDF files can be shared on the law
firms' computer network or over the Internet. And with our
markup tools, Attorneys can easily communicate their thoughts
with electronic annotation tools, like text highlighting and
strikethrough, circling and sticky notes.
How we deal with multiple users
Many Attorneys, when faced with the frustration of being unable
to put their hands on a specific file when it's needed, become
"file hoarders", unwilling to entrust their client files to what
seems to be a disorganized, slow moving central filing system.
Then, because files aren't where they are suppose to be, the
missing file must be recreated. Thus, Law firms incur another
unnecessary expenses a result of an inefficient filing system.
With our document imaging system, the PDF file is always
available on the network. Furthermore, it allows multiple people
to use the same file at the same time, eliminating the need to
make copies of the documents. And because PDF files can be
copied onto a laptop computer or a handheld device (PDA),
Attorneys can take the information they need with them, while
leaving the original file on the network so that other staff
members in the office can continue to have access to all of the
Reducing Paper Storage Costs
Because legal work resides on paper, storage cost is a major
expense for most law firms. The problem is compounded because of
the copy machine. Firms not only file and store originals of
documents, they file and store copies of documents, and the cost
of storing this information continues long after the useful life
of the paper file.
A major benefit of our document imaging system to Law firms is
the ability to significantly eliminate these costs. For example,
a three-drawer filing cabinet can be stored on one CD for a cost
of under $1.00; and because PDF files are filed from your
desktop PC, personnel time to file documents is reduced to a
fraction of what it once was.
With the U.S. Federal Courts moving to the PDF file format, it
will soon become a necessity for a law firms to possess the
capabilities of our document imaging system. The benefits PDF
files offer case preparation, case management, office
efficiencies and reducing paper storage costs makes it clear
that our document imaging system will positively impact your law
firms' bottom line.