Introduction to Paperless Lawyering

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Why should you shift to a paperless law practice? And what's the best way to do so? This 1 hour presentation provides the roadmap, from an attorney who started his journey in the year 2000. Ernie Svenson has helped hundreds of lawyers make the transition, and he can help you too.

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Introduction to Paperless Lawyering

  1. 1. Intro to PaperlessProcess information faster, with less effort
  2. 2. Paperlesssince 2005
  3. 3. Used to be
  4. 4. – Technology was expensive/complicated – Process was uncertain/untested Why?
  5. 5. Becoming Paperless (now at least)
  6. 6. – Technology is cheap & pretty easy – Processes have been created & tried Today – But, one thing stands in the way…
  7. 7. – Getting the right technology – Developing sound processes – (that other thing) We’ll Cover
  8. 8. “paperless”Define
  9. 9. 1. Completely devoid of paper 2. Devoid of paper as much as possible 3. All key information stored in digital form 4. Ability to work on documents anywhere, anytime Four Definitions
  10. 10. Benefits
  11. 11. – cheaper storage – no lost originals – easier to copy (cheaper too) – easier to transmit (cheaper) – easier to search – backup & security easier/cheaper Benefits
  12. 12. 2,000 200,000
  13. 13. 25 lbs 1 Ton?
  14. 14. 80% of what’s filed never gets looked at again. –The Leader-Post
  15. 15. 1 hr a day looking for missing info. –The Wall St. Journal
  16. 16. Smith Contract
  17. 17. Backup
  18. 18. – harder to re-order pages – not as easy to browse – paper is easier to read Problems?
  19. 19. Why change?
  20. 20. Information processing
  21. 21. Inform Organize Arrange Facts Research Gather Discover Inspire Story
  22. 22. Information Processing Factoid Year Task Time 2003 2010 Genome Sequencing 10 yrs Genome Sequencing (if done today) 1 week
  23. 23. Bad info handling may cause death
  24. 24. ‘O’ Ring Problems Flight Date Temp °F Erosion Blow-by Damage Index 1 Apr. 1981 66° 0 2 Nov. 1981 70° 1 4 3 Mar. 1982 69° 0 5 Nov. 1982 68° 0 6 Apr. 1983 67° 0 41-B Feb. 1984 57° 1 4 41-C Apr. 1984 63° 1 2 51-A Nov. 1984 67° 0 51-C Jan. 1985 53° 3 2 11 51-D Apr. 1985 67° 0 61-C Jan. 1986 58° 1 4
  25. 25. ‘O’ Ring Problems Flight Date Temp °F Erosion Blow-by Damage Index 2 Nov. 1981 70° 1 4 3 Mar. 1982 69° 0 5 Nov. 1982 68° 0 6 Apr. 1983 67° 0 51-A Nov. 1984 67° 0 51-D Apr. 1985 67° 0 1 Apr. 1981 66° 0 41-C Apr. 1984 63° 1 2 61-C Jan. 1986 58° 1 4 41-B Feb. 1984 57° 1 4 51-C Jan. 1985 53° 3 2 11
  26. 26. ‘O’ Ring Problems 0 3 6 9 12 15 70° 69° 68° 67° 66° 63° 58° 57° 53° Erosion Damage Temp °F
  27. 27. “paperless”Become
  28. 28. Law Firm 1. Organize our stuff 2. Organize client stuff
  29. 29. Stuff Client files Case docs E-mails Web-pages & other stuff
  30. 30. 1. Keep it digital 1.(avoid printing) 2. Make it digital Principles
  31. 31. Inputs E-mail Appts Faxes Letters Transcripts
  32. 32. Outputs E-mail Faxes Letters
  33. 33. Principles in practice (or how to transition to a paperless practice)
  34. 34. Step 1
  35. 35. Avoid printing emails
  36. 36. of emails are never printed out 67%
  37. 37. Friends don’t let friends print out emails
  38. 38. Create new engagement letter
  39. 39. Step 2
  40. 40. Avoid printing altogether
  41. 41. Mr. Rogers: May 8, 2008 Enclosed please find lots of paper. I hope that you enjoy sifting through these documents as much I have. Best wishes, Ernest Svenson 123 Walnut St., Suite 1001, New Orleans, LA 70118 Svenson Law Firm LLC
  42. 42. New form letter
  43. 43. Dear NAME: May 8, 2008 Best wishes, Ernest Svenson 123 Walnut St., Suite 1001, New Orleans, LA 70118 Svenson Law Firm LLC Mr. Rogers: Enclosed please find lots of paper. I hope that you enjoy sifting through these documents as much I have. File Save as PDFSend E-mail
  44. 44. How to create? 1. Scan in signature 2. Erase background 3. Import to Word, Acrobat
  45. 45. Web Fax
  46. 46. $9 $10 $17 Send2Fax MyFax eFax Cost/monthService
  47. 47. Receive web fax Email From Subject Date jbac Crosby case rsamson Miller matter 03/01/08 03/01/08 pbjelly Toasty bread issue jgotti Criminal case jford Auto case 02/28/08 02/27/08 02/26/08
  48. 48. New Message To: Cc: Subject: 15043240453@myfax.com Attach: name of file
  49. 49. Step 3
  50. 50. Make digital
  51. 51. Scanner - PPM - Duplex - Deskew - OCR
  52. 52. Fujitsu ScanSnap $394 @ Amazon Model S1500 Model S1500M
  53. 53. Paper Shredder Cost: $63 Model:Fellows
  54. 54. Paper Shredder Cost: Free: (from Pound) Model:Terrier
  55. 55. Shredder in Action
  56. 56. PDFs “portable document format” = ‘digital paper’ widespread use
  57. 57. PC vs. Mac
  58. 58. Standard Professional Adobe Acrobat
  59. 59. Acrobat X Standard Professional OCR Bates-stamp Redaction Compare PDFs
  60. 60. Step 4
  61. 61. File Organization
  62. 62. Moving Parts ????? Applications Op Sys
  63. 63. DMS v. Folders
  64. 64. Special software Folder structure File naming system DMS req’s
  65. 65. DMS Docs 2008_02_13 2008_02_12 2008_02_10 2008_02_09 2008_02_08 2008_02_06 2008_02_05 2008_02_04
  66. 66. 2008_02_13 2008_02_13_15_49_51 2008_02_13_14_28_31 2008_02_13_10_19_45 2008_02_13_09_59_01 2008_02_13_02_07_23 2008_02_13_01_59_19 2008_02_13_01_45_01 2008_02_13_01_39_45
  67. 67. Your folders
  68. 68. Crown v. Royal 01 Pleadings 02 Correspondence 03 Documents 04 Word Processing 05 Depositions 06 Legal Research 07 Attorney Notes 08 Trial Documents
  69. 69. Your file names
  70. 70. 01 Pleadings 2009_01_01 Complaint 2009_01_08 Summons 2009_02_15 Return 2009_03_02 Extension req 2009_04_02 Answer 2009_07_17 Motion SJ Def 2009_08_01 Opp by Plntf 2009_10_19 Order grantng
  71. 71. 02 Correspondence 2008_02_13 EES ltr K Smith 2008_02_01 K Smith email EES 2008_01_04 Thompson fax EES 2007_12_14 Chisom ltr EES 2007_11_11 Ward fax Counsel 2007_10_16 EES ltr Marion 2007_09_23 EES ltr Feinberg 2007_08_08 Mangione ltr EES
  72. 72. Folder File name Whole drive Finding
  73. 73. Step 0
  74. 74. The only reliable backup is an offsite backup
  75. 75. Web-based options – Carbonite.com – CrashPlan.com – Dropbox.com – Sugarsync.com{ {
  76. 76. Step −1
  77. 77. Prepare for paperless – RAM (crucial.com) – Dual monitors – Email proficiency
  78. 78. Oh, and that 3rd thing? – breaking a habit is hard – start by yourself – keep up your tech skills
  79. 79. Why change?
  80. 80. Why change? – Do better for clients – Enable more work flexibility – Lower stress & save money
  81. 81. How to change? – Scan only new cases – Don’t scan old files – Scan old files only when you reach point where only few left
  82. 82. 101

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