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background to electronic data discovery


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  • 1. Defining the Role of Litigation Support Technology and Process Support from Case Receipt to Post-Trial Archival Hamilton- 2006/07
  • 2. Objectives
    • Introduce you to the role of Litigation Support within a firm
    • Define what roles Litigation Support has within a firm
    • Understand the role your organization plays in your firm
    • Explain how Litigation Support provides value to a case team throughout each phase of the litigation
    • Review the role vendors play with respect to litigation support
  • 3. Infrastructure Technology v. Litigation Support
    • Infrastructure Technology
      • Office Applications
        • Network Ops
        • Email
        • Document management
        • Office Suite
        • Time and Billing
        • Software implementation for infrastructure apps
    • Litigation Support
      • Legal Applications
        • Concordance
        • Summation
        • IPRO
        • LiveNote
        • Trial Director
        • Litigator’s Notebook
        • CaseMap/TimeMap
        • Web Repositories
        • Client-dictated software
  • 4. Infrastructure Technology v. Litigation Support
    • Infrastructure Technology
      • Supports the “business” of running a law firm
      • Ensures security, failover, and disaster recovery are planned
      • Supports departments such as:
        • Accounting
        • HR
        • Web/Portal
        • Administration
    • Litigation Support
      • Supports the process of preparing to take a case to trial
      • Ensures that discovery and production deadlines are planned and met
      • Supports all litigation groups within a firm
      • Can apply litigation technology to other practice groups
  • 5. Common Goals for Litigation Support
    • Partner with attorney teams and share “best practices” recommendations for their cases from Day 1
    • Provide on-going training in the area of litigation technology to keep the firm current with industry trends
    • Match technology with case needs
    • Ensure that attorney teams can meet technology requests / demands from clients
    • Utilize vendors in a way that enables the firm to offer their clients quality services at the best price
    • Others?
  • 6. General Litigation Support Staffing
    • Litigation Support Manager
      • Oversees all cases
      • Hiring/staffing
      • On-the-job Training
      • Policies and procedures
      • Talks with clients
    • Litigation Support Specialist
      • Day-to-day case work
      • Load data
      • Work with vendors
      • Interact on case team
      • Search/produce documents
      • Maintain databases
    • Case Manager
      • Runs docketing software
      • Maintains calendar of milestones for attorney team
      • Keeps contacts current
      • Trains docketing software
    • Trial Coordinator
      • Graphics support
      • Trial site coordination
      • Works with vendors
      • Electronic opening/closing (PowerPoint)
      • Trial presentation
  • 7. Billing Practices
    • To bill or not to bill, that is the question!
      • Firm needs to decide if this role is to be a cost center or a profit center
      • Average billing rates
        • Lit Sup Mgr – $125 – 175 per hour
        • Lit Sup Specialist – $95 – 125 per hour
      • Need to consult your local ethics rules for guidance in this area
      • May need to set average billable hours goals for staff
      • Billing guidelines should be spelled out, mimic those of the paralegals, and should be reviewed monthly
  • 8. Providing Case Support Case Initiation Support Due Diligence Support Discovery Support Pre-Trial/Trial Support Post-Trial Support Due Diligence
  • 9. Discovery Support Tasks
    • Analyze case needs and provide recommendations for software, hardware, and database design for new cases
    • Maintain all recommended software and hardware and provide help desk support for internal and external users
    • Provide case-specific software support for client-dictated applications
    • Coordinate and manage vendors used for document processing
    • Provide document production support
    • Provide search and retrieval strategies for discovery databases
  • 10. Pre-Trial Support Tasks
    • Coordinate technology for document production
    • Create case-specific searches and reports for deposition preparation
    • Maintain document, pleading, and transcript databases throughout case lifecycle
    • Evaluate trial needs and create visual strategy
    • Begin process of court/judge/opposing counsel research
  • 11. Trial Support Tasks
    • Create opening/closing statements via PowerPoint or trial presentation software
    • Create static graphics for trial as either trial boards or to display via projector
    • Coordinate all courtroom setup including hardware, court reporter feeds, and war room
    • Assist in vendor selection and coordination as needed
    • Provide overall courtroom support during trial
  • 12. Post-Trial Support Tasks
    • Archival of all case data
    • Copies of any/all database repositories for client files as appropriate
    • “ Lessons Learned” for each case, learn from overall firm successes and challenges
  • 13. Vendors and Litigation Support
    • Identify the stage of the litigation process where you need vendors as:
      • Primary support
        • Scanning
        • EDD
        • Data conversion
      • Secondary support
        • Production overflow
        • Large volume scanning
    • Maintain a “preferred vendor” list that is more about the deliverable than it is about the give-aways
    • Educate the attorney team and paralegal team about how to select vendors if this is not a centralized mechanism at your firm
    • Evaluate vendor performance after a job is complete and provide feedback to both the attorney team and vendor on their performance (should be done for the good and the bad)
  • 14. Questions??