Legal firms are highly paper-intensive as they have to deal with multiple documents on a regular basis. They are always in the process of creating new records for new clients or taking up new cases. Typically, there is a never-ending array of forms that need to be completed. Document management in any legal firm can be time-consuming as it involves diverse tasks like document scanning, data conversion, document tagging, amending, transferring documents between folders, creating new docs and updating them. With their diverse solutions, legal process outsourcing companies can assist law firms to easily handle document and data management tasks. Reviewing multiple documents to obtain clear facts and pieces of evidence has become a growing necessity in the legal profession. The data or information obtained from written documents can be invaluable to building a case, determining the process of questioning and proving whether a person is innocent or guilty. Legal professionals and their teams don’t just have to search through paper files, but also through emails, internet browser history, text messages, and much more. Searching through electronic files is known as electronic discovery collection (E-discovery). And, legal document scanning is an important part of the e-discovery equation as these can make the job even easier and save a lot of time and resources for the legal professionals.
Why E-Discovery Matters in the Legal Profession
When every piece of information gets collected, everything becomes evidence. In the past years, parties exchanged paper documents-often hundreds and hundreds of boxes of them. Over the years, paper documents have been largely replaced with computer generated content, and the process of discovery was forever fundamentally changed. In fact, emails, documents, images, text messages, and other data types now form the basis of both criminal and civil legal actions. In addition, they are subject to the rigorous process of e-discovery – identifying, cataloging, and sharing key documents as required in order to ensure whether lawyers on both sides of a case have access to the same information.
In the legal industry, e-discovery is the specific legal process that governs the right to obtain and the obligation to produce non-privileged matter relevant to any party’s claims or defenses in litigation. eDiscovery is that process applied to electronically stored information (ESI), such as emails, computer files, and databases. In other words, it is the legal procedure by which the concerned parties are required to exchange information and evidence with one another in state and federal courts. Usage of this innovative technology allows legal professionals to process, review, tag, and produce electronic documents as part of a lawsuit or investigation. In addition, it can also help attorneys discover valuable information regarding a matter while reducing costs, speeding up resolutions and mitigating risks.
Benefits of Legal Document Scanning and E-Discovery to Law Firms
Advances in AI-based eDiscovery analytics drastically increase the speed and improve the quality of the eDiscovery process. In fact, several reputable legal firms have started using the latest analytic technologies to deliver higher quality services to their clients. When compared to the typical evidence that is used during a case, there are several benefits of using this method of discovery like – allows lawyers to work more efficiently, enables them to stand out from the competition and strengthen client loyalty in the long run. Here discussed are some solid benefits legal firms get to enjoy when using e-discovery technology –
- Easily Searchable – When you have a huge pile of documents to deal with, legal firms need to be extra careful about reading each specific line carefully. Or else, there will be an increased chance to miss important data or record that could perhaps change the entire perspective of the case. With e-discovery, data searching and recovery is much easier. It is not necessary to read every line of every page. Instead, you can search the document for certain keywords. For instance, just type in a search word or phrase and your system will find them within the document. Then, all that needs to be done is to check the context to verify whether the particular bit of information fits or matches your needs.
- Cut through the Noise – By using e-discovery analytics technology, you can quickly cut through the noise and zoom in on the relevant documents. With the deep search and analytics features, the legal team can easily understand the facts early in the process and focus on developing the best legal strategy for their client. The legal team can make the best use of review resources and collaborate more with their current team. In this way, there will be no need to pass on new opportunities due to capacity problems.
- Get Legal Files Back in Multiple Formats – Another important benefit of using this technology is that legal clients can receive their documents back in multiple formats. PDFs can be easily stored in the systems, which are great for quick and easy e-discovery collection within the team. Another important format is CDs. Documents can be scanned and shareable CDs created, which can be shared with colleagues or others who need to view the documents.
- Plan Legal Strategies – By using e-discovery analytics, lawyers can make decisions and plan legal strategies based on facts rather than instinct or assumptions. After all, early insights mean a stronger case, firmer negotiations, and the knowledge that you need to win.
- Cost – Effectiveness – These days, many legal firms often look or plan to tighten their budget. Using e-discovery tool or software can prove to be less expensive than using other evidence gathering methods. While legal document scanning can cost some money up front, in the long run it will save time and money. It will allow the legal firm and their team to focus on more important tasks.
- E-Data Can Act as Evidence in a Trial – Emails, text messages, and even browser history can be catalogued as evidence and used in a trial. Keeping track of these digital documents is an important part of litigation document management and will make it easier to present evidence in a case.
- Digital Data Is Difficult to Destroy – Digital information is quite difficult to destroy. This in turn benefits investigators and legal teams immensely for multiple reasons. For instance, during a legal trial, even digital documents which have been deleted can be un-deleted. A person would have to physically destroy every single hard drive in order to permanently delete something. Another benefit is that electronic files are safe and recoverable if when there is a fire or natural disaster.
- Speed in Gathering Evidence – Long hours spent doing research can take a toll on a lawyer’s ability to think clearly and represent their client well. On the other hand, when using e-discovery, they can compile evidence with speed. This means lawyers can dedicate their valuable time to other key aspects of the case in question.
Proper data management is all about safe and secure storage of data which saves time and improves the efficiency of the organization. Data in electronic format makes it convenient to use, and such e-files are easier to navigate than paper documents. Along with using advanced technologies, legal practices can also consider outsourcing their scanning and legal data entry tasks to a reputable document scanning service provider as this would help save their time for core business tasks.