In recent years, digital documents have played an increasingly important role in making evidence accessible to litigation teams, with Scanners and OCR technology being the key drivers of this growth. The proliferation of digital documentation in legal practices has brought on many benefits: they require no physical storage space, can be clearly marked-up, and are easily shareable with others.
The challenge is to implement a reliable, efficient and standardized document intake process that ensures complete case records are continuously maintained and easily accessible.
Intake Methods: Centralized vs. Distributed
A centralized intake method is the more traditional method of bringing externally-generated documents into the firm. Dedicated staff receive documents on behalf of the litigation team, and are responsible for the distribution of new arrivals to their respective owners.
A distributed intake method is a trend we have been noticing across a growing number of litigation practices. This is due to the more widespread exchange of digital documentation, with the days of the mail cart being left behind in the dust. Individual team members receive and process documents directly as they come into the firm.
Primafact is built to accommodate a spectrum of intake methods. Documents can be brought into the application from email, desktop, scanner, Windows Explorer, or from a dedicated Intake Module.
This blog post summarizes ways you can easily intake documentary evidence into your practice using Primafact.
Primafact is designed to create organized, customize-able case briefs using a familiar binder index. From this binder index, litigation teams can instantly see which documents are currently inventoried (and which documents are missing) in the file.
They can then build their file more quickly and efficiently by dragging and dropping documents into relevant sections of the binder from windows folders as soon as they arrive at the firm.
Primafact imports most standard document types, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook messages Adobe Acrobat PDF, as well as images in the form of JPEGs and TIFFs. You can also link live documents such as Excel spreadsheets to Primafact for more direct access. This way, your documents reside in a centralized and secure location accessible to the rest of the team as you set out to develop your case narrative.
Documents can be exported out of Primafact just as easily as they are imported. Simply drag and drop the desired document onto your desktop or Windows folder– you will be prompted to select the document format you wish to create upon export.
Pro Tip: You can even export documents, as a Primafact link, onto your desktop. Clicking the link opens the document directly in Primafact, so you can avoid having multiple versions of the same file that cause confusion and clutter your hard-drive.
Teams can benefit from Primafact's in-app document messaging functionality. This feature makes it easy for individuals to communicate across the litigation group– proactively notifying file owners that new documents have arrived, and allowing the entire team to access internal document-related conversations.
Communications about Primafact documents are sent and managed in real-time, using easy-to-manage inboxes within Primafact. This reduces email load, leaving your inbox more focused on external communications and free from internal discussions.
Messages across the team stay connected to documents, making it fast and efficient for team review.
Note: Team members can view conversations even if they did not send or receive those messages.
On-the-go productivity is important to the busy litigator. They need cases to continue developing in their absence. The ability to easily review incoming documents while on-the-go can unlock valuable moments of productivity. Primafact’s Mobility App allows you to securely review and reply to messages from the office right from your smartphone.
Read our blog post on mobile productivity to learn what litigators love about the mobility app.
For firms using a centralized intake method, Primafact’s Intake Module is designed to streamline the import of new documents. Once the documents have been imported, they can then be redirected to the respective handlers for easy filing.
Centralized intake teams can also benefit from Primafact's convenient integration with Outlook.
The 'Send to Primafact' Outlook plug-in lets users send emails and attachments directly to their assistant's Filing Queue – as an added bonus, the original email gets filed without added forwarding headers.
More hands-on team members can drag-and-drop Outlook messages directly into Primafact for quick and easy processing.
Primafact’s import engine converts Outlook messages, PDF and Word files to native Primafact documents– so you can conveniently add analysis and markup with notes for the team.
equipped to take on document intake
Regardless of whether if firms have adopted a more centralized process, or are more focused on a distributive method, Primafact equips litigation teams with the tools for efficient document intake.
With more efficient document management, teams have more time to spend on other activities that add value to their practice.
This blog post is part of our series on '8 Key Primafact Features Litigators Should Know About'. Click to learn more about what makes Primafact an essential tool for litigators aiming to improve their advocacy.
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