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A document retrieval company retrieves documents needed for discovery, whether electronic or hard copy discovery. Law firms may need a certain statement investigated, such as the ownership of a property, business documents from the state's division of corporations, SEC documents, and any other legal documents needed to help defend a client's case and/or statements.
Why would a firm retain a document retrieval company to do its research? In some cases, the research needed may be extensive, and it is more cost effective to hire a document retrieval company to research, investigate, and retrieve the documents required for the matter at hand.
Once documents are retrieved, they are forwarded to the requesting firm. The firm may then use the documents in its defense of its client. Documents may be provided in discovery requests and may be used in trial or settlement negotiations.
When working with an electronic discovery request, there must be a legal document review for confidentiality issues and attorney-client privilege issues. In some cases, the electronic documents might be extensive, which then uses a lot of time that attorneys could be using to spend time with clients or on other, more pressing document generation for clients.
Temporary attorneys review a high number of documents for law firms for confidentiality and privileged matter issues. Most non-discoverable documents are in the form of letters to and from the attorney and the attorney's client, though other documents may be non-discoverable. These documents are separated from discoverable documents. The firm then produces the discoverable documents in response to a request for electronic discovery.
Electronic discovery can be provided via disk to the requesting party. Providing electronic discovery on disk saves the firm time and money. Money is saved on costs for the firm's staff to put together the discovery package, copy the discovery, and postage for mailing the discovery.
Electronic discovery requests are becoming more extensive as more firms use electronic means of communication and electronic storage of documents and discovery. Electronic discovery also saves on paper and the accidental loss of hard copies of documents.
When an electronic discovery request is forwarded to a firm, the firm must provide the requesting company with all electronic documents, including emails, scanned discovery, electronically stored pleadings, correspondence, and other court papers. Some electronic documents, especially email correspondence between the attorney and the attorney's client, may not be discoverable. These documents and other confidential documents must be separated from electronic documents that are discoverable.
Once the electronic discovery is separated, discovery and other discoverable documents are provided to the requesting counsel. Documents may be printed by the receiving counsel, thereby saving mailing costs and the cost of drafting letters requesting copy fees. It also saves time as the legal staff does not have to count each page copied.
If your firm is not set up for electronic discovery, or e discovery, Compliance LP provides e discovery consulting. Your firm should be ready for e discovery before you start working on a case wherein e discovery requests will be forwarded to you, even if it is a small case.
An e discovery consultation shows you how ready your firm is for e discovery. You may have some practices implemented already. An e discovery consultation also shows you how ready your firm is to respond to an e discovery request.
Once this information is in hand, a consultant helps the firm create a plan to make e discovery efficient. Once your firm is set up to handle e discovery requests, it can handle these requests effectively and for a minimum cost. Not only are costs mitigated, but the time and risk of housing unnecessary documents, irrelevant documents, and storage of one document over different types of media are mitigated.
Often, in large cases, there are a lot of electronic documents. Documents may include emails, scanned discovery, scanned pleadings, and other court documents. Emails may contain correspondence, pleadings, and discovery. Emails may be between the attorney and client or between attorneys working on the matter. If the opposing party does not have an attorney, the emails may be between one party's attorney and the pro se litigant.
During the discovery process, most documentation must be provided to the opposing party's attorney or the opposing party. Some documents are considered attorney-client privilege or otherwise confidential, and are not discoverable. Attorneys must review documents for exceptions to the discovery process. This is time consuming in larger cases. Experienced, temporary attorneys provide help with document review services for cases that have a lot of electronic documentation. During the document review process, documents that fall under the attorney-client privilege rule, or other confidential documents, are separated from documents that are discoverable.
Legal document review is a pertinent part of document handling. Documents are reviewed for a number of things, including false signatures and altered documentation (adding or removing pages or sections of a document). When a matter with extensive disclosure and discovery comes into a firm, the firm saves money when using legal document review services. To save even more time, money, and storage space, combine legal document review services with document retrieval services, e discovery consulting and electronic document processing.
Legal document review staffers are trained to find discrepancies in documents that could make or break a case. A firm can often rely on and outsourced specialist document review staff to professionally review the documents, then properly categorizes and index the documents to make them easy to find when needed.
Legal document review also allows a firm to easily determine whether documents should not be produced during the discovery process because of the attorney-client confidentiality relationship (usually correspondence, but in certain cases, other documents may be exempted from disclosure).
Electronic documents have become increasingly popular with firms of all sizes and with the courts. This makes the saving of documents somewhat cumbersome, as staff must remember to print out the electronic documents for the file. When emails go back and forth, if the emails are not trimmed, this results in many extra sheets of paper in the file.
Document retrieval services allow documents to be cataloged by subject matter, whom the document is from, whom the document is to, and by keyword. The documents may also be linked together via an index, allowing for easier retrieval of documents needed for settlement negotiations or trial notebooks.
Document retrieval service software is also useful for working on pleadings—it has a check-in/check-out service, so that if more than one person is working on a document, people cannot edit the document while another person is editing it.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|