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By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2005-08-01 Print this article Print

Court cases can go on for years, and even when theyre closed, related documents must remain immediately accessible. For these reasons, Preti Flaherty has not yet had to deal much with archiving of electronic documents. However, going forward, the use of ScanStation OP and Interwoven will make it easier to archive such documents, Lyle said.

Although Lyle hasnt done a formal cost-savings analysis, he sees two areas in which the ScanStation OP has reduced costs and a third area in which there is potential for savings.

"When we started, we would send out 50 to 60 faxes a day; now we have just two or three a day," Lyle said. He added that ScanStation OP devices have limited the amount of processing that paralegals need to do at night—the ability to store documents on the network has allowed Preti Flaherty to consolidate evening processing at the firms headquarters instead of staffing additional offices during off-hours.

A feature expected in Version 3.0 of the ScanStation OP software has Lyle looking forward to additional cost savings: an automated Bates system feature that numbers legal documents as they are scanned. (The Bates system is a long-used method for referring to evidentiary documents.)

"For the client, this is a huge timesaver," said Lyle. "Nothing is worse than a paralegal peeling [number] labels and sticking them to paper—its expensive for clients."

In addition to upgrading the ScanStation OP software from Version 2.0 to 3.0, a move that is expected to happen this year, Lyle said Preti Flaherty will upgrade to Version 8.0 of Interwovens Worksite, to take advantage of the matter-centric document management capabilities introduced in that release. (The current version uses a profile-based document management system.)

"Matter-centric is more treelike and mirrors the way paper is stored," said Lyle. "Matter-centric improves the user experience because of fewer steps, and filing is more accurate."

For eWEEK Labs guide to understanding workflow and BPM alphabet soup, click here. In addition to using eCopy with Interwoven, attorneys occasionally need a simple, convenient way to scan documents repeatedly, said Lyle. In those instances, they use the customization capabilities of eCopy, called Quick Connect, to create a single-step interface on the ScanStation OP for scanning and distribution.

Preti Flaherty also employs eCopy Desktop software, which is a component of the firms standard PC software image. eCopy Desktop allows Preti Flaherty staff to share and manage revisions through tools for marking up a document or redacting content.

The law firm also uses the eCopy Desktop software for managing form-based tasks such as completing expense reports. Using the application, the firms staff can scan forms so that signature fields can be completed by dropping a signature graphic onto a form using the eCopy Desktop software.

Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at

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