Allowing software to do the heavy lifting of document management is a big (and necessary!) leap for the litigation industry, and adopting this technology remains a challenge. Nobody knows this better than the attorneys who use the limited tools on the market designed specifically for them. A recent session at the 2016 ILTA Conference, titled "From Production to Trial: The Tools We Use and Still Need", showcased demonstrations of up-and-coming litigation-focused software, including our very own Allegory. This time, instead of getting the usual pitch from software companies, actual users were front and center.
List of Speakers:
- Catherine McPherson, Bartlit Beck
- Clare Foley, Opus 2 Magnum
- Thomas Vidal, Pryor Cashman
- Jeremiah Kelman, Everchron
- Melisa Twomey, Consilio (representing Allegory
- Geoffrey Vance, Perkin Coie
Beyond post-its and highlighters
Opening the sessions was Catherine McPherson, a consultant and Paralegal with Bartlit Beck, which uses Opus 2 Magnum's Transcript Management & Case Analysis Platform. While demonstrating their software, she stressed the importance of collaboration - pointing out that when attorneys make notes with post-its and highlighters, they are working in a silo. Having a tool focused on post-production work allows teams to bring work into strategy, so they are not only efficient, but produce better results.
No more printing out emails
Thomas Vidal, a Partner at Pryor Cashman, shared an anecdote that is all too familiar - for trial last year, they were printing out internal emails only to write notes on those. Demonstrating EverChron, Vidal praised tools that help attorneys to see the bigger picture, while also keeping tabs on details. Using software designed for attorney work means that documents and notes not only live in the same place, but they are updated dynamically, teams have easy access to materials, and evidence can be linked in ways that make it easier to understand the case.
Connecting the case
Consilio Director Melisa Twomey manages Consilio's partnership with Allegory as part of her role, and represented Allegory alongside Geoffrey Vance, Partner at Perkins Coie. Echoing the thoughts of other speakers, Twomey highlighted features in Allegory that go beyond organizing documents, allowing teams to leverage attorney and paralegal work, syncronize case insights, and connect documents to testimony, filings, and other aspects of the case to provide the necessary context to prepare for depositions, summary judgment, and trial.
Getting up to speed in record time
Vance detailed how the positive impact of Allegory in an instance where his case team asked for expedited discovery - giving them only one week, where they should have had eight weeks. Taking advantage of features such as automatic OCR and automated and easily accessible binders (quipping, "Binders are FedEx hell!") allowed his team to efficiently and effectively manage the workload. Pointing out how processes like deposition designations are handled terribly last minute, Vance explained that a tool like Allegory speeds up work and also allows him to make better decisions than relying on print-outs and post-its.
Improving the way litigation teams collaborate
Each of these three products demonstrates the growing need for litigation teams to have tools built for them and their work (separate and apart from e-discovery). As demonstrated by the examples given at this ILTA presentation, tools designed around traditional litigation work have a positive impact on litigators' work and processes. The choice of tools is up to you, but technology will undeniably improve the way litigation teams collaborate, expedite tedious manual tasks, and achieve mastery of their case. Above all else, technology helps litigators get back to what they do best - winning cases.
This years's ILTA Conference was held in Washington D.C. We owe a big thanks to our colleagues in this space, and all of the client representatives, for sharing their experiences using technology to advance their litigation practices.