Recent global events have intensified the pressure to empower remote employees in the legal profession with the right technology and tools to remain as collaborative and productive as they had been prior to the mandated lockdowns.
Preparing for complex litigation has traditionally been a collaborative effort among large teams of attorneys and paralegals. For newly remote teams, virtual collaboration tools can help reap significant cost savings and deliver faster project timelines. In this two-part series, we’ll explore how virtual collaboration can help teams prepare for litigation, starting with the process of building arguments and outlines in preparation for depositions.
The Current State of the Litigation Process
After a lengthy review of electronic evidence, once a document corpus has been culled down to relevant bits of evidence, attorneys and paralegals typically send several versions of outlines back and forth over email. This email-centric approach does qualify as a form of digital collaboration, but it often leads to significant challenges in version control and introduces security concerns.
The situation gets more challenging when teams move on to crafting timelines, argument outlines, and lists of questions. When attempting to collaborate over email, outside of the original document review environment, teams are unable to reference reviewer annotations. The lack of context plus the complexity of a post-review document corpus can cause teams to overlook key insights.
Facilitating Better Collaboration
Everlaw enables teams to collaboratively organize relevant documents into a compelling body of evidence on the same unified platform where review took place. Storybuilder enables them to seamlessly transition between the review and post-review workflows.
As teams organize the most important documents to build narratives, Timeline serves as their collective repository for important events and their relevance to their story. There’s no need to export and import documents into other systems, eliminating complexity and high overhead costs.
Drafts enable multiple Everlaw users to simultaneously work on the same document. It functions like a word processing tool but is built into the same collaborative ediscovery platform where review takes place, enabling simultaneous collaboration with zero loss of the insights gleaned from review. This eliminates version control issues and helps teams to prepare to present arguments in a thoughtful, organized manner, whether they’re preparing outlines for depositions, case arguments, or other strategic documents like reviewer protocols.
As key documents are referenced in a draft, Everlaw automatically generates an exhibit list of documents with an exhibit number, any notes, and a bookmarked set of pages. Associates and paralegals can prepare and publish customized exhibit lists into a convenient PDF format in preparation for subsequent depositions or trial.
Looking Ahead: The Future of Litigation Preparation
At critical points in litigation, having the right documents in hand can make all the difference. With the expansion of distributed workforces, associates and paralegals need comprehensive tools that extend their capabilities for virtual collaboration into the deposition itself and beyond. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll explore how Storybuilder helps legal teams prepare for depositions in a logical, orderly fashion, and focus more effectively on substantive legal work, all while collaborating on the cloud.
For more information on how Storybuilder helps teams prepare for investigations or litigation, check out our whitepaper, “Bridging the Virtual Gap with Storybuilder by Everlaw.”