Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reducing costs using legal extranets

In today's challenging economic times, reducing costs is more important than ever.

Legal extranet systems provide several potential opportunities for corporate counsel and law firms to work together in a manner which streamlines litigation support and management in a way that both improves quality and reduces costs. A few of the cost savings opportunities are below.

  • Commonly requested or frequently used items (master calendars, contact lists, etc..) can be posted on an extranet site once so that frequently redistribution is not required.
  • We can use these technologies to share documents within printing them (which also reduces a firm's carbon footprint and contributes to "Green Law" Initiatives.
  • Case management data can be posted on-line, eliminating the need for law firms to produce weekly/monthly reports on a client's matters.
  • Documents, either those which are works-in-process or those which are completed works (trial exhibits, depositions, transcripts), can be posted eliminating the need to distribute them in paper format or in a duplicative manner (e.g. sending sets of documents to multiple individuals).
  • Tasks and research related to a matter which are completed can be posted on an extranet, potentially reducing the amount of duplicative work done by local counsel on a broad, nationwide set of related litigations.

These are just a sampling of the various efficiencies which are made possible by collaboration and legal extranet systems. One is limited only by their own imaginations and creativity in developing and exploiting cost savings opportunities via the use of legal extranet and litigation support software.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Helping corporate law departments manage cases with legal extranet systems

Legal extranets offer companies and law departments a turnkey and cost effective method of managing their legal matters. Companies can subscribe to a legal extranet system and load all their cases for tracking and management. Within such systems, law departments can track the outside counsel assigned to manage each matter, the budget and spend for each matter, information on the plaintiffs in the matters, key dates associated with the claim or litigation, the courts in which the matters will be heard, and many other important case management data points.

Additionally, legal extranets allow law departments to create litigation calendars and task tracking systems and lists which can be shared with outside counsel, to track key litigation documents, to post items on a bulletin board to share amongst the in-house attorneys as well as the outside counsel, and to generate a series of helpful one-click reports so provide all the attorneys and paralegals working on a case with up-to-date information about the case or cases which they are responsible for.

And, since this is a system which is provided by a service partner, the law department need not get involved with any of the overhead associated with running a sophisticated web-based information tracking system (e.g. server maintenance, software maintenance, security considerations).

Generally speaking, as well, because the services provided by legal extranet providers are shared services (multiple companies use the same application code, reporting engines, etc.), the overall total cost of ownership and usage for such systems will be far less than if an individual company would decide to create, operating and manage such as system internally.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Innovative users for legal extranet technology

  • Track and manage internal projects and priorities.
  • Assist clients in managing workflow processes where requests and tasks need to be passed from person to person.
  • Help with the plaintiff or site research process during discovery.
  • Assist in the tracking of vendor performance, pricing and capabilties.
  • Help distribute training and orientation materials to new employees.

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