Taking eDiscovery and evidence review even further, this article outlines the preparation eBundles for paper-less or eHearings
In the previous article, “Beyond e-Discovery: Trial Bundles”, we discussed the use of various technology tools to simplify the preparation of physical trial bundles. This article sets out the vision, and advantages, of a paper-less, or completely eHearing. This will be articulated as the main components of an eHearing – namely, the trial bundle in “e” format, and the tools needed for the conduct of the hearing itself – are described in this article.
The electronic evidence review process was described in the previous article, “Beyond e-Discovery: Trial Bundles”. In that article, the final work product was a physical trial bundle. It is also possible to have the trial bundle in an electronic form. An example of this is Litigation Edge’s eBundles (figure below), where the documents in the eBundle are produced in PDF and delivered in a portable drive. The eBundle contains a hyperlinked index and a full-text search, which enables easy retrieval of the bundled documents.
- Portability of the flash drive enables lawyers to work from anywhere without the need for physical documents.
- The eBundle can be used to facilitate an efficient, low-cost paperless hearing or eHearing:
- Saves on printing costs
- Saves time spent on printing and binding, for example, punching holes, binding, stapling, etc.
- More efficient trial proceedings, an electronic search and retrieval of documents, is much faster than physically locating actual documents stored in many a courtroom shelf.
- It is possible to have a mix of printed and e-documents in the trial bundle – the core bundle, including the affidavits, are printed (usually not more than 10% of the total documents), while the remaining documents are stored as soft copies.
Typically, it is the plaintiff’s lawyers that prepare the bundles, which are an amalgam of the plaintiff’s and defendant’s documents. It is recommended that this function be outsourced to litigation support providers, who possess specialist automation tools to amalgamate, identify duplicates, re-sequence, categorise, paginate and volumnise the documents, far more efficiently than a law firm. Litigation support providers turnaround hard copy bundles and printed bundles in a fraction of the time taken by law firms. [read more]