Trial Works Case Management Software
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Legal Technology Showcase
buried alive under tons of paper never crossed my mind, until building
engineers suggested that the extensive use of it in our office was going
to become ever more costly. At the same time, the idea of not seeing my
desk for several weeks – as it stood holding a mountain of documents –
urged me to find a solution that did not involve increasing physical
capacity of our offices. Although hesitant to move away from the
traditional operations of a law practice, it was clear that – without a
logging permit – our company needed to move to digital. While exploring
the realms of document management we realized that case management
software was possibly the answer we were looking for. Since then our
practice has never been the same.
To this day I
marvel that a ton of paper now only weighs 5 ounces and fits in the palm
of my hand. Apart from being portable, the information we now have
digitized is highly shareable. This, in turn, has allowed our practice
to branch out to multiple offices, all with live access to our case
work. Never mind being on vacation, but for the first time this year I
managed to prepare for trial while sitting on a beach in Kauai.
Without going into
too much detail on how we accomplished this transition, there was one
critical part to our success: a software program capable of working with
the documents, gathering client and other party data, managing all
contacts, tracking costs, keeping schedules and dockets, and dozens of
smaller functions essential to a law practice. For us the choice was
clear: TrialWorksTM Case Management Software.
One of our concerns
was the transition process. Fortunately, TrialWorks, is built on a
familiar Microsoft Office platform, and fully integrates with
applications like Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel. However, although
MS Word is a standard for our practice, the software can also use
WordPerfect to handle documents.
When a case is
presented to our office, via telephone call or a referral, we begin by
entering all of the basic information into TrialWorks. Generally this
involves a few names and some important dates. Immediately this
information is available to everyone at the firm. From that point our
staff generally begins the document generation process, which is done
automatically in TrialWorks. For the most part, our letter and legal
document writing consists of a few clicks.
documents are scanned in our office, and filed into the cases in
TrialWorks. With the addition of a high capacity scanner, the entire
process takes just under an hour each day – for one employee. What is
more shocking is that we’ve managed to save thousands of dollars in
document costs which ranged from the endless use of paper to shipping,
or even freight, costs associated with providing records.
I mentioned earlier
that the ability to share the digital information was a critical part of
the process. This is where TrialWorks has completely changed the way our
practice operates. For starters, with the implementation of Terminal
Servers, we have the ability to access our information from anywhere
with an internet connection. The TrialWorks Mobile additions to the
software synchronize case data with laptops and PocketPCs, making our
staff highly mobile. Finally, database replication enables us to have
separate offices work with synchronized data. We are eagerly awaiting
new products like TrialWorks BlackBerry and TrialWorks Online, which
will feed live case data to handheld devices and give case information
access to clients respectively.
appropriate software, and a staff trained in using it, enables our law
firm to create a high output of legal work in a short period of time. We
are able to handle more cases than we have in the past, and always have
the information related to the cases available – whether on the road, at
home, or in the office.
William A. Austill is Managing Partner at Austill Lewis &
Simms, Birmingham, Alabama.