Guilty: Manual Filing Can Cost You

Guilty: Manual filing can cost you

by Peter James
When preparing for trial, attorneys are overwhelmed with the enormous responsibilities that can have a significant impact on the outcome of the trial, from the smallest paperwork details to a powerful closing argument.

Managing all these tasks is a gargantuan undertaking even for the most experienced trial attorney, especially for cases that involve mounds of paperwork. Attorneys and support staff need the ability to submit the necessary documents in the right format and file size to the right court house. In instances like this, when submitting information for court filing can have a tremendous impact on your case, it’s imperative to get it right the first time.
manual filing
Standard submission practices for court filing documents have traditionally been done manually. This process is tedious and extremely time consuming, mostly due to the sheer number of forms and documents that law firms must provide to courts and regulatory agencies in the mandated file sizes and formats.

With the U.S. District Courts seeing several hundreds of thousands of cases, the number of documents that law firms are required to submit is astounding. The guesswork involved in manually splitting files to prepare them to be filed with the court is extremely time consuming and greatly decreases a firm’s productivity.

Additionally, when trial attorneys and their support staff spend too much time with paper, it can cost the firm more than one might realize. Let’s assume attorney salaries are $150,000 per year and support staff salaries, on average, about $40,000 per year, and each of these employees spends five minutes a day looking for paper documents—the resulting lost productivity firm-wide can total $130,2601.

With an automated workflow system for eFiling preparation in place, the trial attorney, as well as support staff can ultimately become more productive.

With an automated workflow system for eFiling preparation in place, the trial attorney, as well as support staff can ultimately become more productive with the assurance that they have the ability to manage, access, share and eFile information in fewer steps.
There are technologies available that make the process of preparing and submitting electronic court filings more automated and efficient. For example, when the court’s name and mandated file size and format are pre-programmed into a scanning device, the device can automatically recognize when the allotted file size is reached, and automatically split the file into multiple files (up to the maximum file size mandated). This eliminates guesswork when submitting court filings manually, as well as reduces the number of steps. In addition, the system can convert a file to either a keyword searchable PDF or PDF/A file, depending on the court’s preferences.

Being assured that you are getting the right information where it’s needed, to those who need it anytime, anywhere—contributes to the success of a trial—and improves your firm’s productivity.

Increase your firm's cost efficiency with automated eFiling of paperwork.

Look to a partner who can help you deliver modern eFiling and other automated workflow services that your clients expect, while saving time, space and money.
Peter James
Peter James, Director, Legal Technology, Ricoh USA, Inc., works with law firms throughout the U.S. to form sustainable strategies that drive out costs, while streamlining worker productivity. He analyzes current processes and desired business outcomes to solve problems with technology and labor-based solutions, and also has experience managing information lifecycle.
1 John Gilbert, "3 Things That Stand in the Way of Document Scanning." Law Technology Today, Dec. 29, 2014.
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