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Lateral Lawyer Transfers and Matter Mobility

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Presentation on theme: "Lateral Lawyer Transfers and Matter Mobility"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lateral Lawyer Transfers and Matter Mobility
Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director Robin Helburn, Manager September 19, 2013 Slide 1: Title Slide Insert the ARMA approved title for your session (this title can be found in your contract). Insert the facilitator’s name. If you choose, insert the facilitator’s job title and company name. Insert the Education Code (this will be provided to you at a later date).

2 Learning Objectives Our objectives today are to:
Define the relevant policy positions that a law firm should consider to support matter mobility Apply practical, process-based steps to handle the release or acceptance of materials associated with a lawyer who is transitioning into or out of a firm Utilize lessons learned during the transition of millions of documents and files from Dewey & LeBoeuf to other firms Slide 2: Learning Objectives The second slide of your presentation must be your ARMA approved learning objectives. (These learning objectives can be found in your contract) 2

3 Information Governance & Records Management Guiding Principles
Provide guidance to the firm’s lawyers and staff on the management of information and records Comply with state, federal, and international laws, regulations, and ethics rules Ensure that the policy is not overly restrictive To the extent practical, provide flexibility in how lawyers and staff meet policy objectives Reduce risks and costs associated with the management of information and records Improve client service

4 Information Governance & Records Management Program Framework
The Records Management Program framework is built to align with Law Firm Information Governance principles and covers these six key elements: Governance Policy Retention Schedule Process Systems & Technology Training & Assessment We will now cover each of these elements in greater detail

5 Leadership & Accountability
Firm-wide executive leadership for the program COO, GCO, CIO, KM, IGRM Clearly communicated roles and responsibilities across the firm at all levels Office heads, administrative department leaders Practice chairs, matter billing / responsible lawyers Lawyers and staff Initial policy acknowledgement; ongoing compliance monitoring with periodic acknowledgements Governance sets the stage for a compressive and actable records management program Governance ties most directly to the GARP principles of Accountability and Transparency What makes RM unique to law firms is the management of client information, which is based in part on lawyer's professional judgment, but it must also protect the risk management interests of the firm. Administrative records are governed by operational needs as well as statutory and regulatory requirements. Clients also expect that their records will not be retained indefinitely – it is wholly appropriate that law firms implement a consistent retention and disposition of records. We increasing hear from our law firm clients that their clients are asking about the firm’s RM policy and retention practices, wanting to ensure that they are defined and followed.

6 Policy Framework Directives that establish program authority and communicate firm guidelines and expectations covering these areas: Ownership of records and information Firm-approved repositories Confidentiality and security of records Transferring records into/from the firm Legal holds Disposition Retention schedules that define time periods records and information will be kept considering: Ethics opinions and statutory/regulatory requirements Practice-area client-service requirements Business and operational reference needs Risk position

7 Records and Information Management Policy
Highlight Ownership. Of this list, that is the most unique to law firms. Most organizations need to define ownership between the organization and it’s employees. For law firms they must also define the ownership of the materials by the client, and what is or is not released to the client upon request,

8 Lifecycle Management Active Matter Management PROGRAM COMPONENTS
Receive from client or third party Matter Open Created by the Firm Matter Closed / Cull convenience copies Redact or Generalize for Know-How Protect and retain to satisfy retention requirements Dispose Reuse D Electronic Files E A Drafts, Copies, Notes, Research Hard-copy Files B G Litigation Support Data Billing, Conflicts, Matter Admin H F F C PROGRAM COMPONENTS A Matter Opening / Intake E Active File Management B Ethical Walls & Matter-based Security F Legal Hold Processes C Lateral Hire G Matter Close D Attorney Departure & Client File Release H Retention and Disposition

9 Systems & Technology: No Silver Bullet
Records Management Document Management Archiving Data Security Comply Track circulation Drive source-system retention Support discovery + legal holds Collaborate Defacto go-forward repository Provide team access Track work product versions Distinguish draft v. final Store Move aged Protect mission critical messaging system Dispose based on creation/receipt date Protect Identify confidential information Establish ethical walls Protect personally identifiable information Records management is not a single technology or repository Firms have various content repositories and business applications that must be managed Additionally technologies are used to automate processes Enterprise search Legal hold Information security

10 Data & Records What data does the firm have? Where does it reside?
Are there detailed information data maps prepared? Has the data been mapped to retention schedules? What system is the authority source for the data? Is there a single point of entry which then feeds all other systems? How does the data promulgate throughout the firm? Is the data accessible to those who need it, while also being secured per privacy requirements and ethical wall restrictions? Do line of business applications support systematic disposition in accordance with policies?

11 Program Training and Assessment
Lawyers and staff are front line in managing electronic records and information Training provided when the program is first implemented Continual, persona-based, just-in-time coaching as needed Real-time metrics and “social” monitoring

12 Records and Information Management Policy
Highlight Ownership. Of this list, that is the most unique to law firms. Most organizations need to define ownership between the organization and it’s employees. For law firms they must also define the ownership of the materials by the client, and what is or is not released to the client upon request,

13 Transfer of Records to/from the Firm
What will the firm accept/release? How will you treat materials with no client/matter #? Who will review and approve these materials? How will you process materials in electronic form vs. hardcopy? What special handling is required for attorney personal materials?

14 Lateral File Transfer Process: Incoming
Lateral Accepts Employment Offer Coordinate Resources and Communication Receive Client Authorization Letters Receive Client Materials from Prior Counsel Process Materials no Return Unauthorized Materials yes Materials Authorized? Check and Resolve Conflicts Materials Accessible? Ingest Materials into Firm Systems Materials Complete? Address Layout + Content with Prior Counsel Materials Organized? Set Up Off Network Access Lawyer Organizes Challenges: No transfer standards; Time is of the essence; Every step needs to be tracked For outgoing transfers – same issues but you have to first locate the relevant materials for release

15 Electronic Review Tools
AUTHOR CLIENT DOCS LOCATE DOCUMENTS APPROVAL ASSEMBLE DOCS REVIEW PROCESS REVIEW + APPROVE RELEASE RELEASE DOCUMENTS PACKAGE DOCS + META DATA Official Matter Files are increasingly electronic and require tools to help with the quick and easy review, release and ingestion of the matter file Retain folder organization and document metadata Easy extraction and load to minimize lawyer downtime









24 Dewey & LeBoeuf – HBR Relationship
Initiated strategic sourcing initiative Conducted high-level RIM program diagnostic and later a detailed assessment Engaged to lead program development Replaced back-office operational staff with strategic- focused team Drafted and initiated retention and disposition program

25 Dewey & LeBoeuf – The Bankruptcy
The numbers as of spring 2012 1000 lawyers, 300 partners 44K clients and 280K matters Mass exodus of lawyers and clients to other firms required fast yet accurate transfer processes Operational challenges resulting from bankruptcy and liquidation Records team from 24 to 3

26 Dewey & LeBoeuf – Electronic Data
Unstructured electronic data Immature matter-centric deployment; limited filing Dwindling and increasingly restricted system resources Limited IT support Likely that personal collections of electronic data “walked out the door”

27 Dewey & LeBoeuf – Hard Copy Files
> 1.5M file folders indexed in RMS 450K offsite boxes ($1.5M annual spend) 18 vendors, 30 facilities worldwide Previously closed offices with unmanaged inventories 15K boxes onsite across 8 active US offices Historical filing nuances Varied inventory indexing with sporadic details Mixed client materials across boxes/facilities

28 Dewey & LeBoeuf – The Approach
Court established file disposition process Notice to clients Client requests submitted/processed Coordinate with 3rd parties to transfer files Team structure: administrative, operational, and technical Processed 2,500 clients with ~ 35,000 matter file transfer requests; coordinated with >100 law firms affecting >10TB of data and 80K boxes

29 Dewey & LeBoeuf – Greatest Challenges
Coordinating with storage vendors who required up-front payment Departed lawyers who “just want their files” Automating the review with little to no IT support Playing catch up with years of file processing backlog Lack of inventory detail for matter files and boxes with mixed clients

30 Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director
Lateral LAWYER MOBILITY & Matter Transfers Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director Robin Helburn, Manager Slide 7: Closing Slide Insert title of your session, facilitator’s name and contact information (if you’d like). If desired, insert the facilitator’s job title and company name. Insert your Education Code. This slide must be used as the closing slide.

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