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LATERAL LAWYER TRANSFERS AND MATTER MOBILITY Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director Robin Helburn, Manager September 19, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "LATERAL LAWYER TRANSFERS AND MATTER MOBILITY Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director Robin Helburn, Manager September 19, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 LATERAL LAWYER TRANSFERS AND MATTER MOBILITY Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director Robin Helburn, Manager September 19, 2013

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 2

3 INFORMATION GOVERNANCE & RECORDS MANAGEMENT GUIDING PRINCIPLES Provide guidance to the firms 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


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

6 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 POLICY FRAMEWORK


8 PROGRAM COMPONENTS Active Matter Management 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 A B C F Litigation Support Data Hard-copy Files Electronic Files Drafts, Copies, Notes, Research Billing, Conflicts, Matter Admin Matter Opening / Intake Lateral Hire Attorney Departure & Client File Release Ethical Walls & Matter-based Security Active File Management Retention and Disposition Legal Hold Processes Matter Close E F G A B C D E F G H H D LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT

9 SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGY: NO SILVER BULLET Records Management Comply Track circulation Drive source- system retention Support discovery + legal holds Document Management Archiving Store Move aged Protect mission critical messaging system Dispose based on creation/receipt date Data Security Collaborate Defacto go-forward repository Provide team access Track work product versions Distinguish draft v. final Protect Identify confidential information Establish ethical walls Protect personally identifiable information

10 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? DATA & RECORDS

11 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 PROGRAM TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT


13 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? 13 TRANSFER OF RECORDS TO/FROM THE FIRM

14 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 no yes Materials Accessible? Ingest Materials into Firm Systems no yes Materials Complete? Address Layout + Content with Prior Counsel no yes Materials Organized? Set Up Off Network Access Lawyer Organizes LATERAL FILE TRANSFER PROCESS: INCOMING

15 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 15 AUTHOR CLIENT DOCS LOCATE DOCUMENTS APPROVAL ASSEMBLE DOCS REVIEW PROCESS REVIEW + APPROVE RELEASE RELEASE DOCUMENTS PACKAGE DOCS + META DATA ELECTRONIC REVIEW TOOLS









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 24

25 DEWEY & LEBOEUF – THE BANKRUPTCY The numbers as of spring 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 25

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 26

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 27

28 DEWEY & LEBOEUF – THE APPROACH Court established file disposition process - Notice to clients - Client requests submitted/processed - Coordinate with 3 rd 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 28

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 29

30 Terrence J. Coan, CRM, Senior Director Raymond Fashola, Director Robin Helburn, Manager LATERAL LAWYER MOBILITY & MATTER TRANSFERS

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