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Materials Prepared by Kelly Bulsak Presented by Carol L. Schlein Newark NJ February 22, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Materials Prepared by Kelly Bulsak Presented by Carol L. Schlein Newark NJ February 22, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Materials Prepared by Kelly Bulsak Presented by Carol L. Schlein Newark NJ February 22, 2013

2 Carol L. Schlein, Esq. President, Law Office Systems, Inc. Montclair NJ Founding Member Lawtopia LLC National partnership of legal technology consultants Former chair Computer Division, ABA Law Practice Management Section Former columnist, New Jersey Law Journal

3 What to Shred You can handle shredding documents in-house with your staff/ mailroom or outsource it to a shredding partner. Until documents are shredded, they are your responsibility. You can be fined for a breach of security. Shredding companies can provide secure containers for your office. HIPAA requires businesses to properly destroy personal information.

4 Managing Physical Files Develop policy for scanning and shredding Use software tools Document Management Programs Practice (Case) Management Programs

5 What to Shred Bank statements Tax records Legal documents Documents with social security or credit card numbers Medical records Personnel records Draft versions of correspondence with case information or court filings Information with client info (confidentiality)

6 Shredding Tips When to Shred When case ends When firm closes files Before moving Do it yourself or use a service? Tradeoffs Expectations about service Volume of data to be shredded Costs

7 Purchasing a Shredder Expect to pay from $400 for a small office shredder Expect to pay up to $1000 for a medium office shredder Do you need to shred disks and credit cards? Determine the number of shredders you will need for your size office Consider the proper location for a noisy shredder and scraps of paper on the floor Shredders require maintenance when used frequently

8 Case File Maintenance Decide how you want to organize your documents in a case folder (or document management system) The order of importance: Important papers or chronologically? Consider using smaller subfolders within a larger folder Color-coding allows for a quick glance to locate info Remove duplicate copies in the file

9 Benefits of Case or Practice Management Software Can be used to digitize important file information Can be used to track open and closed file info Can be used for or linked to document management Automates firms workflow to improve efficiency Core Functions Central Contact List Central Case/ Matter Database Case Notes Calendar and Tickler Document Generation/ Management

10 Practice Management Programs Time Matters (LexisNexis) PracticeMaster (STILegal) Amicus Attorney (Gavel and Gown) Abacus Law (Abacus) Clio (Themis) RocketMatter Many new products in the pipeline

11 Electronic Filing Electronic filing is mandatory for many courts Can submit after business hours Electronic filing eliminates: Running to the courthouse to file Verifying that the supporting documents were received by the court Making multiple copies of the filing to be submitted to the court.

12 Electronic Filing Tips Check your system requirements Do you have a recent version installed on your computer? Can you print a confirmation receipt? Read all instructions before beginning the process Make sure you have a credit card ready if there is a fee Make sure you have your login and password info ready Dont wait until the last minute! Any slight issue can cause you to miss a deadline Have supporting documents ready to upload in the proper order

13 Electronic Filing Dos and Donts Make sure documents are in the right format and under the size limit A larger PDF may need to be extracted into smaller files All staff and attorneys should be able to manipulate PDFs Some e-filing systems have a time limit once you begin the process so be sure to finish so you wont have to start over. E-Filing Mistakes are no excuse. Courts do not accept excuses based on unfamiliarity with filing procedures When e-filing systems are in place, an attorney may be granted the benefit of the doubt but dont count on that!

14 Confirming Successful Court E-Filing If successful, you will receive two emails: Confirmation your e-filing was received Acceptance that your filing and payment were processed No emails, assume your filing was not successful When attorney registers, they can provide additional email addresses for submissions from the firm

15 Court Forms Some court systems have email distribution lists and will send updates such as court forms, trial lists or new procedures. Most court systems will provide you with their court forms on their website. Usually in PDF format Sometimes fillable format with remainder locked

16 Court Forms Set up a SharePoint site or shared file location within your firm for frequently used forms Have procedure for maintaining and updating Can be set up as templates in practice management system with case data merged into court form Some court systems have a help desk to assist you with electronic submissions

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