Introduction

Managing documents with surgical care and precision is essential in a litigation firm. Cases that should be won are sometimes lost by firms that lack the technology and discipline to meet this responsibility, so lawyers sometimes develop their own individualized systems, which causes chaos, inefficiency and sub-standard case results. We have solved this problem by creating a SharePoint document management system, which only works if everyone uses it exactly as it was designed, so you must follow this Procedure exactly as it is written.

To assist you in mastering the use of our customized SharePoint On-Line platform, we have created a flow-diagram and a eight training videos, which you should watch these before studying the written Procedure. 

WARNING! This Procedure contains a number of technical steps that must be followed exactly in all cases. Failure to do so could result in a breach of client confidentiality, violation of court rules and mismanagement of evidence.

Training Videos

The video below entitled “GOJO Document Management” explains the basics of SharePoint and teaches our standard method for processing documents. The remaining videos demonstrate the mechanical steps to perform the functions you need for document management and  analysis.

Click on each box below, then click the full screen icon   

GOJO Document Management

New Version. This video provides an overview of our process for storing, reviewing, producing and logging documents. [40:59]

OCR & DCN With Acrobat

This video provides a demonstration of how to make PDFs searchable and apply  Document Control Numbers. [5:41]

Working With Metadata

This video shows you how to apply and use document metadata. Learn how to apply custom tags for further sorting. [4:26]

Redacting, Tagging & Annotating

This video demonstrates how to redact, annotate, bookmark and tag documents during the Attorney Review and Document Analysis. [15:41]

Filtering, Views & Copying

This video demonstrates how to manipulate filtered views to see and copy documents that meet specific criteria. [18:59]

Search Techniques

This video shows you three ways to search for documents in our customized SharePoint system, and how to work with the results of your searches. [Video still in development]

Setting Permissions & Sharing

This video shows you how to set permissions on libraries, folders and documents, and share them with opposing counsel and outside parties, such as experts. [Video still in development] 

Logs Lists & Disclosures

This video will teach you how to use the Logs List and update our document Disclosures to comply with the Rules of Civil Procedure/ [Video still in development]

Our SharePoint Library Structure

Each of our SharePoint case sites contain libraries and lists. Libraries are like folders on a hard drive. Lists are like spreadsheets, and resemble miniature databases. We have several of each; every library and list has its own different metadata structure, meaning that each has its own separate columns of external data attached the items they contain.

Our SharePoint libraries are organized into three categories: Communication, Internal Work and Court. Click on the individual libraries and lists below for a definition of what each contain.

Communication

These libraries contain information transmitted to and from the Firm, including email attachments (but usually not the actual  email itself).

Correspondence

The Correspondence Library contains all letters to and from the Firm (other than email), stored in PDF format.

Records

The Records Library contains all original records received by the Firm from sources other than other parties to the litigation provided as Initial Disclosures or Discovery Responses. These are stored as PDF documents. The records are organized into folders when they come is large, discrete groups. The standard folders, to which more can be added, are as follows:

  • Authorizations
  • Client Records
  • Construction Documents (uses a separate content type with its own metadata)
  • Depositions
  • Experts
  • Hearing Transcripts
  • Insurance
  • Medical Records
  • Photos & Video
  • Videos

External Users Upload

The Upload Library is designed to be a Firm drop-box into which sources outside the Firm may upload materials directly into this location for further processing.

Internal Work

These libraries contain marked-up documents, privileged materials and records that have not yet been reviewed and produced, as well as notes and working lists.

Billing

The Billing Library contains all billing and related financial records. It is maintained by the Chief Financial Officer (Div. 3).

Witness Database

The Witness Database is a SharePoint list that we keep from the beginning of the case to track all possible witnesses and individuals related to the case.

We separate it into filterable views to categorize and sort witnesses and easily locate their depositions and other key information.

As trial approaches, we copy some of the items from this private internal database into the Witness List, which is visible to opposing counsel and contains the date and time of testimony for trial witnesses, along with other information.

Drafts

The Drafts Library contains all original drafts of documents created within the firm, such as Word, Excel and other files.

Notes

The Notes Library contains the OneNote notebook for the matter, as well as research and related materials. 

Whenever possible, we ask that all notes be taken in this OneNote notebook so that all personnel working on the file can see those notes. If notes are taken in paper form, they must be scanned and pasted as PDF pages into the OneNote notebook, or re-typed as a OneNote note.

Lawyers and LSS staff are prohibited from maintaining their own private copy of written notes relating to a case, as this causes an undesirable loss of information that should be kept in the SharePoint sub-site for the matter.

Pre-Production Records (PPR)

The PPR Library is a temporary repository for copies of records that have yet to be reviewed for privilege. Its contents are moved to the Served Library or Privilege Library and logged accordingly in the Logs List.

The PPR Library will be empty most of the time, as it is a temporary location  to store records that will soon be reviewed for privilege and then moved into either the Served Library or the Privilege Library.

Privilege

The Privilege Library contains copies of records that have been withheld under a claim of privilege. These documents have been DCNed and listed in the Logs List (the Privilege Log) so that a court can perform in camera review in the event the claimed privilege is challenged by opposing counsel. The Privilege Library is never shared with anyone other than the judge in a case pursuant to a direct court order.

Withhold

The Non-Relevant Library stores materials that were deemed upon receipt to be irrelevant to the case and are therefore neither claimed to be privileged nor produced to other parties.

Working Copies

The Working Copies library contains copies of marked-up documents, as well as folders containing yet-to-be-used deposition and hearing exhibits.

The contents of the Working Copies Library are considered privileged work-product, so the library itself (as opposed to specific contents) are not shared outside the Firm.

Timeline

The Timeline is a SharePoint list that is both a chronology and a database, linking events to key documents. There may be more than one Timeline. The timeline can be can be filtered to only show medical events, or other specific kinds of events using metadata.

Court

These libraries documents that are served upon the parties, as well as documents that are filed with the Court. No Privileged information is stored in these libraries.

Logs List

The Logs List is a SharePoint list that operates like a database, with each entry representing a document that was either produced or withheld as privileged, and several columns of additional data, including the DCN range of pages contained within the document, the nature of the privilege claimed, if any, and other information.

Attorneys Eyes Only

The Attorneys Eyes Only Library contains documents that have been filed under seal or produced according to a protective order prohibiting attorneys from allowing anyone other than attorneys in the case and their staff from viewing the materials.

Filed

The Filed Library contains all documents that have been filed with the Court, regardless of which party filed them.

Served

The Served Library contains documents that have been served on the parties but not filed with the court, such as disclosures and discovery responses. This is where most of the original exhibits and records will be copied to the Working Copies Library for use in depositions, hearings and trial. 

Trial

The Trial Library contains trial exhibits and other materials used at trial. Very little use of it is made during the first phases of the case. It is generally filled with material during Stage 4 of our Case Planning Procedure.

Trial Exhibits List

The Trial Exhibits List contains a SharePoint list of trial exhibits with links to the exhibits stored in the Trial Library.

Deposition Exhibits

The Deposition Exhibits Library contains all deposition exhibits that have been used on the record in depositions. It is sometimes maintained by court reporters, but chief responsibility for its maintenance rests with the Principally Responsible Attorney (PRA) and Litigation Support Specialist assigned to the matter.

Witness List

The Witnesses List is a SharePoint list of witnesses who may testify at trial.

It is not the same as the People List (under Internal Work) that we make during the early stages of the case and update as we move forward. Some of the individual items in the People List will be added to the Witness List before trial, or the List may be copied and redacted to remove non-testifying persons.

The Witness List is shared with opposing counsel before trial.

The SharePoint Navigation Menu

The SharePoint navigation menu for each case is shown at left. In SharePoint (but not on this page), when you click the down-arrows next to Internal Work and Court, the menu expands to show the libraries listed above. When you click on one of those libraries, SharePoint takes you to it. 

Libraries listed in the navigation window under Internal Work and Court are not actually contained inside of other containers despite how the navigation menu is displayed. Those groupings (Internal Work and Court) appear on the navigation menu only for convenience in thinking about what documents are shared with opposing counsel. We generally do not allow access to the libraries listed under Internal Work, as those libraries tend to contain privileged work product. The “permissions settings” that control who can access a library or list vary from one library or list to another. 

For more information on setting permissions, see our Procedures:

  1. Adding a New Case Sub-Site to SharePoint, with the associated Training Video, and
  2. Adding Users to SharePoint Groups.

 

Once you understand the basic structure of our libraries and lists, you need to understand how documents move through our system. Each document that we receive or that we generate internally follows a very specific path through our system. If you understand this system, you can find anything quickly, because you will know exactly where to look.

Some Sites Differ: This Procedure and the SharePoint site template that was designed for it are new. Older sites that may not have the necessary metadata in the Records Library have white title banners; the newer sites have large blue title banners.

How We Process Documents

Records come to us in the form of electronic attachments to email and electronically served documents, downloads from cloud storage and documents from portable drives or paper that must be scanned. Regardless of the form in which records arrive, they come from three kinds of sources: (1) clients and non-parties; and (2) documents served upon us (but not filed with the court) by counsel for other parties; and (3) court filings that are served upon us.

The diagram below summarizes how each of these categories of documents are handled. The specific actions to complete each of the 9 steps will appear when you click the number for the step at the bottom of the diagram:

The details for each step will appear here when you click the number above.

Step 1: OCR & DCN

If they arrive in paper form, incoming records are scanned.

Once the records are in PDF form, they are OCR-ed and Document Control Numbers (DCNs) are applied using Adobe Acrobat from the LSS’s desktop or another on-premises computer. How do I do this?

DCNs are based upon a prefix code followed by a six-digit number. The prefix code will usually be a short name for the client-party producing the documents. How do I do this?

Here are examples of DCNs:

Muscogee 000027

Chart 092374

The LSS will need to check the Logs List to determine what the prefix code is and where the numbering should continue. In larger cases, we use more than one prefix, and when this is true, we list the prefixes in a SharePoint List entitled “DCN Prefix List,” which will appear as a stand-alone item in the navigation menu on the left of the page. If there are no items in the DCN Prefix List , we are only using a single prefix for all disclosures.

Step 2: Upload To Records Library

Once the new records have been OCR-ed and DCN-ed, the LSS will upload them into a separate folder in the Records Library.

The existing folders are:

  • Authorizations
  • Client Records
  • Construction Documents (uses a separate content type with its own metadata)
  • Depositions
  • Experts
  • Hearing Transcripts
  • Insurance
  • Medical Records
  • Photos & Video
  • Videos

These correspond to some of the Record Types available as metadata in the records library. Additional folders can be created to suit the needs of a particular case. It is essential to give the folder a clear, understandable name that makes its clear to everyone without having to open the folder.

For bulky uploads, the LSS may use the ShareGate program running within a virtual machine (a Windows emulator), which ShareGate requires.

Step 3: LSS Applies Initial Metadata

Once the records have been uploaded to a folder in the Records Library, the LSS then adds certain metadata by using Quick Edit to “bulk-tag” the new records, filling in these metadata fields:

  • Record Source
  • Record Source Type
  • Date Received
  • PRA,
  • LSS (who tagged the records)
  • Checking “Yes” to “OCR?”

The LSS will then add document-specific metadata, including:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Record Type
  • DCN Range
  • Document Date
  • Author
  • Recipient

When this is complete, the LSS then notifies the PRA of the fact that new records have been uploaded into the Records Library so that the PRA can add more document-specific metadata. That next process is called the Initial Attorney Review. Notification may be done verbally or by email, so long as the following step is completed:

Important: After notifying the PRA, the LSS creates a task in Daylite for the PRA to complete the Initial Attorney Review.

Here is an example of how the task should be worded:

Jones — Complete Initial Attorney Review of new records from Hampden Medical Center.

The internal due date for the task should be the following day. The LSS should also fill in the category and make certain that the task is linked to the matter in Daylite, and add any additional comments to make the task very easy for the PRA to understand, including enough detail so that the PRA knows exactly what records require additional review.

Step 4: Attorney Review

Once the PRA receives notification and a Daylite task alerting him or her to the need to conduct an attorney review of the new records, the PRA will then review each document one-at-a-time and add the following remaining metadata:

  • Subject Matter
  • Copy to Working Copies?
  • Enterprise Keywords
  • Privilege?
  • Redacted?
  • Relevant?
  • Nature of the Privilege
  • Privilege Document Type
  • Comments
  • Disclose?
  • Copied for Redaction?
  • Link to Original

The best way to work through the documents is to set the “All Documents” view of the folder that was created for the new records by the LSS so that the documents are sorted by “Created,” which is the date the documents were added to SharePoint. When uploaded, each document is given a time stamp as part of that data, so each record has a unique “Created” date (noting that the day will generally not change, but the time of the document upload is part of that sorting order).

When the attorney comes across a document that should be produced after some portions of it have been redacted for privilege, the following procedure for redaction should be used:

Redaction Procedure

  1. Copy the link to the document (the URL address for the document) to a page in Word or an electronic scratch pad
  2. Change the field entitled “Copied for Redaction” to “Yes”
  3. Change the metadata field entitled “Privileged?” to “Yes”
  4. Download the document to a desktop and redact it using Acrobat: How do I do this?
  5. Upload the redacted copy back to the original folder in Records—do not replace or overwrite original version
  6. Paste the link copied in Step 1, above, into the metadata field “Link to Original” from the Word document or scratch pad to which it was copied Change the metadata field entitled “Disclose” to “Yes”
  7. Add all remaining metadata to the redacted version

Important: After notifying the LSS, the PRA creates a task in Daylite for the LSS to filter and copy those records, as in Step 5, below

An example of how this task would be worded is:

Jones—filter and copy new records from [list folders containing new records reviewed by attorney]

Step 5: Filter and Copy

When the LSS is informed that the Attorney Review of the new documents has been completed, she creates a filtered view which displays only those documents in the folder for which:

  • the metadata field entitled “Disclose?” is “Yes”
  • the date range shows only those documents that were added (using the “Created” metadata field) after the most recent Initial or Supplemental Disclosure

Once the documents being viewed have been filtered to show only documents that have not yet been produced and which have been marked as “Disclose? = Yes,” the LSS selects all of the displayed documents and copies them to the Pre-Production Records Library.

Step 6: LSS Adds PPR Metadata

When the new records have been copied to the Pre-Production Library, the LSS will fill in five more metadata fields:

  • Date Produced
  • Produced? (Y/N)
  • Disclosure No.
  • Create Log? (Y/N)

Checking “Yes” for the field “Create Log” will trigger an automated workflow that moves (not copies) the records to the Served Library. The automated workflow will also add items to the Logs List with the appropriate metadata. The Logs List displays two views: the Privilege Log and the Production Log, but these are views made available to opposing counsel from the single Logs List.

Only the metadata that was added to the documents which is part of the Served Library will be copied into that library with the new documents. All other metadata will be stripped away from those documents that are moved to the Served Library.

Step 7: LSS Completes Served Library Metadata

Once the new records have been moved to the Served Library, the LSS will then add all remaining metadata for the Served Library.

Step 8: LSS Serves Updated Disclosure With eMail Link to Updated Logs List

Once the new records have been moved to the Served Library, the LSS will then serve and updated Disclosure.

This is done as follows:

  1. Download Word (Draft) version of latest Disclosure
  2. Save as a new document with the title updated to reflect the number of the new Disclosure
  3. Change the number of the Disclosure in the title within the document
  4. Change the number of the Disclosure in the introductory paragraph of the document
  5. Change the date on the signature line
  6. Change the date and title on the certificate of mailing

Step 9: LSS Completes Filed Library Metadata

When documents are served on us by opposing counsel, they are uploaded by the LSS into the Served or Filed Libraries.

The LSS then updates all metadata for the new items and notifies the PRA that new documents have been served upon us.

Important: After notifying the PRA of the new documents, the LSS will create a task for the PRA in Daylite.

WARNING! There are 4 separate points in the above process that require both verbal notification and the creation and delegation of Daylite tasks. If any of these steps are omitted, the process could grind to a halt, causing us to miss important deadlines.
The determination of whether to produce or simply store non-privileged documents that come to us from clients or third parties is controlled by the disclosure obligations of Rule 26 in state and federal court (which differ from one another), as well as whether the documents are responsive to discovery requests. This is generally a decision to be made by attorneys rather than LSS staff, based upon knowledge of the contents of the documents, rules governing privilege, the requirements of Rule 26 and the status of pending discovery.

Sharing Libraries, Folders and Documents

One of the many advantages of our SharePoint document management system is that we can make specific parts of our document libraries available to clients, opposing counsel, expert witnesses and others. While this is vastly more convenient than photocopying and mailing records, it carries with it the need to be absolutely certain that we do not err in assigning the permissions necessary to share records, so that only the records we intend to share are made available outside of the firm. An error in this process could result in the inadvertent release of confidential or privileged materials.

Clients

Clients are generally given links to either a Team Dashboard page (if there is one for the case in question) or to the Records library. This will allow them to see the following content:

  • Filed Library
  • Served Library
  • Trial Library
  • Exhibit List
  • Witness List
  • Deposition Exhibits
  • Correspondence
  • Records

To allow access for clients, go to either the Team Dashboard page or to the Records library and copy the URL for that location. You can then send the link via email, explaining what items to which they have access.

Opposing Counsel

Opposing counsel will be directed to the Served library. This will allow them to see content in the following libraries:

  • Logs List
  • Filed Library
  • Served Library
  • Trial Library
  • Exhibit List
  • Witness List
  • Deposition Exhibits

Navigate to the Served Library and copy the URL for that location. You can then send the link via an email, explaining what items to which they have access.

Witnesses

Generally, expert witnesses will only be given access to select folders. Select the folder you wish to share and then click on the “Share” button. Next to the “People” icon, click on the arrow at the far right. Select “Specific people,” uncheck the “Allow editing” box and click “Apply.” On the next screen, fill in the email address of the person you are sharing the folder with, and type a message in if your wish. Then click “Send.”

If you completely understand the above Procedures, you can see the basic flow diagram in the home-page of gojosecure.com by clicking on the bottom-bar tab entitled “DOCFLOW,” as shown in this image.

From there, you can click the light green boxes to see the metadata listing for the involved libraries or a full-size version of the diagram.

Now that you understand the basics of processing documents here in the Firm, you are ready to learn more about how to use the documents in litigation.

Click on the box at left to go to our Procedure entitled Document Analysis, which provides the next level of information you need to handle evidence in your case. The Procedure also has an associated training video.