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Need for Computer-Managed Litigation Files (From Legal and Legislative Information Processing, P 175-186, 1980, Beth Krevitt Eres, ed. See NCJ-72522)

NCJ Number
L H Berul; M P Stern; J Keane
Date Published
Computer-managed litigation files are discussed by focusing on the rationale for such a system and reviewing its development and implementation.
A well-designed litigation information system will permit the creation of the equivalent of 40 or 50 different index cards for each document by cataloging, abstracting, and indexing the documents one or two steps, using specially trained paralegals. Not only is the capture of information done efficiently, but the uses to which the information may be put and the ways it may be correlated and compared are far beyond the capabilities of even the most complicated manual systems. Further, the possible correlations that may be desired need not all be preplanned, as in the manual system. Computerized litigation support is necessary when the file is too large to manage manually. Some basic considerations are the number of documents, complexity of issues and evidence, number of parties and witnesses, cost-benefit factors, and time. Aspects of the creation of the information system are collecting the documents, screening, accessioning, bibliographic surrogation, document analysis, vocabulary control, data base creation, and updating. The most frequent and widest use of the litigation information system is likely to occur during pretrial briefs, which will present the points to be proven and the means to prove them. With computer control over the document collection, the attorney will know which documents and testimony are to be produced at the trial in support of particular points. Seventeen footnotes are provided.