Friday, April 10, 2015

All That Wasted Paper in a Lawsuit

The dreaded call comes from the other office – a large box of documents has just been delivered and where would you like me to put them. Of course, the box is too big to just mail them over to the other office so you can look at the documents. Years ago, when confronted with this problem I would have to wait for the box to be transferred or for some other way to get the hundreds of pages of paper over to my desk.

Thankfully, we no longer live in those dark times where we are beholden to reams of paper, which is shredded or otherwise wasted when a case is concluded. At some point about a decade ago, we began to transition to a wonderful new world where those reams of paper could be scanned in and turned into .pdf files. We could then burn those files onto a DVD-ROM and send them over to the other attorney and save the client a lot of money on photocopy expenses.

At some point, all of the financial companies also caught on that they could save the same money on stamps and printing and began issuing their bills and statements to the public in electronic formats so that we no longer had reams of papers to comb through. Clients no longer had to keep file cabinets full of financial documents, they could access their documents online and turn them over.

These days, we no longer even need to burn those documents onto a DVD-ROM. We have our client portals that allow clients to directly share documents electronically between lawyer and client – your attorney does have a client portal, right?

So that brings me back to today, when another box of documents arrives on the doorstep. The ludicrousness of it is that the bank statements and other financial records were all originally .pdf files. Instead of providing them in electronic format, someone sat at a computer and hit the “PRINT” button over and over again. And then they took all those documents, organized them as they saw fit, and stuffed them into a large FedEx box and then spent far too much money to have them sent over to my office.

The end result will be that these documents will be fed back into a scanner, turned back into a .pdf file and a computer will run text recognition on them so that we have them in a searchable format to use going forward. All that paper seems like quite a waste now…

No comments:

Post a Comment