As the number of lawyers in the United Kingdom increases, so does the demand for first rate litigation support. With the increasing demand for litigation support staff, technology has adapted to better manage the complexities of modern day litigation.
Litigation support personnel are vital to case work efficiency and effectiveness. While attorneys continue to stay focused on the legal matters, litigation support professionals provide the technological support behind the litigator's success.
The legal technology market is expanding and there are now a wide range of case management systems available. Many case management products on the market are compatible with all areas of law, with applications for Convey, Crime, Matrimonial, General, Personal Injury, Probate, Wills, amongst others. Some legal software suppliers also offer online case tracking and hosting or outsourced services.
These case management applications allow any documentation associated wi th a particular case to be filed electronically in one central database. Any specific documents associated with a file can be searched for and found within seconds saving time trawling through paper work. These systems also allow workflows for large number of cases to be stored in one easily accessible place.
Email as an environment is becoming increasingly popular and even the most luddite of fee earners are inevitably working in MS OutlookTM. One software provider, DPS Software, have developed Outlook Office. This system integrates incoming and outgoing emails against cases with no user intervention. This versatile software combines case management, phone, digital dictation, task, web and text messaging with a full power document assembly engine that allows emails, letters and documents to be assembled against cases quickly and easily.
The implementation of a fully integrated accounts system is a vital part of streamlining case management. Accounts that are associated with a particular file can be attached to a case and stored electronically. Many software suppliers offer combined case management and accounting packages, including DPS Software.
The Cashier Accounts from DPS Software meets and exceeds the requirements prescribed by the Law Society, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) and LEXCEL, with reports that comprehensively cover all standards bodies. Reports are produced and delivered by email or printout through the system both quickly and easily.
As a module of DPS' One Office solution, the Cashier system is built around a single database model meaning that data can be shared throughout a business with ease. When Cashier is installed as a module of Case Management, any transaction entered into Cashier by a member of the accounts department is immediately reflected in all areas of the system, including the fee earner desktop. This aspect of the system is ideal in so far as any accounting transaction that has affected the case (credit limit exceeded, WIP limit approached) is immediately apparent to fee earners.
Once a case management system has been implemented in a firm, the next step is to maintain the system with the latest updates and security checks. The recent weather conditions across the country have damaged homes and destroyed businesses. Faced with these conditions, businesses need to ensure that measures are in place to ensure that flooding and other such disasters do not effect their working practices.
Hosting and Outsourced services are offered by many legal software suppliers. These services protect a firm's IT infrastructure by carrying out maintenance and system updates off site, allowing users to carry on working as normal, safe in the knowledge that their hardware and software is taken care of.
A Hosted service means that software which is traditionally run from a desktop PC is run over the internet in virtually the same fashion. All that is required is broadband internet access to a data centre ? other than that, users go about their work in exactly the same way.
Hosting ensures that software is kept up to date, with the host carrying the burden of keeping hardware performance checked and maintained. In addition, the need for IT staff and expertise is removed to the hosting provider. This allows firms to capitalise on not only a wider variety of software, but also more advanced versions of hardware. This proves beneficial to firms, as they can use the same software as much larger competitors offering high levels of client service without the major upfront costs.
Case Management and Account Solutions combined with hosting and web services, make the life of litigation support staff easier, increasing their efficiency and streamlining their working practices.
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