Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Summation Tip of the Week #2

This originally went out by email in mid-April.

Using Summation for tracking undertakings

This week’s tip explains a simple way to use Summation to help you track undertakings – both yours and those of opposing counsel.

How does it work?

If you are fortunate enough to have electronic copies of transcripts in Summation-ready format, you can use Summation’s searching abilities to help you find undertakings quickly.

First you import the transcript into Summation, and then use Summation’s search features to help you find the undertakings.

By searching on the word “undertaking” or “undertake”, or even words like “give” and “copy”, you will be able to find most instances of where either you or opposing counsel have agreed to undertakings. Once you’ve found an undertaking, you can create a transcript note to mark the spot and help you track the status of the undertaking.

In the transcript note itself, you will be able to:

  • Add any additional comments (such as the bates number of the document or the status of the undertaking)
  • Add issue codes to the note (such as “undertaking”, “refused”, “our undertaking”)
  • Add a link directly to the document in question if you have it in your Summation case or on your network in electronic format

Pros and Cons

Some advantages of tracking undertakings this way include:

  • Being able to quickly locate undertakings in one or more transcripts
  • Being able to run reports from issue codes to find undertakings and their status
  • Tracking of additional information that you include in your transcript note (such as the date of the request, and who asked for it)
  • Having quick access to the document in question directly from the transcript
  • Being able to quickly run a report and provide it to opposing counsel

Some things to bear in mind with tracking undertakings this way:

  • Not everyone will actually use easily identifiable words when referring to an undertaking. A lawyer might just say “we can get that to you” – and so you should be aware that simply searching the transcript with typical keywords might not be enough.
  • You have to keep the transcript notes up-to-date for them to be the most useful to you – you might find this more trouble than it’s worth.

Hope you all find this useful! If you want to get these tips by email, drop me an email at dtwestwood (at) intechgration (dot) com.

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