There is no question that maintaining client files for the requisite seven-year period can be a burden for personal injury law firms of all sizes. This is especially true in the case of civil litigation firms, where even the most straightforward cases might generate thousands of pages of documents. Those thousands of pages of documents translate into stacks and stacks of banker’s boxes, which translate directly into thousands of dollars every year in storage costs. Not to mention the general inconvenience of retrieving those files and the associated fees.
It is a burden, but it doesn’t have to be. Advances in technology over the last several years have led to the advent of the Law Firm Cloud. CloudLex uses the latest, cutting-edge technology to not only bring daily law firm and case management onto the cloud but also to eliminate the hassles and costs associated with physical archiving of files. CloudLex’s Archiving application allows firms to store client files within a HIPAA-compliant security environment and transform their storage rooms into workspaces.
Get one step ahead of ethics changes
Lawyer’s ethical requirements have been morphing to meet the previously unforeseen challenges of protecting your clients in the digital age. Ethics committees around the country have not only been opining on what lawyers may do in relation to technology but also what they must do. In fact, leading ethics practitioners believe that soon lawyers will be required to utilize technology to meet ethical requirements
In fact, 26 states have updated their ethical rules to impose a duty of technological competence on lawyers. This change began taking place after the ABA adopted changes to Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1, stating (in part) “a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology…” (Emphasis added). Even states that have not issues formal ethics opinions or rules relating to cloud computing have adopted the change requiring technology competence.
With the legal profession becoming increasingly sensitive to client demands and technology advances, the day when ethical rules will require the use of digital archiving is fast approaching. With CloudLex’s HIPAA compliant, disaster-proof Digital Archiving Application, you can get one step ahead of evolving ethical rules.
Expand your practice, not your footprint
Do you find yourself in a situation where you need to hire more staff but you have no room and cannot afford to expand your physical footprint? Do you look at your onsite file storage space and daydream about replacing those banker’s boxes with attorneys and paralegals? With a cloud storage solution, you can.
Bar associations across the country have issued ethics opinions or adopted rules allowing lawyers to maintain all or the vast majority documents in electronic format, including the use of digital archiving. This is true even in New York—which did not adopt the Model Rules until 2009, and still has many relevant opinions in force today that were based on the old Code of Professional Conduct. In New York, only a handful of documents must be retained in an original format, meaning that the vast majority of your case files can be stored digitally and thus, archived easily.
With this in mind, file storage for law firms allows you to drastically shrink your onsite (and offsite) storage facilities for both closed and open files. In fact, one prominent civil litigation firm in New York was able to virtually eliminate their onsite storage space, replacing it with the six new paralegals they desperately needed to handle their caseload.
Secure, easily accessible, and disaster proof
In most cases, closed legal matters will never be referenced for the entire seven years they are maintained. As with physical storage, it serves no purpose to maintain these closed files in your active case management system. They take update needed for active matters and create more clutter in your system. CloudLex’s Digital Archiving application understands this problem extremely well and addresses it by separating “archival” from “backup”.
While backup is data that is accessed instantly (for disaster recovery purposes), archival is data that is stored over longer periods of time. However, archived files must still be available in an easily retrievable format that is not only disaster proof but easily searchable when the time comes. Digital Archiver is designed to store all closed matter data (notes, calendar entries, tasks, documents, timelines, user information, etc.) on a HIPAA-certified, secure system with the click of a button.
For the entire seven years, your closed files can be easily accessed in multiple formats from data downloads to re-integration with your CloudLex system in an Electronic Legal Record format, which can be easily shared with clients when required. Finally, the redundant nature of the cloud means that your archived files are disaster proof and protected from fires, floods, and break-ins.
Save time and money
Statistics speak for themselves. A white-paper published by Gartner in 2014 sees “60-70% of new or replacement email archiving implementations as being cloud-based”. Over 82% of firms implementing cloud-based archiving solutions, like CloudLex, illustrate significant cost savings. Typical physical file storage services can cost law firms tens of thousands of dollars per year, every year for seven years. Not to mention the additional retrieval fees and the amount of time and effort required to retrieve the files and find the information you are searching for.
CloudLex’s Digital Archiving application eliminates all of the hassle and nearly all the costs. Closed files can be retrieved in a matter of minutes, in a searchable format that integrates with your CloudLex system (or various other formats). There are no retrieval fees and no re-archiving fees. In fact, Digital Archiver is available for a low, one-time per matter archiving fee that covers the entire seven years.
The typical firm will save at least 50% on archiving costs, plus countless hours in manpower time. You save time and money and your clients get the information they need faster. It’s a win-win situation.
Do not let your firm drown in piles of paper. Digital Archiver is the best solution for a problem the civil litigation industry has been battling for years. With the help of CloudLex, your firm will be able to mitigate risk, be ethically compliant, increase efficiency and be fully digitized, allowing for your immediate success and an even brighter future. Get your organization up to speed and step boldly into the future with CloudLex.