The management of litigation support files and
documents has always been an exacting and precise science. Not only
are these documents vital to a case, the amount of paperwork generated
by multi-party litigation cases is astounding. A single litigation
case typically encompasses millions of pages of evidence, depositions,
research and other relevant documents. As a result, many law firms
are turning to legal service bureaus and information repositories
for a timely, secure and efficient way to manage their business.
Document Repository Inc., (DRI), founded in 1993
as an information services company, specializes in large-scale,
document-intensive multiparty litigation support. With offices in
San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, DRI assists its clients
by providing two primary services: collection-including the organization
and storage of case-critical information; and searching, which entails
retrieval and distribution of case information. To accomplish this,
DRI relies on eight powerful CD\DVD library solutions from NSM Jukebox
and Smart Storage, Inc for managing the archival of information.
According to Christopher Kruse, president of DRI,
information overload becomes a tactical weapon in large litigation
cases. "When companies sue each other, it's not uncommon for
law firms to use the 'full disclosure' rule as a way to bury pertinent
case information," Kruse explains. "The firm will literally
load a moving truck with thousands of boxes filled with files, records,
receipts and memos and miscellaneous paperwork, and deliver it to
the opposing counsel. It then becomes the opposing counsel's headache
to sort it out. That's when they call us."
DRI's solution consists of collecting, digitizing
and archiving the information on CD-ROM. Documents are stored in
digital form as image files, with each file tagged in a central
database and stored using CD-Recordable media. DRI uses CD storage
because of its permanency, its acceptance in court and also because
of its density. A single 650MB CD can hold roughly 1 million pages
of text or 10,000-15,000 image documents. As such, DRI can easily
reduce 1,000 boxes of information, or 1.5 million pages, to fewer
than 150 CDs in a single jukebox. Multiply that by the 8 systems
DRI is utilizing and the storage and archival capacity expands to
12 million pages of information.
In addition, DRI's currently installed CD library
systems from NSM Jukebox offer a seamless migration path to the
newly available DVD technology. By merely swapping out a CD drive
for a DVD-RAM drive, DRI has the potential to utilize both CD and
DVD technology as these new drives are backward compatible to CD
technology. By implementing the seamless migration path to DVD,
DRI could double its storage capacity for a fraction of the cost
of fully adopting a DVD-RAM library.
Also, the benefit of CD\DVD storage is its unique
ability to interchange across hardware and O/S platforms. Simply
put, a CD\DVD made on any operating system using any CD-Recorder
can be accessed from any computer using any CD-ROM reader. For service
firms such as DRI this characteristic is especially important as
the firm's clients will need to access the CDs regardless of their
"When we first started scanning the documents,
we were using multiple mini-changers connected to a Windows NT network,"
Kruse explained. "It didn't take long before we realized we
needed a high-volume, robust solution that could quickly deliver
documents to the desktop, the client or to the network printer."
Kruse did his research and purchased one of the first Mercury 40
systems off the production line. "The NSM Mercury has been
running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 2 years without fail
- we have 8 of them spread among our 3 offices and are very pleased
with their performance."
Today's law firms are finding that information
storage and retrieval is the key to building a strong competitive
advantage both in and out of the courtroom. Other law firms, corporate
legal departments and litigation support services using NSM's optical
technology include: Department of Justice; Latham & Watkins;
Alston & Bird; Janney, Montgomery, & Scott; Dickstein, Shapiro,
Morin, & Oshinsky.