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Document Repository, Inc.
 

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 network configuration.

"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.

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