If it were easy, everyone would do it.
The complexity of today's legal workflow brings many challenges. Litigation cases are becoming more and more document intensive, increasing the burden of document review. Managing massive amounts of email alone can easily become untenable without the proper technology to help. Still in play are the papers, social media posts, text messages, and so on. The discovery universe is vast and complex.
Meanwhile, collaborating as a litigation team requires a centralized location for all key documents and facts. Organizing case files and keeping track of all of the information for each case is difficult and laborious, but it's also essential.
In an office, this work is no small task. Spread your legal team across multiple remote settings, or face these tasks alone as a solo practitioner, and something has to change.
Lawyers need to be able to move quickly through time-sensitive and repetitive tasks. They need to reduce duplicative work, and they need to effectively collaborate through shared access to the tools and data that drive their cases forward. One of the most effective ways to meet these needs is by leaning into the advantages litigation technology provides.
Litigation work involves a balancing act of both evidentiary and research tasks that evolve throughout the entire process. Fortunately for lawyers, legal tech can address both sides of this equation – no matter where your law “office" is currently located. With the right tools, remote litigators can replicate professional success within their personal spaces. For example, westlaw offers a Strategic Litigation collection consisting of Causes of Action, Defences, and Remedies and Proof of Facts.
[Watch an archive of our recent webcast: Strategic Litigation for the Remote Lawyer.]
Causes of Action, Defences, and Remedies
Causes of Action, Defences, and Remedies is a collection of articles with extensive commentary, model pleading, and factum language for all major contract and tort claims, defences and remedies.
The collection (see a sample) also includes equitable claims, general defences, and expert guidance on different types of pleadings. Each article includes all content necessary for litigators to draft pleadings, plan discoveries, and plan for trial in an action based on one of the causes of action.
This information stands to save litigators a significant amount of time otherwise spent searching for, organizing, and analyzing these resources. Think in terms of hours of legwork – time and effort that would have to be done by a junior lawyer, articling student, or sole practitioner.
With rich content, you can quickly determine the key elements of a particular cause of action and find relevant case law on the cause of action from across all Canadian courts. This includes case law where the cause of action was successfully prosecuted and those where it was successfully defended. This allows you to plot case strategy from both perspectives.
You can plan examinations for discovery and trial more efficiently and feel confident that you have covered the necessary factual and legal issues. Causes of Action is also linked to cited case law, legislation, rules of practice, and available westlaw texts and annotations for easy reference. You can also draw up pleadings that are more precise, succinct, and thorough and draft them more quickly without having to reinvent the wheel.
Proof of Facts
The Proof of Facts collection provides more than 300 articles of trial aids with links to case law to help you zero-in on the elements that require proof when preparing for discovery and trial. The collection allows you to more quickly and efficiently focus your research with tools that expedite trial prep.
Each article has a set format: an overview of the legal issue that gives the reader a grounding in the basic rules and probable issues in a case, together with leading cases and resources for more in-depth research including sample pleadings, checklists, questions for discovery and trial.
The articles also provide elements of proof to provide you visibility into what needs to be proved with example questions on how to elicit that information. Model discovery samples provide questions to use to elicit the matter to be proved.
Two steps in a long process
Of course, these are just two parts of a much longer litigation process. As you consider how to maintain your effectiveness as a litigator, either from home, in virtual court, or back in the office, it's worth considering your litigation workflow. Odds are, there's something that can be tweaked to improve your performance or your own experience.
For a more in-depth look at the technology involved in a modern litigation strategy, watch an archive of our recent webcast: Strategic litigation for the remote lawyer.