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How the "electronic lawyer" manages the paperwork

Lawyer Alan Pearlman - also known as "the e-Lawyer" - has long used technology to manage his legal practice. In its early days, nearly 50 years ago, law firms used typewriters and court documents had to be typed with carbon copies on onion skin paper.


But, when computer technology arrived, he became an early adopter, beginning with the TRS-80 computer and dot-matrix printers, and became known as the "Electronic Lawyer" when he began writing a syndicated column reviewing the various technologies he was using to run his legal practice.


Later, in the early 2000s, the best scanners available were multifunction scanners that combined scanning, copying, and printing. As Alan recalls, they were "old, big and clumsy, and took up a lot of space", could only feed a few pages at a time, and were slow. Additionally, poor image quality was a problem and moving scanned files to a computer was a cumbersome process.


Then he got a ScanSnap scanner and found, to his delight, "they were much faster, the footprint was much smaller, and they handled 10 or 15 pages at a time." They didn't need a lot of post-scanning adjustments to ensure the image was properly centered and easily readable, which consequently "made everything much faster with our office work." Fast forward to today's ScanSnap models and Alan now uses the Wi-Fi enabled iX1600 which has a 50 page automatic document feeder and scans up to 40 pages per minute making his workflow work more efficiently than ever.


Application integration

One thing he loves about using ScanSnap is that he can seamlessly integrate it with the Smokeball software he uses to run his legal practice. Let's say a customer receives a speeding ticket. All Pearlman has to do is scan the ticket, and with the press of a single button on the ScanSnap UI, it automatically downloads it and stores it in the appropriate customer record folder on Smokeball. And, because Smokeball has its own cloud server, it can securely access all client files from any computer by simply logging into Smokeball.


Another ScanSnap scanner Alan uses is the portable, battery-powered iX100, which he can take with him to client meetings, depositions, court hearings, or other locations and scan documents on the go. , as required.


E-filing convenience

An additional feature that Alan loves about his ScanSnap scanner is how it makes electronic filing, which almost all jurisdictions now offer, seamless and convenient. By linking his scanner to InfoTrack e-filing software, which he can access from his Smokeball account, he dramatically reduces the time and effort required to file court documents.


In the past, he would have had to get in his car, drive to a courthouse — which could be up to an hour from his office — drop off paperwork, wait for copies to be printed and stamped, and then drive off. Now all he has to do is scan the documents he wants to file in a particular case, select the jurisdiction and action (appearance, motion, answer, etc.) from the InfoTrack menu, click a button, and voila , the documents are filed, the filing fee is automatically debited from his credit card and he receives by email copies of the stamped documents on file with the court within 24 hours.


Records retention

Finally, as an attorney in Illinois, he is required to keep records for at least seven years. By using ScanSnap scanners, he can archive everything in a client's file without incurring the cost of physically storing files in a warehouse or other space.


Conclusion

The bottom line for Alan is that the ScanSnap scanners allow him to do a better and faster job as an attorney while saving his clients time and money.

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