Criminal law practice eliminates paper for anywhere-access to case files
Mark Meyer has practiced state and federal criminal law and appeals out his office in Iowa City since 1977. The office maintained case records the same way for years, storing archived documents in paper form and more current cases on various staff computers. Recently, Meyer decided on an all-digital approach to handle his legal caseload through a simple software solution for document management.
“Out of curiosity, I tried out M-Files electronic filing software to see if there was a better way to do things,” recalls Meyer. “I talked to an M-Files representative about what I needed to get set up and that experience suggested to me that adopting the new system was a project I should follow through with. I’m certainly glad I did. I’ve since recommended M-Files to other lawyers.”
Rather than having documents spread out in different places — his hard drives at home and at the office, those of his staff, or in hard-copy file folders — all his records are now contained in a central electronic repository. Any file can be securely accessed through any computer regardless of location. This new improvement allows Meyer to work from home or from the courthouse with all the most up-to-date documents and references he needs. It also eliminates confusion over file versions and where they reside.
“For me, obviously, it’s nice to have everything in one system — word processing files, spreadsheets, image files — anything that I’ll need to prepare a motion,” Meyer says.
A simple search immediately brings up the latest version of court documents. M-Files allows Meyer to attach descriptive properties and keywords, known as metadata, to files generated by any type of Windows application. “I save documents with keywords by client and case number, as well as with properties that denote different document classes and subclasses, along with other tags that show us where the file is in the process.”
M-Files automatically preserves old versions of application files without generating multiple file names. A search for a document type and client name will always bring up the most up-to-date revision.
“Since the court systems are moving towards electronic case filing, M-Files works great,” says Meyer. “You can track all your materials digitally in M-Files and submit the final version electronically.
“Another big advantage is the elimination of paper files. We scan all paper documents that come into the office. After the case is done, you don’t have to worry so much about keeping the paper copies anymore, because the electronic files are there and automatically backed up,” Meyer says. “You can definitely store old cases and refer back to them easier with M-Files than you can with paper documents.”
Meyers thinks the simple and affordable software makes an attractive solution to legal professionals. Attorneys gain greater work flexibility and can respond faster to client needs with a document management system.
“I’d recommend M-Files to other law practices for three main reasons. First, you can get easy access to all your files from home or from the court. Second, you can efficiently keep track of revisions while also documenting your process. Third, you don’t have to deal with paper files.”
Try out M-Files like Mark Meyer did — for free.
About Mark Meyer, Attorney at Law
Mark Meyer practices Iowa and Federal criminal defense at Kinnamon, Kinnamon, Russo, Meyer & Keegan in Iowa City. Meyers is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and is licensed to practice in Iowa, the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, and the United States Supreme Court. For more information, please visit: markcmeyer.com
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