Fulton, Devlin & Powers, LLC provides the highest level of legal quality in their concentrated areas of practice. The team strives to be a leading authority and practitioner in Kentucky workers’ compensation defence. Fulton, Devlin & Powers, LLC’s IT infrastructure allows them to provide their clients with the most advanced and efficient claims handling and representation. To become more efficient and economical, Fulton, Devlin & Powers, LLC decided in 2020 that it was time to move to electronic filing.
Automating filing while staying flexible
As a first step, the firm created file folders on the office server. This proved helpful, but better remote access was required. In addition, saving emails from Outlook over to those folders and maintaining the preferred file and record views proved challenging. An external software solution seemed imperative.
Fulton, Devlin & Powers, LLC wanted to automate the filing process while still having the option to add data when required. The difficulty they faced was finding a cost-effective technology. Many companies offered all-in-one solutions with enormous setup costs and high monthly fees, which disqualified them.
Proceeding with a seemingly suitable supplier, they undertook to build a SharePoint file document store to meet their requirements. The approach was to save everything into one giant database with no segregation folders. That necessitated a considerable amount of manual tagging and slowed down filing significantly. People got frustrated.
Leveraging existing software investments
That’s when MacroView joined the picture implementing MacroView Case and Matter with custom configuration. Apart from meeting the law firm’s technical requirements for data segregation, leveraging their investments of being a Microsoft customer was a merit. As MacroView’s solutions are built on SharePoint, Fulton, Devlin & Powers, LLC didn’t face additional costs for online file storage, back up or closed file retention. That’s what made MacroView’s solution an excellent fit for the firm.
The biggest struggle the company faced moving to SharePoint Online was establishing an adequate file structure for their client matter data. As the firm works with different case files, selecting the type when filing them is relevant. MacroView’s software permits selecting the type via right-click to create a file with sub-folders particular to that subject. That makes initiating a file effortless.
It is also possible to make impromptu updates to customise cases by, for example, adding a witness statements folder. Nevertheless, they all have the bare bones of the company’s standard case file parallel to their paper case files – it’s essentially the same folder configuration. Attorneys who view electronic files and haven’t used them before would know exactly where to find the information.
Adding crucial information via metadata
The second challenge was to move thousands of emails into those folders and be able to find them time-efficiently. That was made possible by using metadata.
With MacroView’s custom solution, mandatory data tagging is automatic, but the firm can still tag files with additional information on an as-needed basis. The existing file name doesn’t have to change, but the attorneys can use relevant keywords that make critical information simple to find. That enables finding and viewing correspondence, pleadings or medical records simple and expedites finding key documents for the settlement authority and current client status updates. There’s consistency in labelling when adding that relevant information, which makes using an electronic file so much easier.
“It is hugely helpful if an attorney can capture metadata while filing essential emails. Then an assistant can step in and batch-file the rest without going through the additional tagging process. That makes the process faster,” states Patrick Fulton.
Searching for files got easier
“Typing the keyword in the search window, the correct result will pop up 9 of 10 times. That’s precisely what’s needed for finding older documents or files that might be buried in the depths of a large file,” exclaims Patrick Fulton.
Fulton, Devlin & Powers, LLC started working on electronic filing before the pandemic hit. The actual implementation happened in the midst of it. Switching to electronic filing was very helpful because people were working from home. This made it feasible for them to work remotely while still having access to everything they needed. It wouldn’t have been possible with paper files. They are a hybrid organisation with people who have continued working remotely and at the office. Even when people are away, they can now check on things and don’t feel so bad when they are out of the office and don’t know what’s happening.
Advantages of using MacroView
Some team members are wedded to their paper files even while enjoying using MacroView. Almost all paper can be destroyed at the end of a case. A file copy already exists that meets all the client’s technical retention requirements for their material for several years after litigation ends.
“That’s where I see the big bonus. We have reduced our footprint by 25% by eliminating most of the file cabinets and the labor involved with paper filing. And it’s faster for those people who switched to electronic files. I haven’t had to retain any paper documents since we introduced MacroView.”
Patrick Fulton is very satisfied with MacroView’s customer service. “After the initial phase, we got assigned to one of the SharePoint engineers. We spent much time reviewing how we use files, what types of views we would like to see etc. That’s where MacroView came up with custom views and different setups for us to make it work the way we want. That was super helpful.”
Working with the support team has been good. When they ran into issues, the MacroView team corrected any issues quickly, usually within one to two days, without the need to pause using the solution.
“It’s been months and months since we’ve had to use any tech help. The support is always responsive and helpful. They have a good tracking system for what’s open and in progress. Usually, I have a response within 24 hours at least,” marvels Patrick Fulton.