An attorney may be one of the most visible career paths involved in law, but there are many other roles involved in legal processes, performing important support, organization, research and decision-making roles. Here are four facts about one of these roles, litigation support.
- Its Purpose
The main purpose of litigation supprt is to take the burden of collecting, organizing and analyzing all of a given case’s documentation, files and other information off the attorney. Instead, the specialist or team can study and synthesize all information related to the case and provide the attorney with notes on where to find the most important and relevant information within the documentation and current laws or legal precedents that may be useful to the case.
A litigation support specialist, the person performing the research, documentation and determination services for an attorney, is a similar role to that of a paralegal. These specialists may work for specific law firms or operate independently as outside consultants for one or more firms. Most of the information they work with is electronic, but some is still paper-based.
With the advent of computing and electronic documentation, the litigation support process has been modernized to take advantage of faster, more reliable technology. This modernization is mainly focused on the management of ESI, or electronically stored information. The specialist can collect, manage, review and search digital information much more quickly and easily than he or she could traditional documentation, speeding up the litigation support process. This also improves the ability of the specialist to verify the accuracy, authenticity and integrity of all information involved in the case.
- The Process
The process of litigation support begins when a lawyer provides the specialist or team with a request to assist with a case. Requests can be made for current or pending cases. First, specialists familiarize themselves with all data currently related to the case. Then, they begin collecting more related documentation and doing research to find other information that may be useful or important. Typically, litigation support services continue after a case is concluded. If the attorney wins, the specialist will assist the attorney in wrapping everything up, for example by reviewing legal actions related to settling a case. If the attorney loses, then the specialist may help the attorney begin working on an appeal.
Litigation support is a vital aspect of all legal processes, be they civil, criminal or governmental. Specialists provide much-needed support and consulting services to lawyers throughout their cases.