Technology Resources for Arbitration Practitioners - Management and transfer of arbitration data
Technology Resources for Arbitration Practitioners
Management and transfer of arbitration data
There are dozens of programs available on the market that can serve as a platform to host, manage, organise, sort, and transfer voluminous documents and submissions gathered and/or exchanged in an arbitration. The most basic platforms are cloud-based systems that serve as repositories for arbitration data, allowing users to upload, label, and share arbitration pleadings and exhibits with others through a single, centralised location that all parties and tribunal members can access.
More sophisticated platforms permit parties to use the ‘dual’ functions of storing, accessing and editing their own information for use during the drafting and case management phase, and later sharing complete pleading sets or submissions with others, essentially creating multiple databases within a single platform. The most advanced tools contain dozens of specialty features that allow users to edit, sort, organise, label, search and annotate their files throughout the course of the arbitration. This technology might include, for example, the ability to create a chronology of all exhibits submitted in the arbitration or a joint hearing bundle with the mere stroke of a button, or to pull up all documents submitted in the arbitration that reference a particular witness, to name just a few.
Affinitext is the proprietor of Intelligent Document Format (IDF), a format designed to make complex documents easier to navigate, manage and understand. Documents of any format can be converted to IDF format, which has features such as automatic pop-ups for contract definitions, links to other contract sections or defined terms, and the ability to review the history of all contract amendments. A powerful search feature allows users to search across all relevant documents, and the software uses AI features to generate a list of all contractual obligations and entitlements across a group of documents. Although primarily designed for corporate contract drafting, IDF has various potential applications for arbitrations, in particular those involving complex commercial contracts.
Case management software offered by LexisNexis for organising case documents and reviewing and presenting information in a compelling story or timeline. Documents are linked to the CaseMap software and can be ‘tagged’ with relevant identifying features, which can include automatic designations (eg, name of persons involved, dates or keywords) or customised tags assigned by a reviewer to keep track of categories or issues relevant to the matter. CaseMap can then automatically generate output categorised by date, issue or person, among others. CaseMap also includes features such as Fact Card View, which organises all items categorised by the user as ‘facts’ to reveal how the evidence stacks up for your case. CaseMap is part of a larger suite of Lexis products that includes advanced timeline functions and transcript review features.
Software specifically designed to help litigators and arbitration practitioners to write large submissions with numerous exhibits. Exhibit Manager stores links to PDF files in a database, where they can be analysed, categorised and/or annotated by team members. They can then be inserted into the legal submission where they are automatically numbered and formatted according to the user’s specifications. Once a submission is complete, Exhibit Manager will create the lists of exhibits, stamp and bundle the exhibits. It can also create a hyperlinked PDF version of the brief.
Online file sharing system that allows parties to securely transfer files or set up a collaboration space for project-related files. Files can be shared with ‘public’, password-protected or ‘private’ access secured through a FileCloud account assigned to each user. FileCloud can sync and backup files and folders located on a desktop server at regular or scheduled intervals. Security controls allow an administrator to restrict users from sending and receiving data across shared or public networks when their computing devices are directly connected to the private network, thereby reducing the potential for security breaches. Documents can be opened, edited and saved directly from the FileCloud web platform. While primarily marketed as an enterprise-based platform, FileCloud offers companies ‘free’ accounts for designated users, which means that a law firm using FileCloud could make ‘view-only’ document access available to its client or other parties, tribunals and institutions in an arbitration
Web-based platform for hosting, editing, sorting, organising, and sharing litigation and arbitration documents.
The company, based in London, designed its applications for use in English court litigation, but has recently been increasingly focused on applications for international arbitration. The Opus platform has security features designed to limit access to a defined universe of users. It allows parties and counsel to upload, store, access, edit, organise and annotate their entire arbitration record as the case progresses, and has a variety of sophisticated search, chronology and editing features. It also allows parties to share their finalised arbitration pleadings and submissions with the tribunal and opposing counsel through a separate ‘shared’ database. Opus highlights the ability of the parties and the tribunal to access the arbitration record through the cloud wherever they have an internet connection, essentially enabling the entire hearing to be ‘run’ from the Opus cloud storage.
Intranet platform enabling users to share files inside or outside their organisation through a secure cloud-based platform.
It is offered as part of Microsoft Office 365, or available for purchase as a standalone online product. Files and folders can be synced for offline viewing and editing on a Mac or personal computer (PC), and parties can share co-authored/co-edited files using SharePoint’s version controls. SharePoint also offers a variety of tools to organise and manage content in online libraries.
Strutlegal creates interactive, or ‘hyperlinked’, versions of memorials, expert reports or other arbitration submissions.
The expert team at Strutlegal create hyperlinks from a brief to all factual and legal cited materials, which open to the exact page or section cited. The eBrief is created in a PDF platform, but Strutlegal can also integrate other case documentation, such as video, Excel files and PowerPoint presentations. Strutlegal also offers customised services, such as the creation of an ‘index’ or detailed navigation bookmarks, transformation of expert reports into interactive documents, and/or creation of a modified hyperlinked version of the opposing party’s brief in order to help a party review the other side’s citations and arguments with ease
Transperfect Legal Solutions’ proprietary arbitration management software, TransCEND, is designed to allow parties, tribunals and institutions to file, exchange, present and access all arbitration documents, from request to award, in a single, secure environment
While preparing for an arbitration, parties have separate ‘rooms’ in which they can store, access and edit their own arbitration files directly in the TransCEND platform. Users can access, edit and collaborate as they prepare the arbitration record, and strict ‘version’ control ensures that documents are edited by only one user at a time. When ready to submit filings to the tribunal, parties use a simple but bespoke filing structure to ‘drag and drop’ final versions of memorials and other submissions, where they are date and time-stamped, designed to avoid the rejection of files that are too large for email transfer and disputes between the parties over the precise time of submission. An audit function allows parties to add to hearing bundles without reconstituting the entire arbitration record. TransCEND maintains that the files remain secure based on strict access controls, yet are easily accessible to users in any location and at any time, including during the hearing itself.