October 2017 update

New features in this update

  • Added the ability to import document “Name”, “Description” and “Email subject” values from a worksheet.
  • The production number of a document can now be manually set.
  • Option to scale pages in a bundle down to A4 size. This is useful when a bundle includes a number of oversize documents, e.g. architectural drawings that are often in A3 size or larger.
  • Option to view “author” and “recipient” columns in a custom list
  • Option to include an ordinal number (a sequential counter number) on custom lists and bundle files

Improvements

  • LawFlow now handles zips containing entries with very long file paths (such as those created by some document management systems). Previously, this was causing occasional problems because the file paths exceeded the maximum length allowed by an operating system.
  • When a document is deleted, it is now shown as ‘struck out’ on the current category being browsers (like hidden documents).

Thank you as always to our users for your suggestions and feedback.

September 2017 update

New features in this update

  • A function to bulk-set the name, description and key document fields of multiple documents at once.
  • The ability to upload a new file directly as an attachment of an existing document. This is useful if an existing document is missing an attachment. Once the attachment file is located, it can be uploaded and attached to its relevant parent document in one step.
  • The bulk-discovery page now allows setting the “estimated date” flag independently of setting the date fields.
  • An option to split a single PDF attachment into multiple attachments of the same parent. Previously, you could only split a PDF (attachment or standalone) into separate documents, or into attachments of the first split.
  • A tool to rotate multiple PDFs at once. This is useful where a set of documents have been scanned upside down or sideways, and you want to rotate them all to the correct orientation.
  • An option for generating a list with the unredacted version of any redacted document.
  • A function to “unlink” an issue from multiple documents at one time (to compliment the existing function for linking an issue to multiple documents).
  • The sign-up page now automatically creates accounts for users of registered firms. This is a convenient way for users from existing firms to instantly create their own accounts.
  • Support for XPS files.

Improvements

  • Improved rendering and display of CSV files.
  • Excel spreadsheets now render cell comments in PDF versions.
  • Added an option in the File Types category for viewing documents with no extension (usually, these are corrupted or system files).
  • Improved performance when importing a large number of files extracted from a zip file.
  • Manually re-ordering a custom list now dynamically updates page numbers.

Thank you as always to our users for your suggestions and feedback.

June 2017 update

We’ve been so busy adding new features, we haven’t had time to tell you about them!

Notable recent features include:

  • A white-out tool, allowing irrelevant/unwanted parts of a document to be “whited out”. A common scenario is removing unwanted email or fax headers.
  • An affidavit exhibit stamper, facilitating the easy stamping and numbering of affidavit exhibits.
  • Bookmarks can now be inserted in compiled PDFs.
  • The ability to rotate specific pages of a document (instead of all pages).
  • An option to include a table of document type codes in exported lists.
  • New “batch scan” function for handling very large, bulk-scanned sets of paper documents.
  • Improved handling of duplicates.
  • A function for comparing similar documents.
  • Option to add parent/child documents to those already in the tray.
  • A new “non-discovery documents” repository for holding other types of documents (e.g. pleadings).
  • Option to download documents with their original filenames.
  • Highlighting of search terms in PDF documents.
  • Improved reordering of documents on custom lists.
  • The ability to enter discovery data via Excel.
  • Function for setting/editing party codes for multiple parties at once.
  • Ability to add watermarks to list documents (e.g. to apply a “CONFIDENTIAL” watermark).
  • More details about the status of related documents on the Discovery tab.
  • The ability to enter more information when splitting a PDF.
  • A way to scroll through PDFs one page at a time (instead of “continuous” scrolling).
  • Searching by number of pages.

Some of these are significant features that we will blog about separately in future.

December 2015 update

We have rolled out our latest update to LawFlow with a number of enhancements and improvements.

Combine PDFs

A user-requested feature included in this update is the ability to combine two or more PDF documents. This is useful when what is in substance a single document has been split into two or more PDFs, all being regarded by LawFlow as separate documents. This new feature allows you to conveniently combine two or more separate PDFs into a single PDF.

Other changes

  • Ability to manually set the starting page number for stamping PDF bundles.
  • Ability to browse file types by repository, as well as for the whole project.
  • Ability to browse tagged documents by repository, as well as for the whole project.
  • Performance improvements.

Coming in 2016…

While LawFlow already has a comprehensive User Guide, one area that we will be working hard on over summer is to convert the User Guide (currently available only as a PDF) into online help. This will make it easier to access help & tips for a particular feature or task directly within a LawFlow project. It will also make it easier to keep the online help up-to-date as we continue to improve and enhance LawFlow. We plan to retain the User Guide as a standalone resource, too.

Thank you to our users for all of your great support during 2015 as we continue our mission to provide the best e-discovery solution for New Zealand lawyers, designed and developed right here in New Zealand.

November 2015 update

We have rolled out two updates this month, adding a number of new features, performance improvements, and fixes.

Performance improvements

To keep up with the rapidly growing usage of LawFlow by New Zealand firms, we have made some behind-the-scenes performance improvements. These are aimed at improving overall performance and keeping the system ‘snappy’, especially when browsing documents. We have also ironed out some bottlenecks that could arise at peak times.

As always, for best performance you should use a high-speed network connection and a modern browser. If you are browsing PDF documents in particular, we recommend Google Chrome or Firefox over Internet Explorer, because Chrome and Firefox have built-in PDF viewers which are often faster and more stable than using a PDF plug-in with Internet Explorer.

We find Google Chrome is usually the fastest, but different options may work for you.

Multi-level discovery lists

LawFlow now supports multi-level (subgrouped) discovery lists. This allows discovery lists to be sub-divided into multiple levels or subgroups, e.g.:

  • ABC.001 … ABC.025
  • ABC.UnitA.001 … ABC.UnitA.007
  • ABC.UnitB.001 .. ABC.UnitB.015
  • Etc.

While you could always create this structure manually, the latest update makes this a built-in feature.

Automatic date extraction from scanned PDFs & other documents

LawFlow has always been able to extract dates from native emails (e.g. emails extracted from PST files and  .MSG and .EML files), and document properties (subject to file compatibility). However, it could not do this for scanned documents where the structure and internal data of the native had been lost.

LawFlow now attempts to extract the date from scanned PDFs (after OCR-ing the PDFs, if necessary). While this is always subject to OCR capabilities and is not as effective as reading the date from native email files, it attempts to extracts identified dates which can be a useful time-saver. Of course, extracted dates can be changed if necessary.

Other improvements

  • Better identification of privileged & confidential documents (documents set as privileged or confidential now display this information more prominently)
  • Improved highlighting of search terms in results
  • Boolean search operators (‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’) can now be lower case or upper case
  • Improved extraction of text from PDFs with columns and other non-linear layout
  • More ways to tag groups of documents
  • Ability to browse documents by date where the documents have partial dates, and custom dates
  • Easy way to switch between discovery list bundle download and report generation
  • Ability to upload documents with non-Windows-compatible filenames (e.g. some filenames that are valid on Macs are invalid on Windows PCs)

As always, thanks to our users for providing feedback and ideas. As the users who are carrying out discovery, we welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to improve LawFlow to make your process more efficient and effective.

July 2015 update

Updates to LawFlow made in this release include:

  • More ways to set discovery information: when you pop open an attachment, parent document, or related document, you can now enter or edit discovery information for that document without leaving the original document.
  • More document categories: you can now browse documents linked to chronology events, and documents with redactions, from the main Documents page.
  • Add range to tray: when browsing documents from the main Documents page, you can now add/remove multiple documents (i.e. a range) to the tray without needing to check/uncheck each one.
    • To add a range of documents to the tray, check the checkbox of the first document and then hold down Shift and check the checkbox of the last document.
    • To remove a range of documents from the tray, uncheck the checkbox of the first document, then hold down Shift and uncheck the checkbox of the last document.
  • Layout improvements: some users were experiencing layout issues with certain scenarios, in particular when viewing PDF documents in Internet Explorer. We’ve made some CSS and rendering tweaks aimed at resolving these issues.
  • Performance improvements: improvements to client-side script to fix some issues and improve performance.
  • Various fixes and tweaks: specific changes to address user-reported issues.

We’re already underway on our next update. As always, we welcome user feedback including feature requests and suggestions! Thank you to all our users for your continued support.

May 2015 update

We’ve been hard at work adding new features and improvements to LawFlow. Here is a roundup of recent updates.

  • Performance improvements: As discovery projects get larger and the volume of text in a typical project continues to grow, we’ve put lots of effort into performance improvements to keep your projects running smoothly. For optimal performance, we recommend using the latest Firefox or Chrome browsers.
  • Expanded OCR capability: LawFlow has always offered free OCRing of PDF documents. We have now expanded this to enable OCRing of common image files (JPGs, TIFFs, PNGs). [As always, remember that all OCR technology is inherently limited and dependent on numerous factors]
  • More document categories: it’s now easier to browse documents by repository, within various categories (by confidentiality, by privilege, by document type, by date range). We’ve also added options to easily browse documents with notes, descriptions, and linked issues.
  • More list options: in response to user requests, we’ve added more bundle and list report options.
  • Increased upload limits: we’ve increased the individual file upload size limit to 5 GB. This allows larger zip & PST files to be uploaded (these files are then automatically extracted).

As always, we welcome your suggestions to how we can make LawFlow work better for you. Thank you to all our users for your continued support.

New features for privileged and embedded documents

We have recently added two new features to add more flexibility for listing privileged documents and embedded documents.

Grouping of privileged documents

Privileged documents of the same nature may be described by group (High Court Rule 8.16(2)). A new option on the Discovery tab allows you to specify whether or not a privileged document is listed individually:

  • If the document is set to list individually, it appears in the Part 2 (Privileged) list.
  • If it is set to not list individually, it will not appear in the Part 2 (Privileged) list, and it should be described by group (in accordance with the relevant requirements for doing so).

Embedded documents

The 2012 Rules continue the requirement that relevant attachments and replies should be listed as separate documents. LawFlow can automatically extract and separately list attachments from emails in supported native formats, and provides tools for splitting attachments in scanned PDFs into separate documents.

However, a complication can arise when a document contains other documents that are “embedded” within it, for example a scanned email with one or more replies included in the same scanned document or native email file. Even though such replies are not technically attachments, they may still need to be listed separately: clause 8(3) of Schedule 9 specifically requires separate listing of “embedded” documents.

A new option on the Discovery tab allows you to add list entries for embedded documents. These entries are listed as separate documents in accordance with clause 8(3)(a) of Schedule 9. This provides a convenient way of listing documents separately without the need for manually ‘splitting’ or separating documents.

This update also includes a number of other improvements.

These new and improved features are available immediately for all users on new and existing projects. As always, we are grateful for the feedback we have had from our users, and we are proud to continue the development of an e-discovery system designed for New Zealand requirements.

If you have any comments or would like more information, please contact us.

New common bundle features

We are pleased to announce that LawFlow now supports preparation of common bundles as outlined by High Court Rule 9.4 and Practice Note HCPN 2013/1 (Use of Electronic Bundles in the High Court). These functions also enable preparation of other types of lists, in addition to the existing support for Discovery lists in accordance with the 2012 High Court Rules.

With this update, for example, you can create a list, nominate documents to add to the list (either by IDs or by selecting the documents to the tray), automatically sort the documents by date, and automatically generate a bundle of PDFs (separate or compiled into one document) with page numbers and a hyperlinked, editable index.

New features include:

  • The ability to create unlimited custom lists and add selected documents from one or more parties;
  • Page numbering / stamping of all documents in a list;
  • Compiling multiple documents into a single, page-numbered PDF;
  • Splitting  a bundle into two or more volumes;
  • Automatically create a hyperlinked index of documents in a bundle;

This update also includes a number of improvements, including:

  • More options for stamping documents with list numbers and page numbers;
  • More options for native files when exporting PDF bundles;
  • Enhanced export to Excel;
  • Support for Visio and MS Project files (automatically convert to PDF);
  • Performance improvements.

These new and improved features are available immediately for all users on new and existing projects, and at no additional cost. As always, we are grateful for the feedback we have had from our users requesting this functionality, and we are proud to continue the development of an e-discovery system designed for New Zealand requirements.

If you have any comments or would like more information, please contact us.

Coming soon: common bundles, and more

A number of users have requested a feature for creating common bundles as required under the High Court Rules (2012).

We have been working hard to add this new functionality, and we will have an announcement on it soon. These enhancements will simplify the often laborious process of collating, paginating and indexing a common bundle.

We also have plans for further enhancements to support electronic bundles which are being introduced by the Courts and encouraged within the profession.

We expect to roll out common bundle features later this month.

Stay tuned!