Friday, February 27, 2015

Criminal case discovery electronic management

Attorneys are turning to electronic technology and digital document management to implement best practice recommendations for criminal case discovery.

Document Logistix has been a leader in the field of electronic document management in law enforcement and legal case proceedings for many years. The company has recently been helping District Attorney offices meet compliance obligations and received this highly favorable review of its innovative work.

“With the help of Kim Kuykendall and her team at Document Logistix, the Waller County District Attorney’s office has become the leader in Texas, and possibly the US, in criminal case discovery compliance. Collaborating with Document Logistix and nationally known prosecutor Warren Diepraam, we have produced a product that not only ensures open and honest criminal prosecutions, but also helps protect prosecutors from Brady claims and streamlines the sharing of information. Stay tuned for more information about this and other exciting developments.”

As well as honesty and transparency, cost reduction is another benefit of electronic innovation. Best practice recommendations exist that are designed to encourage parties to meet and confer to identify and resolve problems associated with stored information in the most cost-effective manner to avoid unnecessary duplication of time and expense for all parties. The parties are already obligated to confer about and must certify compliance with this obligation before any discovery motion is filed.

Another aspect of new discovery recommendations suggests that information should be available for examination at a location other than government offices, which can also be facilitated using electronic document management.

In the US legal system, further initiatives are being introduced to manage cases more effectively where the volume and nature of the discovery materials increase the complexity of the case.

However, the lead driver for greater transparency is ‘Brady disclosure’ which prescribes that information and evidence that is material to the guilt or innocence, or to the punishment of a defendant, is made available. The term comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, in which the Supreme Court ruled that suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant who has requested it violates due process. Following Brady, the prosecutor must disclose evidence or information that would prove the innocence of the defendant or would enable the defense to impeach the credibility of government witnesses more effectively. Evidence that would serve to reduce the defendant’s sentence must also be disclosed by the prosecution.

Please contact Document Logistix in the USA or UK if you are interested to discuss Criminal Case Discovery Electronic Information Management or your legal document management requirements.

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