Litigation paralegals are not always blessed with the latest, greatest case management and document management software.  They have to manage their cases with the tools and equipment they have on hand.  After reading Kim Walker’s post at Paralegal Pie entitled “Trial Exhibit Organization,” I realized that if you have a computer, you have the ability to easily organize numerous exhibits.  I particularly liked these points from Kim’s organizational tips:

  1. She began an Excel spreadsheet that contained every exhibit from every deposition.
  2. The spreadsheet included the exhibit number, document date, deponent name, and a brief description of the document.
  3. The parties agreed to retain the original deposition exhibit number on the trial exhibit list.  Confusion was avoided by not renumbering exhibits.
  4. Each party was given a specified number range.  All parties added to the master trial exhibit list following the same format.
  5. Final set of exhibits to be used at trial were scanned and placed in a single folder in numerical order.
  6. The Exhibit number column on the Excel spreadsheet was  converted to a hyperlink to the scanned image of the actual exhibit.  Once you located the description of the exhibit you were looking for, you could click on the link and quickly see your exhibit.
  7. The final electronic exhibit files were distributed to all attorneys on a flash drive.
  8. Only one complete set of printed exhibit documents was kept in the courtroom.

PARALEGAL TIDBIT:   Begin building your exhibit spreadsheet immediately.

Don’t wait to see if the case will settle!  Start now so you will not be overloaded or overwhelmed. And then don’t forget to order flash drives for your trial supplies!

To read the complete discussion, visit Paralegal Pie:  Trial Exhibit Organization.

I’m interested in your comments and tips for low-budget exhibit management!  What system has worked best for you?


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