electronic office document management
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Chapter: Introduction


The core of Legal Notes is comprised of two databases:
  • The System* database (Lookup.nsf).
  • The Matter database
  • Precedents* (Masters.nsf)

There are two other optional databases:
  • Legal
  • Merges
  • File transfer protocol
  • Creditors
  • Audit
  • Phone
* system name that cannot be changed.

How the databases will be organised depends on the requirements of the individual firm; from one database to manage all files, to multiple Matter databases on different servers in the same or different locations. The structure that enables this kind of flexibility is found in the System database; in particular the Matter Record and the User Profile.

The server for and the name of the database for a given matter is stored in the Matter Record . This enables transparent navigation. If you know the name of the client or the matter number, you can quickly move to the Matter File (the documents for the matter - see an example below) with a few keystrokes. By way of example, here are a few short cut keys for just some of the functions available:
    Addresses (Alt+A+A)
    Takes you to the Address library in the System Database - a central database. It contains:
    All current clients
    All matter libraries (entries start with the matter number)
    All other addresses entered by users

    Find Matter (Alt+A+F)
    Search by client name to find a matter. Works across all Matter databases

    Go to a Matter (Alt+A+G)
    If you know the matter number this agent will take you to it.

    Matter Library (Alt+A+M)
    Takes you to the library (address, heading, definitions etc) for the specified Matter

    Email Document (Alt+A+E)
    Places attachments in selected documents in an email.

System database
There is only one System db. It must be stored on the Administration Server (ie any server designated as such in the User Profile). It contains:
  • System variables;
  • All client and matter records;
  • Keywords used in the various forms;
  • User details;
  • Administrative procedures for various tasks including:
    • creating new, and editing existing, clients and matters;
    • closing, archiving and re-opening of matters;
    • notifying users of tasks;
    • the consolidation of documents that are in progress (to facilitate workflow);
  • Views to assist in the management of matters.

Matter database
This is the main operational database of Legal Notes, in which the documents for a matter are created, stored and managed.

Every document in a matter database must have a matter number (an alpha numeric code). You cannot create a document until you have created Matter Record Database 'Legal Notes Help', View 'Table of contents', Document 'Clients and Matters'(a record specifying the details of the Matter).
In the default view, documents are organised in the same way as with a hard file. Under the matter number there is a description of the matter (with access to the Matter record), followed by sub headings for each type of file; eg Correspondence, Court Documents, Evidence etc. You can setup your own standard File Types (Keyword folder of the System db) and add file headings via the Matter Record and by creating user defined categories for a document. For example, if you have a complex application to, say, strike out a pleading, you can categorise all documents relevant to that application under a name or tag, eg Srike Out.

For example:

An example of the Correspondence File (or tab):