The Stevens Firm, P.A. Family Law Centre
Syncing and duplication issues were the problem with Dropbox. DocMoto's workflow solved a major problem.
Speeding up the workflow when using cloud-based documents and maintaining a complete history of document versions has been essential for Apple Mac-using family law practice, The Stevens Firm, P.A. Family Law Centre.
The firm – completely Mac-based since 2005 – practices exclusively in the practice area of family law including cases involving divorce, child support, custody and alimony.
While the team at The Stevens Firm has enjoyed the stability, reliability and intuitive usability of Mac, its problems with document management came from trying to integrate several computers within the firm with cloud-based storage, Dropbox, in a timely and efficient manner.
Jenny Stevens, Managing Partner at the firm, said: “The problem was with syncing documents in Dropbox with all our Macs concurrently. For example, we would update a document on one Mac and it would take seemingly forever to sync with the other computers in the firm.
“Our workflow depends on one staff member starting a document and then saving it so it's accessible to everyone else. It then requires an attorney to complete the document and send it back to the staff member for final processing. However, if accessing the same document takes two hours while we wait for the document versions to sync across the devices, it slows down the workflow considerably”.
Also, the firm's experience with Dropbox highlighted the risk of more than one team member unknowingly working on the same document simultaneously.
To tackle these issues, the firm turned to DocMoto – a complete document and email management system for Mac.
Mrs. Stevens said: “We have no syncing issues with DocMoto. In the past, a simple letter could take 2-3 hours to work through because of syncing delays and DocMoto has completely eliminated that delay. When a document has been updated and checked back in, it's only a matter of seconds before another person can check it out and continue working”.
“And while in DropBox there was no way to check in and check out documents – meaning we could have two people working on the same document and creating conflicted copies – we are now able to track who has worked on it, updated it, completed it and we can view all the changes in real time”.
“While DocMoto's version control is probably one of my favourite things, its document creation function means that with master templates we can quickly create documents we use all the time and decrease the amount of typing that's needed”.
DocMoto – supporting the firm's vital work
Today, The Stevens Firm has transferred all its client paper work and files to DocMoto and, according to Jenny Stevens, has “absolutely seen a difference”:
“In our field of family law, cases often don't go to trial but a settlement is decided over a period of time. So, it's important for our documents to show the starting point and the end point to ensure all the changes to the settlement have been added to the final document”.
“Also, if settlement negotiations break down and we to go to trial, we need to show the judge a full history of the settlement we were working through. Having all versions of the documents to submit to the judge gives a clearer picture of the settlement process and who was responsible for the breakdown in the negotiations. That's important because many of our clients need to have support for their requests for attorney fee awards from the Family Court. Without a clear tracking of settlement documents, we may not achieve a “win” on those issues”.
“In essence, as attorneys, we are selling the time it takes to create documents that enable people to pursue, and hopefully win, a case in Family Court, for example. DocMoto makes management of those documents much easier from a practice management standpoint”.
And of the DocMoto team, Jenny said: “Any questions we've had, as a firm, since implementing our new system have been immediately addressed and with a clear timeline on follow-ups. Whether it's by phone call or step-by-step instructions via email, the DocMoto team is very respectful of our time and do the best to get what we need as quickly as possible or offer a work-around for solutions they are working on. You can't ask for more than that!”.