Basic Collaboration on Documents

AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
Basic Collaboration
on Documents
Document collaboration has been part of the practice of law
since the first partner used a red stone to scratch up the
white stone tablet drafted by the first associate. Well, maybe
it didn’t happen quite that way, but the idea of “marking up”
paper drafts has been integral to the practice of law for many,
many years. In this chapter, we’ll discuss the evolution of doc-
ument collaboration from the paper to the electronic world,
and the tools available to improve that most basic of legal
functions—producing legal documents where several authors
are involved.
Conceptually, collaboration on electronic documents is
no different than working together on paper documents. We
read, review, revise, compare versions, and get input from the
relevant people working on the document. However, because
we do not ship the paper around, the process can happen
faster in the digital world. With electronic documents, you
can do almost everything you could do with a pen and paper,
especially if you happen to be using a tablet or touch-enabled
computer with a stylus.
Digital documents also free us from some of the limita-
tions of pen and paper. For example, because our comments
and revisions are typed, they are going to be legible—often not
the case with paper, given the handwriting of lawyers we all
know. Electronic pages automatically resize and renumber. We
can mark a document with an unlimited number of revisions,
without writing on the back of pages or attaching new pages
from a legal pad with extensive edits. We can also use different
fonts, effects, colors, highlighter tools, brackets, and other

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