Creating a Document Online: Getting Started with the Major Players

AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
Creating a Document
Online: Getting Started
with the Major Players
For lawyers, probably the most common method of electronic
collaboration has been the exchange and forwarding of word
processing or spreadsheet documents by email. If you and a
client were working on a contract or settlement agreement you
were negotiating with opposing counsel, the process would
typically start by creating an electronic file (usually in Word),
then emailing it as an attachment to the other person for
review and editing. The draft could then be mailed or faxed to
the other person, but today email is the primary tool lawyers
use to exchange documents.
After your client received the document, he or she might
then email (or fax or print and send) it to another person. If many
people needed to review the document, this “forwarding” pro-
cess could be extensive and protracted. Often, it might be a while
before the marked-up draft was returned to the original author.
If the draft required further editing, the original author
would make the changes and send it back out to the group, and
the whole process would start all over again. And again. And
again. Maintaining control of the draft was important. Often it
became difficult to determine what draft was actually the most
current. Many of you no doubt have participated in meetings
and calls where it gradually becomes clear that people are
working from different drafts. While this process was and is
still commonly used, it is also highly inefficient and unneces-
sarily time-consuming.

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