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It makes sense that attorneys who advise e-commerce ventures as part of their regular practice would try putting technology to use to manage law firms. And it makes sense that they’d be the ones to succeed. As technology continues to permeate our society, use of radio frequency identification (RFID) equipment is spreading far beyond tracking 18-wheelers cross country, or products and parts moving in and out of warehouses � or, for that matter, stray cattle, pets or misplaced car keys. The technology is transmitting in offices � where large volumes of paper records are often in almost constant motion. That description certainly fits a large law firm where that one file you need right now may be found � eventually � anywhere from central filing to the desk of any number of attorneys, paralegals or secretaries. The search for so-called pieces of paper with legs consumes a lot of time, the fuel on which law firms run. With firms under increasing pressure from clients to be more efficient, reducing the time spent searching for documents is another way to be more competitive, as well as more profitable. These facts of life drove our firm � with more than 950 attorneys in 13 locations in the United States and in other nations � to search for technology solutions to the problem. After five years, we reached a significant milestone last fall in how law firms operate internally. At the 50th Annual ARMA (formerly the Association of Records Managers and Administrators) International Conference and Expo held in Chicago last September, Fulbright & Jaworski announced the firmwide rollout of the new system interface, integrating the 3M RFID Tracking System and the Accutrac Records Management Software program. We believe it’s a first in the profession, and maybe a landmark development for firms of all sizes in getting their arms around their file-management problems. PAPER PROBLEMS Within the intellectual property and technology department of Fulbright & Jaworski alone, there are approximately 117,000 files in use at any given time. In addition, there are more than 338,000 boxes containing countless files stored offsite. This is a function of the size and nature of our practice (more than 150 attorneys and patent agents throughout our network of offices). Obviously, today’s highly competitive global business environment means more patents prosecuted, spawning more licensing agreements and more patent litigation. Registering and protecting trademarks, packaging and product designs, and copyrights worldwide also made our practice increasingly international in nature � with an exponential increase in records to be managed. Naturally, the need to put our hands on a file, even an old one stored offsite, might arise at any time, given that litigation could arise years after we have closed a matter. Our clients frequently face this problem for pending or anticipated litigation, or regulatory action. The enormous number of electronic files maintained today greatly magnifies the problem. That is why our firm formed a practice group devoted to e-discovery and the prudent management of all forms of information. Our e-discovery and information management practice group helps clients develop and maintain a proactive records-management program with three goals in mind:

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