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Defending multijurisdiction litigation presents unique, difficult and costly challenges for any legal team. Developing and implementing a coordinated strategy in multiple forums against multiple adversaries requires the litigation team to keep the constantly growing mass of information organized and accessible. Being well-organized is essential for a widespread team to efficiently conduct discovery productions, coordinate fact gathering and analysis, and identify and prepare experts and other witnesses, among other things. The costs to clients in these types of cases can be considerable. Conventional wisdom says that maximizing coordination, efficiency and speed, on the one hand, and minimizing litigation costs, on the other, were mutually exclusive propositions. Sacrifices were considered inevitable if cost containment was a high priority. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case, due to the changes the Internet has brought to storing, retrieving, and delivering information. Several years ago, as national coordinating counsel for many types of companies (financial institutions, product manufacturers, service providers) became enmeshed in state and federal class actions around the country, we turned to the Internet for management solutions. The rapid growth of our firm, now with 14 U.S. offices, required that we devise better means and methods for our own attorneys to collaborate. Later, we took the “best practices” developed from our intranet experience and transferred them to an extranet platform accessible to clients; regional and local counsel; and in certain circumstances, experts and adversaries. Our experience in developing extranets to manage litigation — from simple online docket postings to comprehensive document repositories, technical and scientific libraries, expert databases, and electronic production sets — offers some useful examples of best practices and guiding principles. THE EXTRANET BASICS An extranet — a private intranet site with access limited to permitted users — can work like a “virtual office” accessible through the Internet from anywhere. A useful litigation support extranet has the following essential functions:

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