Legal Professionals often need to search across a large number of documents. Finding a key fact, name or term is an important part of how you will apply your knowledge to a case.
For example, recently a paralegal sent me this email:
An attorney I work with just gave me a list of about 50 words and phrases as part of a case. I need to mark these terms each time I find them in my case documents. Help! Is there a way I can list all of the search words in a PDF?
While many folks have discovered the Search functionality in Acrobat, Acrobat 9 and below do not offer the ability to save searches or report the results.
Oddly, the only tool in Acrobat that allows you to search for terms and mark them in a PDF is part of the Search and Redact feature. This will add a mark to the page around the search term.
I wrote about using this technique in my previous article Highlighting Multiple Words in a PDF Document.
In Acrobat 9 Pro, it is possible to highlight multiple search terms using this same technique and you can do so “jiffy quick”.
But, Acrobat redactions permanently remove information!
That’s true, once you apply them. However, in this use case, we are only going to mark the words using the redaction tool, not apply them which actually removes the information.
So . . . no worries!
I’ve also included a link to Joel Geraci’s Redact to Highlight and Back, a free script for Acrobat that can convert redaction markups to standard Acrobat annotations.
In this article I’ll show you how to:
- Input a series of search terms and have Acrobat automatically mark them
- Create a new PDF which summarizes all of the words where found
I took a close look at the Acrobat 9 packaging and didn’t find any mention of EDD (Electronic Data Discovery).
Despite that, I’m hearing from more and more law firms that would like to use Acrobat to capture, review and produce email as part of a case.
A great solution is an Email Portfolio. Acrobat can convert an entire folder of email in Outlook or Lotus Notes into well-organized PDF Portfolio which lets you sort, filter and search.
The Outlook integration provide by Acrobat offers the following:
- Convert individual email messages to PDF
- Adds attachments in their native format into the PDF of the message
- Combines all of the converted messages into a PDF Portfolio
- Adds a full-text index to the PDF Portfolio
Acrobat’s email archiving feature is intended to be a personal email archiving tool, however with a bit of tweaking (and perhaps a plug-in like Evermap’s AutoPortfolio), you may be able to use it successfully to manage small EDD productions.
In this article, I’ll discuss:
- How to create a new User Account for production
- Setting up a “null user” in Outlook
- How to load PST and MSG files into Outlook
- How to convert email messages into an PDF Email Portfolio
- Reviewing documents in the Email Portfolio
- Producing Documents from the Email Portfolio
- Converting an Email Portfolio to a PDF Binder
- How to use Evermap’s AutoPortfolio tool to move data to a litigation support product like Summation or Concordance
In previous articles on PDF Portfolios for Case Analysis (see Part 1 and Part 2), I discussed how to create, customize and code files in a PDF Portfolio to help you work with case documents.
Law firms often need to share information about case files. For example, you may need to create a report about the files contained in a PDF Portfolio to share in discovery.
Out-of-the-box, Acrobat does not offer the ability to export the Portfolio List View.
Fortunately, Adobe’s Acrobat Technical Evangelist Joel Geraci has posted Joel’s PDF Portfolio Utilities on his PDF Dev Junkie Blog. Using this free utility, you can easily export the list view.
In this article, I will discuss how to use this utility.
PDF Portfolios— a new feature of Acrobat 9— are useful for Case Analysis.
In PDF Portfolios for Case Analysis, Part 1, I covered how to:
- Download and use a special Portfolio template for Case Analysis
- Customize the Portfolio Cover Sheet and Header
- Create folders
- Add new columns to capture fielded information
In this article, I will discuss how to:
- Add your own case files to the Portfolio
- Move files to appropriate folders
- Add keywords
- Sort and Filter information
I’ll also include a few tips for working with PDF Portfolios.
|June 16, 2009 Note: I’ve made several changes to this post including an updated Case Analysis Portfolio template.
Case Analysis is the process of reviewing documents associated with a case and making decisions about them. For example, you might use Acrobat to help you find:
- Documents containing your clients name
- Documents which relate to a specific issue
- Documents which are privileged
A PDF Portfolio is a single PDF document which contains other documents. By keeping the documents together in a PDF Portfolio, we can accelerate document review.
In this article series, I’ll discuss how to use Acrobat 9 and a PDF Portfolio for Case Analysis.
For some background on PDF Portfolios, click here to view a demo movie.
In this article, you will open a Case Analysis Portfolio and customize it for your case. In Part 2, we will load documents and start to code and work with documents. In Part 3, you will learn how to export a PDF Portfolio to a spreadsheet file.
Legal professionals are starting to use PDF Packages increasingly for Case Analysis, and that led to this email which I received from a paralegal recently:
Is it possible to add a bookmark that can point to any place in any document in a PDF package? We use bookmarks extensively in our large document files (one of the reasons I liked the print bookmark workaround you came up with), which makes it easier to navigate a lot of information.
The short is answer is Yes!
In this article, I’ll discuss how you can create links from the PDF Package Cover Sheet to any document in the package.
This technique offers you a central place where you are a click away from any important passage in any document in the package.
Using this technique, you can quickly get to the document locations which describe the key characters, issues and facts in your case.
Roughly defined, case analysis is the process of looking at the documents in your case and making decisions about them.
I’ve written previously regarding how . . .
- Acrobat can help you winnow down the large number of documents in a case using full-text search.
- An essential list of documents may be further managed and annotated in a PDF package.
In this article, I’ll discuss ways in which you can code and capture your thinking about your case in a PDF Package.
Specifically, you’ll learn:
- How to create custom Header Fields
- How to fill in and use PDF Header fields to code documents, like a spreadsheet
Update: Using Acrobat 9 and a similar technique, you can highlight all the words at once. See Searching and Marking Multiple Words in a PDF.
Acrobat has powerful search capabilities, but one feature which is lacking is persistent highlighting via search. I discovered an interesting workaround to this problem after pondering this email message from a customer:
We have a fairly large case where I pulled up 7,000 pages of shift logs. I need to find select words throughout the document so I am using the word search to go through all the pages and pull out those pages that reference the word I am searching. I have some questions for you:
1) When the word search is done and I am looking at the document, all the words that I searched are highlighted in blue. However, when I print them off they are not highlighted anymore. Is there anyway to make it so those words are highlighted and will stay highlighted when I print them off and are easy to spot?
2) One of the words we are needing to search for our discovery produced over 3,000 pages. Obviously I really do not want to print off all of those pages. Is there anyway to print off a summary of where that word is on each page without printing off all 3,000 pages?
I scratched my head for a bit, but I found a great workaround which takes advantage of Acrobat 8’s Redaction feature. The end result is a persistently highlighted document like this:
Read on to learn about the workaround in easy step-by-step instructions.
Note: I have an updated version of this script for Acrobat 9 available here.
Legal professionals use PDF bookmarks to mark important sections. Each bookmark goes to a different view or page in the document.
Recently, I’ve had several requests from legal customers who want to create a list of all of the bookmarks in their document.
Read on to…
- Download a free, pre-built sequence file
- Install the sequence file
- Create a new PDF which lists the bookmarks in your file
In my last article Search and Combine using PDF Packages, I discussed how to search a large number of documents and combine the resulting documents into a PDF package.
The result was a PDF package containing a target list of documents for further investigation.
With this “hot” set of documents in hand, it is time to carefully review them. You want to find out:
- Who is mentioned in the documents
- The issue(s) associated with the documents
- When actions took place
Once you have all of this information, what do you think about what you found? How will you make your case?
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Add Notes or Annotations to a document in the package
- Add or delete documents in the package
- Search within a package, including your annotations
Read on to see how Acrobat can be used as a case analysis tool in this second article of the series.