Adam Cares and Bruce Knapp have probably processed billions of pages of documents – enough to fill more than one warehouse.
The two litigation-technology specialists in Godfrey & Kahn’s litigation team keep their colleagues on the cutting edge of discovery.
Cares’ and Knapp’s work has them building and maintaining document databases, as well as working with vendors and clients’ IT representatives at the beginning of a lawsuit to understand how the client’s data are stored and how to retrieve them.
Individual cases can involve gigabytes worth of document data – terabytes even.
Knapp and Cares are crucial to being able to manage all those documents, says Tony Baish, leader of the litigation team. Their strengths come in large part from their familiarity with the sort of technology needed to whittle down those 50 million emails to only just those needed for a production request.
“Their value cannot be overstated,” says Baish. “They are irreplaceable.”
The two are also extremely dedicated, delivering among tough circumstances and tight deadlines.
Cares, for example, recently quality-checked documents while he was in bed sick on a Sunday so the team could meet a deadline for document production the following day.
In the process, Cares found some documents that should not have been included but might have been had he not made that last-minute effort.
“I have no question that Bruce would do the same,” said Baish.
The two also participate in trials, not only helping lawyers with visual presentations and document retrieval but also weighing in on strategy. Baish notes that the two of them often gain substantial knowledge about cases because they are so involved in managing the related documents.
“They are like very well-educated jurors in that sense, and their input is valuable,” he said.
Cares and Knapp started out as paralegals with the firm but quickly noticed the attorneys needed additional technological support. So, they immersed themselves in learning more about legal technology and document-management systems.
“We learned as much as we can,” Knapp said. “We think alike and had the same kind of goal in mind: get the team where it needed to be compared to other small to midsize firms.”
They have since come to specialize in document management and production, and their titles changed as a result.
“Using these tools is a way to help the client save money and help us do our job better – us as in the firm and the lawyers,” said Cares.