We are often asked what the difference between eBrief Ready and bundling products (like Bundledocs or PdfDocs) that many firms use to produce a PDF bundle of documents relating to a matter to brief a barrister or to provide to a court.
Comparing apples to apples
eBrief Ready produces PDF bundles, quickly and easily
The first way to look at this is to compare how eBrief Ready produces a PDF bundle to how other bundling products do this.
Like all good bundling products, eBrief Ready compiles all types of documents into a PDF bundle, and automatically creates a hyperlinked index page. Bookmarks are provided for navigation.
eBrief Ready automatically numbers the pages in the bundle for easy reference. Importantly, while bundling packages allow page 1 to start anywhere in the document (like this example where page 1 is actually on page 4 of the electronic copy), eBrief Ready always starts on page 1, so the electronic and hard copy always match. The resulting PDF document is fully searchable. It looks highly professional and can include your company’s cover page.
In short, eBrief Ready compares well to other bundling products, and while many bundling packages crash on large bundles, we create them without using your local resources – our biggest bundle to date is 38K pages.
But eBrief Ready is much more than just a PDF bundling product.
Comparing apples to pears
If you think about it, PDF bundling products exist as a way to compile and send all the relevant documents relating to a matter to a barrister or court electronically. It does this by producing one PDF document containing all the relevant material.
eBrief Ready provides a better way to achieve this objective – and a lot more!
Simply producing a PDF bundle gives rise to a new set of problems to solve:
- Waiting to produce a PDF bundle of all relevant documents slows the briefing process down. Rather than producing multiple PDF bundles to include new documents relating to the matter, most firms wait for all documents to be available before producing the PDF bundle to brief the barrister. Given most barristers prefer to be briefed as early as possible, so they can give advice as the case unfolds, this is a less than optimum approach.
- The PDF document can be very large in file size, making it hard to send via email. You then need to set up a file sharing product, like DropBox, or save it to a USB, or print it out.
- Large PDF documents can be very unwieldy to work with – Even if you do send the large PDF bundle electronically, many barristers end up printing the document so that they can review it, pushing the burden of printing downstream. The biggest bundle we have created within eBrief Ready was 38,940 pages in length – working with a PDF document of this size is incomprehensible. Simply put, creating PDF Bundles is not a scalable solution. Only the individual documents make sense.
eBrief Ready provides a secure platform for all parties to collaborate across the life of a matter (not just a PDF document)
Rather than just creating a consolidated PDF bundle, eBrief Ready provides a secure platform for all parties involved in a matter to share, review and reference the relevant material.
This platform serves as the central, secure, searchable home for all documents relating to a matter for all parties involved in the matter, across the life of a matter – not just at the point in time the PDF bundle was created.
eBrief Ready offers a better way to share material relating to a matter with all parties involved in the matter
Relevant material for each matter (documents, images, video footage, audio files, email, etc) is uploaded to the eBrief Ready platform using a simple drop and drag function.
All material is automatically converted to PDF and also stored in its native format. This is particularly useful for Word, Excel and email evidence, where the meta data may also be important. This is impossible to do in a PDF bundle as the native format is lost. PDF and native format files can also be downloaded from the platform – unless the document has been marked as restricted, in which case it cannot be copied, printed or downloaded.
Only those invited to the matter are granted access to the material. Two factor authentication (2FA) provides added access security.
The material can be readily accessed by all parties to the matter, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week on PC, Mac or any mobile device, without any local software being required. The platform works with every browser.
The activity log keeps track of who is accessing which documents, providing an audit trail for the matter owner if needed.
eBrief Ready offers a better way to review and reference documents relating to a matter
All material is also put through an optical character recognition (OCR) process, so that every document is searchable.
The search functionality in eBrief Ready is much more powerful than that offered in bundling products– showing where the term appears, on what document and in which folder. You can also do more advanced searches such as a word within ‘X words’ of another word. This means you can quickly find and correctly reference documents.
Searching and annotating individual documents is much faster and easier than working with one large PDF document.
All parties can annotate the relevant documents directly. Annotations can be shared with others involved in the matter or kept private. You can annotate with key issues and dates, useful in building a chronology of events or identifying themes running through a case.
New documents are easily added to the matter – eliminating the need to create and share another bundle with the new material. All parties are automatically notified as soon new material is added and the live index automatically updates.
It is easy to organise documents into folders and subfolders. You can customise your own folder structure and set your preferred structure as a default for all matters. You can easily download documents from the brief as PDFs or in their native format.
eBrief Ready eliminates the need to produce PDF bundles
So, while you can automatically produce a PDF bundle of documents using the eBrief Ready product, quickly and easily, there is no real need to do this unless the court specifically requires it.
Instead, you simply select the relevant documents and create a moderated matter to share with the courts, arbitrators and mediators. A moderated matter does not allow any annotations to show, eliminating the risk of sharing any annotations you have made on these documents accidentally. It also includes the ability to restrict documents, so they can only be copied, printed or downloaded by the owner of the matter, not any other party.
Even when PDF briefs are created for courts, our vision is that all parties are still given access to the documents on the platform along with the PDF brief, making it easier and faster for all parties to navigate, search, annotate and reference documents during the trial.
eBrief Ready streamlines the way you manage all of your matters
When you use eBrief Ready to manage the documents for all the matters you work on, it becomes a central library of cases, which can be securely accessed at any time, from any location on any device.
At the end of the matter, documents can be archived within the platform or externally. This means you can consolidate the number of systems and tools needed across your workflow, including PDF bundling systems, file-sharing products like DropBox or annotating/bundling products like Adobe. You can also significantly reduce your printing costs.
The whole process of managing a matter is better for all parties. Law firms can brief barristers earlier and simply provide new information as it comes to hand, as firms no longer need to wait for all documents to be available before producing a PDF bundle. Barristers can move their whole office online. Courts can use eBrief Ready as a platform for all parties to share and quickly reference documents relating to a matter, which speeds up the running of a trial.
eBrief Ready is much more than a PDF bundling product – which is simply a way to move a bunch of documents from A to B and then potentially printing them off.
eBrief Ready provides a powerful platform for all parties involved in the matter to share documents relating to the matter, to work on these documents easily, to find and reference documents quickly.
It delivers a secure, central platform for all parties involved to collaborate across the life of the matter from creation of the very first document to trial, and a better way to manage all of the matters they are working on.
|Functional Comparison||eBrief Ready||PDF Bundling Products|
|Produce a PDF Bundle|
|Compiles all types of materials into a PDF bundle including email, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF, email, video and audio files|
|Automatically creates a hyperlinked index page|
|Includes bookmarks for navigation in PDF document|
|Automatically numbers the pages in the PDF bundle for easy reference.|
|PDF bundle is fully searchable|
|PDF bundle can be annotated|
|Ensures numbering in the PDF bundle always starts on page 1, so the electronic and hard copy always match.|
|Annotations sync with original documents|
|Enforce best practices when creating bundles|
|Supports collaboration over the life of a matter|
|Eliminates need to create a PDF bundle in order to provide an organised, professional electronic brief to barristers.|
|Eliminates the need to work with the large, unwieldy PDF bundles||
Work within the large PDF bundle (or print out the bundle)
|Securely share documents with other parties|
|Quickly upload material to platform using simple drop and drag functionality and make available in PDF and native format|
|Individual files can be downloaded in PDF or native format|
|Play multimedia files (audio/video) on any device|
|Restrict copying, printing or downloading of selected documents|
|Create a moderated matter to share access to selected documents with Courts, which automatically removes any annotations from documents|
|Easily review and reference material relating to a matter|
|Individual documents can be annotated|
|Annotations on documents can be seen by team members or made private|
|Annotations in individual documents can be synchronised with the PDF bundle|
|Powerful search so you can quickly search individual, selected or all documents||
Only the bundle
|Organise documents into folders and subfolders|
|Convert documents to PDF|
|Keep non PDF documents in their native format also|
|Play back multi-media on any device|
|OCR documents so they can be searched|
|Search selected documents in a matter|
|Annotate individual documents|
|Import/ export annotations from Adobe and PDF Expert|
|Automatic document numbering|
|Create Court Books and Briefs|
|Synchronise annotations with Court Book|
|Moderated Matter for sharing with the Courts, Arbitrators and Mediators|
|Restricted documents so they can't be printed or downloaded|
|Group actions for copying / moving and deleting documents|
|Activate / deactivate matters|
|Different permission levels for document updating and viewing|
|Activate / deactivate users (law firm version)|
|Manage users and matters (law firm version)|
|Recover deleted matters (law firm version)|
|Set retention periods for matters deleted (law firm version)|