by Jonathan Bruntrager
Legal work tends to be very document driven. In every facet of the law, documents are exchanged and tracked. They can be simple one- or two-page criminal complaints, or they can be hundreds or thousands of pages of medical documents. Our practice, Bruntrager & Billings, P.C., is truly a family firm comprised of three generations of lawyers who focus on personal injury and criminal defense cases and more. We’ve worked on countless local and national cases, and we have dozens of cases pending at one time. We have files that range from a small manila folder with a few documents to banker’s boxes full of documents. We also do not have a lot of down time to organize these. One can only imagine how important it is to have reliable and premium software, technology and systems in place to assist with critical day-to-day tasks.
Recently, my uncle and I went to trial on one of our civil cases: our client had filed an insurance claim which was denied by their insurer. There were hundred-page insurance policies, hundreds of photographs, numerous depositions, and many expert opinions. This resulted in three bankers’ boxes full of documents. On the eve of trial, my uncle needed to organize these documents, many of which he planned to present during the trial as exhibits. They needed to be in a format that could easily be shown to the jurors. This is where having the ScanSnap iX1500 came in handy. I was able to sort the documents into exhibits and quickly scan them into my computer. While scanning the next exhibit, I was on the ScanSnap application updating the file names to quickly organize my files. All of this while my uncle sorted the different documents I would need. I very quickly moved ahead of him with ScanSnap as my primary assistant, resulting in me waiting for him to separate his documents before I could scan and label them. What we expected to take many hours was done quickly and efficiently thanks to the ease of using the iX1500. We were able to scan each document quickly into a folder and change the label as it was being uploaded.
The next day in court, I was set up and prepared to present our evidence at trial. Prior to the trial, I watched as the opposing counsel set up their technology. When asked about sharing a projector or a screen, opposing counsel stated they would be happy to share if we would split the costs. When I asked what the costs were, he said they were paying their support $150/hour! I politely declined, mentally noting that with the use of ScanSnap, I would probably only have earned $150 as it went so quickly! The case ended up settling prior to trial, so I never got to show off the work I did, nor was I able to see what $150/hour would have achieved, but I am so grateful that the ScanSnap took so much stress and time out of trial prep.
About the Author: Jonathan Bruntrager
Jonathan N. Bruntrager is the third generation of Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. He completed his undergraduate degree at Truman State University and then attended Saint Louis University School of Law. After graduating in 2013, he started his career at the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office. In 2017, Jonathan began work at the family firm. He remembers one thing his father used to say to him before school every day growing up: “Be good, be kind, be careful, be smart. And if you can only be one thing, be kind.” Jonathan applies this principle throughout each case and to each colleague and client.