Location: Hypertext Review / Applications / Other Applications / Law Site Map

8.2 Law

Attorneys need a powerful information processing facility to gather information about cases, cross-reference them appropriately, retrieve them at great speed during trials and represent their ideas efficiently. They also need tools to make notes in a courtroom which can be shared with other attorneys to work on cases more effectively. In one law firm, it was found that all these activities could not be managed and linked even though there were a plethora of systems for word processing, electronic mail, billing, file management, and relational databases. Hypertext was used in this law firm to efficiently manage information about intellectual property. _A system called HyperLex was developed using KMS to assimilate intellectual property information from various sources such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets [Yoder & Wettach, 1989]. Information collected in this manner was properly organized, and cross-referenced to produce legal contracts, patent applications, court briefs and motions, and legal advice to clients. The system also provided links to group bulletin boards, calendars, employment agreements, and information on other previously published works. This system was used to catalog documents for a trial in which more than 10,000 documents had to be managed.