Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2010

Today is the 40th anniversary and celebration of Earth Day.  With individuals, organizations and companies participating from all over the world it is a day to stop and think about our planet and what we can do to make environmental protection a part of our daily life.

Unfortunately, discovery is a paperwork-intensive process and that’s why Rainmaker is committed to conducting business in the most eco-friendly manner possible: 

  • We use copy paper certified as part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which means it is from well-managed forests, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit. 
  • We use file folder tabs and redwells made from recycled material.
  • We recycle 99% of all paper generated in our office using a secure confidential document shredding company.
  • Since 2003 our business has evolved from one which annually generated tens of millions sheets of paper to a company which produces 85% electronic images.
  • As of 2008, 99% of all administrative tasks once involving the generation of paper and storage of boxes have been converted to electronic images.
  • We use motion sensitive light switches that allow us to reduce our energy consumption when employees are out of the office. 
  • 100% of our website server power comes from renewable energy such as wind power. 
  • 90% of all waste produced by our building at 111 Congress Ave. is sorted and recycled

Wondering how you can get involved?

  • Commit to take action and reduce, reuse and recycle by picking 5 simple steps that make a big impact.  Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website for information on their Pick 5 program.
  • Did you know that according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Americans own approximately 24 electronic products per household?  For information on reducing your electronic waste and eCycling, click here.
  • Need a daily reminder to go green?  Sign up for this daily green tip email and get real life ideas from people that are committed to helping the environment.

The Downside of DIY Data Collection

April 6, 2010

In today’s cost-conscious legal environment more and more attorneys are being faced with clients that insist on collecting electronically stored information (ESI) themselves.  While it might seem like a good idea in the beginning, there are some challenges that arise from the DIY method of collection. 

While they are wonderful at their job, IT departments and support staff might not have the legal knowledge and tools necessary to collect data using defensible methods and could end up costing the firm more money in the end.  Possible pitfalls include: 

  • Collection not being done by an independent third party
  • Clients’ collecting their own data without a proper data mapping plan may overlook key sources of data such as deleted files
  • Improper collection can alter or change valuable metadata – for example, Modified Date and Date Last Opened
  • Individuals might not be experienced with forensic applications and damage source data
  • Chain of custody requirements might not be observed, invalidating evidence
  • Opposing counsel could argue about methods and tools used for collection at trial
  • Inadvertent spoliation that would be harder to defend against
  • Individual performing collection might not be recognized as an expert witness to testify


Involving a trained forensics company in the early phases of the Litigation Cycle starts the case off on the right path and can actually save you money in the long run.  Rainmaker has partnered with Digital Discovery to serve our client’s collection, preservation and investigation needs.  Since 1998, Digital Discovery has combined the science of computer forensics with the blend of technology and art to turn back time and paint a vivid picture of what a system was used for yesterday, last week, last month or last year.  Digital Discovery will track down data that was moved, copied, deleted or compromised while adhering to strict rules of evidentiary preservation to avoid spoliation and maintain the chain of custody.  Their certified investigators and practitioners bring a broad range of experience in information technology, information security and forensic investigation in both civil and government matters. As a result, they are recognized as subject expert witnesses in US State and Federal Court proceedings.

Have a new case that involves eDiscovery and not sure where to start?  Rainmaker and Digital Discovery can help you create a data mapping plan and locate potential sources of information that may otherwise be overlooked.  Working together we can collect, preserve and process your data for further review.  After filtering and searching we can provide you with a production set that meets your exact specificaitons.  Our partnership results in an end-to-end solution from a staff that are experts in their field.  If you are interested in learning more about how Rainmaker can help you, please contact us at 512.472.9911.

Women in eDiscovery

March 10, 2010

As a service provider in the legal industry, Rainmaker is a member of several organizations and associations that support industry professionals but one of the organizations that I personally enjoy the most is Women in eDiscovery.  Founded by three women in the industry, the organizations seeks to bring together women interested in technology related to the legal industry and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and other women grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.

 The organizations goals are:

  • To create leadership and networking opportunities among women who are interested in helping themselves and other women grow personally and professionally.
  • To advocate the viewpoint of professional women in the legal industry especially on issues affecting the application of technology in their roles at work and at home.
  • To bridge the knowledge gap for women between old technology, traditional technology, and future trends.
  • To offer educational and certification opportunities for women who are interested in furthering their education in legal and technology fields.
  • To establish a strong communication network among women focused in the legal and technology industries.

The technology side of this business is often male-dominated and it is nice to have a group of women to learn and grow with.  The Central Texas chapter is experiencing growth and we hold monthly meetings with a vendor-sponsored lunch and presentation.  Our membership includes paralegals, litigation support professionals and vendors from a variety of companies.  If you would like to be included in the monthly meeting you can email wiedaustin (at) gmail.com.

If you are interested in joining your local chapter, please visit their website.  Membership is free (yay!) and there are no special requirements to join.

Updated FTP Now Available

March 2, 2010

Our customers asked for it and we listened!  Our updated website also includes a new FTP  – File Transfer Protocol – section that allows our clients to quickly and easily upload files for us to print, label, manipulate and process.

In addition to sending files to us, the new FTP allows your Account Representative to easily email your finished product directly to you.  Much like YouSendIt or SendThisFile, we can generate a link that allows you to download your file – no password or log in required.  Its completely secure and works great in deadline intense situations.  If your Litigation Support department is located in another office, we are happy to send them load files directly for uploading.

To Get Started:

  • If your file is under 10 MB, you may email it to your Account Representative
  • For files over 10 MB, our new FPT makes it quick and easy to transfer them to us for processing

 Step 1: Go to www.gorainmaker.comand click on Client Login at the top menu

 Step 2:Enter your provided Username and Password – if you do not have one, please contact your Account Representative and they will be happy to set one up for you.

Step 3:  Click on “Upload” in the top right hand corner just below the blue bar that says Logout

Step 4:  Select “Browse” and locate the file you would like to upload on your computer

  • Follow the step above to add a single file
  • If you have more than one file, you can upload one at a time this way or
  • If you would like to send several files together, you will need to create a folder on your computer and put all your files in it.  Then you will need zip that entire folder and upload the single zip file as pictured above 

Step 5:  Once your file is selected and the filename appears below, click the Upload button

  • If it is a very large file or folder, it may take some time to upload and please note there is no progress or “time remaining” bar

Step 6:  Email your Account Representative with the following information:

  •  The Username you used to upload the files
  •  The name of the file(s) you have uploaded
  • If you uploaded a zip folder, the number of files it contains
  • Your billing number
  • The copy/print instructions
  • When you would like the project completed and delivered

Questions?  Problems?  Want to learn more about what Rainmaker can do for you and your company?  Give us a call at 512-472-9911.

To print a step-by-step tutorial with screen shots, please click here.

Blogging About Blogging

February 26, 2010

This week was the monthly Capital Area Paralegal Association meeting and I had the pleasure of hearing John Heining from the Texas Legislative Council speak on “An Overview of the Law and Ethics of Blogging.” As the Rainmaker Document Technologies resident blogger, I was very interested to hear what he had to say about the topic and any potential issues that could arise regarding my blog posts. It was a very interesting presentation with humorous real life examples of what could and has gone wrong for others.

Before I go into the take-away’s from the lunch, lets first take a quick look at why people blog in the first place. Blogs are a great way to share information with friends and family about your personal life. They allow you to express feelings and opinions, share funny stories and even pictures. Blogs like this one are also used as a business tool. Google loves fresh, new content so to assist with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) businesses create new information on their website using blog posts. The trouble arises when people, business and public figures start sharing personal opinions that could be considered controversial.

While most of the information in John’s presentation pertained towards those actually in government or practicing law, there were some key points that I found very interesting:

  • While you may be posting your articles from your desk in Texas, blogs and websites can be read all over the world and are therefore also subject to the laws of other states and countries. For example, in the US it might be ok to say something defaming about a celebrity as long as it is true, but, in England, newspapers and tabloids can get in trouble for printing even true negative statements. Just ask Madonna about this one.
  • Just because something is deleted from the web doesn’t mean it is really gone. Websites such as Google and Archive.org use a “wayback” machine that takes pictures of websites at certain points in time. Deleting something may help you get in less trouble, but it doesn’t make it go away or change the fact that you posted it.
  • Disclaimers never hurt. You know that language you see at the bottom of your tax accountant’s email? The one that says “Any tax advice contained in the body of this material was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used…blah blah blah.” Well, that is so they are covered. Links, referrals and endorsements should be handled with care especially if you are in a business partnership with someone and they are profiting from your referrals. For example, if you are and attorney with a specialization and you refer a client you can not personally assist to someone that pays you for referrals, you need to make that relationship known.
  • What you say can and will be held against you. Be careful what you say about the company you work for, your boss or any controversial topic. What you say is permanent and although it may sound like a good idea at the time, you never know how it could affect your future. Potential employers have started searching blogs and social media sites from information about applicants and its better to be safe than sorry.

The moral of the story is this – blogs are not anonymous so it’s best to stay away from upsetting things that could get you in trouble. Everything is permanent so think about the effects of your opinion on your future. Oh, and expect a disclaimer post on this blog in the very near future…….

Rainmaker Sponsors CAPA eDiscovery Event

February 12, 2010

The Capital Area Paralegal Association hosted a “Tool Box for Electronic Discovery Case Management” seminar last week and Rainmaker Document Technologies was pleased to help sponsor and attend the event.  Geared towards helping CAPA members gain a deeper understanding of eDiscovery, topics ranged from very basic term definitions to advanced search and cull techniques. 

Rainmaker partnered with Ryan Murphy of Equivalent Data to present an alternative to key word and search terms.  Keyword searches have been a hot topic lately and Ryan’s presentation discussed the benefits of using metadata to make fact based decisions as opposed to relying on a list of search words.  With key word searches recently coming under fire for their effectiveness Ryan’s methodology does make sense – culling down your entire data set based on facts, not just where keywords lead you. 

This methodology is applied to the science behind NeedleFinder® Insight technology, part of the NeedleFinder® 3.5 release.  Along with the standard date filter and de-duping, Insight allows you to separate potentially privileged emails based on domain names – so you know you didn’t miss something.  No more searching for sender “John T. Lawyer” and missing something because it was sent from “JLawyer” instead.  After separating all potentially known responsive documents and internal communications, keywords can then be used to filter through all remaining external communications.

Rainmaker has been using EQD’s proprietary software for several years now and we are excited about the roll-out of this new tool.  If you are interested in setting up a demonstration – the power of this tool is much easier to comprehend while looking at it! –  please contact us at 512-472-9911. 

On the flip side, while new technology options are still developing, keyword search still have their place and Craig Ball delivered an interesting presentation on steps to improve the keywords search process.  He presented an example where attorneys and support staff were asked to draft a list of keywords that would pull needed documents from a data set they were very familiar with.  These attorneys estimated that the list they comprised would find 75% of the responsive documents.  In reality, their lists only hit about 20% of the relevant documents.  Now, in their defense, attorneys are not trained on how to create keyword lists.  You can rely on experts to help you devise a list but even those experts got that way from trial and error – learning what works and what doesn’t. 

So, if you are going to draft a keyword search list, there are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Keywords require input from the custodians – you need to know their “lingo”, how they talk, what abbreviations they use, etc.
  • Make sure you incorporate misspellings, iterations, variants and synonyms for your keywords
  • Know your search tool and how it deals with exceptions.  Spaces, numbers, short words – they all play into the mix
  • Keywords must be tested, revised, and tested again.  Make sure to sample the discard pile! 

Overall it was a great seminar and thanks to CAPA for letting us sponsor and participate – it was nice to get out of the office and sit in on the presentations.  It reinforced something I was already doing and I learned a few things as well!

eDiscovery Goes Social

February 10, 2010

I follow several e-Discovery blogs and the topic of social media and eDiscovery seems to be a hot issue for the New Year.  When most people think of electronic evidence they think primarily of emails and other files stored on a company computer but in reality electronic information can come from all types of sources.  Cell phones, mobile devices and security key cards all store potentially valuable information.  As social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace grow more and more popular the lines between business and personal have become blurry.

It’s an easy thing to do – mixing business and pleasure.  For example, let’s say your Facebook account sends you updates to your work email.  You were tagged in a picture and the link is right there, tempting you to click on it.  So you click, just a quick look you think.  Fifteen minutes pass by and the time-suck known as Facebook has sucked you in and you are commenting on friends’ statuses and pictures.  The question is, is this now discoverable evidence and how can it be tracked if the need arises down the road?

All this leads to a good question, should companies block social networking sites?  According to the Fulbright’s 6th Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report, insurance and financial companies are the most likely to block social networking sites at the office.  As the popularity of these sites grow, I predict more and more companies will follow suit.  In fact, drafting a “Comprehensive and Legally Sound Social Media Policy” is the topic of a webinar I will be virtually attending on March 18th.  Guess if your company blocks your access you will have to stick to Facebooking at your desk from your iPhone after that…….

A recent Case in Point cartoon

A recent Case in Point cartoon

And for your entertainment, a recent Case in Point cartoon addressing this exact issue.  ‘Case in Point’  is a weekly cartoon series, created by CaseCentral Corporation, that illustrates the lighter side of eDiscovery.

Rainmaker gets a New Look

January 5, 2010

Rainmaker Document Technologies is pleased to announce the re-launch of their website at www.gorainmaker.com. The reorganized site presents an updated list of services, as well as information on the company and industry news and events.

“Since the site was initially launched there have been huge advances in the technology used to process electronic discovery,” says Kimberly Cox. “We wanted to give our clients a place to learn more about the services and technology we offer, as well as be a resource for electronic discovery news and Austin legal-related events.”

One key new section describes the technology Rainmaker uses to process electronic discovery. Since 2008 Rainmaker has been using NeedleFinder eDiscovery Software. With the ability to process files up to 10 times faster than similar software, it reduces the average discovery workload by up to 100%, allowing clients to pinpoint the needles in the haystack that merit their review – saving precious time and money.

In addition to service offering updates, Rainmaker has also updated their FTP technology. Now easier to use, the FTP function allows clients to quickly and easily upload and transfer files, which saves valuable time when deadlines are tight.

For more information about how Rainmaker can be of service to your company, please contact us via telephone at 512-472-9911 or click here to contact us by email.

Paper Samples

November 11, 2009

Paper Options

In addition to white, the following paper and cardstock options are always available to our clients.  Other colors and paper types may be ordered with advanced notice:

From Left to Right: Gray, Gold, Ivory, Green, Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple & Orange


Binding Options

*All binding options are available for documents up to 2″ in thickness and come in standard black.  Other binding colors may be available with advanced notice.  Be sure to check binding requirements if documents are being submitted to the court or other authority.

GBC Binding– Black binding, typically done with a clear cover and black hard backing, or with cardstock cover and back.  Works well for very thick documents.

Coil Binding– Black binding, typically done with a clear cover and black hard backing, or with cardstock cover and back.  Spiral allows book to lay flat when opened.

Depo Binding – Documents are punched with 3 holes on the left side and bound with a clear cover and thick, black paper back.

ACCO Binding– Documents are punched with 2 holes at the top and typically finished with a clear cover and black hard backing, or with a cardstock cover and back

Velo Binding– Documents are punched with multiple small holes on the left, and finished with a clear cover and back hard backing, or with cardstock.  This type of binding is difficult to take apart and re-assemble, and is often used for closing binders, or IPO documents as it is the most permanent.

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