The Pitfalls of In-House Record Retrieval

By ABI - September 26th, 2018

man dealing with record retrieval

Many law firms have team members or an entire department that handles record retrieval. What they may not realize is that in-house record retrieval has a number of downsides.

If you’re not outsourcing litigation support services like record retrieval, you could be spending unnecessary time and money that’s eating away at your profitability.

5 Pitfalls of In-House Record Retrieval

If your firm is accustomed to taking care of record retrieval in-house, it’s time to consider making the switch to a document support service provider that can provide litigation support services that save you time and money.

Here are five pitfalls of in-house record retrieval, as well as tips for avoiding them.

  1. Records Aren’t Always Delivered on Time

There’s a lot more to records retrieval than simply sending an email or making a phone call. First, you must determine the proper custodian of the records, as well as how they prefer to receive requests. Many large records custodians maintain their own systems for requests, and you must comply with their requirements to get the records you need.

At this stage, your request still isn’t complete. You must also follow up on your request at various intervals to make sure the request doesn’t get overlooked or delayed. When you’re handling dozens or hundreds of cases — many of them with multiple parties — record retrieval is easily a full-time job.

When you rely on your own staff members to take care of records requests, they must juggle a variety of other responsibilities in addition to ensuring your records requests are processed smoothly and promptly fulfilled. Any delays in receiving records can negatively impact your case, leading to disgruntled clients, court fees and even a poor outcome.

The ABI Advantage — When you work with a document support service provider and record retrieval company like ABI Document Support Services, managing records requests is a thing of the past. ABI processes your request, contacts the records custodians for you, handles all follow-ups, and obtains the records you need quickly and affordably.

  1. You Miss Important Records

For many firms, managing records requests is a full-time job. Without a record retrieval service dedicated to getting records from custodians across the country, it’s inevitable that you will miss records you need. In other cases, records custodians may tell you that they can’t fulfill a request. This can have a serious impact on a case.

The ABI Advantage — ABI has long-established relationships with records custodians in every state. We are experts in retrieving all types of records, including medical records, employment records, business records, payroll records, and others.

  1. In-House Record Retrieval Is Costly

Many firms take care of their record retrieval needs in-house because they think it saves money. However, they underestimate just how many steps are required to complete even a single request. Litigation has only become more complicated in recent years, and cases in all kinds of practice areas often involve parties from multiple states.

When team members are focused on record retrieval, they’re not focused on higher priority tasks. Every time they are pulled away from more profitable work, your billable time suffers. And for busy law firms that must hire a full-time person to handle records retrieval, there are overhead costs, salary obligations, and benefits like health care and workers’ compensation insurance to consider.

The ABI Advantage — Using a professional record retrieval service is a cost-effective way to get the records you need without compromising your bottom line. You don’t have to pay for an hourly or salaried employee, and you receive the records you need on time without worrying about follow-up phone calls or emails.

  1. You Don’t Build Relationships with Records Custodians

As a lawyer, your days are devoted to talking to clients and managing your caseload. Even the biggest law firms don’t have the time or resources to develop contacts with records custodians in multiple states.

When you have an in-house team devoted to records retrieval, you may become familiar with a handful of custodians’ policies and procedures, but there will always be new records custodians to research and contact. It’s not a stretch to say that most firms encounter new records custodians every time they take on a new case.

The ABI Advantage — For over 35 years, ABI has built relationships with records custodians all over the United States. We are experts in record retrieval, and we use our contacts to directly benefit our clients. You don’t have to build relationships with records custodians — because we already have.

  1. Records Review Is Tedious

It may be necessary, but records review is a time-consuming and tedious process. Law firms with in-house record retrieval teams receive the records — then they’re tasked with sorting and organizing them, reviewing them, and pulling out important information that helps their case.

The ABI Advantage — When you partner with ABI, the record retrieval process doesn’t stop with retrieving the records. As part of our litigation support services, our clients have access to our innovative web-based document management tool, eSummary™ by ABI.

With eSummary, your records are delivered in chronological order and by document type at no extra charge. Because eSummary is a web-based tool, you can highlight relevant text to create custom notes that automatically list the date of service, name or provider, and document type.

eSummary also features simple sorting and filtering options that allow you to quickly search for and find relevant information that supports your case or claim. You can search across all documents instead of switching documents or reports and then flipping through stacks of paper. Reviewing and analyzing data has never been faster or more efficient.

Contact ABI Document Support Services Today

To learn more about eSummary by ABI, record retrieval services, and other litigation support services offered by ABI, contact us today.