How to Be More Efficient With Your Legal Record Retrieval

Jul 27 2015 | posted by Giles-Parscale

Being efficient with your firm's legal record retrieval is crucial if you want a high success rate. After all, records typically play a key role in most legal claims, whether they're accident- or injury-related or stem from some other complaint. Records can be the piece of evidence that breaks a case open – that makes the difference between a win and a loss, or a small settlement and a huge one.

And you also have to retrieve those records quickly. You can't submit a form and hope the record arrives in your mailbox at some point before your court date. You need to get it fast so you have time to vet it, study it, and build an argument around it.

Do you want to make sure your legal record retrieval is fast and efficient, giving your cases the best chance at success? Then just follow these tips:

1.  Have a system. It's important to have a system in place for your records requests. Don't just fill out a form, send it off, and forget about it. Have a schedule set out as to when you will send it, when you will check in, and when you need it by. Then keep track of every time you contact the records custodian, and make notes of your conversations. Make it a point to take one step toward getting that record every day until it's in your hands.

2.  Know the records custodians. It doesn't to have friends in high places. Instead of just treating records custodians like people who should do your bidding, take time to learn their names, have conversations, and cultivate long-term relationships. Then, next time you need something in a pinch, they'll be much more likely to help you out and get those records produced fast.

3.  Know the process. Be as familiar with the record retrieval process as you possibly can be. Know what forms to file (and have them on hand), know what steps are required for each type of record and case, and have an exhaustive list of all records custodians, agencies, phone numbers, addresses, and emails you could possibly use. You never know who you'll need to contact for your next record.

4.  Stay appraised of regulatory changes. Records are vulnerable to much regulatory oversight. There's HIPAA, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and many others. What's worse is that these change often. If you want to make sure you're always in compliance (and your records requests don't get denied), you need to stay up-to-date on regulatory changes as they happen.

5.  Use a designated person. It's never wise to throw record retrieval on the plate of someone who's already busy, like an associate attorney or a paralegal. Chances are, that request is going to get lost in the shuffle. Sure, they'll submit the paperwork. But will they call records custodians daily? Will they make it a top-of-mind item on their to-do list? Probably not. If you want the best results, you should use a designated records person – someone who only does records requests all day, every day.

6.  Call in a pro. If you don't have the funds to have a records person on staff, then call in a professional. They'll know the ins and outs of records retrieval like the back of their hands, and they'll be able to ensure you get what you need quickly and easily, so you can win that case.

Do you want fast, efficient legal record retrieval? Then leave it to LORR. Our litigation support experts know how to get your records quickly and by the deadline. Call us today or fill out our request form online now to get started.