We all have heard about the “paperless office,” but is that something that exists today? Is it something that will exist in the future? While we may all have good intentions to print less, the truth is that a very large majority of us still use paper! And when it comes to discovery, both paper and electronic sources must be considered. Not only that, but handwritten documents must also be taken into consideration. The question is – how do you convert that handwriting to text so it can be part of the review process?
The World We Live In
To give this a bit more context, even if we became a completely paperless community today and generated no more printed matter and no more handwritten documents, when it comes to the discovery process, we often need to look back at several decades of documentation. This means that there will be handwritten files needing to be converted.
First responder reports, police reports and loan applications are just a few examples of documents used regularly in court that often have at least some handwritten portions.
When you are looking at environmental cases, you will find that most property records, mining records, oil and gas records and past community documentation are handwritten.
That means converting handwriting to digital text is going to be a necessity for the foreseeable future. When it comes to litigation, you are always looking at past offenses, so you are always dealing with old data. So even if the world goes paperless tomorrow, knowing how to convert images of handwriting to digital text is a necessary skill and will be needed in future decades.
What Do We Do?
So what is the process? How does this get done? What resource should you turn to?
At NimbleSystems, we analyze text and images through deep learning and automatic document classification. This means that every document is classified by type using models – including handwritten documents and images.
Our proprietary technology in Kaleidoscope can rapidly tell what pages and lines of a document have handwriting and put them into a format where the data can be converted to machine text and all documents can be viewed together.
Because of this technology, we can take the information that is collected, extract the data and put it together for an effective discovery workflow.
Other companies claim to have the technology needed to convert handwriting and images to text, but it is important to make sure they also have the expertise and experience to access all the data that is needed.
While the paperless office might exist someday, until it has been in place for the majority for 30 or more years, this technology is going to be needed. Make sure you have the right team on your side for your next case.