TD Bank is one of the nation’s fastest growing financial services retailers. Since its inception in 1973, TD Bank continually has honed a unique and very successful retail model, which fuels the Bank’s continuing growth. TD Bank has expanded substantially since opening its first store 34 years ago in Marlton, New Jersey. Today, the TD Bank network comprises nearly 450 convenient stores throughout New Jersey; New York; Connecticut; Pennsylvania; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Maryland and southeast Florida.
The TD Bank Legal Department provides legal services to the bank and advises management on all legal matters relating to the bank. The department directs the bank’s representation in litigation, arbitration, other administrative or legal proceedings, or in matters in which the bank may become a party or have an interest.
To assist in meeting the department’s goal of improved organization and reporting, TD Bank’s Legal Department began its search for a matter management/document management system in the fall of 2005. Several vendors were invited to present software solutions. Two key requirements of the new system were the ability to integrate with Lotus Notes and comprehensive document management functionality.
Legal Files offered an impressive integration with IBM’s Lotus Notes e-mail system. Users can open, read, forward and reply to any Lotus e-mail from within Legal Files. If a particular e-mail is determined to be matter related, it can be easily and permanently attached to a matter stored in Legal Files to become part of the matter’s diary/history. Since Legal Files automatically creates a copy of the e-mail message (with attachments) and stores it in the Legal Files database, the message can be deleted from the user’s inbox and it will still be available in Legal Files for future reference.
Legal Files also offered a complete, built-in and fully functional document management program that enabled users to text search all documents within the database. By allowing users to organize documents by category (i.e., as pleading or discovery), documents can more easily be searched and retrieved. With Legal Files Document Management, users have at their fingertips every document anyone has created or copied into Legal Files.
Once all the demos were presented and the department’s IT assessment was completed, it was determined that Legal Files best met the needs of TD Bank’s Legal Department. “None of them came close to the options in Legal Files,” according to Paula Pagano, paralegal in the department.
“Legal Files was implemented slowly into our department. We have pretty tight IT policies and procedures to follow at TD Bank, and user testing in our environment was needed,” Pagano said. “This took some time to complete. Once we went into production, we had training courses for our group. Over time, we have had refresher courses to keep up with new features or remind everyone of things they may not use too often.”
It also helped that Legal Files is very user friendly. “That’s important when you are training people and want them to not only learn the system quickly and easily, but to continue to use it after training,” Pagano explained.
Legal Files has helped improve organization in the department and enabled users to continue to work the way they wanted to with their existing Lotus Notes system.
“Our department is much more organized now that Legal Files is in place,” Pagano said. “It also allows multiple people to have access to information which is key in our line of work. On the other hand, it will also limit access to others on specific matters and/or documents.”
The department also realizes significant value from Legal Files’ reporting functions, Pagano said. “Legal Files gives us the information we need at a moment’s notice. One of the biggest missions for this department is to keep ourselves as organized as possible. Legal Files helps us to do this by keeping all the information together, while still allowing easy access of that information to the users.”
The best thing about Legal Files, according to Pagano, is that it stores all information about a matter in one spot. “You can always find what you are looking for and quickly.”
When asked about what she would tell someone who’s thinking about buying Legal Files, Pagano said, “Get it. From a user perspective, there is no better out there!”