Digital White Papers

July 2013: Knowledge Management

publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/143561

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ANOTHER LOOK AT PRECEDENT MANAGEMENT by Marybeth Corbett of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP ANOTHER LOOK AT PRECEDENT MANAGEMENT It seems at nearly every knowledge management (KM) conference I have a moment of personal dread. A panel is discussing some promising new KM technology when someone makes a passing reference to precedents. Silence envelops the room and, seemingly in unison, the panelists nod their heads with a "been there, done that" look. The topic of precedents is quickly side-stepped, apparently either as a challenge fully conquered long ago or an antiquated notion lacking any continuing value in the KM 2.0 world. Hoping to go unnoticed, I slink low in my seat, assuming I'm the last knowledge worker still struggling to satisfy the practice's need for good precedents. Could it be I am not as alone as I thought? Long before legal knowledge management gained recognition as a formal discipline, generations of lawyers used precedent documents to avoid reinventing the wheel. Particularly for transactional practices, a good drafting starting point is imperative to efficient and effective client service. A comprehensive collection of usable precedents may score low in a "cool tech tools" competition, but earns high marks among lawyers as a critical knowledge resource.

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