Top 5 Challenges Law Firms Experience with Records Retrieval

The retrieval of records is vital to all types of cases. Retrieval and management of these records are key functions for law firms and insurance companies. The sensitive information contained in these records is closely regulated through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and state rules of civil procedure.

Law firms must comply with regulations and reporting requirements. This often means considerable investments of time and resources. Following are the most common challenges that law firms confront during the retrieval process.

  1. Investment of time and labor:
    The retrieval of records is a laborious process that requires constant supervision and follow up. The issuing of requests via subpoena or authorization is time-consuming. The requestor must understand the requirements related to the scope and type of records being requested, and this information must be clearly and accurately presented in the request. Once the notice has been sent, the request requires regular and multiple follow ups before the record is obtained. These steps involve considerable time and effort by a dedicated team or the paralegal at the law firm.
  2. Research for information:
    The information required to retrieve a record is not always provided or readily available. Obtaining details such as phone numbers and addresses and sending the request to the correct custodians of the records require significant resources. Retrieval companies have extensive databases of information and know how to navigate through the incorrect or missing information that creates additional work.
  3. Noncompliant custodians:
    Unresponsive and noncompliant custodians further complicate the process. Busy schedules, lack of staffing, and the volume of requests can further delay the process. For some custodians, complying with a request is simply not a high priority for them. Contacting these providers and establishing a relationship with them so they comply with your requests in a timely manner is imperative to an efficient retrieval process.
  4. Incomplete or incorrect records:
    Information that might be important to a specific case could be missing from the records from a particular custodian. The scope or accuracy of the records provided could be inconsistent with the request. If this occurs, a new or supplemental request needs to be made, causing additional delays.
  5. Lack of standard processes:
    After all the time and effort that was put into obtaining the records, the process is not complete. The records and corresponding legal documents need to be processed and put into a standardized format. Many custodians now provide records in electronic formats, so the ability to process and format the information received is necessary. This requires the purchase of additional software and personnel who are experts in the handling of electronic data.

Partnering with a reliable Record Retrieval company can eliminate these issues within the law firm. Gulfstream Legal Group has a knowledgeable and experienced staff of professionals that have existing relationships with many custodians. Every law firm is assigned a dedicated Customer Service Representative to keep them updated on the status of their requests. Our online repository makes it easy for law firms to access their records.