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Home >> Customers >> Success Stories >> California Attorney General

Streamlining Research for the California Attorney General

It wasn't long ago that legal practitioners and interested members of the public would have to manually thumb through pages upon pages of opinions to find the information they needed. And when it came to networked data, these individuals would have to rely on their operating system's "find" feature to search and retrieve information from internal brief banks, transcripts and other full-text databases.

Certainly the world has become accustomed to operating within information-intensive industries. But for the Office of the California Attorney General, "information-intensive" is an understatement. Not only does the staff have to tackle gigabytes of internal data, but also decades of historical information that, until recently, was available only on good, old-fashioned paper.

As such, the Attorney General called upon ISYS to help streamline internal operations as well as provide a tool that its attorneys and the public could use to search Web-based content. To truly understand the monumental task the California Attorney General faces on a daily basis, consider the scope of its role.

With more than 1,000 employees and 200 attorneys, the Office of the California Attorney General represents the people of California in civil and criminal matters before trial, appellate and the supreme courts of California and the United States. The Attorney General also serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions.

Additionally, the Attorney General assists district attorneys, local law enforcement and federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice. And, as the chief law officer of the state, the Attorney General provides legal opinions upon request to designated state and local public officials and government agencies on issues arising in the course of their duties.

In short, the Attorney General has a large staff and dozens of constituencies that require fast and reliable access to everything from legal opinions, brief banks and work product retrieval systems, to trial and deposition transcript databases, and more.

By implementing both the ISYS:desktop and ISYS:web products, the Attorney General has provided its various parties with a primary search solution that has helped dramatically reduce time spent retrieving information contained across its databases.

"We have been using ISYS index and search for the Criminal Brief Bank since 1996," said David Friedenberg, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General. "Prior to ISYS, the system was on a mainframe, which only allowed a category search. Using ISYS has increased the flexibility from one document or category at a time to a combination of categories and databases using word and phrase searches. ISYS better enables our attorneys to find cases and arguments that they want with this more powerful, easier and faster software."

Across the board, Attorney General staff members cited ISYS Search Software's ease of use, speed of indexing, search results presentation and ability to handle PDF files. Above all else, staffers point to the software's time-saving benefits.

"ISYS has been invaluable for the Attorney General's Office," said Rodney Lilyquist, Senior Assistant Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General. "Our entire staff has saved considerable time in conducting legal research projects. Members of the general public have also highly complimented us for creating our ISYS search engines."


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