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Home >> Customers >> Success Stories >> Systematics

ISYS and System@Law Court Help Close Final Chapter of Bond Collapse

The last round in the failure of the Bond Corporation is now being fought out in South Australia's oldest courtroom by litigants armed with Australia's newest courtroom technology, based on the ISYS search engine. Shareholders of the Southern Equities Corporation Ltd (the Bond Corporation) have brought proceedings against the company auditor, Arthur Andersen & Co in the Supreme Court of South Australia.

The proceedings are being conducted in South Australia's oldest courtroom, refurbished to maintain its heritage character while incorporating state of the art technology. Systematics Pty Ltd has been engaged by the litigants to implement System@Law Court, which is driven by an ISYS retrieval engine, to provide the most advanced hearing automation environment yet to be put in place in Australia.

System@Law Court is one of the System@Law suite of legal knowledge management products produced by Systematics. During the hearing it is used to display images of documents to the witness and court. The System@Law Court environment also manages the hearing record, including tracking the tendering process and transcript along with additional material such as cited cases, court rules and procedural documentation.

The entire case documentation is available within the courtroom. Each party has access to their own data as well as public and court documents. Each participant has his/her own email address within the Systems@Law environment. This allows all involved to email each other or email the outside world while the case proceeds. System@Law Court also features a court calendar and other administrative facilities.

The system, while housing all the documentation of the case, acts as the mechanism through which this information is treated in the hearing. The operator can publish documents to specific people or everyone upon request. For example, if a witness is giving evidence and questions need to be asked about a specific document, the operator publishes that document to both party's computer screens, the judge's screen and the witness's screen, so that everyone can view it at once and follow what is being discussed. This has the effect of producing a virtually paperless hearing.

ISYS:web is seamlessly integrated into Systems@Law Court, allowing ISYS to be used to search all manner of documents. Primarily though, ISYS is used for interrogation of court transcripts.

"ISYS was easy to implement and is an important part of the entire process," said Ian Chivers of Systematics. "Particularly in searching transcripts, the ISYS search function provides real benefits to all parties involved."

This case is expected to run for approximately two years and within that time will generate literally thousands of pages of transcript. Transcripts are loaded into the system and all parties can perform complex searches on the entire contents. Search by word, phrase, proximity or date and immediately all references over thousands of pages of the case come together with hit highlighting and hit-to-hit navigation.

When there are so many pages of detail there is no possible way that any one person can keep events clear in their minds. A single person's testimony can last weeks at a time and during a cross-examination, a barrister generally has a single chance to address important aspects of evidence. With ISYS accessing the transcript, solicitors have the ability to offer up rebuttal points in real time. A search with ISYS can pull from the thousands of pages all references to a single point of contention, allowing barristers to catch out witnesses or support earlier statements on the spot.

This ability to cross-reference and collate information in seconds also proves to be of substantial value when closing statements are being composed. With hit-to-hit navigation, lawyers can skip from relevant area to relevant area, quickly assessing a thread of evidence or discussion and incorporating this into their argument.

ISYS also searches procedural documents (documents submitted in the lead up to the case) and the statements of claim.
"The integration of ISYS:web technology from ISYS Search Software provides a powerful free text search capability over all appropriately formatted materials," said Mr Chivers. "The use of free text searching has proved a valuable tool in the management and analysis of transcript, evidence and procedural documentation."

 

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