Motion and Brief Bank

The Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP) can create a Motion and Brief Bank which provides users the ability to filter, sort and search for similar pleadings in related cases to assist with drafting new motions or briefs. This Technical Note will describe how to do that with your LEP Account.

Because Lexbe charges for document and index storage only (no case fees or user fees), and because the document size of motions and briefs are relatively small, using Lexbe for creating a Motion and Brief Bank will have no additional or incremental cost, under account plans.

Overview of Motion and Brief Banks

A Motion and Brief Bank is a searchable library of previously filed motions and briefs one can use when drafting new pleadings for a related case or that involve similar issues. After a motion or brief is filed with the Court, a point person in charge of managing the Motion and Brief Bank will upload the filed documents to a Lexbe case specifically set up to organize motions and briefs using custom tags so the ability to search and filter to specific doc types, jurisdictions, authors, and cases exists.  

When drafting a motion or brief, keep in mind that many times a similar pleading has already been prepared in another case, which will provide you with a skeleton or outline to work from. There is typically not a need to start a pleading completely from scratch, however, the task of locating similarly filed pleadings from other cases can seem daunting. By creating a searchable library of previously filed pleadings, attorneys and paralegals are able to quickly and easily filter, sort and search through the Motion and Brief Bank, which will save a significant amount of time and resources when preparing new motions and/or briefs that may have short deadlines by which to file.

How To Set Up and Use a Motion and Brief Bank

The following describes how to set up a Motion and Brief Bank and to search across previously filed motions and briefs to locate pleadings from related cases or pleadings that involve similar issues.

Set up a Case for Motion and Brief Bank

First, create an additional case to use as the Motion and Brief Bank. To create a new case in your account, navigate to Account>Manage Cases.

Expand the menu under “Create New Case in Account” in the left-hand column and type the name for the new case. Title the case “Motion and Brief Bank”.  

The Admin User in charge of the Motion and Brief Bank can grant all other users at the firm access this case to allow all users to benefit from this resource. To grant a user access to a new case, follow the steps listed in the Manage Users Help Link. As Lexbe does not charge for users, you can add any number of persons necessary to the account and the Brief and Motion Bank.

Set up Custom Doc Fields

To set up the Custom Doc Fields necessary to organize the Motion and Brief Bank, navigate to Management>Manage Custom Doc Fields.

To add custom doc fields, select Add in the upper right-hand corner.

Next to Section Title, select “New Section” and call it “Motions and Briefs”. Next to Field Title type “Document Type” and chose the radio button for Textbox Field next to Field Type.  

Under the Motions and Briefs section, create the following custom fields:

  • Document Type

  • Jurisdiction

  • Date of Pleading

  • Case Name

  • Author of Document

Be sure to choose the radio button for Textbox Field for each of these custom doc fields.

Next, create a new Section titled, “Case Issues” and create additional custom fields for the issues addressed in the motions and/or briefs. Note, you will want to select the radio button for Checkbox Field next to the Field Type for each custom field under the Case Issues section. Users will have the ability to filter to multiple Case Issues at once by selecting multiple checkboxes. The following are some examples of custom fields to create under the Case Issues section:

  • Venue

  • Jurisdiction Issue

  • Damages - Consequential

  • Damages - Exemplary

  • Negligence - Contributory

The Case Issues fields should be tailored to address the issues specific to the motions and briefs filed by your firm. Additional custom fields can always be added later if necessary.

After adding all Custom Doc Sections and Fields, it should look similar to the following (with the understanding that the Case Issues fields may vary):

Add Motions and Briefs to the Case

Next, add filed motions and briefs to the case. To add documents to the Motion and Brief Bank, navigate to Case>Add Case Documents. In the left-hand column, expand the menu next to File Upload and select Upload.   

Once the pop-up box appears, select NEXT at the bottom of the box. It is not necessary to change the Batch Title, Custodian or Time Zone Offset for this purpose.  

Next, either drag and drop the motions and/or briefs to be uploaded, or select Choose Files in the lower left-hand corner and browse for the files on your local computer. Do not close this window until the upload is complete as shown below. Click Cancel All to interrupt the upload in progress.

For more information on uploading documents, see the Add Case Documents Help Link.

Any supported file type can be added. See the Supported File Types Help Link for a list. For a Brief and Motion Bank, we recommend that Word or PDf versions of documents be uploaded. The advantage of a Word version is that a user can download an editable Word version directly from the Brief and Motion Bank. The Lexbe eDiscovery Platform also auto-creates a PDF version of all supported file types, including Word.

Tagging Motions and Briefs to Custom Tags

Users will tag documents from the Doc Viewer screen. To locate a recently uploaded motion or brief, users have the option to filter to a certain Upload Batch using the Filter option in the left-hand column to find the latest motions and/or briefs that were added to LEP. Select the hyperlinked Title of the document from the Browse page to be taken to the Doc Viewer screen.

From the Doc Viewer, choose the DISC tab in the column on the right. At the bottom of the DISC tab, expand the menu next to the Motions and Briefs section and enter the information for each of the custom fields. Also select the checkbox fields for the Case Issues that apply.    

It is important to keep the descriptions and formatting of the text in the custom doc fields consistent to optimize searching and filtering. Here are a few tips to follow when entering text in the custom doc fields:

  • Descriptions in fields should remain consistent. Use the same Jurisdiction name each time (i.e., “Western District of Texas” should not also be referred to as “WDTX”, as inconsistent naming will make searching more difficult).

  • The Document Types should also be consistent and straight forward. Avoid using abbreviations and do not add additional descriptions that are not necessary. Stick to the basic Document Type (i.e. “Motion to Dismiss” or “Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss”).

  • The Date of Pleading should be in the following format: year-month-day (i.e., 2018-11-30). This allows a user to easily sort by date.

  • Author of Document should be entered in the following format: Last Name, First Name.

Filtering, Sorting or Searching within the Motion and Brief Bank

To filter to specific custom fields within the Motion and Brief Bank, expand the Filters menu in the left-hand column and choose Select Filters. Scroll to the last section in the Filters box called Dynamic Coding and type in the text next to the custom field you wish to filter to (i.e., “Motion to Dismiss” next to Document Type).  

Users also have the ability to sort the columns by expanding the menu next to Sort in the left-hand column then clicking Select Sort. Choose the sorting options you would like by selecting the drop-down menu. This option will allow sorting by Document Type, Date of Pleading, etc.

Alternatively, documents can be sorted by selecting the column header (i.e. select Jurisdiction to sort by a specific jurisdiction).  

In addition to filtering and sorting, the Search tab can be used to search for specific words or phrases that appear within the motions and briefs.

See the Search Help Link for more detailed information on searching.

To avoid having to rerun the same search in the future, LEP offers the ability to title and save searches for future use. The database automatically records a history of keywords searched in the search engine specific to a user name. To rename and share a search, expand the menu next to Search Quick Links in the left-hand column of the Search screen, select the most recent search under the Recent heading, rename it and save it as a Shared Search.

For more information on Search Quick Links, see the Search Help Link.

Similarly, users have the ability to save Filters in the same manner by expanding the menu next to Filter Quick Links from the Browse or Search screen and selecting the most recent search under the Recent heading, renaming and saving it as a Shared Filter. See Shared Function Help Link for more information.

Create and Download Briefcases

Users can export individual documents or groups of documents from their Motion and Brief Bank. To do so, select the documents to export from the Browse page, expand the menu next to Export in the left-hand column and choose Export to Briefcase.

After entering the parameters for the newly created briefcase, select the Case tab at the top left and choose Download Briefcase. For more detailed information about creating and exporting Briefcases, see the Briefcase Help Link.

Creating Notes for Motions and Briefs

The Lexbe eDiscovery Platform offer a Notes feature which can be a useful tool for a Motion and Brief Bank. Users have the ability to add commentary to a document which can be done using the Notes feature.

From the Doc Viewer screen, select the Notes tab in the right-hand column. Select the New Note hyperlink, enter the page number associated with the Note, next to Status ensure the Shared option is selected, then enter a Note Title and the Note.

For more information on the Notes feature, see the Notes Tab Help Link.