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The image below is an example of an invitation email which is sent when a defense attorney is assigned to a case. If the link is not clicked then there will be no access for this case. This is a basic and essential step for security reasons.
Note: There is no reason to create a duplicate discovery packet even if a defense attorney tells you they can't access it. This never helps and only serves to confuse the issue.
This is how the process works:
- Add a defense representative to a case
- If there is no discovery created for the case yet, we recommend that you set portal access to NO so they do not get the invitation email yet.
- If there is a discovery packet already created, then set portal access to Yes and save it.
- If Portal Access is saved as Yes (the default) then the invitation email will be sent to them.
- NOTE: You can add multiple defense attorneys as defense reps. Each of them can have a different email address. If they all respond to the link in the invitation email, they will each have access to the discovery for that case. They will each need their own account on the portal to access discovery.
- Add a discovery packet
- Whenever you add a discovery packet and leave it available on the portal (this is the default), the system will send an email to the defense representative if one is assigned to the case. This email is ONLY for their convenience so they know there is discovery available. It does NOT give them access to it until or unless they have responded to the Invitation Email that is sent to them.
- Please do NOT ever create a duplicate discovery packet. This will not help a defense representative access the case and will simply send another email to them which could be confusing. The other problem is that it wastes storage space on the server which is expensive and we have to pay for it.
- A possible exception to this is if you deleted the original file.
- It is, of course, necessary to create a new discovery packet if there are new documents that need to be sent.
- Defense Representative response to Invitation Email
- When a defense rep clicks on the link sent in the invitation email the system gives them access to that particular case.
- You can see if they have responded or not by going to the Discovery tab, clicking on the arrow menu and selecting “Portal Discovery Invitations”. If there is no Accepted Date, then they have not yet clicked on the link and will not have access to the case.
- This also shows you what name and email address the invitation email was sent to.
- If they have clicked on the link, there will be a date under Accepted Date, and they will have access to the case.
- If they have not accepted the invitation yet and the Expire Date has passed, you must send out the invitation email again (please see step 4).
- Resending the invitation email
- Click on Case Involvements tab
- Scroll down to the Representation panel and click on the Representative link
- On the “Allow Portal Access?” line, select No from the list and click on the Save button.
- Select Yes from the list and then on Save and Back. This will send a new portal invitation email.
- Important Points to Remember
- There is NEVER a reason to create a duplicate discovery packet. It only confuses the issue and uses up expensive server space that we must pay for.
- You can create a discovery packet before adding a defense representative. It will not send an email because there is no assigned defense attorney, but it will still be available once you add a defense attorney and give them access to the case and click on the link in the invitation email.
- There may be up to an hour delay in the email sent when the discovery packet is created. This is because creating the discovery file is a background process that is scheduled when you create the packet and might not run for 20-30 minutes, though it is sometimes much quicker than that.
- If you don't see this icon, then the discovery file isn't on the server yet and isn't downloadable.
Things you MUST consider whenever you change or add an email address (or attorney) to a case.
- Defense Attorneys are global to all users in eProsecutor. If you change something on a
defense attorney’s record it changes it for everyone. This will affect how this attorney gets
notifications and access to discovery on all future cases. This will apply for any agency that
uses this defense attorney. That shouldn’t be an issue if they directed you to change the
email address. Sometimes the attorney wants the email used to access discovery set to be the
one their legal assistant uses. This is OK, but please note the following:
- Note: a legal assistant can change, and the email address may also change. That could get complicated over time and leave some cases with discovery linked to an old or invalid email address.
- Recommendation: It is highly recommended that a defense attorney set up an office wide (generic) email address for discovery. This allows the defense attorney and any assistants that need access to get the discovery for them without needing to change the email address and portal account every time an assistant or attorney gets a new email address.
- All existing cases will only be accessible under the old email address and account on the portal.
The portal lets you access discovery based on your email address and it does not change
automatically if you change the email address on the defense rep’s record.
- If you want any existing cases to be available to the new email address, you must first change the email for the defense rep, and then re-send the invitation email for each case to the new email address so they can access it with that email address.
- NOTE: This does NOT remove access to the case from the old email address if someone logs into the portal using the old email account. We recommend that you remove access to discovery BEFORE changing the email, then after changing an email address for an attorney, re-send the invitation to the new email address.
- All discovery for cases that you add this defense rep to (after changing the email address) will only be accessible using the new email address. They won’t see any old cases even if they need discovery still for those – unless you follow the proper procedure to give access to the new email address on old, existing cases (i.e., re-sending the invitation email to the new email).
- Every email address (account) that you have sent an invitation email to and was responded to
will continue to have access to the discovery until you remove it.
- In a case where you just change the email address for the same attorney, this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you add a new attorney (i.e., the defendant hires a different one) and do not remove access from the old attorney, both will still have access to the discovery. In the latter situation, you MUST remove access from the old one first, then add the new attorney and give them access. Deleting an attorney from the case will NOT necessarily remove their access to discovery if you do not first set their access to NO (remove it).
- This means that you can have multiple attorneys – each with their own, unique email address – assigned to a case and each of them can have access to discovery unless you remove their access by changing ‘Allow Portal Access’ to NO. This should only a problem if you have different attorneys from different agencies that have represented the defendant on a case. I’m not sure what the legal issues are if you don’t remove access to discovery from an attorney that is no longer representing that defendant but believe that to be a problem.
- You do NOT need to re-create discovery packets when you change the email address that is used by the attorney or add a different attorney to the case. They will be available to anyone you’ve given access and there is never a need to duplicate or re-create a packet unless you have deleted them. The only exception is if they are over 350 days old after which the system will delete the discovery files from the server.
- Please remember to remove access from any attorney that should not have it. Do not depend on the system to remove it for you.