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GoldFax for Legal

Legal firms depend upon sending and receiving faxed documents to improve the responsiveness with their clients and other parties, as well as reduce administrative costs. Lawyers reach agreements including required signatures based upon faxed documents.

A fax is considered a “writing” and is admissible in court like any other writing. Precedent has been set in the courts. The California Court of Appeals held in Hofer v. Young, 38 Cal. App. 4th 52 (1995), that a fax was just as good as sending a letter. So, is a fax legally binding? The answer can depend upon the document type and the requirements stated by the recipient. Certain documents may require original signatures such as deeds and wills.

Legal organizations and departments need to document and track fax transactions for billing purposes. They are all challenged by pressures to reduce operating costs while improving efficiency for profitability. Additionally, legal organizations and departments have initiatives for paperless office, "Go Green", the need to protect confidential information, and long-term electronic archive and retrieval of documents for disaster recovery.

Confidential documents that are regulary transmitted by fax

Change Orders
Court papers
Human Resources documents
Purchase orders
Reports - financial
Requests for quotes
Tax information
These documents are sent or received via fax. Some of these documents may originate as electronic documents (for example, statements or purchase orders from financial software) that need to be printed in order to be faxed. Other documents may be paper originals that require a signature prior to faxing.

Paper-based faxing is a manual and labor intensive document process that does not address requirements of maintaining security of confidential information or the ability to reproduce received and sent faxes. Paper-based faxing also does not support the initiatives to "Go Green" and reduce unnecessary waste. GoldFax provides an affordable solution that helps meet the security needs of legal organizations as well as reduces costs and improves productivity.

Limitations of paper-based faxing

Paper-based fax machines are inherently non-secure. A received fax or a fax that was just sent can be left in the open to be viewed by unauthorized personnel. For example, a package delivery person could walk past a paper fax machine and view patient confidential information. More risky is an unauthorized person could inadvertently or intentionally pick up, view, and remove a confidential document on a paper fax machine without the intended recipient ever receiving it. Also, many documents must be printed first before faxing - creating an additional opportunity for access to confidential information to be compromised.

The use of conventional paper-based fax machines and fax capable Multi Function Printers (MFPs) to send and receive faxes has significant limitations including:

Security, Compliance, and Litigation Risks

  • Uncontrolled Access – received faxes sit on fax device until picked up, electronic documents printed in order to manually fax and are accessible. Who has access to the faxes? How is unauthorized access being ensured?
  • No Authentication – anyone can send a fax, no documentation of who sent a fax. Who was the fax sent to or received from? Can it be documented?
  • Limited Reporting/Tracking – Can fax transactions be audited?
  • No Reproducibility – Can a previously sent or received fax be reproduced for verification?
  • More users than fax numbers - confidential documents are often faxed to general fax numbers instead of directly to the intended recipient.

High Costs

  • Cost of materials – paper and toner for fax machines, MFPs and printers
  • Equipment costs – purchase or lease of standalone fax machines and fax board options for MFPs
  • Operating costs – maintenance of fax machines, MFPs, printers, and telephone lines
  • Telephone costs – stand alone, dedicated Analog fax telephone line monthly cost is $30 to $100 per month per fax line

Productivity Issues

  • Delays – faxes sit on fax machines until manually distributed to intended recipient
  • Inefficiency – users hang around fax machines "waiting" for important faxes or print documents before they can fax them
  • More users than fax numbers - too expensive to give everyone their own fax machine and fax line
  • No integration – paper faxing is not integrated with email, financial software applications, or document and content management systems

GoldFax Fax Server Advantages over Paper-based Fax Machines and MFPs

GoldFax allows legal organizations to send and receive fax data and documents from their computers and integrated MFPs to be compliant with industry regulations.
Received Faxes
  • Inbound faxes converted to electronic image format (Adobe PDF or TIFF))
  • Personal and confidential Direct Inward Dial (DID) fax numbers vs. fax machines or fax-enabled MFPs
  • Fax routers that can only view 1st page of received fax
  • Automatic fax archiving and document/content management integration
Sent Faxes
  • Fax electronic documents directly from a user's PC without printing
  • Fax paper documents from GoldFax integrated MFPs
  • Organizational standards with automated fax cover sheets
  • Fax status notifications (success or failure) via email
  • Automatic fax archiving and document/content management integration

GoldFax Supports Legal Industry Compliance Requirements

GoldFax helps address Access, Authentication, Reporting/Tracking, and Reproducibility compliance requirements in a number of ways including:
  • Access - User Name and Password protected access to send and receive faxes via GoldFax
  • Authentication - GoldFax tracks the name of the user sending a fax via GoldFax and the name of the user or destination a received fax is routed to
  • Reporting/Tracking - GoldFax Reports provide data on all sent and received faxes
  • Reproducibility - GoldFax can archive a copy of all sent and received fax images to secured folders along with data regarding the fax transaction and integrate with any document and content management system

GoldFax Saves Money for Legal Organizations

  • Reduce or eliminate telephone costs of conventional analog fax lines
  • Fax from GoldFax integrated MFPs without expense of fax expansion kit and fax telephone line
  • Reduce paper, toner, maintenance costs of fax machines, MFPs, and printers – paperless faxing

GoldFax Improves Productivity for the Legal Team

  • Automatic fax routing directly to email
  • Fax from computer applications without printing