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FAQs

  • Q: Why should I use hyperlinked ebriefs?

    A: Because they're more persuasive and convenient.

    Reading a hyperlinked ebrief is easier and less distracting than reading a paper copy.

    The reader of your hyperlinked ebrief can instantly open and review the documents that you're citing, keeping the focus on your brief by eliminating the interruption of finding paper copies.

    For a long text document such as a statute, you can provide a link that jumps directly to the point that you want the reader to focus on.

    Electronic briefs present your electronic evidence more realistically by showing it in its native or near-native format.

    Hyperlinked briefs make it possible to perform an automated search of the brief and the linked documents.

    Electronic briefs reduce desktop and office clutter.

    They allow your reader to easily read your brief wherever they are without carrying volumes of paper.

    It's much easier for the reader to copy and paste from a linked electronic document than from paper.

    Hyperlinked electronic briefs are impressive and effective. Now, for the first time, they are also incredibly easy and inexpensive to create. Close

  • Q: Why should I use Composer to create hyperlinked ebriefs?

    A: Because it's the quickest, easiest, most complete, and least expensive ebrief solution. And because it lets you work interactively and with complete security.

    You can start using Composer as soon as you install it. There's virtually no learning curve.

    Composer is the only ebrief software that ensures that your ebrief and the linked documents comply with the PDF/A standard, so that they can be filed in any court that accepts PDFs. Composer also uses industry-standard software to read your documents, and so it provides maximum fidelity to the source documents with more file types than any other ebrief software. It is also the only ebrief software that allows you to highlight, excerpt, or annotate your linked documents. Finally, it is the only ebrief software that lets you create hyperlinks to internal targets within the linked documents.

    Unlike other ebrief solutions, with Composer there are no additional charges. Other ebrief solutions charge for each page, link, brief, or use. Composer is currently free (subject to its license agreement).

    Composer gives you complete, interactive control over what you're linking and how it looks. It allows you to excerpt or edit a copy of the original document before it converts the copy to PDF and links it. Since the links work as soon as you create them, if something doesn't look right, you can re-compose it immediately.

    Composer is completely secure because it works entirely within your internal network. You never need to send any documents outside of your organization to compose and finalize your ebrief. Close

  • Q: What kinds of documents can I create with Composer?

    A: Version 1.1 has special features designed for creating ebriefs and memoranda in litigation, but it isn't limited to creating submisson to a judge. In fact it has many uses completely unrelated to the practice of law.

    In litigation, you can use it to organize both the facts and the law, for your own use or to communicate with your co-counsel and paralegal support, opposing counsel, experts, your client, and the court. See, for example, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model ("EDRM"), which shows how presentations that refer to electronic documents should be used in connection with every phase of electronic discovery.

    Among other things, you can use Composer for:

    • notes to yourself;
    • instructions, reports, and updates to document review teams;
    • trial notebooks;
    • timelines;
    • case analysis outlines, memoranda, and status reports;
    • deposition outlines;
    • expert binders;
    • drafts of presentations for trial, mediation, arbitration, or settlement; and
    • legal briefs, including motions, mediation, arbitration, settlement, pretrial, trial, and post-trial. Close
  • Q: What software does someone need to read my ebrief?

    A: If you've converted your word-processed brief to PDF, the only software the reader needs is a PDF viewer such as the free Adobe Reader.

    Otherwise, the reader will also need a program that can display your brief and execute its hyperlinks. The most popular programs include Word itself, Microsoft's free Word viewer, OpenOffice Writer (downloadable free of charge from www.openoffice.org), and Corel WordPerfect. Close

  • Q: How does Composer create PDFs?

    A: Composer Version 1.1 includes its own PDF writer. It also automates Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and Sun Microsystems' OpenOffice.org application suite (which is downloadable free of charge from www.openoffice.org).

    Here is a link to a list of the file types that Composer can currently convert to PDF. Close

  • Q. Do PDFs created with Composer 1.1 comply with PDF/A?

    A: Absolutely, and therefore they can be officially filed in any court that accepts PDF filings.

    The federal court system has officially adopted the ISO's PDF/A standard as its filing standard, as have a growing number of state courts. Composer 1.1 PDFs are 100% compliant with these filing standards. Close

  • Q. Can PDFs created with Composer include audio or video?

    A: Absolutely not. The PDF/A standard prohibits audio or video. Courts, including federal courts, that have adopted the PDF/A standard WILL NOT ACCEPT PDFs containing audio or video. PDFs created with Composer do not include include audio or video. Close

  • Q: I want to use Composer to PDF a kind of file that isn't on the list.

    A: Composer is being developed rabidly to accommodate as many file types as possible. Please contact us to find out whether Composer can support the file format you need Close

  • Q: When should I use Composer instead of a service bureau?

    A: Composer Ver. 1.1 is free and easy to use. Depending on the kind of electronic brief you're creating, you may not need to use a service bureau at all.

    Composer Ver. 1.1 is by far the easiest and least expensive way to write a hyperlinked brief. If you like to draft and edit your briefs yourself, Composer is for you because it lets you see your work product and revise it at will. Composer works with most document types from your iBlaze database or produced in ediscovery, including most image files and any document that you can open in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, or OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress, or Draw.

    Each member of your litigation team can work on your hyperlinked brief from their own computer. There's no need to upload files to a web server or use browser-based composition software. There's no need to submit a brief that can only be read using a service bureau's own software.

    Service bureaus complement what Composer and your support staff can do. For example, Composer does not work with video or audio, nor does it create a hyperlinked table of contents or a hyperlinked index. Also, some courts in Texas require the linked PDFs to be contained within the same PDF file as the body of the ebrief. You can convert a Composer ebrief into a single PDF. To do that, you'll need Adobe Acrobat to consolidate the PDFs and to revise the hyperlinks.

    If you want your electronic brief to include features that Composer Version 1.1 does not provide, you may be able to add those features in-house, or you can have them done by a service bureau. Close

  • Q: Why link to a local version of legal authority?

    A: Because you can highlight the relevant part of a local copy and create a pinpoint hyperlink that takes the reader directly to that part. Close

  • Q: Can several people work on the same brief using Composer?

    A: Yes, if your electronic brief is on a Windows network drive or in a synchronized folder. (Note: Always thoroughly investigate the security of any network drive or synchronization system, including both transmission and storage, before you use it to host your ebrief.) Close

  • Q: If I reorganize my electronic brief will the hyperlinks still work?

    A: Yes. Close

  • Q: If I edit the visible text of a hyperlink will it still work?

    A: Yes. Close

  • Q: How can I provide someone with a copy of my hyperlinked brief?

    A: On any portable or downloadable media that the recipient's computer system can read. Close

  • Q: Are hyperlinked briefs created with Composer safe from viruses?

    A: Yes. Although some PDFs include active content from the original native documents, PDFs created by Composer do not, and so they cannot replicate or transmit infections from the source documents.

    It is possible for any PDF to become infected with a PDF virus. To create a demonstrably secure electronic brief, copy the folder containing the brief to a CD-ROM or DVD disc, close the disc to prevent further writing, and then scan it using reputable, fully-updated antivirus software.

    You can also scan the ebrief folder, archive it in a self-extracting archive file, and then authenticate the archive using a digital signature or other authentication method. Close

  • Q: Will a hyperlinked brief created with Composer work on a Mac?

    A: There should be no problems at all as long as the Mac OS is relatively recent. The older the Mac OS, the more likely it is that there will be file system incompatibilities that could prevent the hyperlinks from working correctly. Composer replaces certain characters in file names to maximize cross-platform compatibility. Close

  • Q: Can I submit a hyperlinked electronic brief to a particular judge?

    A: Most judges and their clerks gladly accept hyperlinked ebriefs as courtesy copies as long as you follow good security practices like those set out above and the content of the electronic version is identical to the officially-filed version. You should check the judge's rules and the rules of the court, and you should ask the judge's clerk about the best medium for submitting the brief. Close

  • Q: Can I file a hyperlinked brief with the clerk of my court?

    A: Yes, if your court has the appropriate technology and e-filing is permitted in your case. Please see this page for details. Close

  • Q: Does Composer protect my valuable electronic data?

    A: Absolutely. Composer is installed and can operate entirely on your local computer. If your brief is on a server that Composer can write to, Composer will transmit the linked copies to the appropriate directory on the server and resave your brief to the server. Your documents are as secure as the transmissions and the host server.

    The only other transmissions sent by Composer about your documents are generic error messages sent to EBriefPro's server. Error messages may include the extension of a file associated with the error (e.g., "xls") but will never include any other information about your documents. Close

  • Q: Is Composer compatible with Microsoft Office security?

    A: Absolutely. Composer can run under the tightest Microsoft Office security settings. Please see this link for more details. Close

  • Q: Is Composer itself virus-free?

    A: Absolutely. Everything included in the Composer installation has been thoroughly checked for viruses and other malware. Please be sure that your copy of the installation file for Composer bears the valid digital signature of EBriefPro Inc. If it does not, please download a clean copy from the download page. Close

  • Q: Is Composer compatible with Windows security?

    A: Absolutely. Composer is designed to run under the highest levels of Windows security. It runs in a completely locked-down environment. NOTE: A user with Administrator rights must install Composer, and, under Windows Vista or 7, User Account Control should be turned off during the installation. Close

  • Q: What are the minimum system requirements?

    A: You'll need Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or 3), or any version of Windows Vista or Windows 7. You'll also need Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, or 2010 (including Visual Basic for Applications, which is part of the standard installation). Your monitor must have a resolution of at least 1024 x 768. Composer also needs an internet connection to confirm that it is enabled and to send error messages.

    You also need to have a PDF viewer installed, such as the free Adobe Reader. Close

  • Q: Is EBriefPro Composer free?

    A: Version 1.1 is free, subject to the License Agreement. Close

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