Bell County DA's office goes digital with E-Discovery Portal - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

BELL COUNTY

Bell County DA's office goes digital with E-Discovery Portal

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BELL COUNTY - The Bell  County District Attorney's office is going digital.  The new initiative is getting rave reviews from  lawyers and the DA says taxpayers should be pleased too.  Thanks to the E-Discovery Portal, attorneys can ditch the piles of paper and access all the information they need about their cases online. District

Attorney Henry Garza knew there had to be a better way to save, archive, store and preserve the information.  He says, "We're good stewards in Bell County.  When we can we save money however we can."

And that's how the E-Discovery Portal came to be.  It gives prosecutors and defense attorneys all the case info they need online.

Garza says, "When you can scan and upload information electronically and document and preserve it, at the end of the day you save every penny it take for every page."

Because of a recent act, Texas DA's offices must turn over every piece of evidence collected by law enforcement.  Defense attorney Michelle Tuegel, who has clients in several counties, says she usually gets hard copies of that discovery in bits and pieces.

She's thrilled with Bell County's new portal.  Tuegel says, "For example, in the case where I've used it recently they had over 100 documents in the portal and all I had to do with a click of a button was download them into a folder onto our server."

Tuegel thinks justice will be better served with the new portal and that cases will move through the system more quickly and efficiently.  She says, "I just think it's a great thing and I would encourage and hope that more counties follow suit like Bell County has in using a program like this."

Attorneys can access the E-Discovery Portal from any device, whether it be a laptop or a smart phone.  The entire project was developed in-house by Bell County's IT department.

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