Posted January 23, 2018 in Photocopy
By Tom Alkema, Ronsin
The Troubling Existence Of The ROI
Over the past couple of years much has been discussed in the halls of CALSPro about the increase in the number of third party companies that are being hired to manage and release the records we seek to obtain for our clients. These hired companies are called by a few different names with release of information being the most common, or ROI.
We all have varying opinions about the place and role these ROI entities have taken as we are forced to deal with them while in the process of getting records. Within this spectrum of experiences some are finding the existence of the ROI company a nuisance while others are feeling that the existence of their very own business is being placed in jeopardy.
What I think most of us see as troubling is that, when hired by an attorney to obtain records, either by signed authorization or by subpoena, the existing laws appoint us as the one who should copy the records. When using a signed authorization, the point is clearly made in Evidence Code 1158 (b), (c) and when a subpoena has been issued in Code of Civil Procedures 2020.430 (e), and then over to Evidence Code 1560 (e).
So what is a photocopy company to do in the wake of this ongoing development and the growing presence of the ROI industry?
I personally see a couple of options and approaches to the issue, both of which I hope all of us can unite around and enact so as to remain viable and to better serve our clients.
Hold Them To The Law
First, regardless of how records exist or how your client wants them produced, study up on the code sections above and hold the custodian and or ROI entity to the law, or as close to as possible. Demand an itemized receipt and do not pay for things that are not permitted by law. Educate your clients that these nickels and dimes they are paying are only increasing their bottom line costs. You and they are in the right — so hold your ground.
This first point is so crucial. Too many clients just authorize us to pay the illegal and excessive costs for expediency and are not understanding that paying a nickel more today becomes a dime tomorrow, then a quarter, and then a dollar. Lets all work to get our clients to say no to any more over charges.
Add Value For Your Client
Second, regardless of how you obtained the records, strive to add value to what you produce for your client. Here are some ways:
- Improve the packaging
- Perk up the way the records are organized
- Add features to an electronic record that enables the client to do things that they cannot do with paper or that were not there when handed to you from the custodian
- Store them in an easily retrievable platform with repeat access at a fair cost
The quality and uniqueness of your product validates your existence and creates a reason for your client to use your services.
Be more than just a fulfillment center, be a resource that fights for your client and one that adds value to the delivered product.
May we all approach this issue in the same way and experience great successes this year.