Wisconsin based law firm Godfrey & Kahn has become the first US firm to roll out BigHand's digital dictation workflow system, BigHand3, to all staff and offices. The system has gone to over 350 attorneys and assistants across Godfrey & Kahn's five office network. The project, which began in November 2005, marked the availability of BigHand3 software in the United States following demand from leading corporate law firms. BigHand has also recently opened its first US office in Chicago.
 
Godfrey & Kahn initially looked at implementing a digital dictation system when old analogue tape equipment needed replacing and the supply of tapes became increasingly difficult to source. A pilot of a competing server-based dictation system initially failed, which led the firm to approach BigHand. Scott Bingenheimer, Telecommunications/Video Analyst at Godfrey & Kahn, commented: “We were looking for a server based, centralized digital dictation system for several years. The old tape based system was antiquated and very inefficient in terms of back up transcription support and having to transfer a physical tape. However, the wrong digital dictation system can cause problems with your network and with attorney and secretary buy-in. The wrong digital dictation system actually increased costs due to the additional support required and we had to keep the taped based equipment as a back up. Plus it did not improve any efficiencies. Once we brought in BigHand we never looked back. The BigHand3 system just takes it to another level.”
 
Godfrey & Kahn Managing Partner, Rick Bliss, added: “The BigHand3 Digital Dictation system has had an immediate benefit on the efficiency of our attorneys and support staff. Our attorneys can work out of any office in our network and have dictation immediately processed into documents. They can also dictate instructions via their cell phone while traveling or use BigHand software at home.”
 
BigHand3 software is used by Godfrey & Kahn offices in Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Waukesha, and Washington, DC. The firm plans to add BigHand3 to its Shanghai office in the near future.