Are lawyers ready for real-time document collaboration? Brett Burney thinks they are: Time for Lawyers to Collaborate in Real Time.
I do not agree. Drafting documents in a transaction is much more about negotiation than collaboration. I want to control drafting and control a negotiation posture.
Mr. Burney mentions using WebEx and other online meetings as a way to collaborate. I have done that a few times, but it is hard to find the right situation. For a big document, nobody wants to be going through the document line by line.
The situation is a little different when trying draft forms and templates. A collaboration model would fit better for an internal discussion or drafting session without the need for a negotiation stance. The collaboration software puts an artificial amount of technology in the way of a thoughtful discussion about the document.
Ken Adams had an interesting analysis on this Wiki, Anyone? on using a wiki and other software to draft contracts. He concludes that a wiki is not likely to be a factor in contract drafting. I agree.