Production in MasterFile takes place via a briefcase. Briefcases facilitate collaboration, collection, production, Bates numbering and archiving of documents for discovery or disclosure. The dissemination format can be paper or electronic as individual PDF files, one bookmarked PDF file, original native files, or mixed PDF and native files. MasterFile also tracks the production and disclosure history of each production set and its documents whether they were disclosed in image, PDF or native format.

How briefcases work

Briefcases are a special type of MasterFile database designed for production in which you collect documents for production and Bates numbering. They work exactly like regular MasterFile databases but their functions are specific to production. A briefcase is tied to and created from within a specific case database. A case can have any number of related briefcases for production, disclosures, archival or other purposes.

You can

  • Add and remove documents from briefcases collecting them over time, rather determining and producing an entire disclosure in one sitting.
  • Collaborate on the disclosure set within a MasterFile briefcase as you do in MasterFile.
  • Delegate the mechanics of the production process so you only have to focus on document selection and review.
  • Stamp the disclosed version of a document in PDF or image productions with Bates numbers, watermarks, headers, footers and redaction as required.
  • Deliver disclosures as paper or in electronic form as individual files (in native, PDF or single/multi-page TIFF). PDF disclosures can also be created as one bookmarked PDF file. A disclosure set always includes a load file for the receiving party.
  • Maintain a catalog of the documents disclosed in each production set and the disclosure history of its individual documents and Bates numbers in the case database.
  • Save all or selected files from the  briefcase to disk.
  • Manage different disclosure requests for the same case simultaneously in their own briefcases.

Native files can be interspersed with PDFs in a mixed production. Since native files are not stamped, Bates numbers and, if applicable, exhibit numbers are added to the native filename locating its place in the production sequence.  See this article for more information.

A production set often involves others collaborating on the document selection process. 

We suggest you create a folder based on the 'by Date' view to collect the documents to be produced. All users can then add to, remove and/or review the production set's documents in that folder. Folders are explained here.

Once the document set is complete, replicate the case database to a Full Administrator's local workstation for production. Processing is significantly faster locally and we recommend production be run locally.

After replication completes, create and process the briefcase locally on that workstation.

Once production is complete, and you have locked the briefcase, you can replicate it and the case database to the server. Others can then access the briefcase too, and the production history in the case database.


  1. Briefcases are linked to the case database from which they were created. Only documents from that case database can be added to a briefcase.
  2. Briefcases are a special type of MasterFile database and have limited functionality and views. Briefcases only store copies of documents from the case database in an 'abridged' document profile. This abridged document profile has specific fields that hold a doc-link to the same profile in the case database, and after it has been produced, any production errors, exhibit numbers, Bates page numbers and other details as applicable. (Note that in the example below, the briefcase has not yet been produced so many fields are still blank).
  1. No document crunching, conversion or OCR processing takes place in a briefcase. Therefore, unless you are running a native or mixed production, all documents in the production set must already have been crunched (i.e. have PDF versions and OCR) before they are added to the briefcase. When processing starts, if any selected profiles are missing a PDF, an error will be reported and all such profiles will be tagged in the case database for you to review. Either crunch those to create PDF versions as needed, or, if you had intended to produce those as a mixed production, with native and PDF files, restart the production with the briefcase's Evidence Cruncher 'Create PDF stub files' option.
  2. When the briefcase has been produced and locked, the case database will be updated with each produced document's production date, description and Bates numbers, etc.
  3. Regardless of the disclosure format, a MasterFile briefcase is always created first and then printed or dumped to disk as needed.

Keep briefcases in case you need to reproduce any disclosures and also, to retain an exact copy of documents as they were disclosed.

User management

  • Only 'Full Administrators' of a case database can create or lock briefcases for it. 
  • Briefcases are created on the same server as the case database and can not be replicated until completed and locked.
  • Users designated as 'Senior users' or 'Administrators' in the source MasterFile database remain the same in the briefcase and are able to add or remove documents from the briefcase.
  • All other users of the source MasterFile database are made 'Regular read only' users.
  • 'Full Administrators' can use [R+ Administration > User Administration] in the briefcase to add or remove additional users if needed.