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Newbie. Setting up a server for a law firm. Want to set up the folder structure as follows:

Client 1 Name
 -- Matter 1 (i.e. setting up corporation)
 -- Matter 2 (i.e. divorce)
 -- Matter 3 (i.e. setting up trust)
Client 2 Name
 -- Matter 1
Client 3 Name
 -- Matter 1

and so on. But the attorneys prefer navigating a folder structure, more based on what case type:

Civil
 -- Client 1 Name (i.e. Smythe)
 -- Client 2 Name (i.e. Jones)
 -- Client 3 Name (i.e. Johson)
 -- Landlord/Tenant
    -- Client 1 Name (i.e. Jones)
    -- Client 2 Name (i.e. Johson)
 -- Class Action Suits
    -- Suit 1
    -- Suit 2
Personal Injury
 -- Client 1 Name
 -- Client 2 Name
 -- Client 3 Name
Criminal
 -- Client 1 Name (i.e. Smythe)

I'd like to know if it's possible to set up the server with the first folder structure (it's more organized and easier to employ scripts), while having the second folder structure available for users who find it easier to deal with the same types of cases grouped together.

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1 Answer

One of the most important things to remember is that the file system doesn't do well with meta data. If there is more than one way to arrange data without someone consistently maintaining the structure things tend to get a bit mushed together and misplaced. I've been dealing with problems like this for years trying to get the IS department documentation in order and that isn't even getting out to the general population. At my last job it took us over three years of tuning to get our file systems into good working order.

If you really need to have these 'multiple views' I would highly suggest that you look at some way of handling metadata so that the view is abstracted from the contents. There are a lot of ways of addressing this, including Sharepoint, various wikis, etc.

Attempting to do all of this directly on the file system is asking for trouble. If you need to stick with a file system only solution take what the client wants and forget the rest.

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