How to Automate Flagging & Review of Defined Term Issues and Definitions with Contract Companion

Wed 02 Aug 2023

Defined terms and definitions are a staple of any legal document. Defining the meaning of important legal terms helps legal professionals and other stakeholders better understand the contents of a document and make sense of it.

But, the process of inserting defined terms and definitions is lengthy and complex. In the chaos and time pressure of creating legal documents, it’s easy to make an error and miss removing a defined term that is left over from a source document or adding the definition of a new term. While small, these mistakes can lead to the delivery of inaccurate documents, impacting client confidence and damaging the lawyer’s reputation.

Contract Companion, part of Litera Check, is our document proofreading and review solution which sits in Microsoft Word. Contract Companion helps legal professionals detect common issues with legal documents, so they can resolve them and deliver perfect documents in less time. The solution automatically analyzes a legal document and flags issues related to cross references, numbering, spelling, editing, citations, and more. Users can see these issues in an intuitive task pane and quickly resolve them.

So, while legal professionals used to spend hours proofreading a complex document, with Contract Companion they can spend minutes and be confident that their document is error-free.

In addition to proofreading complex documents, Contract Companion also detects issues with definitions and defined terms. In our latest iteration of Contract Companion, we have revamped the workflow for checking definitions and defined terms to make it even easier and more intuitive for users so they can work the way they want.

Checking Definitions and Defined Term Issues within the Document Context

Previously known as the Active Drafting feature, the enhanced Defined Terms Checker now allows users to check for any issues with definitions and defined terms while staying in the context of the document. The In-Context Defined Terms Checker makes for an even more efficient workflow that takes less time out of the legal professional’s day and ensures that consistent, high-quality documents are delivered.

When enabled in the Microsoft Word ribbon, Contract Companion automatically analyzes the document and flags potential issues. Users see that any issues become underlined with mark-up colors that signal a definition or defined term issue.

The mark-up colors make it easy to identify what the issue with a defined term is and can be customized according to a firm’s or legal department’s preferences. Users can navigate to a color guide in the task pane and understand which colors signify a definition or a defined term issues that has been used but not defined, defined but not used, or written with inconsistent capitalization.

The flexible feature allows users to drill down on the problem by double-clicking on a definition or defined term issue, which will open the familiar task pane and show all issues and flagged items. Users can review each issue and understand where the definition or defined term is referenced, so they can also review any related references.

Right-clicking on a definition or defined term issue yields similar results with a twist and some additional options. Users have the ability to insert definition placeholders, ignore an issue, or recategorize it.

Enabling the In-Context Defined Terms Checker empowers users to review issues with defined terms even faster and be confident that their documents are of the highest quality.

Checking Definitions and Defined Term Issues from the Task Pane

With the addition of the In-Context Defined Terms Checker, users of Contract Companion get more flexibility than ever to work the way they want to. The enhancement meets you where you are without dictating your workflow and providing you options—you can either enable the In-Context Defined Terms Checker or disable it and work within your familiar workflow in the task pane.

When disabling the In-Context Defined Term Checker, you can simply analyze your document, open the task pane and review definitions and defined term issues from there. You’ll still benefit from the added ability to see where each definition has been referenced, view the reference, and tackle any issues by going to the definition with one click.

All in all, the new workflow from Contract Companion empowers you to work and be productive the way you want, all while reducing the risk of errors in your documents and enhancing your confidence that each document you deliver is of high quality and on par with firm or organization standards.

If you want to learn more about the In-Context Defined Term Checker, watch our demo or schedule a meeting with one of our experts to see it in action.

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