Considering that large firms in the US are willing to outsource to India, and considering the success of Midwest Paralegal Services (in WI although I am in the SE), and having worked in both plaintiff and defense practices for over 10 years. I see that there is a need. That this area of litigation is time consuming and therefore often not paid it`s proper attention (meaning less money awarded, more time spent with the case open, etc.). But this is where the true facts of a case are to be found.
Attorneys have to spend hours reviewing medical records, while a paralegal could just as easily do that and the attorney could be doing more substantive tasks. In insurance defense the pressure is on to keep costs lower and outsourcing work would be a way to allow the attorney to still remain profitable.
In smaller plaintiff practices, gathering the records quickly and analyzing them thoroughly again could lead to quicker settlement, more money awarded, etc. It does the small practice no good to have 20 cases signed up and only 2 or 3 moving forward at one time. While he could have someone working on gathering, summarizing the documents that will allow him to put together his demands and get the cases all moving much quicker.
Again, my area not being a quick adapting one may not appreciate this non traditional approach but it is working in other areas of the US.
As far as the canvases go I have found other PI firms offering this, a few, and they do have work. I originally partnered with someone who was to handle the marketing of this service, we have had some orders but this person has admitted they don`t know how to market the service, so that is a few orders that we were basically lucky to get, meaning there is a need as the people stumbled upon us. As marketing was the only reason for the partnership, and that is not happening, I am thinking I need to take this bull by the horns and just do my own thing. (Interesting to note that none of the clients I have had for this service were local, they came from all over the US)