- How to access it
- Add/Edit a Litigation Case
- Add configurations on the fly
- Manage Litigation Case Custom Fields
- Relate Companies and Contacts
- Add Outsourced Lawyers
- Add Contributors
- Track the Matter Stages
- Track the matter Audit Report
- Manage Litigation Stages
- Manage Events
- Manage Hearings
- Relate Tasks
- Add Reminders
- Relate Documents
- Record Expenses
- Log Time on a Litigation Case
- Relate Matters
- Manage Filters on the grid
- Search for an existing Litigation Case
- Set Partner Shares
- Export to Word
- Export to Excel
How to access it
From the main menu "Matters-> Litigation Cases".
Add/Edit a Litigation Case
From the Quick Add, choose Litigation Case.
The Add form of a Litigation Case has the basic data that needs to be inserted. The mandatory fields are the ones in red only. After adding a Litigation Case, it will be designated by a Case ID that is automatically generated by the system. Once the user clicks on the Case ID from the grid, the Litigation Case form opens where the user can be view/edit the Litigation Case data. Also, through the action wheel, you can choose View/Edit
A Litigation Case form has a lot of important data to be tracked such as:
- Litigation case details:
- Name: Name of the case, the best practice is to enter information that will make this case easier to search for later on.
- Practice area: A customizable drop-down list to define the related area of practice for this case. Types can be for example Criminal, Financial, Civil, Labor, Real Estate and so on.
- Workflow Status: A Workflow should be defined in the Settings> Matters> Manage Workflows. It is thought of as the action that transits the matter from one Status to the other. For more info, visit the Configure Workflow page in the Settings. Matter Statuses are reflected on the Matter Board.
- Internal Reference number: It is the internal numbering of a matter that is different than that of the Court. This is the firm's reference of file number of the matter.
- Matter Priority: A defined list that is hard coded. Priority serves the color coding on Matter Boards.
- Stage: Select the Litigation Stage this Case will start in. This is a customizable list that depicts the Litigation Stages a Case can go through. ex. First Instance, Appeal, Cassation, and so on.
- Matter Values such as Matter Value, Judgment Value and Recovered Value. These Values are depicted in a Report called Judgment Value vs. Matter Value per Client in Money Reports. Matter Values are associated with 2 Reports in the Reporting Module called Matter Value Tiers and Matter Value per Client.
- Client name: A Client could be either a Company or a Contact. The Client can also be added on the fly if they didn’t already exist in the application by pressing on the “Click to add” after searching for them.
- Client and the Client Position: A Client could be either a Company or a Contact. The Client can also be added on the fly. The Client Position is a defined list that is managed through the Settings → Matters section→ Matter Client Positions.
- Opponent(s): An Opponent could be either a Company or a Contact. The Opponent can also be added on the fly. Many Opponents can be added to a Litigation Case. The Opponent is a defined list that is managed through the Settings→ Litigation stage→ Opponent Positions.
- Matter Details such as Subject, Description and latest Development.
Custom Fields: If there’s any additional information you wish to capture and we don’t have a field for it, you can create a Custom Field, give it a name and a type.
Along the right side of the page you have sections for the People related to this Case, Privacy options, the Dates and Times.
- Assigned Team: Medium to Large teams may wish to divide the Legal teams based on their specialty. Teams are managed through the Settings-> Assigned Team in the Teams section. By default all Users belong to an Assigned Team called All Teams.
- Assignee: The App4Legal user who is assigned on this matter who compulsorily has to belong to the above chosen Assigned Team. This is managed through the Settings-> Users & Permissions section-> Manage Users. Within the User form, go to Personal information and choose the Member of field to be the appropriate Assigned Team so that the name of the user appears in the drop-down list.
- Requested by: the specific Contact person who requested for this case
- Dates such as Arrival Date, Filed on Date, Due Date and Closed on Date. The Filed on Date should always be greater than the Arrival Date. The Due Date is always greater than the Filed on Date. When the matter is successfully added, the matter will have a new field called Closed on Date. The minimum that the Closed on Date can be is the Filed on Date.
- Estimation of effort: It is where an effort could be estimated versus the actual Time Logs that are recorded on the matter. This could work as an assessment of the performance on this matter.
- Privacy: A Litigation Case can be marked as Private and hence it will not appear to other users on App4Legal. If a user is the creator of the matter and marks it as Private, he/she will be the owner of this matter . The Private matter could also be Shared with other specified Users. Users who are marked to Override Privacy will be able to see any Private object in App4Legal.
Add configurations on the flyAll drop-down lists in App4Legal are configurable through the Settings. Luckily, some configurations can be configured on the fly. For instance, in the Litigation Case form, a user is adding data and wants to have a new Area of Practice swiftly. There is a blue plus sign that can assist the user to add a new value to the Area of Practice drop-down list on the fly.
Values that can be similarly added on the fly in a Litigation Case form are:
- Practice Area
Manage Litigation Case Custom Fields
Visit the Configure Matter page more info.
Relate Companies and Contacts
In the Companies & Contacts section in a matter , the user can relate a Contact or a Company to the Litigation Case and specify the Role with Comments.
Roles are defined lists from the Settings. Also Roles could be added on the fly as discussed in above bullets.
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Add Outsourced Lawyers
In case there is a need to Outsource the Litigation Case to an external counsel, in the Outsource to Lawyers section you can track such information.
In case there are Contributors on the Litigation Case, in the Contributors section you can track such information.
Add Matter Notes
In the Notes section, Notes can be added to the matter such as any development or MOMs or similar. Notes are tracked in a chronological order. Once the Note section is expanded, the first Note is expanded by default. Notes can also be added on behalf of another User and with an appropriate date. A note can have an attachment on it that will appear in the Related Documents under Notes file. A URL can also be linked to a matter Note.
Through our Outlook Add-in feature or Gmail Add-in feature, Emails can be uploaded as Matter Notes as well.
Note that if the Client Portal feature is active and the matter originates from the Client Portal, Users have the option to select if this Note is visible of not from the Client Portal side.
Track the Matter Stages
Changes on matter stages are tracked in a report within the History section. All what the user has to do is just change the stage of a Litigation Case and accordingly the counters of the report will be activated. A Case Stage Report tracks for how long the matter lingered in a certain Stage, by whom it was moved and when. Records can be edited in case of a mistake using the action wheel next to every entry. The Report can be exported to excel using the top right action wheel.
Track the matter Audit Report
An Audit report tracks basic changes on a matter. It can store information such as the variation of the Assigned Member, who changed the field and when.
Manage Litigation Stages
In the Stages & Activities tab you can track:
- The Judgment Date
- External/Court Reference: One or more reference can be added along with the date of issuing and a Comment concerning it.
- Court information: Courts can be managed from the Settings-> Litigation stages->Courts section. The Courts are designed to be like a tree. For instance, a Court of a certain type can belong to 2 or more degrees and one of these degrees is found in only 1 region let’s say. Hence when the user picks the Court Type, the system will only display the allowed degrees and when the user choose the Degree, only relevant Regions appear. Court data can also be added on the fly via the Stages & Activities tab.
Events on a Litigation Case can be tracked under the Stages & Activities tab. An Event has a type and the created by user. The activities tab will allow the user to add a hearing, task and a reminder as well.
Hearing related to a Litigation Case can be managed through the Stages & activities tab.
Hearings can be added via the Hearings button → Add new hearing, from the Hearings grid or from the Quick Add drop-down list. Once a Case is inserted in a Hearing form, all the data that is inserted in the Litigation Data tab is fetched. If the Hearing is being added from within the activities tab in a Case, the associated Case is selected by default.
Once a Hearing is saved, a Reminder is created to the Lawyers in charge with the Hearing Date being the Due date of the Reminder. If a Hearing is postponed, the system will automatically dismiss the old Reminder and create a new one with the new Postponed date.
A Hearing is designated with a Subject. The Subject is the hyperlink that will open the edit form of a Hearing. The Search field in the Hearings grid searches in the Hearing Subject, Reference number and Summary. The Reference number in a Hearing has the same entries as the External/Court Reference entries in the Litigation Data tab. From the action wheel of the Hearing, there is an action that can visualize the Hearing on the Calendar. Moreover, a Hearing could be cloned.
If there is any change on the Hearing, for example change of Court data, editions can be applied at the Hearing level. Cloning this Hearing will apply the changes to the future Hearings being added via the clone button.
- Relate Tasks
In the Stages & activities tab of a Case, you can Click on Tasks button to view all the related tasks in ascending order or descending order. For more info about the Task module, visit the Manage Tasks page. Tasks can be related to a Case or not. Tasks can be added from the Tasks grid or from the Quick Add drop-down list. If the Task is being added from within the activities tab in a Case, the associated Case is selected by default.
The Related Reminders on a case are tracked in a dedicated tab. If the Reminder is being added from within the activities tab in a Case, the associated Case is selected by default. A Reminder can be added from Add Reminder.
The action wheel next to every Reminder entry is useful to apply additional actions such as View/Edit.
You may wish to relate a Reminder to a Case at any time, you can directly go to the bell-shape icon on the top right of the screen, click on it. A list of pending Reminders will appear in case they are previously added. At the bottom of the list, there is an Add action. The form the user will be directed to will allow him/her to choose the Reminder Type and choose the desired Case in the Related Case section. For more info about the Reminders, visit the Manage Reminders page.
The user can relate Documents to a Litigation Case such as MOMs, Agreements, Proxies, Court information etc.. Documents can be arranged in folders. Privacy can also be applied on a folder and the privileged user can control with whom to share the file.
Files and Folders can be Categorized by Type, Status and optional Comments. Document Type and Statuses are managed via the Settings.
Documents can be related by either physically applying Documents can be added by 2 ways. Either by the drag-and-drop procedure or by uploading the files.
Note that if a File/Folder is added/uploaded with spaces in its name, the system will automatically replace the spaces with underscore for technical reasons. After the File/Folder is added, they can be managed using the action wheel on the grid.
File/Folders can be
- Shared With: Folder can be set as Private that means only the creator can see it and with chosen App4Legal Users if needed. Folders that are locked are designated with a lock sign. Users who are set to Override Privacy can see all Private objects on App4Legal.
- Copy Path: Folder/Files paths can be copied in order to be shared with colleagues for fast access.
Through the actions button, a document can also be generated according to a predefined template.
As an alternative to manually adding Files/Folders, and if there's an already implemented Document Management System, you may map a URL to the Litigation Case documents to any Network Drive or Web link.
- Inline Edit of Office Documents:
App4Legal's Documents module offers a very nice feature that allows the user through App4Legal to edit Office documents called Document Editor. This feature is supported only on IE 11. All what the user has to do is click on Open in Document Editor. The user can edit the Document and click Save, the Document will be saved directly in the Documents module.
If a user has the Document open and is editing it in the meantime, if another user tries to open the same Document the system will prompt a message informing the user that the Document is already in use.
The Expenses on a Case are tracked in a dedicated tab. Record Expense can be done
1- Through the Expenses tab on a Case via the Actions button-> Record Expense
2- The Quick Add drop-list
3- The Expenses grid in the Money module.
4- From the action wheel next to every Litigation Case in the grid
If the Record Expense is done via the Expenses tab in a Case, then the Related Case and Client are selected by default.
You can also check one from this flags:
- This Case is Internal and all expenses related to this case are not billable
- The Time tracking related to this case is billable by default
The Status of your Case if you want it billable or internal will be impacted based on your choice.
Via the Expenses tab, a "Statement of Expenses" can be generated on this Case. Expenses may also be exported to an Excel sheet. For more information about the Expenses, visit ourManage Expensespage.
Log Time on a Litigation Case
Logging Time on a Case is done in many ways
1- Through the Time Logs tab in a Case via the Actions button->Log Time
2- Through the Time Tracking grid
3- Through the Manage Timer on the top right of the screen:
4- Through the action wheel next to the Litigation Case entry in the grid via the Log Time or the Start Timer
Once the Timer is stopped, the Time Log will be directly associated with the specified Case or Task. Time Logs can then be managed through the Time Tracking grid.
If the Log Time is done via the Time Logs tab in a Case, then the Related Case is selected by default. Time Logs can also be done on a Task. If Log Time is done via the Time Logs tab in a Case, then the Task has to be also related to this specific Case.
Time Logs can be either billable or non-billable. The Comment inserted related to this Time log will be concatenated with the Time Type and inserted as a Description of the Invoice item.
Logged Time is considered to be the effective estimation of effort. Hence, in the Case form, under effort you will find that the system will calculate the total effective effort and compares it with the estimated effort for better assessment.
User Rate per Hour is defined in the Settings tab. However, the predefined rates can be overrode via the Specific User Rates grid. This grid is specifically used to define the User Rate that are specific to this Case only. Specific Rates can be added via the Actions button-> Add User Rate. The added Users are managed in the grid. Editing the value can be done by double clicking on the grid itself.
In the Related Matters, relation can be created between one Matter and another. In the Relate to Matter field you can look up for the Matter to be added, choose it, choose Add Relation and in the Comment field you can double click and add the business need behind the relation.
Manage Filters on the grid
App4Legal offers the ability to save predefined filters. For instance, a user uses the Advanced Search to apply a certain filter on Cases in App4Legal database. The user wishes to apply this filter every time the grid was accessed. Managing filters is easy and is done via the Cases grid.
Once any filter in the Advanced Search is applied, all what the user has to do is Add Filter. Then later on, whenever the Filter is chosen from the list of Filters, the Advanced Search filters automatically apply and the grid is filtered automatically.
If there is a need to edit or delete any Filter, click on Manage Filters.
If a Filter is chosen and you wish to update the filters applied in the Advanced Search, it is possible. Go to the Advanced Search, apply your new filters and choose, Submit and Update Filter. If you do not wish to impact the filter, you can just click on the regular Submit. It will not take any action over the Filters.
Search for an existing Litigation Case
There are 3 methods to search for an existing Litigation Case: Quick Search, Advanced Search and Universal Search:
- In Quick Search, from within the Cases grid, you can type any string from the Subject of the Case and hit Enter from your keyboard to generate your search results.
- Using Advanced Search, you can run your search on a specific field from the Case form. You'll have the possibility also to modify the operator of search for each field (i.e. equal, begins with, contains, >, <, and more). The Advanced Search menu is hidden by default; you need to click on the link Advanced Search from the Companies grid to view it.
- With Universal Search, you can type any string from the Subject of the Case and hit Enter from your keyboard to generate your search results. The Universal Search looks into all the App4Legal database.
Set Partner SharesPartner Shares has to be activated first in the Money Settings. For more information visit the Money Settings page. Companies/Contact should also be flagged as Partners from within the Money Module. For more information visit our Partners page.
Once the Partner Shares is activated and the Partners are defined, through the action wheel on the top right of the Case, Shares of Partners can be predefined so that it take action in the Invoice module. The total of Shares shouldn't exceed 100.
Export to Word
Via the action wheel on the top right of the Litigation Case, a Litigation Case can be exported to Word.
Or from the Action wheel next to a Litigation Case on the grid
The most important data is visualized in a Word document.
- Delete a Matter
From the action wheel, there is an option to delete a matter. A matter if not related to any Money object such as Expense, Bill or Invoice, may be deleted from the system along with all the related metadata.
Delete can also be done from within the matter form.
- Show SLA Elapsed Time
From the action wheel on the top right of the Litigation Case, when the SLA functionality is activated you can see the activity on the SLA if it's met or breached.
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Export to Excel
The Cases grid can be exported to an excel sheet at any moment Export bottom. Also, search results can be exported to an excel sheet separately.
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