Litigation - Full Package
The U.S. Litigation Package, designed and developed by OTB Consulting, customizes Actionstep for six common practice areas.
Once you have an Actionstep account (either paid or trial), the Litigation Package can be installed by contacting the developer of the Litigation Package at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of the U.S. Litigation Packages
The U.S. Litigation Packages jump start implementing Actionstep in your law practice by loading one or more pre-customized packages for your firm’s area(s) of practice. This dramatically decreases the work you would otherwise have to do customize Actionstep for your practice, and learn how to use it.
Actionstep is a very robust and comprehensive SaaS (Software as a Service) legal practice management system. In addition to managing the standard types of data that law firms handle (contacts, cases, calendars, tasks, documents, emails, file notes, etc.), Actionstep also includes several powerful features that until now only premise-based practice management programs have offered.
However, with power comes a degree of complexity. Most attorneys don’t have the time or inclination to learn how to customize Actionstep for their practices, and few have any experience configuring any practice management system, whether SaaS or premise-based. (Neither do they prepare their own tax returns because their time is not well spent trying to be their own accountant.) The U.S. Litigation Packages are designed for those firms that want a very robust and comprehensive practice management system, but know that their time is better spent practicing law and helping their clients than configuring a practice management system from scratch.
The U.S. Litigation Packages have been designed to customize Actionstep for six practice areas that are common throughout the U.S.:
- General Litigation
- Personal Injury (Plaintiff)
- Workers’ Compensation (Claimant)
- Family Law
- Criminal Law (Defendant)
- DUI (Defendant)
Our Prospecting action type is Included with each package to manage your “sales funnel,” from the first contact with a prospect, whether that is an incoming call or email from the prospect or the prospect completing an info request form on your website. It tracks and manages the process between that first contact and the client retaining your firm to maximize the probability of the prospect retaining your firm. It prevents prospects who don’t hire you on the first call or meeting from falling between the cracks. It makes it easy to see which prospects you need to get back to and when. It tracks the lead source for both your new prospects and new cases so you can see which lead sources are most productive, which helps you make smart marketing decisions. You can also use Actionstep’s Marketing Campaigns and Activities to track your marketing expenditures and the income derived from those marketing efforts.
Each U.S. Litigation Package can be further customized for the specific needs of your practice or jurisdiction. Each is sold separately, but multiple Litigation Packages can be combined for firms that practice in multiple areas of law.
Action Types and Workflow
The U.S. Litigation Package increases your efficiency and productivity by managing the workflow of your cases. An “assembly line” of steps manages each case from your first contact with the prospective client to the closing of the case, and everything in between.
The U.S. Litigation Package includes powerful workflow features that are customized for each practice area. When a case is moved to the next step, the required or optional tasks and documents are added automatically. For example, when a PI case is moved to the Pre-Trial Negotiations step, tasks are added to “Summarize Medical Records and Expenses,” and another to “Prepare Settlement Demand,” and a letter to the insurance adjuster can be merged with the appropriate claim number and other reference information.
The tasks that are added automatically, as well as manually-entered tasks, appear on the case record, on a master task list, on the task list of the staff assigned to do this work, as well as other filtered lists. This workflow replaces the need for someone to recognize that a case has reached a certain point, and perform the necessary tasks. It reduces confusion, enables you to complete your work faster with fewer mistakes, and allows you to provider higher quality legal services at less cost to you, thus improving client satisfaction and generating better referrals.
It also allows you to see where all of your cases are in the workflow process, and how long they have been there. For example, if there are a lot of PI cases in the Pre-Trial Negotiations step and they have been there a long time, you should probably investigate what is causing the backup.
Custom Data and Participant Types
All case management programs include certain basic data fields. For example, contact records include name and address, and case records include case name and client name. Not all case management systems allow you to add more fields, and fewer allow you to add fields that are specific to a practice area or type of contact so that you can manage all of the information you need from your computer without the need to search though heaps of data or rely on a paper file.
Actionstep not only provides the ability to add an unlimited number of data fields so that you can add fields for the type of data you want to track, but the fields are also specific to an area of law or Participant (contact) type. For example, a field for “Charges” can be added so that it only appears in criminal cases, and does not appear in other types of cases; and a field for “Separation Date” can be added so that it only appears in family law cases and not in other types of cases.
Actionstep Participant Types are categories of contacts. The U.S. Litigation Package adds over 60 different Participant Types, such as Client, Responsible Attorney, Opposing Attorney, etc. Each Participant Type has fields specific to that Type. For example, the U.S. Litigation Package includes a Participant Type of “Medical Treatment Provider,” with fields for Initial Treatment Date, Final Treatment Date, Specialty, Witness Evaluation, etc. The information you enter in these fields will be different from case to case, but the Participant’s name, address, etc., will remain the same.
These fields can also be merged into document templates so that, for example, a letter to the court can be merged with the address in the court’s Participant record, but with the case number of the case you are working on. You can use the same template to merge the same letter in another case, which will merge that case’s case number.
All of the data in Actionstep can be merged with document templates to automate the assembly of routine documents. The U.S. Litigation Package includes routine templates that include engagement and non-engagement letters, medical record requests, police report requests, and letters to all Participants. You can add your own language to these document templates, and create additional templates from your own firms. These templates reduce the time it takes to create your standard documents, and make it less likely that mistakes will be made than when copying and pasting from an existing document.
The U.S. Litigation Package customizes several Actionstep functions to manage your workflow. Tasks are automatically added as part of the workflow process, and can be added manually as well. When a case is moved to the next step, the required or optional tasks and documents are added automatically. For example, when a PI case is moved to the Pre-Trial Negotiations step, tasks are added to “Summarize Medical Records and Expenses,” and another to “Prepare Settlement Demand,” and a letter to the insurance adjuster can be merged.
These tasks appear on the case record, on a master task list, and on various Task Views. The U.S. Litigation Package includes 18 Task Views to show Task Lists such as “Deadlines Due-Mine,” “Tasks Not Completed-All High Priority,” etc. Any of the lists of Tasks generated from these Views can also be automatically emailed to you daily. Managing tasks in this manner replaces the need for someone to recognize that a case has reached a certain point, and perform the necessary tasks. It reduces confusion, enables you to complete your work faster with fewer mistakes, and allows you to provide higher quality legal services at less cost to you, thus improving client satisfaction and generating better referrals.
To assist you in learning how to use the U.S. Litigation Package, Wiki help is included for each function in the system. Topics include:
- Case Forms
- Injuries (PI and Workers’ Comp)
- Marital Property (Family Law)
- Charges and Bail (Criminal Law and DUI)
- Tests and Driver’s License Suspensions (DUI)
- Calendar Management
- Case Closure
- $10 per user per month for a required “foundation package,” which includes the Prospecting action type, the General Litigation action type, Task Views, and one of the other Action Types (PI, Workers’ Comp, Family Law, Criminal, and DUI).
- $5 per user per month for each additional area of law, or all five additional practice areas for an additional $15 per user per month (total of $25 per user per month).