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Legal Software for Litigation

by Shrisha Sapkota

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

Litigation Law

In law, litigation or settlement, is a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case, reached either before or after court action begins.[1] Litigation, in ordinary speech, refers to actions contested in court; this involves a claim, a dispute or conflict, and the use of a specific institution, the court, to resolve the conflict or dispute.[2]

For those looking to determine if a legal matter falls within the category of litigation, consider whether a lawsuit would solve the matter. If so, the case qualifies as litigation, and an attorney practising in this area should be retained. If there is no potential for a lawsuit, because there is no controversy or because all of the parties are in agreement, then the issue cannot be described as settlement.[3]

A collective settlement is a settlement of multiple similar legal cases. The term also has other meanings in the context of law. Structured settlements provide for future periodic payments, instead of a one time cash payment.[4] A settlement, as well as dealing with the dispute between the parties is a contract between those parties, and is one possible (and common) result when parties sue (or contemplate so doing) each other in civil proceedings. The plaintiffs and defendants identified in the lawsuit can end the dispute between themselves without a trial.[5]

There are a wide range of cases which can be resolved using litigation. These can include:

  • Commercial disputes e.g. claims for breach of contract such as damaged goods or recovery of debts
  • Matrimonial matters e.g. determining the extent of a spousal claim in a divorce action[6]
  • Claims against the state e.g. A judicial review of a planning decision[7]
  • Personal injury claims e.g. monetary claims arising out of an accident where a person suffered harm[8]
  • Employment disputes e.g. a claim for wrongful dismissal[9]

Litigation Law Firm’s Shift Towards The Digital Era

A litigation law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law.[10] It is the job of a civil litigation firm to protect the clients’ investments, rights, and opportunities.[11] Because law schools do not generally teach new attorneys the business skills to run a law office, many offices have turned to technology to ease the learning curve and reduce clerical errors.[12]

Acquiring new clients is the lifeblood of any legal firm. The client intake process is an important part of law firm growth and the overall client lifecycle, particularly if the goal is to provide exceptional client service in law firms.[13]To keep up with the changing of times as well as to broaden their horizons, a lot of legal firms have started their personal legal firm software.

Software applications have become increasingly important in modern law practice. Picking the best software for a law office depends on many variables. Attorneys/Solicitors often buy their software based on their practice area.[14] The judiciary have expressed interest in the potential for electronics filing to reduce costs and increase efficiency and online alternative dispute resolution as a means to reduce costs to claimants increasing access to justice. Technological approaches are being used to provide guidance for sentencing in some courts across the globe, including machine-learning based solutions.[15]

Use of tools for law or legal research is now very common within the legal field. Commercial companies offer services where a lawyer can pay to search case law, contracts, and practice guidelines. In some countries, case law can be accessed for free using the internet.[16]

Litigation law practices are no different than what has been mentioned above.

Law Practice Management Software and Litigation Software

The case with the legal universe has been however a tad bit more challenging compared to other business systems. A sector that has been late in adopting technology to enhance business operations, the legal department is also picking up pace expeditiously.[17] Most law firms have transitioned to using legal practice softwares these days.

Law practice management software is a legal software tool which is designed to manage a law firm’s case and client records, billing and bookkeeping, schedules and appointments, deadlines, computer files and to facilitate any compliance requirements such as with document retention policies and courts’ electronic filing systems. [18]

Legal practice management software helps avoid administrative or calendaring errors that put the law firm at risk. If attorneys are using several different tools to manage their practice, they should consider whether the work might be more efficient from one central platform.[19] Litigation software is also a kind of legal software.

Litigation software is one of the tools for litigation law practice that brings together all the components needed to run a firm. Within it, an intuitive legal practice management solution allows the law firm to see all the moving pieces of their matters – like clients, documents, notes, etc. – alongside a fully integrated billing and legal accounting system.[20]

Civil litigation software keeps the law firm organised so that the case handlers can focus on providing their clients exceptional litigation representation. It helps reduce time in billing, particularly if multiple billing arrangements are being used for the same client across several matters. Civil litigation software can also help to automate many of the repetitive tasks that come with running a civil litigation firm, keep the firm’s many moving tasks organised, and eliminate productivity roadblocks so that the lawyers or case handlers’ can focus on what matters most: representing the clients.[21]

Litigation laws mostly deal with contracts. So, the focus for a lot of lawyers and law firms working in litigation cases have been attempts to improve the design of contracts, which have traditionally been seen as documents by lawyers for lawyers. Suggested improvements to the design of contracts have considered how contracts could convey more information visually, more directly address business needs, and improve relationships between the parties of a contract. Scholars have suggested the use of so-called self-executing contracts, where the terms of the contract are automatically updated by a computer using predefined rules.[22] A further step would be the generation of a machine-readable representation of the contract that could be used in other automated processes such as contract management software for legal departments.[23] Knowledge graphs are being applied to assist in the creation, management, and analysis of smart contracts.[24]

Key Features Of Litigation Softwares

  • Manage and oversee all aspects of the firm’s law practice in one centralised location
  • Keep the client data, contact info, important documents & more protected from security threats and ransomware
  • Automate common workflows and tasks to save time across the entire practice
  • Access all of the most important information related to specific clients, cases, matters and staff members from anywhere
  • Invite clients to view everything related to their case in one place[25]

Legal practice management software for lawyers also allows users to store all of the law firm’s information in one secure place, digitally. This creates a working environment that has better access to information and supports better coordination across a greater range of tasks. Everyone always has access to the most up-to-date case and contact details at all times, and no one has to spend time chasing down information.[26]

Why Use Litigation Software?

Litigation Management Softwares have been created by the software firms, as a way to help assemble and automate all the work related to different cases going on in the legal department. Its main functions include managing notices/litigations, court dates, calendaring, related documents, managing and validating legal budget, expenses and lawyer fees, docketing, case database, contact management, generating on-demand reports.[27]

Managing Dates

Every legal professional knows how important deadlines are in their line of work. With multiple lawsuits to handle, no lawyer can try and remember every important date pertaining to their case. Litigation Management Software can help in managing these important court dates and sets automated reminders in advance. Not only do the lawyers receive reminders in emails, but they can also sync their Outlook and other calendars with the same.[28]

Organising data

Lawyers need a lot of information at hand, when handling any litigation. They need to know their dates, deadlines, case brief, previous hearing details, and other notes at hand. They have all of this with them, but do they have it all in one place?[29] Litigation Management Software allows users to keep all of this important information in one centralised place, which can be accessed instantly, from case information to details of each previous court date, case synopsis, prayers, etc. All this information is readily available with a click of a button.[30]

Enhanced Communication

Litigation management software can assist in the integration of legal and non-legal agencies. Business teams will give you new notices from all over the world in real-time or email you for any order. You may also exchange essential information, records, notes, reports, and other documents with other legal users to ensure reduced dependence and optimum time productivity.[31]

Retrieving documents

When it comes to organising a case, lawyers usually need to start collecting all the information from various sources. Legacy systems that typically have notes and contracts in a folder, or pleadings and briefs in a file, e-mails in your e-mail system, can be replaced with modern technology platforms.[32]

Litigation Management Software allows users to keep all of these documents in one centralised place, which can be accessed instantly, from notices to replies, appeals, pleadings, orders, related judgments, other research material, important emails, etc. All these files and documents can be neatly stored within the matter and can be accessed from any location to help lawyers.[33]

Standardised processes

The use of litigation management tools in the workplace helps to standardise procedures and make the lives of lawyers easier. Therefore, getting all of the details preloaded into the software helps everyone to be on the same page, function more systematically, and keep on top of target dates as they are added to the software’s virtual calendar.[34]

Improved time-management 

Next, the digitalization of the legal process results in smoother operations and more time to focus on the bigger picture of the litigation process. This is a critical advantage for lawyers who depend on time management to be successful and productive. Furthermore, E-signatures automate the paperwork process, saving time on administrative tasks.[35]

Working mobile

Today the world works in an anywhere anytime concept. The legal domain is also steadily adapting to this new normal.[36] Most litigation management softwares are available online, which means the lawyer has all their litigation and case files with them, as long as the law firm has a device and internet. The case handlers can take their work with them wherever they go and don’t have to miss out on deadlines or important information again since it is always at the tip of their fingers.[37] This has proved especially useful now more than ever when the entire world is observing a locked-down situation owing to the wrath of the pandemic.

The above-mentioned benefits are just a glimpse of how the case handlers can leverage the might of a classy litigation management software to take their law firm to newer heights. The actual potential is worth exploring.[38]

In this day and age, especially at an hour when the whole world is fighting a new crisis and is forced to stay back indoors and make the home one’s work station. This has been extremely challenging for the workforce, toppling work-life balance as well as messing up the whole work culture and working conditions that we were familiar with. However, with the adoption of technology on the rise, workforces have been able to cope up with the new challenge pretty swiftly.[39]

Solutions The Best Litigation Softwares Should Offer

Whether the law firms are considering deploying litigation management software for the first time or the case holders are thinking about changing their current solution, there is a wide range of advice about how to select the right solution for their law firms[40]

  • Proper understanding of what features their law firm really needs
  • Find out whether the features built into the chosen software operate the way that the case operator has anticipated them to
  • Ability to upgrade to add more features
  • Should be relatively easy to use[41]
  • A legal technology consultant could be a great resource for the law firm[42]
  • Know the difference between cloud vs on-premise practice management software[43]

References 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation)

[2] https://www.corteidh.or.cr/tablas/r39677.pdf

[3] https://www.hg.org/litigation-law.html

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation)

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation)

[6] https://burlingtonslegal.com/news/what-is-litigation-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-law-process/

[7] https://burlingtonslegal.com/news/what-is-litigation-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-law-process/

[8] https://burlingtonslegal.com/news/what-is-litigation-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-law-process/

[9] https://burlingtonslegal.com/news/what-is-litigation-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-law-process/

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_firm

[11] https://centerbase.com/practice-areas/civil-litigation-law-software/

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_firm

[13] https://www.clio.com/uk/blog/4-stages-client-intake-for-law-firms/

[14] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_practice_management_software

[15] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation)

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_technology

[17]https://www.app4legal.com/incredible-benefits-of-using-a-litigation-management-software-and-why-app4legal-is-the-best/

[18] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_practice_management_software

[19] https://www.clio.com/law-practice-management-software/

[20] https://centerbase.com/practice-areas/civil-litigation-law-software/

[21] https://centerbase.com/practice-areas/civil-litigation-law-software/

[22] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_technology

[23] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_technology

[24] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_technology

[25] https://www.litify.com/resources/legal-software/

[26] https://www.clio.com/law-practice-management-software/

[27] https://razorcube.com/blogs/benefits-of-using-litigation-management-software.html

[28] https://razorcube.com/blogs/benefits-of-using-litigation-management-software.html

[29] https://razorcube.com/blogs/benefits-of-using-litigation-management-software.html

[30] https://razorcube.com/blogs/benefits-of-using-litigation-management-software.html

[31] https://legodesk.com/blog/legal-practice/litigation-management-software/

[32] https://razorcube.com/blogs/benefits-of-using-litigation-management-software.html

[33] https://razorcube.com/blogs/benefits-of-using-litigation-management-software.html

[34] https://legodesk.com/blog/legal-practice/litigation-management-software/

[35] https://www.dilitrust.com/en/blog/5-benefits-of-litigation-management-software-dilitrust/

[36]https://www.app4legal.com/incredible-benefits-of-using-a-litigation-management-software-and-why-app4legal-is-the-best/

[37] https://legodesk.com/blog/legal-practice/litigation-management-software/

[38]https://www.app4legal.com/incredible-benefits-of-using-a-litigation-management-software-and-why-app4legal-is-the-best/

[39]https://www.app4legal.com/incredible-benefits-of-using-a-litigation-management-software-and-why-app4legal-is-the-best/

[40] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_technology

[41]https://www.app4legal.com/how-to-choose-the-best-legal-case-management-software-for-your-law-firm/

[42]https://www.app4legal.com/how-to-choose-the-best-legal-case-management-software-for-your-law-firm/

[43] https://www.clio.com/law-practice-management-software/