About Matter Plans
A Matter Plan is an outline that defines the lifecycle of each case type worked by your law firm.
Litify comes with a series of out-of-the-box Matter Plans that you can use on day-one. These can also be referenced as a guide when creating your own Matter Plans. The existing default Mater Plans are:
- Social Security Disability
- Workers’ Compensation
- Automobile Accident
- Pre Litigation - General PI
- Litigation - General PI
Planning Custom Matter Plans
The following steps prepare you for implementing custom Matter Plans. At the end of this exercise, you should be able to create detailed lists of the following:
- Matter Plan case types
- All stages required for each case type
- All specific tasks required for each stage
- All task types to be used in reporting and analysis
Skip to the end of this walkthrough for an example of how this might look in a final, ready-for-implementation spreadsheet.
1. Identify All Of Your Case Types.
Case types should be determined by the unique requirements needed to complete/resolve the case. Not every case type may need treatment, trial, or negotiation-specific actions. Examples of common case types include Social Security Disability, Workers’ Compensation, and Automobile Accident cases.
How to identify your case types
- Create a list of case types your firm specializes in.
- Determine which cases have the most unique requirements.
- Sort case types by similarity and overlap of requirements.
- Rank which case types are the most worked by your firm.
Now you have a solid starting point for where to begin creating your first set of Matter Plans.
2. Determine Matter Plan Stages For Each Case Type.
Stages are the core of what makes a Matter Plan so effective. With your stages already defined, your administration can rest assured no critical tasks will go overlooked. Planning your stages is easy once you’ve already identified the tasks that make each case type unique.
Let’s take a look at a few common stages you’ll need to plan before jumping into creating Matter Plans inside Litify.
Stage 1: Opening
An opening stage groups all preliminary tasks required to begin working on a matter. This kind of stage is re-usable for most case types created.
Example Opening Tasks
- Task 1: Confirm signed retainer and upload to matter.
- UI Description: Mark as complete after upload.
- Task 2: Schedule welcome call with the client.
- UI Description: Mark complete after adding scheduled event to matter.
- Task 3: Review and validate questionnaire information.
- UI Description: Mark complete once all information is complete and accurate.
Stage 2: Treatment
A treatment stage groups all tasks associated with collecting the injured parties insurance information, police records, accident reports, and medical documents. It is recommended to build out this template with the most common needs first. You can then clone your Matter Plan template and add unique task requirements.
Example Treatment Tasks
- Task 1: Confirm defendant’s insurance information.
- UI Description: Mark complete after attaching defendant’s insurance information.
- Task 2: Request records from dept. of motor vehicles for all involved.
- UI Description: Mark complete after request has been made for all parties involved in the accident.
- Task 3: Confirm treatment is complete.
- UI Description: Update injury record(s) associated with the Matter and mark treatment date.
Stage Detail Inputs
The following Stage details must be defined for each Stage before creating a Matter Plan in Litify:
- Matter Stage Order: Determines order of Stages in a Matter Plan.
- Matter Stage Name: Defines the human-readable name for a Stage.
3. Define Task Types & Details
You have created a high level outline of every stage, task, and UI description your Matter Plan will use. Now let’s examine the kinds of tasks you have made to identify Task Types and Task Details.
Task vs Task Type
Many tasks can belong to one task type. For example, you could create the task type Communications and have it include email, text, and phone call task items. Task Types help your firm to report time and money spent on each category of work completed per case (or across time among multiple cases).
Task Type object details
- Task Type: Name
- Description: High-level definition of the task type
- Uniform Task-Based Management System IDs: Created standardized codes for your organization’s tasks to facilitate analysis of legal work and expenses
How to define Task Types
- Examine your matter plan outlines.
- Categorize all of the tasks into common task types performed by your employees. (Call, Document Generation, Research, Information Request, Insurance Scheduling, etc)
- Describe each task type.
- Optionally create a unique ID for each type.
Now you have a list of all of the Task Types you need to build out your Matter Plan stages.
Task Item Details
Tasks (the actual default item populated within a Matter Plan stage) include the Task Type as a detail. But there are several other details you should complete at this stage as well.
Task Detail Inputs
- Document Link: URL to a PDF or form that must be completed/sent
- Repeat This Task: Determines if this task requires multiple touchpoints
- Repeat Interval: Number (Days)
- Due Date Value: Number (no time defined)
- Due Date Operator: Days, Months, Years
- Priority: High, Normal, Low
- Billable: Enable/Disable
How to define Item Details
- Create a spreadsheet for each custom Matter Plan.
- Add all of the required columns (stage, task name, task type, each task detail, etc)
- Convert your high-level outlines from Planning Step 1 into a granular breakdown of all essential configurations for your task items.
- Use your list from Planning Step 2 to define each specific tasks overall task type.
- Complete all of the cells until your Matter Plan is fully defined for each stage and all tasks.
You are now ready to begin implementing your custom Matter Plans in Litify.
Basic Workers' Comp Plan
This sample matter plan begins as a basic Workers' Compensation plan with two potential matter stage switches at the mediation stage.
Pre-Lit Auto Accident Plan (with switches)
This matter plan begins in the Pre-Lit Automobile Accident Plan, then branches into three other plans based on what occurs at each stage. This is an example of a branching plan with matter stage switches. It does not include the tasks at each stage.