Friday, May 21, 2010

Managing litigation tasks with legal extranets

It is often difficult to track and manage the different activities that need to be completed by the different law firms working on a case. They can be discussed in conference calls, via email, etc... but often due to the dynamic nature of working through a case the agreed upon task listing become outdated in a very rapid manner. The process of maintaining a task list in Excel or Work and circulating it around via email can result in people working from an outdated set of requirement and deliverables.

However, if a working team is tracking and managing their activities on a commonly available system or database, the management process becomes a bit simpler. Individuals can use a central repository of tasks to get their assignments, mark items complete when appropriate, and case managers can be sure all the critical things "to-do" are addresses as they need to be.

Tasks can be tracked in a number of ways (by the individual(s) they are assigned to, by priority, by due date, or by case). And, as they are coming due or as they are worked on, email notifications can be added to these collaborative work management systems to help alert others when significant updates have occurred to the tasks which are most important to the team members.

Legal extranets (a.k.a law firm extranet systems) provide a strong backbone for this type of management of tasks. All members of a workteam can enter, update, and mark as complete tasks so that the workteam can quickly and efficiently be aware of the status of each and every item without time-consuming teleconferences or meetings.

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