Keeping Secrets: Maintaining Confidential Case Notes

State forms used in divorce cases may look like just lists of numbers but there is a lot of additional information behind those dry statistics. New Jersey family law attorneys often keep internal notes when completing a Case Information Statement that are intended for the eyes of the practice only and aren’t meant to be seen by the client and certainly not by opposing counsel.

Attorneys talk about a case differently when a client isn’t in the room. The lawyer has a more objective and pragmatic view of the case than the client and can speak more bluntly about it when talking to a fellow attorney or a paralegal. These case notes may reflect a practical opinion of the case’s future that needs to be sugarcoated when presented to the client.

A lawyer might put notes about the sentimental value of assets. The NJ CIS form lists the price of an asset, but it’s emotional worth will be different to each party in the divorce. That imprecise value is a critical part of the final property agreement and attorneys can negotiate from a stronger position by keeping their cards close to their vests.

Case notes might document a practice’s sensitive internal operational procedures that could be a security risk if revealed. They could be innocent and harmless statements that would be misinterpreted when taken out of context. Heck, they might simply be personal observations that are nobody else’s business.

In the old days these notes would be included in the internal file folder but not distributed with the final form. The invention of the sticky note allowed scribbled thoughts to be attached to the form and removed before the document was handed out. Today most attorneys use some kind of digital New Jersey CIS form and need to be able to keep notes electronically.

Keeping the notes in a separate document ensures they will not print with the form but there is the risk that the notes will become separated from the rest of the case file. A better solution is Easy Soft’s Case Information Statement software, which includes the capability to keep extensive confidential notes on every page of the form with the assurance that the notes won’t be revealed when generating the final document.

This attention to features needed by attorneys is what makes Easy Soft legal practice management software a better solution for your practice than generic business software.

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