You spend weeks or months preparing a strong case. You show up in court confident of your ability to represent your client’s interests. However before you can present your argument, the opposing counsel stands up and points out a critical conflict of interest that calls into question your firm’s suitability to represent that client and argue the case. At best this is professionally humiliating moment; at worst it could lead to ethics charges.
No matter how honest and careful you are about avoiding conflicts, do you really remember every single person you have dealt with in your career and all of their associations? A missed connection might be a genuine oversight on your part, but last time we checked “oops” was not considered a strong legal defense.
You need to be scrupulous about avoiding conflict, and yet laboriously checking through hundreds or thousands of case files takes an enormous amount of time and past associations are easy to overlook. Hey, wait a minute–aren’t computers good at those kinds of tedious jobs?
Easysoft’s law office billing software, Easy TimeBill, does more than simply track your billable hours and expenses. This law practice management software maintains a database of the names of every person your firm has associated with, including clients, witnesses and vendors, as well as their associations with your past and present clients. In seconds you can discover any conflicts that might undermine your case or threaten your firm.
Then again even the best legal software can’t do all the work for you. Our law office billing software conflict checker is thorough, but it still depends on you doing your part. Successful conflict discovery requires three easy steps.
First, create a thorough list of contact names for each case and enter them into Easy TimeBill. To find the contact list click on “Case Management” in the lower left corner of the law office billing software screen and then on “Address Book” in the upper left.
Second, link each contact with the client in a case. Click on “Client” in the lower left corner of the law office billing software screen and then on the client name listed in the upper left section of the screen. Click on “Client Relations”, which is listed along the top of the screen, to bring up current relations and add new ones.
Third, run the law office billing software conflict checker. As in the previous section, click on “Client” and then the client name, but this time click on “Conflict Search” in the top bar to bring up the search screen. Enter search text such as the name of new client’s firm to see if there is any conflict with previous cases.
You must be diligent about entering complete information on every client no matter how trivial the case might seem at the time. It takes only one missed contact to create a serious problem for your practice.
Conflict Check is one of many features included in Easysoft’s law practice management software. Contact us for more information on our products or try a demo of one of our legal software programs.