electronic office document management
Previous   Next

Chapter: Introduction


Every document in Legal Notes must have a Matter (and therefore a client). You cannot create or file a document until you have created the Matter. The Matter Record gives the Matter a unique numerical or alphanumeric code and holds all information relevant to the instruction and its administration. You cannot have a matter until you have a Client.

Clients and Matters are created in the System database. Legal Notes can centralise the creation of clients and matters by limiting the number of people authorised to create them. However it allows any staff member to complete the necessary forms, and submit them as "Requests" to the person authorised to create matters and clients, as specified in the User Profile. Distributed work flow is a feature of Legal Notes.

Below is an example of a Matter Record. It records:
  • Name of client, description of the Matter, the responsible lawyer and other lawyers involved in the matter, statistical information.
  • Limitation of action information
  • Cost estimates and agreements. Once the combination of bills and WIP exceed a prescribed percentage of the estimate (eg 85%), every time a document is created the user is warned and an email is sent to the lawyers responsible for the matter.
  • Administrative information as to the location of the matter (database and server), and who has access to the matter. For example you can give a client access to the matter through the Matter Record, and limit access to specified users or groups of users.

Every matter is created by this form. It is in effect a profile document or mini database that contains all information relevant to the matter, or more to point, the conduct of a matter in an operational (Matter) database.

The life of a Matter follows a fairly predictable path as reflected in the available options for its status, namely:
  • Current
  • To be closed
  • Closed
  • Administration (reserved for matters that are really internal files to deal with office administration).

This form is created in the System db, and a copy is created and maintained in the Matter database and on the Server specified under the Administration section of the document. The copy is maintained for three reasons:
1. It gives information on the matter in Main view of the Matters database.
2. Certain values in the copy are accessed by documents created in the Matters database. Whilst these values could be taken from the System db, there is a speed advantage in taking them from the same database.
3. It assists in archiving the matter.
The relevant fields are discussed below
    Show details for Type:Type:
    Show details for SolicitorsSolicitors
    Show details for Sub filesSub files
    Hide details for Miscellaneous Information:Miscellaneous Information:
    Show details for Related partiesRelated parties
    Show details for LitigationLitigation
    Show details for AdministrationAdministration