Efficient and Economical Communications With Judges and Arbitrators
By Wayne Nitti
If there’s a single element of our online legal case management system that yields the most immediate and tangible benefit for everyone involved in a dispute, it’s our messaging feature. “The message board provides a level of access to the court that minimizes costly filings and unnecessary status conferences or hearings,” states a litigation partner at a top Am Law 100 firm. Adds another trial lawyer from a competing firm: “Many times, posting a message on Case Anywhere has avoided the need for ex parte proceedings.”
While these and other testimonials illustrate how our message boards have supplanted outmoded, expensive, and formalistic communications from lawyers to the bench, in many instances the interface has proven an equally valuable tool for judges, arbitrators, and their professional staff.
In complex civil litigation departments in Southern California, where we host and manage thousands of high-stakes proceedings, Case Anywhere’s message boards play a pivotal role in how many judges manage and advance their cases. By law, the cases heard in these departments require “exceptional judicial management to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on the court or the litigants and to expedite the case, keep costs reasonable, and promote effective decision making.” In one such case in Los Angeles, the judge, court personnel, and lawyers from more than 70 firms have exchanged over 1200 messages, each of which can be searched by submitting party, date, keyword, or message thread.
Judges and arbitrators rely on our secure, dispute-specific message boards as a fast and informal way to apprise counsel of tentative rulings, clarify orders, and check on settlements. They also use the communications hub to resolve discovery disputes and to provide guidance that might otherwise require time-consuming and expensive status conferences, hearings and motions. Not long ago, for instance, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge posted a message in which he denied an objection without leave to amend and directed that counsel submit a joint report three days ahead of an upcoming hearing. “If you need judicial input sooner,” the judge concluded, “use this message board.”
Judges and arbitrators have the prerogative to restrict the types of communications they receive. They can also opt out altogether, in which case the message board becomes a tool for counsel to communicate amongst themselves. The full text of each posting is sent out via email to authorized case users within minutes of submission.
Case Anywhere’s communications hub has also become an integral part of how court staff and ADR managers disseminate administrative information, check on case status, and convey directives from the trier of fact. These personnel use the boards, for example, to schedule hearings, dispatch conference call information, and check on filings. In this time-sensitive and often costly arena, the immediacy of our message boards is tremendously useful. Response time is often measured in minutes or hours rather than the days or weeks typical of traditional channels.
Our message boards are powerful management and collaboration tools and a component part of all of Case Anywhere’s offerings, which include private label opportunities. If your law firm frequently plays a lead, liaison or steering committee role, for example, we can create a platform—branded with your name and logo—that will enable you to efficiently coordinate and communicate with other participating counsel. Contact us to learn how our hosted solutions for litigation and ADR can help you succeed while achieving tremendous savings in time and money.