I saw some discussion of this as it relates to MyCase, but I wanted to ask more broadly...
How do you organize case materials when a client has multiple matters that will be filed separately but are closely interrelated.
For example, I am representing a tenant who is defending back to back eviction actions. Tenant faces one eviction, we win, new eviction comes in on the heels of the first.
In this example the related contacts, facts, etc are the same, but, the case number changes, there is a need to bill independently for the work on the first eviction and the second, and document organization becomes challenging. In Oregon, landlord tenant cases typically come with attorney's fees to the prevailing party so there is a practical requirement that you be able to distinguish between the two cases in your time keeping (at least if you would like to get paid for your work). On the document organization challenge issue, these cases require very similar documents, there is not much difference between what was filed in the first and second cases.
I am using Clio for practice management and am paperless. My solution has been to create separate matters in Clio and use separate folders on the hard drive. This seems to be the best I can make of an awkward situation. It allows a clean distinction in time keeping and document organization but is not without substantial draw back.
For each new matter in Clio the new matter has to be properly created and related contacts have to be added to the new matter. This is time consuming. There is some back-end accounting (Xero) that might be wonky as a result of multiple matters/invoices for a single client as well. The biggest issue is what to do with client general information. If the client gives me some update that is somewhat relative to both matters where do you record that? This organization adds time and what often feels like duplicated effort.
I think to generalize the challenge there are some reasons why multiple matters makes sense and some reasons why that creates challenges. I feel like trying to keep multiple cases in a single matter feels lazy and like it would create dangers down the road if a need for separation becomes essential. On the other hand, separate matters feels very inefficient at times.
What do you think? Does anyone feel strongly that they have a solution?
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