by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 20 September 2012
Legal cases are complex creatures. They involve documents, arguments, and payments. Unlike IT projects, which are relatively simpler and more focused in scope and ambition, legal cases can be vast and unwieldy and involve multiple stakeholders.
This week, we will review CaseFox - a SaaS solution that promises to make case management simpler and easier. We will look at its interface, features, and see how it can be of use to you.
When he began practicing law, founder Rajeev Madnawat, who worked in the IT industry earlier, became frustrated with existing legal billing solutions in the market. Because it involves pulling information from multiple sources and payment types, billing and case management is extremely complicated. He says most solutions in the marker were either difficult to use or very expensive. "Based on real life experiences and needs, we designed CaseFox to provide a feature rich, easy-to-use and navigable system," he says. According to Madnawat, the system has already received encouraging and positive customer feedback and has a very high customer retention rate.
Madnawat says CaseFox differs from other, similar solutions in the market because it is highly usable and offers case management features. This means that the solution offers features that encompass multiple aspects of your case including conflict check, accounting ledger, phone message log, automatic fee splitting rules, and extensive reporting rules. In addition, CaseFox has affordable subscription plans and role-based access, making the solution easy to use for solo professionals or small/medium size firm.
CaseFox is specifically designed with the legal industry in mind. So, the application allows to upload and integrate all artifacts related to a case. In addition to legal professionals, CaseFox can be used by other types of professionals, who sell their services to clients. However, CaseFox is not suitable for people who sell goods.
Case processing begins by entering client and case (project) information. Each client is associated with specific terms and payments. The interesting thing about this feature is that it is extensible and flexible. Besides adding multiple timekeepers, you can also add appendices to payment terms by adding new notes and task codes for work done for those clients.
Each case is associated with a workflow based on information and artifacts. For example, you can use the application for billing, invoicing, trust accounting, and case note and document management.
According to Madnawat, CaseFox's role-based user account system is a key feature of the application. You can enable access management and restrict users to selected cases. This feature is especially useful when multiple stakeholders are associated with a case. For example, partners are able to access all cases while associates can only access respective cases. Similarly, contract lawyers can only submit time based on work done on a particular case. Timekeepers are assigned specific roles that limits their view to a subset of data. An admin user can set hourly rates for a timekeeper within a selected case.
The application also enables you generate bills in LEDES format - a special billing format typically used in the legal industry. This feature can be especially helpful for law firms engaged with big business or insurance companies. CaseFox makes things easy for such law firms by making it simpler for such law firms by automatically generating invoices in both PDF and LEDES formats.
That said, I noticed that the application does not integrate with other, third-party applications. There is a reason for this. "We do not integrate with other applications in order to keep the program simple and easy," says Madnawat. However, CaseFox does accept Google single sign-on and, also, data from within the application can be exported to an Excel format. Finally, the application enables you to generate multiple reports relating to your application. Once a case has run its course, you can also archive the case and reference it later.
The interface scores for its simplicity and navigation appeal. The main screen consists of a tabbed interface that enables you to perform important and specific tasks related to the application. In addition, it also provides a snapshot report of metrics and tasks related to your cases. So, you can see the number of billable hours that have been claimed and upcoming tasks or cases and their status. You can perform a variety of tasks from this screen, including entering client information, getting started on cases, or running a conflict check before actually entering a case. The application scores high on the usability criteria as performing any task within the application does not take more than three clicks.
The solution offers comprehensive support across social media, email, and phone. However, the clincher is their knowledge base, which enables you to post questions, request features or participate in their community. I thought the support features were pretty extensive and impressive for an application.
If you belong to the legal industry and would like to streamline your billing, invoice management, and document management tasks, then this application is definitely for you because it streamlines tasks and enables you to focus on your job. In addition, the price points at which you get multiple and added functionality don't hurt either.