I speak with lawyers who are improving their case management operations for the Roundup litigation, and also with lawyers who will take on mass tort cases for the first time. The long term nature of mass tort cases and the high volume of information introduce many chances for any law firm’s data to get chaotic, impeding the firm’s estimation of the claims’ fair settlement values. I recently wrote about the importance of having those fair values constantly at-the-ready and to mitigate the chaos via reliance on software solutions. Lawyers know the headache that having those fair settlement values perpetually available causes, and most firms say it is not even possible. They respond to external aspects of the litigation they cannot control to dictate when to scramble to assess settlement values.
In this article, I’ll explain other aspects of mass tort case management that can happen more simply and easily when software is involved.
What aspects of a Mass Tort Lawsuit Are Most Challenging to Manage Over Time?
Let’s consider the common activities law firms endure for this type of litigation. In the ongoing Roundup mass tort litigation, where 30,000 cases remain unresolved, lawyers and their support staff are managing data like medical records, financials, settlement criteria and more; and it’s coming from many different sources. Such manual effort must go into this, so law firms struggle to keep up with:
- Claim analysis
- Claim valuation
- Proof of claim tracking
- Settlement processing for client distribution
- Fee arrangements
In addition to relying on several systems to maintain data, mass tort cases are extra tricky because all of this activity occurs in bulk! The solution lies in using software to handle these activities. I’d like to paint a picture to depict very specific ways software supports mass tort claim management.
Examples of Software Solutions Applied to Formerly Manual Aspects of Mass Tort Litigation
Here’s how software can streamline each of the mentioned aspects:
- How Software Helps: Legal case management software can efficiently analyze and organize large volumes of claims data. It can quickly identify patterns, assess the merit of each claim, and prioritize them based on various criteria.
- Example: A software tool might use machine learning algorithms to analyze historical case data, identifying key factors that contribute to successful claims. This analysis helps law firms focus on the most promising cases first.
- How Software Helps: Software can automate the valuation of claims based on predefined criteria, ensuring a consistent and objective evaluation process. It can assign scores to different factors, such as the strength of evidence or the severity of damages.
- Example: The software may assign a numerical score to each claim based on factors like the type of injury, supporting evidence, and jurisdictional considerations. This allows law firms to prioritize claims with higher scores for further attention.
Proof of Claim Tracking
- How Software Helps: A dedicated system can track the status of each proof of claim, deadlines, and required documentation. It centralizes information, reducing the risk of missing important details or deadlines.
- Example: The software can send automated reminders for upcoming deadlines, track document submissions, and provide a dashboard that gives a real-time overview of the status of all claims. This helps law firms stay organized and proactive.
Settlement Processing for Client Distribution
- How Software Helps: Settlement management software can automate the distribution process, ensuring accurate and timely payouts to clients. It can calculate individual payouts based on predefined rules and distribute funds efficiently.
- Example: If a settlement is reached, the software can calculate the distribution of funds based on the terms of the settlement agreement. It can then generate automated reports and initiate payments to clients, reducing the administrative burden on the law firm.
- How Software Helps: Billing and invoicing software can streamline the process of managing fee arrangements. It can automate the calculation of fees based on agreed-upon terms, track billable hours, and generate invoices promptly.
- Example: The software may allow law firms to set up different fee structures for different clients or cases. It can generate invoices based on hourly rates, contingency fees, or other agreed-upon arrangements, providing transparency and accuracy in billing.
Navigating Software Solutions – Optimal Mass Tort Case Management Transcends Tool Selection
While it is important I reference the activities of a mass tort case and how technology can support them, I want to be clear that this goes beyond selecting online services and hoping for the best. Instead, a software solutions provider will build a single, unified system that may or may not rely on both custom and existing software tools and services based on your firm’s way of working. You may find a service online that makes each activity go more smoothly, yet consider that this structure is still creating disparate data.
Creating a Unified System for Mass Tort Cases
At BRIO, we blend custom and existing tools to seriously streamline mass tort operations for our law firms. Unlike the firms that pick disparate online subscriptions, BRIO’s approach ensures a cohesive solution tailored to each law firm’s unique work culture and needs. Reach us using the form below to see if a once-and-for-all solution can give your firm access to the 30,000 victims who need their Roundup cases settled.