Conflict Checking is easy and fully automated in Outlaw Practice. We understand that conflict checks are not a one-time thing, so we provide continuous conflict checking as additional relationships and participants are added to your Leads and Cases.
Quick note: Contacts use the term "Relationships", whereas Leads and Cases use the term "Participants". They both refer to the same functionality within Outlaw Practice, but we use different terms, as there are no "participants" with a contact, only a lead and case. Contacts is a good place to add familial relationships that exist regardless of their cases, whereas Leads and Cases are a good place to put information on legal participants, such as attorneys, judges, witnesses and other types of participants.
In the Leads page, ensure that you have as many Relationships entered as possible. Doing the conflict check with no Participants will not return useful results.
Now scroll down to Conflict Checks, and Add a New Conflict Check:
This opens up the Conflict Checker. It will create an entry for each current employee with a legal role (attorney, paralegal or legal secretary), and generate a conflict report, along with the ability to indicate a conflict, ethical wall, notes and a sign off for each employee.
Conflict means that there is a conflict for this employee with this lead or case.
Ethical Wall means that you are taking the case, but you are setting up an "ethical wall" around this employee. They will not have any access to the case and agree not to get involved in any way.
Notes can be used to describe the conflict that the employee has with the case, for example a prior relationship with one or more of the participants when working with a previous law firm.
Release means that your firm has received a written release from the (potential) client allowing the employee to work on the case.
Sign Off should be clicked once the employee has finished doing the conflict check (click on Show Report to review a full listing of participants and relationships). Clicking on the Done button records the date that the employee signed off. Once all employees have signed off, the conflict check is considered complete.
We search for client and participants' last names, emails, and phone numbers. We check the following places (not an exhaustive list):
Tasks (which includes calendar entries)
Contacts and their Relationships
Lead Clients and Participants
Case Clients and Participants
Attachments/Documents (text, html, pdf, and Microsoft Office formats)
Notes (text and fancy)
Custom Fields in Contacts, Leads and Cases
To view the report, click on Show Report. You will see a formatted report showing every place that the client(s) and any participants' last names, phone numbers or emails show up in the system.
After reviewing the report, click the cancel button to close the report. You can then save the Conflict Check. This will immediately create tasks for each of the users to review the report and sign off on their conflicts.
When a user reviews the report, if there is a potential conflict, they should check on the conflict checkbox and leave specific notes on what the conflict is. The owner will then need to determine if it is worth getting the client to sign a release, or set up an ethical wall around the employee.
In any case, once the user has finished their review, they click no the Done button next to their name to indicate that they have finished.
At any time, you can check the status of the conflict check by opening the Lead back up and looking at the Conflict Checks. You can see who you are waiting on and go harass them.
Make sure the conflict check is complete before you have the initial client meeting!
When to Do a Conflict Check
Any time you add new participants to a Lead or Case you should run a conflict check. Do not delete the old conflict checks, as you want an historical record of when each report was run, and the results of that conflict check.