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3 Ways To Make Your Settlement Statement Better

Home 9 Tips & Tricks 9 3 Ways To Make Your Settlement Statement Better

For most attorneys on contingency fee agreements, the settlement process is a crucial step in the timeline of any case. Ensuring that the numbers and data are correct can be the difference between a satisfied client and a legal malpractice suit. Furthermore, good data makes for better reporting and business insight. For these and many more obvious reasons, building a better workflow for the settlement process with Filevine should be a goal to strive towards for any firm.

Here are 3 ways to make your settlement process more efficient and effective, and as a direct result – better.

  1. Collect and organize only the most useful data
  2. Reduce the vulnerability of human error
  3. Create repeatable workflows in Filevine to keep work moving forward

1. Collect and organize only the most useful data

Anyone who has spent anytime building anything with Filevine’s Customs Editor has undoubtedly faced a familiar conundrum: You can build “anything”, but you don’t know where to start. So, where’s the best place to start? Start with what you know. Ask yourself:

  • What data fields need to be included on the settlement statement?
    • Examples: The defendant, amount of settlement, attorney’s fees, medical expenses, soft costs, hard codes, and disclosures or disclaimers that must be signed
  • How are these data fields inter-related with each other?
    • Examples: Is there a dropdown selection or yes/no toggle that reveals only relevant, related fields to collect a deeper level of data?
  • What are the scenarios that you need to track?
    • Examples: Variable fee structures, settlement types, tracking release signatures

Here’s a practical example. Since there is always the possibility of more than one settlement per case, we should be tracking settlements in a collection section. But since we’re using a collection section, what else can we track in addition to the settlement? Perhaps we can track the history of negotiations leading up to the settlement. In fact, we can track Demands, Counters, Denials, and Settlements all in one collection.

Example of how to build settlement types in Filevine

Now, for each of those scenarios, what related data should we track? Demand date? Demand amount? Demand sent to whom? Copy of the demand? Now, repeat the analysis for the other scenarios. Once you’ve planned the fields, build them, train on the process, and create reports to track each scenario.

2. Reduce the vulnerability of human error

It’s true that we rely on the hard work of our dedicated staff to collect, organize, and input data into our Filevine projects. While quality control of data input is a topic for another blog, once the data is inputed into Filevine, we can manipulate, report, and export it in all kinds of powerful ways. Get the data in the Filevine system in the right place and you can:

  • Narrowly report on that data using Filevine’s native reporting feature
    • Examples: A list of demands for the month, a history of settlements by department or attorney, 
  • Export the collections data alongside other collections data using Filevine’s native Report Fusion feature
    • Examples: Export settlement data into an Excel spreadsheet along with detailed medical bills and expenses, export collections data into a Word template report alongside expenses, medical bills, and liens as an executive summary

Any data within a collection section is exportable into a Word or Excel template that can be edited to your liking. Further, once exported, we can create reliable, repeatable processes with these template exports. The Settlement Statement in our Vinetegrate Full Suite product, for example, exports a detailed itemization of settlements, liens, expenses, and medical bills, and totals the net proceeds to the client using native Excel functions:

Once you’ve created and tested your templates, the real magic happens: Gone will be the days for which your staff spends hours copy and pasting data into finicky and clunk Excel file that may or may not work each and every time.

3. Create repeatable workflows in Filevine to keep cases moving forward

Creating repeatable workflows in Filevine can be accomplished with Filevine core software, making the platform a powerful choice for law firms and companies of all sizes and scopes that management client client.

Here’s a simplified Workflow that is the basis of our Vinetegrate Full Suite implementations solution for Filevine:

Vinetegrate Full Suite Workflows Image

Our Vinetegrate Full Suite offers a Settlement Statement that takes full advantage of all core Filevine components to create a system – a repeatable workflow – any law firm staff employee can follow:

  • Team Assignments: Ensure the right team members are on the right case in the right role
  • Project Templates: Designs to gather and store case data efficiently for retrieval by Doc Gens, Reporting, and Fusions
  • Taskflows: Drives the closing and Settlement Statement process
  • Data Reporting: Serves as the Fusion Reports that generate the Settlement Statement itself

Looking for a Filevine implementations solution that is proven, adoptable, and launches you and your staff on Filevine faster? You’re looking for Vinetegrate Full Suite. Click here to request a FREE demo!