Organizing Individual Matters with CaseFleet

Individual matters are comprised of facts, people, documents, and issues. These need to be managed using CaseFleet. For information on CaseFleet and best practices, see the CaseFleet Knowledge Base.

For videos on how to organize individual matters using CaseMap (an antiquated1 desktop product similar to the web-based CaseFleet product), see the videos below. Although these are not tailored to using CaseFleet, nearly all of the principles discussed in the videos still apply.

Introduction to CaseMap

CaseMap Document Management

CaseMap for Chronologies and Brief Writing

  1. I used this product for twenty years. It was great. Really great. But Lexis never moved the product to the Internet, so it has become irrelevant. Sad really.

Video Conferencing

Use MS Teams or Zoom for all videoconferences. Participants can share screens and recored conferences. I personally prefer MS Teams because it can also serve as your communication hub for collaborating.

In the wake of COVID-19, everyone learned how to use these services so you won’t be videochatting alone.

MS Teams: https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software

Zoom: https://zoom.us/

Email

Provider

Use a well-known, professional email provider like MS Outlook 365 or Gmail. Don’t use AOL; you’ll look like an idiot. Also, don’t ever try to run your own email server in-house. You’re a lawyer, not an IT guy.

Email Setup

You need to set up your email properly for two reasons: (1) so that recipients can see your full name, and (2) so that a proper signature block appears at the bottom of every message you send (both originals and replies).

As to your name, your email recipients need to see “Jane Doe” in their “From” line rather than “jdo483-r4@gmail.com.”

As to your signature block, you must include, at a minimum: (1) your name, (2) your mobile telephone number, and (3) your email address. Why? So when someone driving a car gets an email from you, he can simply touch the hyperlinked phone number and call you. Don’t make him write you back; he’ll hit a tree. Finally, don’t include any pictures or logos in your signature block; those JPEG files are annoying to the recipient. Here’s an example:

Dane S. Ciolino
dane@daneciolino.com
(504) 975-3263

Email Correspondence

Keep emails short. No more than a paragraph or two (if you must). If it is going to be longer than that, do a memo or letter instead and send it as a PDF attachment.

Be very mindful about subject lines. Always use descriptive subject lines, including the name of the relevant client. Change the subject line when switching to a new topic; that avoids long email chains. Obsessing over the content of subject lines now will make it easier for you to find emails later (because only subject lines turn up in search results).

Scanning and Structuring

PDF Scanning

  • Scan all documents to PDF (Portable Document Format).
  • Scan must be done in black and white (not grayscale and not color).
  • Scan at a resolution no greater than 300 x 300 dpi.

Document Structuring

  • Each document must be scanned to a separate PDF file.
  • Do not scan multiple documents together into a single PDF file.
  • It is sometimes difficult to determine where one document in a stack of papers ends and where the next one begins. Please be very meticulous in separating documents from one another.

PDF File Names

All documents must be named with the date (YYYY-MM-DD), the author’s last name, and a detailed description. Use initial caps for all big words in the description. For example, a document management protocol created on January 1, 2020 by Dane S. Ciolino would be named: “2020-01-28 Ciolino Electronic Document Management Protocol.”

  • Date. The “date” of the document is the date that appears on the document. The date is not the date you scanned the document.
  • Author. The “author” is the human being who authored the document–not the organization with which he is associated. If, however, no human being’s name appears on the document, use the name of the organization as the author.
  • Description. The “description” should describe the document in some detail. It should not be generic (like “Letter”), but instead should be descriptive (like “Jones Letter Putting Smith in Default for Non-Payment”). Use an initial capital letter for all words in the file name, except small words like “to” and the like.

Do not use unusual characters in file names like “, /, \, <, >, #, %, and, *. Windows cannot make file names out of them. (These are OK: -, $, ., (, ), !).

Disposition of Originals

After scanning, please retain all original papers if you wish. Do not send any paper to me; I hate paper and will delight in destroying it upon receipt.