This article discusses how to monitor changes in the rolodex and enforce security for specific rolodex category types such as a Client, Employer, Attorney, Doctor, etc. First, we will illustrate what we call The Basic Problem. Next, we will examine real situations and problems that may arise out of those scenarios. We will then explain ways to gain much greater control over changes made in the rolodex.
The Basic Problem
When you want to make a change that will affect one case only (such as a new opposing attorney), you need to Detach that name from the Parties Sheet and Attach the name you want from the rolodex (Detach/Attach). When you want to make a change that will affect several cases (such as a name or street address that is spelled wrong) you want to make the change in the rolodex (Edit).
As simple as this may seem, you may explain the above to your staff over and over, again and again and frustrating as it is - the rolodex continues to always appear out of control due to user errors and other unexplained phenomenon. This article will show you how to gain much greater control over your rolodex and end these problems. You will be able to see who is making mistakes so that they may be further trained and the rolodex entries may be quickly corrected. Also, these users will not continue to make the same mistakes again and again.
In sum - users don't understand the difference between when to Detach/Attach and when to Edit the rolodex. Therefore, you may configure A1-Law to gain much greater control over your rolodex and therefore you will greatly enhance the data integrity in the rolodex. The information will be accurate and you will be able to rely on it.
We now examine a real world situation and scenarios that may cause problems with data integrity in the rolodex.
Situation and Example
Suppose you have 100 sample cases. Next, suppose the following:
First, suppose Jon Doe at ABC Law Firm in Los Angeles is attached to cases
Second, suppose Sally Doe at ABC Law Firm in Los Angeles is attached to cases 11-25.
Third, suppose Steven Doe at ABC Law Firm in San Francisco is attached to cases 26-50
Fourth, suppose Mary Doe at ABC Law Firm in San Francisco is attached to cases 51-100
Now - several things may happen in the life of any given case or cases. We are going to examine several situations and problems that may arise out of them.
The following is the most common mistake users make causing problems in the rolodex:
Suppose Jon Doe at the Los Angeles office is no longer handling case #5 but Sally is now the opposing attorney handling the case at the ABC Law Firm. How SHOULD your staff make the change?
Problem - your staff goes into the rolodex and changes Jon Doe to Sally Doe. Now, we have TWO rolodex cards with Sally Doe and Jon Doe is no longer in the rolodex at all. Therefore, cases 1-10 have all been transferred to Sally. This would be fine if Jon left the firm but still, chances are, you would want to go into each case separately since each case may be assigned to different attorneys at the ABC Law Firm. So, editing the rolodex card would be a huge mistake since it affects all the cases that are attached to that card.
Answer - Pull case #5 and go to the Parties sheet. Next, we want to DETACH the Jon Doe/ABC Law Firm entry in the parties sheet and ATTACH Sally Doe/ABC Law Firm to the Parties sheet. Then, we want to move Sally Doe to the same spot in the Parties Sheet that Jon Doe was in. Due to the number of steps involved - this may be automated by checking the Enhanced Rolodex Security checkbox in Configure System Defaults, Rolodex Security. Then, if one double clicks an entry in the Parties Sheet, A1-Law will automatically replace the current entry (Jon Doe in our example) with the new entry (Sally Doe in our example). Therefore, A1-Law automatically Detaches Jon Doe, Attaches Sally Doe and then puts Sally Doe in the same spot in the Party list that Jon Doe was in. This is a huge time saver and this feature alone should eliminate a lot of user errors.
Therefore, it's strongly recommended to have the Enhanced Rolodex Security checked. This also forces users to go into the rolodex if they need to make a change. They may still click the NAME link at the Parties sheet to quickly edit the entry from the Parties Sheet in the rolodex.
Suppose Jon Doe at the Los Angeles office is no longer handling case #5 but case #5 is now being handled by a completely different firm. Case #5 is now being handled by Jon Smith at the ZZZ Law Firm in Sacramento.
Problem - your staff goes into the Jon Doe rolodex card and changes the Jon Doe rolodex card to Jon Smith and changes the firmname to ZZZ Law Firm. Once again - when your staff needs to make a change for only one case they must detach the card from the Parties sheet and attach the new card. In this example, since Jon Doe's card has been changed to Jon Smith, Jon Doe is no longer in the rolodex and it now appears that Jon Smith at ZZZ Law firm is handling cases 1-10.
But - there is another problem. The staff has also changed Firm Information in the rolodex. They changed ABC Law Firm to ZZZ Law Firm. So, if all of the attorneys were attached to the Los Angeles ABC Law Firm then it would now appear that the Los Angeles ABC Law Firm has been shut down, no longer exists and has been taken over by the ZZZ Law Firm in Sacramento. This is because the ABC Law Firm in Los Angeles no longer exists in the rolodex since it has been edited and changed. Now - the other side of the coin is if ABC Law Firm moved down the block or changed the name of their firm to say ABCD Law Firm and added a partner then you should only need to change the firm information for one card and not have to go into each attorneys' rolodex card at the Los Angeles address.
Answer - Just like Scenario #1 - From the Parties sheet, you want to Detach Jon Doe and attach the Jon Smith card at the ZZZ Law Firm.
Suppose we are moving names up and down in the Parties sheet and we make one critical mistake.....one may easily move names up or down in the Parties sheet by clicking the up or down arrow in the lower right corner of the parties list. However, the client should always be in first position. This is the Primary. That's what we mean when we Search For A Case and the Primary Names Only checkbox is checked. We are then limiting our search to clients regardless of whether the type is Client, Applicant, Plaintiff, or Defendant. For a firm that does strictly workers' compensation they may choose to want to restrict the category type of the primary to either Applicant or Client. That's what checking the Primary Party Security at Configure System Defaults, Rolodex Security will do. It forces the first entry on the party sheet to have a type of either Applicant or Client.
Configure System Defaults, Rolodex Security, Warn When Changing Rolodex Entries
This is something you may want to consider checking. Consider that attaching and detaching names from the parties sheet only affects that case and no other cases in the system. However, when you make a change in the rolodex - it could affect hundreds of cases. Imagine, an innocent change for an insurance company from say 12345678 South Wilshire Blvd to 12345678 South Wilshire Blvd, Suite 245. This is a great change since we are adding a suite to the address. It makes a lot of sense. We do this in one rolodex card and the change is reflected for every case that is attached to that rolodex card. That is exactly what we want. The problem is when we want to make a change for one case. Perhaps the case is transferred to San Francisco. We DO NOT want to change the address to San Francisco for that entry in the rolodex or it will change for every case attached to that rolodex card. This is an enormous problem and seems to cause a lot of confusion for staff. They must remember when making changes for one case only - just Detach one card and Attach another and then only the case in question is changed.
However - sometimes it needs to be explained over and over again and again. Therefore, checking this box really warns you before editing a name in the rolodex. A1-Law tells you just how many cases (at a minimum) may be affected by the change. Also, if you click the NAME link from the Parties sheet it further asks you if you really want to make a change in the rolodex or if you just want to make a change for only that one case.
Configure System Defaults, Rolodex Security, Security For Categories
Of all the features mentioned so far - this is probably one of the most important since it allows you to restrict what users may edit in the rolodex.
Once again - from the beginning of this article, many users don't understand the difference between when to Detach/Attach and when to Edit the rolodex. However, sometimes it just doesn't matter because depending on the category they may always want to Edit.. For example, if the rolodex category is CLIENT and the client's name or address changes, you want to edit that information in the rolodex. You would probably never want to Detach the CLIENT and attach a different client to the Parties Sheet. Therefore, certain categories in the rolodex will much more likely be Edited and not Detach/Attach. These categories will probably not need to have restricted rights.
The concept is you may want to allow certain staff members to only edit specific categories like the CLIENT. Only the head of their department should be given rights to make critical changes in the rolodex to any other categories. Let's look at the following example below:
In this example, the users ABC,BBB,CCC may only edit rolodex entries that have a category APPLICANT or CLIENT. Also, DDD and EEE may only edit APPLICANT,CLIENT,EMPLOYER. All other staff members have full rights unless there are other limitations in their Configure Staff Defaults. They may not edit any other entries. Now, if they try and edit an ATTORNEY or INSURANCE or DOCTOR or any other category, A1-Law will tell them their access is denied but they may click a Request Changes button at the Read Only Access Rolodex View/Edit window. Then, A1-Law will automatically prepare an Email with the basic information about the rolodex card and they may further type in what change they are requesting to be made.
This change is then sent to the appropriate staff members who may then determine whether the change should be made or not. You may set up Email/Administration Tracking so that A1-Law knows who the appropriate staff members are to send the Email to. See the next Scenario for setting up Email/Administrative Tracking.
Configure System Defaults, Rolodex Security, Email Administration/Tracking
This option allows A1-Law to exploit the Email system to further track all changes or request for changes to the rolodex. We will explore each option in the example given when you click the Email/Administrative Tracking button from the Configure System Defaults, Rolodex Security. First, here is the full example:
ChangesMade - From-GST To-GST
ExcludeCategories - Applicant,Client
Now - let's examine what each one does and some possibilities.
ChangesMade - From-GST To-GST
ChangesMade - From-GST To-GST,AAA,BBB
ChangesMade - To-GST,DDD,EEE
This parameter tracks every change made to every rolodex entry except any categories stated with the ExcludeCategories parameter. The first example above ChangesMade - From-GST To-GST tells A1-Law to send an Email to GST for changes made. Also, the From parameter says the Email should be From GST rather than from the user who made the change. This means the Email will not be displayed in that user's Sent Mail. If the From parameter is left out, then the Email will be displayed in that user's Sent Mail (the user who made the change in the rolodex). The second possibility ChangesMade - From-GST To-GST,AAA,BBB is similar to the first but the Email will be sent to three staff members GST, AAA and BBB. Also, the Email will not be in the Sent Mail for those who made the change but rather it will be in GST's Sent Mail. The last possibility says that the changes will be sent to GST, DDD and EEE but the Email's will be in the Sent Mail for those who made the changes.
This parameter is simply a default of who to send an Email to when users don't have rights to make changes to a rolodex entry and the click the Req Change button at the Read Only Access Rolodex View window.
This parameter as stated above tells A1-Law not to send an Email to anyone when certain categories are changed. If you want A1-Law to send an Email for all categories, do not include this parameter at all.
This option creates a text file in the A1Law\Text folder called ROLOEDT1.LOG displaying all changes made in the rolodex. This may also be in Emails being sent however, A1-Law tracks all changes in the log file regardless of the ExcludeCategories parameter.
This option is similar to the LoggingOn but creates a table called ROLOEDT2.DBF for exporting and spreadsheet purposes.
This option also tracks additions and sends an Email every time someone adds an entry in the rolodex. Here again the ExcludeCategories only applies to sending Emails and does not apply to the Logging or the LogTable. All entries added to the rolodex will be recorded in the logs if one enters the TrackAdditions parameter. No entries are sent via Email and no entries are logged if this parameter is not entered.
We hope this article will help you manage your rolodex with greater integrity, control, and confidence.