Why Aren’t You Using Calendaring and Docketing Technology?

legal software

Why Aren’t You Using Calendaring and Docketing Technology?

by Alex Manners, Director, CompuLaw Product Management

At the risk of sounding like a salesperson cleverly posing a hypothetical question, this is a fair one to ask a law firm. Calendaring and docketing technology has been around for many years, but for some reason many firms still prefer to calculate their own deadlines manually. So, when we ask firms this very question, it’s not a hypothetical; it’s because we really want to know why.

When talking to these firms, regardless of size or location, remarkably we almost always get the same five responses. But even more remarkable is that these responses are rooted in the myths that have been passed down over the years.

It’s peculiar how modern-day myths get perpetuated. Back in the 90s it was by chain email, and now it’s by social media. There are the obvious false ones, like the north African oil magnate’s widow who will give you ten percent of her husband’s multi-million-dollar fortune if you’ll simply provide your bank account information. To the more plausible ones that incorrectly become accepted fact, like the commencement speech about wearing sunscreen that was allegedly delivered by Kurt Vonnegut.

New technology that disrupts the status quo is always initially met with skepticism. And truth be told, many times the new technology does have some flaws and kinks that need to be worked out before it can be trusted by the masses. But long after the flaws have been ironed out, the objections still remain – even when they are no longer accurate, even if they were never accurate in the first place.

When it comes to calendaring and docketing technology, such myths remain. In the newly published Legal Business Report titled Debunking the Myths of Calendaring and Docketing Technology we separate the fact from the fiction about the five responses we most commonly hear when we ask our not-so-hypothetical question mentioned earlier. Below is just one of the myths debunked:

MYTH: THERE’S NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT WITH CALENDARING TECHNOLOGY

Many firms continue to operate under the assumption that calendaring systems cost more than they’re worth. Firms make decisions based on the view that they won’t see cost reduction or efficiency returns on a calendaring technology investment. CFOs continue to fight budget requests for these systems in law firms.

CFOs will be happy to learn that malpractice insurance costs go down with the right calendaring and docketing system. Several malpractice carriers now requirerules-based docketing solutions to lower risks. Carriers allow firms to continue to calculate deadlines without technology but insist that they double check them against the technology outputs. The carriers want a safety net against human manual error. These carriers give firms with centralized, rules-based systems a discount, lowering insurance costs and keeping the firm compliant with carrier requirements.

Staff experience colossal efficiency gains with calendaring software. The automatic date calculation engines, rule change monitoring, and updates from highly trained and specialized experts are game-changers. Rather than spending their day calculating deadlines and triple checking them, firm staff are freed up for higher-value work. Firms report less staff burnout, turnover, and mistakes following technology adoption.

One CFO, after returning from negotiations with the firm’s insurance carrier, told us, “Our $50,000 investment in calendaring and docketing software saved us $200,000 in insurance premiums the first year. Wish we’d done this years ago.

Reality Check
According to Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company, the largest number of malpractice claims each year are the result of missed deadlines. The most common reason for missing deadlines is the lack of a calendaring system.

The calendar is one of the most indispensable elements to the day-to-day life of a lawyer. Yet it is the component that is most susceptible to human error – error that can spell doom for the client, the lawyer, and even the firm itself. Therefore, it’s irresponsible to risk malpractice exposure by eschewing a technology solution that specifically addresses it. Perhaps it’s time for you to ask yourself, “Why aren’t I using the calendaring and docketing technology?”

Even if you think you have a plausible answer, you should read the rest of the report Debunking the Myths of Calendaring and Docketing Technology which can be viewed in PDF format without registration.

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