Got a Mass Tort Case? Tips for Getting Started
When accepting a mass tort case, it can be a daunting task to manage a large group of clients. Whether a firm is brand new to mass tort litigation or just looking to brush up on best practices, below are tips to improve the flow of information – both to clients and to the firm.
Client communication is key in any matter. However, communication can be difficult when dealing with hundreds or thousands of cases. Before client communication overwhelms a firm, consider taking the following steps:
Set up a litigation-specific informational web page where clients can find the answers to frequently asked questions and any forms they may need to complete.
Establish a separate toll-free number for each litigation the firm is working on and use call center technology to automatically route incoming calls to the appropriate line.
Equip staff with the answers to frequently asked questions so they have the necessary information on hand. Draft detailed scripting and provide rigorous training for staffers to ensure your clients receive clear, accurate and consistent messaging. Staffers should be cross trained on different litigations and should be able to easily access the data they will need to respond to inquiries.
Maintain a record of each call, as this may provide useful insight in the future and show written records of communication, should this come into question at any point. Ideally, client calls should be recorded with call logs and detailed call notes automatically documented in your case management system. Tracking data such as date, time, and length of calls will help you gauge time and resource needs in the future.
The above tips will keep clients updated and informed. But how do firms stay updated and informed on the status of a case inventory? Ideally, a firm should have a reporting system that easily and quickly produces real time reports and reduces or eliminates the need to sort through spreadsheets and other records.
These reports should display a bird’s-eye-view of your case inventory, including:
The number of cases in each phase of the development process and how long they have been in that phase
The number of cases that meet the intake criteria versus the number that do not
Where cases stand in the medical record retrieval process and what barriers are preventing case progression
While overview reports are important, practitioners must be able to drill down to each client’s individual case. Having each client’s data at the ready enables confident answers to critical questions, the ability to check for missing information, and quickly assess the strength of the client’s case.
What if a firm doesn’t have the technology and staff to manage these processes internally? Outsourcing is an increasingly popular solution for firms that don’t have the capacity to deal with every aspect of a complex litigation.
Epiq offers an array of case development services to assist your firm in the matters discussed above.
For more information, please contact Crystal Utley, Vice President of Mass Torts at Crystal.Utley@epiqglobal.com
Byline: Megan Heller, Esq. serves as the Mass Tort Research Manager for Epiq, where she serves as a subject matter expert on mass tort litigations and trends in the mass tort industry.