Create useful documents
By creating documents that help you organize case information, you will not only master the facts of the case, but you will also be in a great position to contribute to the overall strategy of a matter.
Some examples of documents that may be helpful in various matters include:
Many matters, whether they are litigation or transactional matters, may benefit from having a chronology of key events. As you gradually learn more about the underlying facts of a matter, create a master chronology of events. Each entry should include:
- a description of the event
- the date
- persons or entities involved
- the source of the information (if a document has been branded with a Bates label and produced in discovery, include that Bates number; otherwise, include information on where to find the document again)
By adding relevant details or even quoting phrases in the chronology, you are creating a searchable dataset to use throughout the matter.
List of key players
Keeping a list of involved persons and entities may also be necessary for large, complex matters.
In litigation matters, a log of key pleadings or discovery requests may be helpful to quickly find where an issue was raised or when a filing was made.
A log of relevant contracts may also be helpful in both litigation and transactional matters to help organize information.
In larger matters, it may prove helpful to create a master contact list so that information is easy to locate. This may include client contacts, firm colleagues working on the matter, vendors, clerk of court, or opposing counsel.
Key matter information
Keep a “cheat sheet” for each active matter you work on that very quickly lays out key information you should know about the case such as “bills in tenths,” “stay issued x date for indeterminate period,” or “partner hates calls – email only.” If you rotate off of a matter and are called back onto it, your cheat sheet will help you more quickly reorient yourself to the case.