Being able to check identify conflicts of interest through conflict checkers is an important part of running any law firm. Keeping track of conflicts between multiple clients or parties should be second nature, but we’re only human and there are occasions where things do slip through the cracks. The sad reality is that when Lawyers miss a conflict through no fault of their own, they can find themselves in the hot seat – being disqualified, hit with a malpractice suit or some other litigation case being filed.
Here are a few reasons why law firms use a conflict checker to stay on top of conflicts of interest.
It Keeps You Legal
One of the biggest reasons for using conflict checkers is to make sure that your practice of the law stays legal itself. Obviously, the law changes based on particular states or jurisdiction, but the big list of rules that lawyers follow, generally, is the Model Rules of Professional Conduct from AmericanBar.org.
For example, Model Rule 1.7 defines a conflict of interest occurring between a lawyer and their client when the representation of one client will be “directly adverse to another client,” or when there’s a risk that representing one client will be “materially limited” by a lawyer’s responsibilities to another client.
The next rule, Model Rule 1.8 says that you have to avoid asking for gifts from clients, selling story rights for your client, giving your client money in most situations, letting your clients make deals with each other through you, such as one of them pleading to do time to let another one go free, and other conflicts.
All of this means that it’s important to get help through specific software that can make sure that you don’t make a mistake in terms of conflict because there could be severe consequences if you do.
Speed and Accuracy Increases
Using a program that makes use of an online conflict grid is much more accurate than trying to use a more traditional method like reading through reports, and then trying to figure everything out by hand through writing down potential conflicts. Humans are just prone to errors, and you certainly don’t want to lead something as important as eliminating conflicts of interest to a person who could miss something.
Using software to take care of this for you will make it that you can decrease your level of anxiety, as well as save you time and effort since the software can handle it for you. Computers can handle this chain of logic effectively, it’s one of the things computers excel at accomplishing.
It also reduces the necessity of looking up multiple different clients and aspects of their interaction, which can get quite complex when a person is trying to figure it out on their own and understand everything.
Computers don’t have any trouble with being distracted by multiple interactions. They can catalog everything instantly and perfectly.
Reduce Liability and Save Money
The potential costs related to insurance can be reduced if you use a conflict-of-interest program to ensure that conflicts of interest are eliminated before you begin any legal matter. This will make the running of a firm more cost-effective and will also reduce the need for extra worry and work over it, since staff members likely have other matters that they have to worry about.
Begin Work Earlier
In more traditional approaches, no work can begin until all conflicts of interest are eliminated. This means that if you have software to quickly and accurately do this for you, then you don’t have to wait for the process to complete before you do anything else.
However, if you use software to help, then you’ll know that it’s been done right and that you have covered all of the conflicts within a short amount of time. As a result, you’ll be able to get straight to your work on the case without the need to be distracted.
The easy and expedited process will help you get right to your legal work at the onset, giving you an advantage against those that don’t use this kind of software.
It’s hard to overstate just how much a significant jump-start on a legal matter can give you an advantage in obtaining the results that you want given the prevalence of deadlines in the legal field.
Easy Report Access
Many conflict checker programs have the ability to create reports that can be sent through email or even just through the network at your firm, so people can review them carefully and even ask for follow-up if necessary.
There’s also the ability to search through all records or through all fields inside of a database by parameters including non-clients or friends of the firm to be thorough. It also allows you to include any possible element in reports if a review is needed.
The important thing is to use quality legal software that includes a conflict checker among other elements. One example of this type of software for attorneys and law firms includes the time and billing software LawBillity. These types of programs have processes such as a conflict checker that can save you over 30 hours a month in administration time.
Most legal software has free trials that don’t require credit cards so you can test for yourself whether it will work for your particular needs. It makes sense to try out conflict checker software at the beginning a new case so you can see how its capabilities can make your job much easier.
Try LawBillity’s Conflict Checker
Ready to reduce your workload and try an automated conflict checker? Try LawBility for 14-days for free.