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Intake to Impact: Technology for Advocates In Case Development. TIG Conference Austin, TX January 31, 2008. What Is Our Goal In Using Information Technology In Support of Advocacy.

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Intake to impact technology for advocates in case development

Intake to Impact:Technology for Advocates In Case Development

TIG Conference

Austin, TX

January 31, 2008

What is our goal in using information technology in support of advocacy

What Is Our Goal In Using Information Technology In Support of Advocacy

  • To most effectively and productively gather and analyze facts and law, and apply them to produce persuasive work product that achieves the best possible legal result for our clients.

  • “It’s all about the client” – Technology must help us improve our advocacy.

A hypothetical case

A Hypothetical Case

Todd v East Ruralville School District – See separate Hypo File for Full Text of Hypo

Cast of characters

Cast of Characters

  • Andy Johnson, Staff Attorney

    • Graduated from law school 1 year ago

    • 6 months experience – domestic relations & a couple of eviction cases

  • Abby Lincoln, Managing Attorney

    • 10 years in East Ruralville

    • Specializes in housing & public benefits

Cast of characters1

Cast of Characters

  • Mary Todd, client

    • Seeks help for divorce and custody dispute

  • Jeffrey Davis – Mary’s 12-year-old son

    • Suspended from 6th grade for hitting a teacher

    • Failing math class

    • 2 prior suspensions this year

    • Diagnosed as ADHD

    • IEP plan in place, but ineffective

Cast of characters2

Cast of Characters

  • Jeffrey’s father

    • Wants full custody of Jeffrey

    • Says Mary is “too easy” on Jeffrey

    • History of disciplining Jeffrey with a belt – no police reports

    • Left Mary to move in with another woman he met at work

  • School Principal

    • Filed criminal charges against Mary for destruction of school property

    • Has threatened to have Mary arrested for trespassing if she returns to the school

Cast of characters3

Cast of Characters

  • You!

    • Litigation Director for Big State Legal Services, an LSC-funded program with 8 offices statewide

    • Based in Big City, 275 miles away

    • Visits the East Ruralville office once every 3 months, if you’re lucky

Legal issues

Legal Issues

  • Divorce

    • Custody of Jeffrey = main dispute

    • Mary’s testimony is only evidence of physical abuse by Jeffrey’s father

Legal issues1

Legal Issues

  • Medicaid denial

    • Evidence that Jeffrey’s behavior may be negatively influenced by a genetic blood disorder

    • Very expensive to treat – more than $80,000 per year

    • State Department of Family Assistance says the treatment is “not medically necessary”

Legal issues2

Legal Issues

  • Inadequate IEP

    • Doesn’t do much for Jeffrey other than 2 hours per week “extra help” tutoring from grad students

    • Focuses on ADHD but does not deal with mood swings or violent behavior

Legal issues3

Legal Issues

  • Criminal charges

    • Mary is facing prosecution for breaking the glass on the school principal's office door

    • Banned from school grounds under threat of additional charges for trespassing

Resource issues

Resource Issues

  • No local expertise

    • Neither Andy or Abby have ever handled an IEP case

    • Nearest attorney with IEP expertise is in Big City, 275 miles away

    • No experience with criminal cases – no local public defender’s office

Resource issues1

Resource Issues

  • Case work overload

    • The Medicaid issue alone would require more time to litigate than either Andy or Abby have available

    • May be tough to win the divorce case without resolving the medical and educational issues

Step 1 intake

Step 1 - Intake

  • Effective Intake Systems include….

    • Community presence where the clients are

    • Centralized telephone-based intake

      • Referred Within Firm to Regional Offices

      • Advise Only or Brief Service

      • Referred to Pro Bono

      • VOIP, telephone and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) options

        • Remote agents

        • Area Code Tracking

        • Automated scripts

Online intake

Online Intake

  • Web-based intake

  • Ohio example:

  • Intake done by social agency partners sent directly to the CMS

  • Live Chat



  • Mobile Outreach & Remote Offices

    • Access increased thru Mobile Work Sites

      • Courthouses & Justice Centers

      • Social Services Dept

      • CBO's

    • Mobile IT “Platforms”

      • Wireless Notebook PC

      • Mobile Printer/copier

      • Scanner

    • High Speed Internet Access

      • Shared Network access @ Mobile site

      • Use of Remote Access systems

        • Citrix

        • Terminal Services

        • VPN

      • Telephony Aircard

      • Dial up

Intake for diverse clients

Intake for diverse clients

  • Multi-cultural issues

    • What if Mary’s family was Somalian?

    • Technology & cultural literacy

    • Multi-lingual and LEP clients

Case acceptance

Case Acceptance

  • Video conferencing for case meetings

  • Data mining to screen for deeper issues

  • Logic trees and A2J interfaces

    • Illinois & Kent

    • JNANA based systems

  • Intake & case management systems

    • Developing Case Acceptance Guidelines and Business Rules

Developing the facts

Developing The Facts

  • Social Networking sites:

    • Facebook

    • MySpace

  • Personal Search sites

    • Zabasearch

Developing the facts1

Developing The Facts

  • State Databases

    • School Profiles

    • School Breakfast /lunch numbers (gauge of poverty level)

    • Anna Feeney (Program Review)

    • No child left behind list (Adequate Yearly Progress)

    • School Profiles

    • Learning Results

Developing the facts2

Developing The Facts

  • Client (parent) organization websites

  • In-house experts

  • Special Ed listserv

  • Instant Messaging (IM)

  • Website (DeskRef)

  • Medical Websites

    • PubMed

    • WebMD

    • University Medical Sites

    • HMO sites – Kaiser’s Interactive Drug Service

Developing the facts3

Developing The Facts

  • Videoconferencing & web conferences

  • Regional brief banks

  • Wikis and other litigation support tools

  • Mobile phone & internet devices

Developing the law

Developing The Law

  • Lexis/Nexis/WestLaw/CaseMaker

  • State Agency Websites

    • Administrative hearing decisions on-line

  • National Backup Centers

  • National listservs

  • Statewide Website Libraries

    • Illinois state

    • Pinetree

  • Court and Judicial Council Web Sites

    • CA

Developing the law1

Developing The Law

  • Public Interest Law Firm sites

    • LSNC.NET

  • Academic sites:

    • Chicago-Kent Access To Technology Center

  • RSS Feeds:

    • How do we manage “push” information processes?

Advocacy tools

Advocacy Tools

  • Document Assembly Systems

    • National NPADO Server

    • Judicial Forms Programs

    • Content Management Systems

    • TIG Projects re HotDocs

    • Pleadings & word processing systems

      • Macros and templates

Advocacy tools1

Advocacy Tools

  • Litigation

    • Collaborative environments:

      • Legal Meetings

      • WebEx

      • Basecamp extranet

    • Document management

    • E-discovery

    • E-filing

Litigation management

Litigation Management

  • Supervision & Professional Development

    • Management based on substantive expertise, not geography

    • On-line training resources

    • High quality litigation training and support

Trial or hearing

Trial or Hearing

  • Laptop

  • Projector

  • PowerPoint

  • Document camera

  • PDA

  • Cell Phone

  • Remote Access

  • Document Management Programs

  • Portable Printer

  • Email access

  • IM



  • Hugh Calkins

  • Ed Marks

  • Anthony White

  • Login