Intake to impact technology for advocates in case development
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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

TIG Conference

Austin, TX

January 31, 2008


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

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


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 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 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 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

  • Divorce

    • Custody of Jeffrey = main dispute

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


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 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 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • Web-based intake

  • Ohio example: www.legalaidline.org

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

  • Live Chat


Intake

  • 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

  • Multi-cultural issues

    • What if Mary’s family was Somalian?

    • Technology & cultural literacy

    • Multi-lingual and LEP clients


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

  • Social Networking sites:

    • Facebook

    • MySpace

  • Personal Search sites

    • Zabasearch


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 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 Facts

  • Videoconferencing & web conferences

  • Regional brief banks

  • Wikis and other litigation support tools

  • Mobile phone & internet devices


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 courtinfo.ca.gov


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

  • Document Assembly Systems

    • National NPADO Server

    • Judicial Forms Programs

    • Content Management Systems

    • TIG Projects re HotDocs

    • Pleadings & word processing systems

      • Macros and templates


Advocacy Tools

  • Litigation

    • Collaborative environments:

      • Legal Meetings

      • WebEx

      • Basecamp extranet

    • Document management

    • E-discovery

    • E-filing


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

  • Laptop

  • Projector

  • PowerPoint

  • Document camera

  • PDA

  • Cell Phone

  • Remote Access

  • Document Management Programs

  • Portable Printer

  • Email access

  • IM


Thanks!

  • Hugh Calkins [email protected]

  • Ed Marks [email protected]

  • Anthony White [email protected]


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