Juris “Matter Status/Lock”

On the Matter Code tab there are two options for Status and Lock.   Both fields can be used to limit the ability of users to enter new transactions on the Matter.  Both fields are self-explanatory but let’s review the possibilities and functions of each field and perhaps unlock further benefits.

Status

O – Open Matter – This is the default status for all new Matters.  Signifies that the Matter is an active matter in Juris.

F – Final Bill Sent – Signifies that the final bill has been sent to the client.  Generally used in conjunction with the Lock setting of 3-Disallow Time and Expenses.

C – Closed Matter – This setting signifies that the Matter is no longer an active case with the firm.  There is no outstanding unbilled time/expense entries associated with the Matter, and the Accounts Receivable, Trust and Prepaid balances are all $0.00.   Time entries are not allowed on a Matter with a Status of Closed.

P – Ready to Purge – Signifies that the Matter could be purged from the Juris database.  Current Juris functionality doesn’t include the ability to purge Matter data even though the Status is set to “P”.   Purging data from the Juris database does not decrease the database size in any way.   Every single row that is deleted by purging is logged in that specifics table’s log file.   Since the log table has additional columns, database size actually increases, and page density is decreased.

Would anyone ever really want to purge the Matter history?  In my years (18+) of Juris experience, I’ve never worked with a client that wanted to purge matter history from their Juris database once they understood the effects of losing the data.  In reality what they wanted to accomplish was the ability to exclude closed matters from reports, lists, and views.   Matter history is vital to valid Conflict searches.

There are numerous reports in Juris Suite with parameters that allow the user to exclude matters with a Status of “Closed”.  If you need assistance reach out to the Juris Professional Services team:  jps@lexisnexis.com*.

*Additional fee may apply.

Lock

0 – Allow time and expenses –This is the default setting for all new Matters.   Signifies that users are able to enter time and/or expense entries on the Matter.

1 – Disallow time, allow expenses – Signifies that users are unable to enter time on the Matter but are allowed to enter expense entries.  The purpose of this setting is to ensure “Expense-Only” Matters.   Easy way to enforce “Expense-Only” bills be sent to a different person/billing address.

2 – Allow time, disallow expenses – Signifies that users are able to enter time entries on the Matter but are unable to enter expenses.  The purpose of this setting is to ensure “Time-Only” Matters.  For example the court mandates you to keep working on the case but the firm doesn’t want to spend extra money on the case, thus preventing expense entries.

3 – Disallow time and expenses – This setting prevents users from entering time and/or expense entries on the Matter.  When a case is over, this Lock allows the user to prevent further input on the Matter.  When there is existing activity on the Matter, i.e. Unbilled Time/Expense entries, Prepaid or Trust balances, or Accounts Receivable balances, you are unable to set the Matter Status to Closed.   Thus, this setting prevents access for further input by users.   This setting could also be assigned to the “Split To” matters if the Firm uses the “Split” function in Juris.  This would ensure that time/expense entries were prevented on those matters that exist only for Accounts Receivable purposes.