The Closer

A Mediation Newsletter January 2012

Caseload Management
by James Rainwater

In nearly any business, customers want action now. In the law, clients want results now. A common complaint among clients is that the attorney is not doing anything, never returns calls, or is taking too long to address their problems. As a functioning business, how can attorneys maximize their business while maintaining strong client service and reducing negative feedback?

Administratively, it behooves any business to return calls promptly, address customer concerns, and produce the product or service that was promised. Legal practitioners can take a lesson from well-run organizations and succeed at efficiently meeting client expectations: Listen to what the client is actually saying, offer the client timely advice, and treat the client with utmost respect regardless of status or wealth.

Since most filed cases are ordered to mediation, this is an excellent opportunity to provide some efficacious service to your client. It is also an opportunity to service the client quickly and possibly dispose of the case sooner than later. Consider the time spent by you or your staff on the telephone speaking with clients and providing constant case updates.

Mediation offers your clients that opportunity to receive relatively quick results by putting them at the conference table and in front of the opposing party. It is also your chance to formally negotiate with opposing counsel face-to-face. The mediated settlement conference has the potential to successfully conclude the matter with relatively little resources used.

When it comes to maximizing time and effort, mediation has few peers in the legal field. It can help to avoid all those potential client telephone calls, inquiries, and miscommunication. Mediation can also crystallize the issues and possible solutions. A prompt resolution of the case not only makes your client happy, it also streamlines your workflow. This case management approach yields the combination of a satisfied client who is likely to give glowing recommendations and a more productive and efficient law practice.

Rainwater Law