Strategic Claims Litigation Management

Strategic Claims Litigation Management Reporting and Metrics: Part 3

How to identify potential problem files

Our last blog post on critical litigation and analytics reports covered two very important topics: understanding closed inventory and identifying opportunities for early resolution. Both topics can be crucial for establishing cost savings procedures and looking at litigation portfolios more deeply. In our third post of this series, we’re going to look at identifying potential problem files, an important view that takes advantage of structured data captured during the litigation process to help claims leaders avoid potentially catastrophic outcomes.

As in prior installments, our goal with this blog is to call out the reports and data sets most often used by real CaseGlide customers and to share their best practices around reporting on the data they’ve structured in our litigation platform.

Identifying Potential Problem Files

Whether you want to acknowledge them or not, problem files are out there. These possible disasters-waiting-to-happen reside in your litigation portfolio and have the potential to cause all sorts of mayhem for your handlers and organization. You most likely have a list similar to the below in your head, but having the data in front of you regularly can make the difference between squashing a potential troublemaker in advance or reacting too late to a runaway claim en route to a bad outcome.

As with other reports we’ve discussed previously, the fact that your claims team members are handling numerous cases at once and flagging potential problem files becomes more and more difficult. The key is to identify what characteristic(s) may lead to a problem and build out regular reports that help alert you in time to reduce risk.

Some suggestions for what you might want to consider capturing:

  • Files with 3 or more legal budget revisions
  • Files with 3 or more exposure estimate revisions
  • Open Files with no exposure estimate at ___ days
  • Open Files with no budget at ___ days
  • Open Files with no favorability rating at ____ days
  • Open Files beyond ___ days with no demand recorded
  • Open Files beyond ____ days with no scheduled plaintiff’s deposition
  • Open Files with case strategy of “Early resolution,” beyond ___ days, with no offer recorded
  • Files with specific personnel deposed
  • Files with overdue pre-mediation reports
  • Files with overdue pre-trial reports
  • Files by number of overdue tasks
  • Files with low favorability rating and legal budget less than $_____
  • Files with no activity recorded in ___ days
  • Files with no invoices received in ___ days

You’ll notice there are a lot of fields in the above sample for variable data. That’s by design, as you should set the criteria for your specific business needs. For some, having no budget designated for a case in 30 days is not a potential problem, but it’s a critical step in the process for others. That’s the beauty with structuring your data. You can set the triggers for days, events, tasks, budget limits, and the like—all of which are unique to you. In doing this, you’re receiving reports that meet your criteria and you can avoid wasting time focusing on cases that don’t require your attention at that time.

Does this data really help avoid problems though?  We unequivocally believe so. A recent roundtable of claims executives posed a question – what is the one trigger you’ve found that could lead to a nuclear verdict against your organization? They all agreed that once requests for depositions of their apex officials (chief executive officers, chief operations officers, chief financial officers, etc.) began, there was a very high likelihood that the case was heading to nuclear verdict territory. By catching, structuring, and reporting on that deposition activity, a claims leader can start working toward settlement and hopefully resolving the case before it runs away on them.

We discussed last time that we can all agree that the longer a litigated claim stays open, the higher the expense. Likewise, the less we know about the case criteria that causes problems for us, the higher the risk of a negative outcome. Understanding what causes problems, setting the limits on the data where a category falls into ‘problem’ status, and then generating reports once that criteria is met, are all important pieces of the puzzle in knowing how your litigation portfolio is performing.

That ends this installment. Next up, we’ll discuss law firm and attorney management reporting: organizing your data to measure attorney performance and using that data to assign the right counsel to the right cases.

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