Teddy, Meekins & Talbert is based out of a southern plantation-style house that used to sit on 500 acres of farmland. But the tranquil setting houses a firm of great complexity and diversity. These attorneys bring together a wide range of practice areas, including personal injury, family law, and criminal defense. They are able to provide a wide range of services to their community. But their diversity brings its own challenges to managing their practice.
That’s why the firm decided to revolutionize the way they managed their cases and integrated with Filevine in 2017. In the following case study, firm co-founder and partner, David Teddy explains the changes Filevine brought to their practice, as it saves them time and simplifies their workflows.
The Cloud in Court
David Teddy is a trial lawyer. “I’ve been practicing for 30 years and my part of the practice is devoted exclusively to criminal defense,” Teddy said. Because of this, Teddy spends much of his time in court. “I’m in District Court every day handling a variety of misdemeanors. And then at least once or twice a month I’m in Superior Court actually trying cases in front of the jury.”
Teddy loves being a trial lawyer. But it comes at a cost. All that time in court is time spent away from his office. Often, he spends even more time waiting for his case to come before the judge. “Before Filevine,” he says, “we would have to sit there, wasting time. It was agonizing.” He lost “at least an hour—sometimes two—every day,” just waiting in court.
That delay could in turn set other projects back even further. Teddy explains, “we’d get back to the office late in the day and only then could we share information and make assignments for next steps. That would add at least a day of delay to each and every case we were currently trying to resolve .”
All of that changed when the firm integrated Filevine as their case management system. “Now I’ll be in court, but I’ll have my phone, ipad or laptop with me. That means I have my entire law office right there with me.” While Teddy waits in court, he works on his cases. He checks in with his staff, communicates with clients and can assign next steps/tasks for various cases.
Before Filevine, he explains, “I’d get back to the office and write a sticky note on the file, and then put it in a box for one of my team members to take action. Now while I’m still at court I make the assignment on Filevine. That team member has already finished the task by the time I get back.”
The switch to Filevine resulted in, on average, an additional hour’s worth of work completed every day. It also sped up several regular tasks by an entire day
“Overall, it makes everything more efficient, more timely and more productive,” says Teddy. “We’ve happily dived head-first into Filevine.”
Filevine doesn’t just help during downtime. Teddy also relies on it while actively trying a case. At any moment, he says, “if I need to see an indictment, client correspondence or any part of the case—it’s right there at my fingertips.”The benefits of cloud-based case management extend beyond the courtroom. “When I go on vacation, I want to be able to respond in case of emergency,” says Teddy. “Now if something happens, it doesn’t matter where in the world I am—I can pull up the file immediately. When I return, I can quickly see everything that happened while I was gone. That’s a pretty powerful thing to have.”
Simplifying the Office
Even when working from the office, Filevine saves time. Prior to using Filevine, the firm relied on a database called Legal File Management. “We sort of customized it ourselves with the help of an IT guy,” says Teddy. “But it wasn’t set up the way Filevine is. Someone would call needing information, and we’d have to put them on hold while we found the paper file and thumbed through the stack.”
Now, Teddy explains, “everything is scanned and organized in Filevine. All our information is right there on our screens. No time wasted. “We’re all able to say to whoever’s calling: ‘Sure, I can talk to you about it now!’”
Filevine has also helped to facilitate the firm’s transition to a paperless practice. “I used to print out important emails,” says Teddy. “Then I’d get a sticky note and write down an assignment to my team member to put this email in a particular file. Now Teddy uses Filevine’s email-tocase-file feature instead. “Each file has its own unique email address. I just forward the email straight there. I don’t have to print anything or ask anyone to file anything. It’s right there.”
The other feature that has simplified his staff’s work is Filevine’s text-to-case-file feature. “Everybody has a cell phone and everybody is texting,” says Teddy. “It’s a huge time-saver for us.” Previously, team members would try to call every client with an upcoming court date or appointment. “It took a tremendous amount of time, every day,” said Teddy. “Now we just text them. It’s faster for us and our clients love it.”
Customized For a Diverse Office
The attorneys at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert operate in different practice areas. They have different needs from their case management system. But they have all benefited from Filevine.
For Teddy, the biggest breakthrough is the ability to work on his files while he’s waiting in court. But for his co-founder Ralph Meekins, it’s probably the ability to organize vast amounts of paperwork. Meekins is a personal injury attorney. “Those files are thick,” Teddy explains. “Just piles of paper.” Filevine keeps his information organized, updated, and searchable.
With all their diverse needs, the attorneys of this firm required a highly customizable case management solution. That’s why they chose Filevine. “We found that the Filevine representatives were very patient with us,” Teddy said. “We spent quite a bit of time before we launched, thinking hard about how we wanted our screens to look.” Following their launch, they have continued to make adjustments. “We’re finding that Filevine is very receptive to the additional configurations that suit our specific needs,” he said.
Even with their diverse practice areas, attorneys quickly connected with Filevine. “They feel the interaction is so intuitive,” says Teddy. “The design of it just makes sense. It really enabled us to have a very short learning curve.”
Whether they’re working in an old southern mansion, a district courtroom or anywhere else in the world, the members of the firm stay connected and keep cases moving because of Filevine.