MyCase is days away from launching a really cool new feature: Workflows. Workflows are date-based task templates. Here’s the idea. Let’s say you schedule a dispositive motion for August 28, 2013, in federal court. In Minnesota, that means your brief is due 42 days earlier, on July 17th. The response will be due 21 days after that, on August 7th. You can file a reply 14 days after that, on August 21st. Chances are you have an aspirational briefing schedule for your brief. Maybe you generally want a draft from your associate a week before the due date, then you want to finalize your brief the day before it is due. And for filing, you have a checklist:

  • File brief, affidavits, and exhibits via ECF
  • Ensure motion papers and notice of ECF are saved to the client’s file
  • Email proposed order to the judge
  • Mail 2 paper courtesy copies of motion papers to the judge
  • Email copy of motion papers to the client

For the response, you’ll want to send a copy to the client, and you will have a similar checklist for the above for your reply. And so on.

Entering all those tasks and deadlines for every motion is tedious and time-consuming. Instead, MyCase lets you set up a Workflow — a template, basically — for dispositive motions (or anything else you can think of). And the best part is that it is really easy to use, unlike the complicated, hard-to-use features of most old-school practice-management software. If you can create a task or appointment, you can set up a Workflow. Once you have a Workflow, you can add it to any case. Just specify the key date (the motion hearing, in my example), and all the related tasks and appointments will be added to your case.

I have heard practice management software users asking for this feature for years, and it’s awesome to see MyCase deliver it, especially in such a simple, easy-to-use package. The only thing I’d like to see is the option to create Workflows that are not related to a date. For example, my file-opening checklist is not really date-dependent, but I want to add it to my new files. But it still has a number of items in it that are tedious to add separately. I would love to be able to create a Workflow that is all tasks, no dates.

MyCase users should see the new feature in their settings on Monday. Bog Bob Ambrogi got the scoop, and has a bit more information.