«NEGLIGENCE ACTION CHECKLIST INSTRUCTIONS A. Insert in all negligence files. Keep loose as top item in file. B. Refer to Action Checklist Instructions for ...»
NEGLIGENCE ACTION CHECKLIST
A. Insert in all negligence files. Keep loose as top item in file.
B. Refer to Action Checklist Instructions for instructions on completing each step.
C. Enter follow-up dates and date each step when completed.
D. Responsible party abbreviations: A = Attorney; LA = Secretary/Legal Assistant
NO. BY INSTRUCTION
1. CLIENT INTERVIEW - PHONE Initial client contact by phone (if office interview, proceed to step 2).
1.1 LA Complete Master Information List (MIL) (Interview Questionnaire) as far as possible.
If insurance and minor injuries (sprains, cuts, etc.) complete 1.2 through 1.4.
If major injuries, (fractures, unconsciousness, or more than emergency room hospitalization - treat as major), proceed to 1.5.
1.2 LA Direct client to see the doctor.
1.3 LA Set up office interview with Attorney and proceed to step 1.4.
1.4 LA Mail Client Instruction Brochure (AAL-1) with Attorney Retainer Agreement (AA-1) and Client Records Authorization (AA-2) with SASE.
1.5 LA If major injuries, set up attorney interview with client and prepare Retainer (2 copies), Records Authorizations (3 copies). If State Workers’ Compensation or LSHW claim involved, include appropriate Department of Labor Claim Forms, Power of Attorney, Verification and Forma Pauperis forms (WC-1, WC-2, WC-8, WC-9). Proceed to step 2.
2. CLIENT INTERVIEW - OFFICE Attorney or Legal Assistant completes preliminary information on Master Information List.
2.1 A Determine whether to accept case and give information to LA for preparation of Retainer Agreement (2 copies AA-1), Records Authorization (3 copies AA-2), Department of Labor Claim Forms, Power of Attorney, Verification and Forma Pauperis forms, as needed.
NOTE: If minor client, in preparing Records Authorization, put minor’s name at end of each paragraph and above signature line. Insert “by” and put parent or Tutor’s name under signature line.
2.2 A Explain case procedure; give client Instruction Brochure (AAL-1); introduce Legal Assistant to complete Master Information List and forms.
2.3 LA Complete MIL and have client sign and date Retainer Agreement, sign Records Authorizations, (Department of Labor Claim Forms, Verification and Forma STEP DONE NO. BY INSTRUCTION Pauperis Oath, if Workers’ Compensation claim to be made).
2.4 LA Make future arrangemen
Use 10 file folders in expandable folder; insert materials in file chronologically as
received, keeping categories together:
4.1 LA Enter target date for completion of investigation in 30 days.
4.2 LA Enter prescription date in Attorney’s and Legal Assistant’s diaries in Red ink.
4.4 LA If not completed, diary to follow up. When completed, proceed to Step 5.
5. NOTICE OF REPRESENTATIONAttorney makes preliminary determination of proper parties, plaintiff and defendant.
Return to Legal Assistant for notice of representation.
5.1 LA Send notice letter to defendant party/insurance company and appropriate Department of Labor claim forms. Describe injuries and disability if known.
STEP DONE NO. BY INSTRUCTION
5.2 LA Send out Referral Thank You Letter (AAL14).
6. INVESTIGATION Legal Assistant and Attorney determine investigation required using Checklist. As time required, enter target date for completion on Checklist.
6.3 LA Enter deadline dates for completion of Checklist. Date and file tickler card for further investigation deadline dates.
6.4 LA When investigation completed, proceed to Step 7.
7. PRELIMINARY CASE EVALUATIONUpon completion of investigation, return file with trial notebook forms (TNB1) to attorney for preparation. Trial notebook forms are kept in File Control Folder.
7.1 A Review file and prepare preliminary statement of facts (TNB1).
7.2 A Prepare a preliminary analysis of theory of case, parties and damage issues.
7.3 A Research preliminary issues for applicable rules and required factual foundations.
7.4 A Consider necessity for further investigation to develop facts or persuasive proof.
8. ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATIONLegal Assistant initiates additional accident investigation and completes proof of damages required for settlement negotiations.
8.1 LA Contact investigator to do additional investigation determined in Step 7 (WCL-6).
Diary 5 days to follow up for report.
8.2 LA Upon receipt of investigator’s report, complete witness evaluation sheet (WC-4B) by STEP DONE NO. BY INSTRUCTION phone with investigator and send out witness thank you letter (WCL15).
8.3 LA Check on status of client’s medical treatment.
8.4 LA Upon client’s discharge by doctor, review file and make sure all bills, reports, work records, loss of wage information, and estimates are requested and received. Diary file to follow up on requests.
Upon completion proceed to Step 9.
9. SETTLEMENT Legal Assistant and Attorney prepare file and conduct settlement negotiations.
9.1 LA Prepare the Injury Evaluation Worksheet (AA-4) and Medical Summary (AA-4A) using assembled medical and damage data. Copy appropriate pages from disability evaluation handbooks and return file to Attorney for evaluation.
9.2 LA Enter a settlement negotiations target date on Action To Do Chart and Checklist.
9.3 A Make final determination of proper parties and settlement value and obtain client authorization to settle.
Fill in settlement figure on Injury Evaluation Worksheet (AA-4) and Medical Summary (AA-4A) to return to LA to prepare Settlement Letter (AAL20) or Settlement Brochure (AAL20A) as instructed on Checklist.
10.2 A Review file and MIL and determine factors in checklist. As decisions are made, fill in appropriate information on MIL and return to LA for drafting pleadings.
10.3 LA Prepare petition using MIL and the Petition forms (AA-5 to 9). Upon completion, return to attorney for review and signing.
11.1 LA Enter target date for motions and answer in Action To Do Chart and Checklist.
Diary File 5 days to follow up on filing date and Court allotment.
11.3 LA If no service, check with sheriff for reason. Obtain better address or otherwise correct problem and get sheriff to reissue service (AAL18). Return to 11.2 and rediary.
11.4 LA When service is verified, enter date and manner of service on MIL or Pleading Summary Sheet. Diary 15 days from service date to follow up on answer.
11.5 LA If no answer filed, check to see if attorney or insurer has requested extension of time.
1) If so, call for answer at expiration of extension and re-diary for 5 days.
2) If no extension, consult with Attorney before proceeding with default.
11.6 LA When answer or exceptions filed, return file to Attorney for preparation of response and discovery.
LA 1) If answer filed and responsive pleadings required in Step 11.6, prepare and file.
LA 2) If answer filed and no responsive pleadings required, proceed to Step 12.
LA 3) If exceptions, issue any subpoenas and diary file for day before hearing date. On dismissal of exceptions, return to Step 11.4 and diary to follow up on answer.
1) Schedule depositions, after checking Attorney’s diary, by calling defendant’s attorney for date and agreement to produce defendant or witness under his control.
File original notice with Court and mail service copy to attorney.
2) If no agreement or impartial witness, file notice, mail copy to attorney and issue subpoena to witness (AAL16 & 16A).
3) Arrange for court reporter and diary file for day prior.
4) Deliver file and Deposit Checklist (AA16B) to Attorney day before deposition.
A 5) Attorney - conduct deposition.
If further discovery required, return to Step 12.1. If none, proceed to Step 13.
12.5 LA Defendant’s Interrogatories to Client:
13.2 A Review and complete Statement of Facts (TNB2)
13.3 A Complete Outline of Legal Issues & Theories of Case (TNB3)
13.4 LA Review and Re-Analyze Pleadings (TNB4)
13.9 A Draft preliminary outline of Opening Statement (TNB9)
13.10 A Draft preliminary outline of Direct Exam (TNB10) _____ Note any evidence needed or questions of admissibility
13.11 A Draft preliminary outline of Cross Exam (TNB11)
14.3 LA Send out witness lists and exhibit list.
_____Diary to obtain defendant’s pre-trial order insert
14.4 LA Review and approve defendant’s inserts.
_____ Return to LA for completion of order and filing
14.5 LA Complete final pre-trial order with defendant’s inserts
15.5 LA Complete things to do on Checklist. Diary file for witness interviews.
15.6 A Conduct witness and client pre-trial interviews. Proceed to Step 16.
16.1 LA Take notes at Voir dire - Complete Juror Fact Sheets (TNB8a) for each juror during voir dire. Note any answers which may be helpful.
16.2 LA Opening statements - make notes of facts defendant claims will prove or at issue.
16.3 LA During trial generally - keep trial notebook in order and up-to-date with notes on motions, direct and cross examination, order of witnesses.
Complete exhibit list as exhibits numbered and entered.
17. POST TRIAL MOTIONS
17.1 A Review checklist for desired post-trial motions and Legal Assistant prepared draft of
judgment or post trial motions:
17.3 LA If judgment in client’s favor, obtain signed judgment. Diary file for 30 day appeal period to follow up on payment of judgment or appeal or execution of judgment.
18.1 LA Obtain copy of record and transcript upon notice of filing in appellate court.
18.2 LA Enter diary dates for brief filing deadline. Give to attorney for brief.
18.3 A Determine record complete. Research and draft brief.
19. JUDGMENT - SETTLEMENT
19.1 LA If settlement or Judgment check received: