What's a Matter?

In Prevail lingo, a matter is a case and vice versa. A single case, including everything that goes with it, is referred to in Prevail as a 'Matter'. Think of the matter as the attachment point for everything else that belongs with that case.

What can get added to a matter? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! Once you create matter in Prevail, the things you can "attach" to it include the following:

  • People (Plaintiffs, Defendants, Opposing Attorneys, Judges, Doctors, Witnesses, etc.)
  • Case Information (case-specific data like incident locations, conditions, dates, times, etc.)
  • Things (photographs, documents, etc.)
  • Appointments (depositions, hearings, etc., all logged automatically)
  • Tasks (follow ups, emails, phone calls, etc.)
  • Critical Dates (statutes, deadlines, document diaries, etc, all logged automatically)
  • Evidence (photographs, video, etc.)
  • Costs (a running total of all case costs incurred by your firm)
  • Medical History (If this is an injury or disability case, all medical providers and treatment history are tracked)
  • History (Prevail's automatically-generated chronology of absolutely everything that's been done in the matter)

When you stop and think about it, a lot of information goes into a single case. Documents frequently number in the thousands. Appointments and tasks can be in the hundreds. In the dark days before Prevail, the concept of the matter was already in play. It was just called "the file". It was about a foot thick and weighed about 20 lbs. The two overriding characteristics of "the file" were 1) that it could only be in one place at a time, and 2) you couldn't do much without it. If Bob pulled "the file" for a particular case and had it on his desk, nobody else could do much of anything on that case until they had "the file". Of course, that meant first figuring out who had it in the first place, then arguing with Bob about whether you really need it more than him.

We at Prevail didn't do away with the concept of "The File" - we just made it accessible to EVERYONE...AT THE SAME TIME. We understand that speaking or writing intelligently about a case requires instant access to every piece of information in your firm's possession about that particular case. That is exactly what you'll find in a Prevail matter: Every document, appointment, task, note, photograph or email anyone in your office has ever sent or received about the case, all instantly sortable by date, person, or any criteria you like. All the names and addresses of anyone and everyone associated with the case regardless of what role they play. All of this information and more is contained in each Prevail matter.

When you pull up a matter in Prevail, you get multiple pages, or tabs, along the bottom for different types of information relevant to that matter. For example, in an injury or disability case, the plaintiff's medical history is on the "Medical" tab. In a disability claim, all the claims currently filed and the status history of each of those claims can be found on the "Claims" tab. This type of user interface is fairly common in the software industry. What makes Prevail special is the fact you can customize this information for each type of law you practice, but still keep all your cases in the same database. A bankruptcy case will have one set of data fields and tabs, and a workers' compensation case will have a completely different set. Regardless of what type of case you pull up, the screens and data fields you're looking at will make perfect sense for that type of case. You can have a dozen or more different practice areas in a single database with each staff member seeing screens that look and act as if they were custom-designed just for what they do on a day-to-day basis. What each user sees depends entirely on the kind of case they're working in. The days of clunky, generic case management software are over. With Prevail, there's no need to make do with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Next: Contacts