The Matter Dashboard is a quick and efficient way to find, view, and modify Matters which you have created. To access it, click on “Dashboard” from the Matter menu under the Practice ribbon.
This will take you to the Matter Dashboard screen.
From here, you have quick access to all the tabs that you would in the Matter window, in addition to the RCA (Remote Client Access) tab.
Matter Dashboard Options
Of particular note are the options at the top-left-hand side of the Matter Dashboard. Here, we will examine their function from left to right:
Filters: Matter Status Drop-Down – This drop-down menu will let you select whether you want to only view Matters which are Open or Closed. You can also choose to view All Matters.
Recent Checkbox: This checkbox will allow you to display Matters with the most recent activity at the top of the List view.
w/ no Case Manager: This checkbox will allow you to display only the Matters which have no Case Manager assigned to them. For more information on this field, consult the Matter section of this document.
Filter Icon (the icon that looks like a small yellow funnel): This is a customizable filter for your Matters. Clicking the icon will bring up the Filter side window.
This window will quickly allow you to set filters for your Matters based on Staff, Role, Case Manager, Client, Type/Subtype/Status, and Date range.
Staff Reassign Icon: The orange nuclear icon will open up a new frame to the right where you can (re)assign Staff.
Use this batch process to add staff members or re assign staff members or groups to the selected Matters. Select “Replace” to remove Staff with the current Role assignment prior to adding the new Staff member or group.
For example you want to reassign several matters to a different Case Manager. In this case you wouldn't want two Case Managers so check the 'Replace' box to remove the old Case Manager before adding the new one.
WARNING: IF YOU USE THE REPLACE OPTION EVERY ROLE OF THE SELECTED TYPE WILL BE REMOVED e.g. YOU HAVE TWO STAFF WITH THE ROLE OF 'Attorney', BOTH WILL BE REMOVED AND REPLACED.
You can also use the Search box at the top to filter Matter Dashboard results. The "Deep Search" checkbox will allow you to include related contact information in your search, such as email addresses, phone numbers, etc.
The last 2 icons at the top of the Matter Dashboard will let you toggle the view between the typical Dashboard view, and a more detailed and customizable List view.
In addition, one of the new features in HoudiniESQ 1.8.8 and above is the ability to generate a Statement for the Matter. In the Summary tab of a selected Matter, click the Statement button to generate a PDF copy of the current receivable account for the Matter, including payments which were made after the last Invoice.
Adding a Matter
A Matter in Houdini can be anything, including testimony, evidence, rulings, and sometimes arguments. Although a Matter is an expression often heard in trials and legal arguments, example: "such and such is a matter of record". In Houdini a Matter record is typically used to collect information pertaining to one of your client's cases.
Matter Form Menu
A Matter form is a window that allows you to create a new Matter. Click the "New" option under the Matters category of the Practice ribbon.
The Matter Form
The following is a break down of the Matter Form.
1. The Type dropdown: This downdown will let you select a Matter type. You will also be able to select an associated Subtype and Status Code. For more info see Types.
Notify: Click notify if you would like an alert whenever this Matter is changed.
2. The Rate Type
dropdown: This dropdown will let you select your Matter Rate Type, or MRT. MRTs are used to determine what rate Events will use. For more information see Matter Rate Types.
Matter Rate Type: Matter Rates are defined by you and your Organization (See Organization Settings). You can select a Matter Rate to be used when calculating a client's bill. (See Bill Rates, Matter Rates and Staff Level Configuration).
Terms: This is just a convenience field and is not required. The invoicing system does not utilize it currently.
Matter Closed: Check this box to close a Matter. This essentially archives the Matter and all its associated records. You can still search and view closed Matters.
3. Reference bar:
Reference: This is the term (essentially the name) you will assign to the matter. This term (Matter Reference) is often used to describe the parties involved and is used throughout Houdini when searching and linking other records to this Matter.
4. Client bar:
Client: Type the name of the client this Matter is associated with. You do not have to type an exact match, Houdini will suggest as you type. Select the Client.
Edit Client record icon (Pencil Icon): Click this icon to edit the Client.
New Client record icon (Green Plus Sign Icon): Click this icon to add a new Client to the system and this Matter. Clicking this Icon will reveal the Client entry form in place of the memo. When done the client form will disapear.
5. Matter Tabs: On every Matter record there are tabs that will display specific information when clicked. The tabs are Details, Events | Tasks, Docket, Todos, Docs, Research, Notes, Email, Ledgers, Forms, and RCA. The Details tab has three sub tabs that will be discussed below.
A. Details Tab: This tab has four sub-tabs described below. The Details tab is a quick way to view relevant general information about your Matter.
i. Details Sub-tab: This tab is where custom fields in HoudiniEsq are displayed for a Matter. If you have no custom fields created for Matters of the particular type of Matter that you are creating this will be blank. You can learn more on custom fields and creating them in HoudiniEsq here.
ii. Related Parties Sub-tab: All people involved in the Matter will be listed here. This includes staff members and related parties to the Matter. The left side of the form will display a listing of all the people are associated with the Matter, their role (like Client, Respondent, etc), the email address, and phone number. The right side lists all Matter Members and their role in the case. A Matter Member is a staff member who is allowed to view and access the Matter. To add or subtract Matter Members click the add or delete button on the bottom of the form. Adding new contacts is detailed below.
iii. Memo: The memo section is an area where text can be entered to better describe the Matter. Basically, if the custom fields and Type / Subtype do not offer enough detail on the Matter, the Memo lets you input as much addition text you might need. If a Matter is created through an Intake the Case Notes section of the Intake will be here.
iv. Audit: The Audit feature is a method to track changes that have occurred to a Matter. This is an administrative feature that is described in more detail here.
B. Events | Task: A list of events that have been recorded in the HoudiniEsq that are associated with the Matter.
C. Docket: This is an upcoming feature in HoudiniEsq that will integrate with Calendar Rules.
D. Todos: The Todos tab collects all the Todos associated with the Matter. Details on Todos can be found here.
E. Docs: Here is your access to the IRIS repository through the Matter Dashboard. All documents associated with the Matter can be viewed in this tab. An article on document management is available through this link.
F. Research: This tab has become antiquated in the system. It is will be removed on a future update.
G. Notes: If you have anything you need to record for a case the Notes tab is your place. Here you can create, edit, and delete Notes about the Matter.
H. Email: All emails associated with case can be viewed here. For information on setting up email please visit here.
I. Ledgers: The Ledgers tab offers a view of the financial and billing status of the Matter.
J. Forms: Upload custom forms.
K. Members: This tab list all the Matter Members associated with this Matter. A Matter Member is a staff member that is allowed access to the Matter. Information on adding Matter Members is available here.
L. RCA: The client in a Matter has the ability to access HoudiniEsq through a specific client portal. This is called the RCA, or Remote Client Access. This tabs allows you to limit or expand the amount of data the client can access, more information on the RCA is available here.
Adding a new Contact
Clicking the New Client icon (the plus icon left of the Client entry field) will reveal a Contact entry form. The form temporarily replaces the Related Contact and Memo areas.= as depicted in the image above.
This form is identical to the Contact form except that the anciliray record tabs and Contact memo fields are not present. Fill this form out and click [save].
Please note, you one use this form to add the primary Contact or Client to the Matter. To add Related Contacts add them from the Related Contacts area of the Matter form. See Adding Related Contacts below.
Adding Related Contacts
1. Click the Add Related Contact icon
2. Type your search criteria and select your client from the suggested list.
3. Click the check icon to accept and complete.
The selected Client will now appear in the Related Contact area along with the primary contact.
Customize the Matter Form
Just about every form can have custom fields placed on it. When you create custom fields you specify if they are Matter, Event or Contact fields and what category they will belong to. For example, you may want to have specific fields displayed when the Matter is a Personal Injury case and different fields appear for a Real Estate Matter. Custom fields are defined in the Organization manager can add up-to 64 custom fields per form. (See Customizing Forms for more information).
A Matter Member is any Staff Member that you would like to give access to the Matter. For example, you and several Staff Members are working on a case. Instead of having the Houdini Administrator set up permissions at a record level you can simply add a Staff Member as a Matter Member. To do so click the Members tab.
Click the [+] button to add a staff member. You will be presented with the Staff and Role drop down boxes.
Select a Staff member and their Role, and click the [save] button. The selected Staff member now has access to the Matter.
Please note, it is very important that you click the Notify check box on the General tab of the Matter form when you have Matter members assigned to your Matter. When the notify option is checked you will receive alerts anytime a Matter has been changed.
For more information on HoudiniESQ, please click here.