Related Matters

Created by Allison Cloyd, Modified on Tue, 24 Jan 2023 at 04:04 PM by Robert Butler

Related matters allow you to make one matter in Actionstep related to another. Before you can do that, an Admin has to choose which types of Matter Types can be related to other Matter Types.

In this article, you will learn how to set up Related Matters for your Matter Types. 

Accessing your Related Matter Types

  1. You can access the Related Matters screen by navigating to Admin > Matter Types > (select the appropriate matter type) > Related Matter Types.
    Navigating to the related matters section in the admin area
    On the screen will be listed any existing related matter types.

Create a New Related Matter Type

  1. On the Related Matter Types screen, click the green "Add related matter type" button to the right of the screen.
  2. You will be prompted to select the matter type that you want to make related to the existing type you have open.
  3. Once selected, click "Save". You can then access the Related Matter Type to customize further (see the next section of this article).
    Adding a related matter type in the admin section

Mapping a Related Matter Type

If you have any Related Matter Types already set, you can edit them by clicking on the name or clicking the "Edit" button on the right-hand side of the matter type.
The related matters section on a matter type in admin with the 'edit' button circled

 

On the "Edit related matter type" screen, you can set the order of how your related matter types will appear but more importantly, you can set a number of values that will control what happens when a user creates a new matter as a related matter to an existing matter.

NOTE
When a new matter is created as a related matter from an existing one, then Actionstep can be set to take values that are applied to the original matter and apply them to the newly created one. This saves on data entry for your users.

For example, you can create a new matter as a related matter to an existing matter. When you do this, you can ensure that the 'Client' on the first matter is loaded as the client on the second or the 'Conflict of interest notes' data field in the original matter is loaded to the new matter.

The "Edit related matter type" screen has at least four sections (and likely more). We break down these sections, what each does, and the options under each below.

 

Matter types

Related matter types

This section will display the matter types that are being edited. 

You cannot change the values, it is just listing the source and destination matter types. 

FieldDescription
Source

This is the matter type that you are mapping from.

If a user is creating a new matter from an existing matter, the source will be the matter type of the existing matter. 

Destination

The destination is the matter type that you are mapping to.

If a user is creating a new matter from an existing matter, the destination will be the matter type of the new matter.

 

General Settings

Related matter type general settings

The General Settings allows you to choose the order that your related matter types will appear in and if you want to populate a new matter that is created as a related matter with a name and file reference based on the source matter.

We explain the fields further below.

FieldDescription
Sort order

Sort order is what Actionstep uses to put different items in the correct order. You will see it in multiple places throughout matter types. 

The number that you assign here will be compared to the sort order number on any other related matter type you create. A related matter type with a lower number will appear before a related matter type with a higher number.

TIP

When you enter sort orders, use numbers that are a multiple of ten, i.e., '10' for the first record, '20' for the second, '30' for the third, and so on. 

The reason why you want to do this is if you want to create a new related matter type at a later time that you want to be between two existing related matter types, you have 9 available numbers to assign to achieve this.

Destination 'matter name'

When you create a new matter from an existing matter, you can have the name of the newly created matter populate automatically. Any text that you type into this field will populate on the name of the new matter. 

You can use merge fields in this field to be able to pull information from the existing matter to populate that new matter's name.

EXAMPLE

"[[FullNameList|pt=Client]] - Litigation"

will name the new matter the name of the clients on the existing matter plus the words "- Litigation". 

Copy the 'file reference'

Every matter has a file reference, usually, an external reference that is loaded against the matter (for example, a court reference for criminal prosecution or a claim number for an insurance case).

If you switch this on, then the file reference on the existing (source) matter will be copied to the file reference on the new (destination) matter.

 

Copy sales data

Related matter type copy sales data settings

Every matter can have loaded against its sales data. This is used to track the probability and the expected value of a sale. By using this a firm can track potential clients they are going to engage with and the likelihood of engaging with them. 

If this is populated then in this section, you can choose what of that sales data is copied through to a new matter that is created as a related matter to an existing one.

To do so click on the switch beside Enable pre-populating to see a list of the sales data available. Tick the box beside any that you would like mapped between your two matter types.

 

Matter Parties

Related matter type matter parties mapping

In this section, you can choose which contacts that are loaded against an existing (source) matter will be copied through to a newly created (destination) matter.

This is done by mapping the participant types or roles that those contacts have.

If you want to map your parties, start by turning on the switch beside Enable pre-populating to see a list of the roles on the matter type that you would be creating a new version of (the destination matter type).

Matter parties mapping dropdown

Beside each role will be a drop-down with the different roles under the matter type that you will be creating the matter from (the source matter type).

From the drop-down, select the role that you would like the contact to be copied from. If you leave it set to the default "(Skip)" then that role will not be populated by any contacts.

TIP

It is possible to have more than one role populated from the same existing role. For example, the roles "Defendant" and "Client" might both come from the role "Client".

Your roles do not have to match in name to be mapped to each other.

 

Data: XYZ

Custom data mapping

If there is any Matter data on your matter type, there will be a further section added to the screen. You may see this option repeated for each data collection.

In these sections, you can choose to map information populated against a field on a data collection to a field on the type of matter that you are creating the matter from (the source matter type).

For each data collection, you can switch the Enable pre-populating to 'On'. When you do, all the fields under that collection will be displayed. Next to each will be a drop-down where you can choose the field you want it to be populated from. 

In the drop-down, the fields available will be sorted by data collection. Nex to the name of each field will be what type of matter data field it is.

NOTE

Some types of data fields will not map to other types. For example, a 'date' type of data field will not map to a 'Money' type of data field or vice versa. 

You can see what type of data field the field you are mapping is by hovering over the question mark icon beside the field's name. 

Custom data info pop up

 

Considerations for Mapping Your Related Matter Types

When you map one matter type to another matter type you are controlling what will be pulled from the first matter type and be populated in the second matter type. 

You can map one matter type to the same matter type so that when you create a new matter as a related matter to a matter of the same type you control what will be pulled from the source matter type into the destination. In this case, you need only do the mapping once.

You may, however, have to map two different matter types twice. When the first matter type is the source matter type and then again where the first matter type is the destination matter type.

This is because you might map items differently depending on the types involved. See the example below.

EXAMPLE

Jim has created a matter type for capturing prospective clients that are referred to him. He calls this matter type 'Customer relationship'. When Jim qualifies a prospect, opens an 'Estate Planning' matter type, (which is the majority of the work that Jim does).

As he does this, Jim finds that he spends a lot of time, re-entering the details from the Customer relationship matter into the Estate planning matter. He decides to make the two matter types related and map the details from the Customer relationship matter type to his Estate Planning matter type.

When he maps his Customer relationship matter type to his 'Estate Planning' matter type, Jim will map any contact loaded to the "Prospect" role on his Customer relationship matter type to the "Client" on his Estate Planning matter type.

This matches his needs, now Jim will open an existing Customer relationship matter and from it, create a related Estate planning matter. When he does this, the Prospect on the first becomes the client on the second.

After a while, Jim finds that his clients start referring him new leads. He opens his Actionstep Admin and opens his Estate Planning matter type and maps it to his Customer Relationship matter type. When he does so, he makes the contact under the "Client" role on his Estate Planning matter type be mapped to the "Referrer" role on his Customer Relationship matter type. 

Even though the two matter types are both related, the mapping for each can be different to achieve different needs.

 

Creating a Related Matter

Once you have setup the related matters, users will be able to relate matters to each other. For matters that have related types, a link will appear in the header section of the matter.

Users can click on the link to relate a matter. You can choose to relate an existing matter or create a new one and relate it to the current matter.

Once the matter is related, you will be able to access it from the same link in the header or via the 'Related Actions' panel in the overview screen (if you have enabled it for this Matter Type and System Role).

Creating a related matter

 

Viewing File Notes and Tasks across Related Matters

One advantage of relating matters to each other is that you can configure the relation to allow you to see the file notes and tasks of all related matters in a single list. To do this simply open any one of the related matters and click on 'Include Related Matters', as shown below.

The 'include related matters' link on the file notes tab of a matter

 

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