Setting Up & Using Key Dates in the CRM Follow
This tutorial will help familiarize you with how to set up and use the Key Dates feature which is very useful for litigation, docketing, and case management in the CRM.
The Key Dates feature allows your firm to create an unlimited number of important (key) date fields that can be added to lead/case records for each case type. You may use Key Dates as a placeholder to keep track of important dates throughout the life of a case. And, more importantly, you may also implement automation for Key Dates to use them as triggers to automatically create tasks via the Milestones module.
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Table of Contents
Introduction to Key Dates
🔑 📆 Inside the CRM, you may add an unlimited number of Key Dates for each case type to completely customize your case management experience. Although the CRM comes equipped with default system dates, some firms will want to create their own to either supplement or replace the default system dates. Got multiple SOL dates? Multiple discovery dates? Multiple trial dates? The CRM has you covered!
Accessing the Key Dates Setup Screen
Let’s get started!
Using the main navigation menu located on the left-hand side of the screen, go to "Setup".
Then, navigate to the “System Categories & Key Dates” link in the Setup menu.
Next, go to the “Key Dates” tab at the top of the screen.
⚠️ To begin setting up Key Dates, you will either need to have access to the “Allow editing of System Categories” permission or be an administrative user. If you need access and do not have it, then please contact your firm or IT administrator.
Configuring Key Dates and Key Date Layouts for Each Case Type
Under the “Key Dates” tab you will see two sections:
- Key Date Names
- Default Settings by Case Type
Key Date Names
These are the actual Key Dates that are available to be used throughout the system. This section provides a complete list of Key Dates and their names. The CRM comes pre-loaded with some default Key Dates but you also have the option to add new custom Key Dates as needed.
This is where Key Dates are maintained. You can add new Key Date Names on this screen by clicking the "+ Add Key Date Name" button in the upper-right corner of the section.
Please note that you cannot delete the system default Key Date Names. You'll notice that the trashbin icon is grayed out for the default Key Dates that cannot be removed. However, you do have the ability to rename the system default Key Date Names by clicking the pencil icon.
Default Settings by Case Type
This section is where you can create Key Date Layouts for each practice area (aka case type). You do not have to create case type-specific rules here, but it is highly recommended for efficiency and to customize your experience. Otherwise, the same Key Dates will be visible in every case type and will not differ for each practice area. This feature allows you to override system defaults and customize the case management experience as needed for your firm.
To start configuring a Key Date layout for a case type, click the "+ Add New Case Type Rule" button in the upper-right corner of the section. In the pop-up that appears, select the case type and then the applicable Key Dates.
💡 For example, for the Auto Accident case type, you may want to set up a Key Date layout for various settlement conferences or discovery due dates as part of ongoing litigation. This layout would likely not be applicable to mass tort, employment, bankruptcy, family law, or other unrelated practice areas. Thus, you will probably want to set up separate Key Date templates for each case type. If you do not want a templated approach then you may also manually add Key Dates to a lead/case at any time at your own discretion, but that approach will be less streamlined.
Key Date layouts should be created for each case type in the CRM. This allows your firm to streamline the important dates for each case type without having to repeatedly add them individually inside of each lead or case in the system. This technology is here to make your firm more efficient and save your staff time while remaining organized.
Using Key Dates in Your Leads/Cases
After you have created a Key Date layout for each case type, the Key Dates section inside of each lead/case in the CRM will be automatically updated to reflect the layout.
The following screenshot is an example of a Key Date layout inside a lead record that's in the Auto Accident case type:
What If I Need to Clear a Key Date?
If you enter the wrong value for a Key Date, do not worry, you can remove that value. First, you will want to click on the calendar icon next to the Key Date. Next, click the "Clear" button.
How To Manually Add a Key Date to a Lead/Case
You may find that even though you have a great Key Date layout, you might need to manually add one or more dates for certain leads or cases on the fly.
You can add Key Dates on the fly by clicking the “+ Add Key Date” option inside of the Key Dates section of each lead or case in the CRM, as shown below. In the pop-up that appears, choose the Key Date that you want to add. Manually adding a Key Date can be useful if a settlement conference or ad-hoc mediation event pops up and you need it to be added to an individual case.
The following screenshot is an example of adding a Key Date on the fly inside of a lead/case:
⚠️ If you do not see the Key Date that you need to add, then you will need to go back to the Key Date setup screen by clicking the “Go to Key Date Setup” option. Next, add a new Key Date Name to make it available in the system.
Deleting Key Dates From Individual Leads/Cases
Depending on the configuration of your Milestone templates, each Key Date could have related tasks, subtasks, task reminders, calendar events, document automation, and other reminders. To keep your Milestones running smoothly, the CRM will automatically remove all of the subordinate tasks, events, and reminders related to a Key Date that is deleted from a lead/case record inside the CRM. This is a time saver and keeps things simple for your staff.
Using Key Dates in Milestone Task Automation
The Key Dates are not just visual! In the background, they can also be used to always work for your firm by triggering powerful task automation. For example, if you wanted to have a series of tasks and task reminders for the Statutes of Limitation (SOL Date), or discovery due dates, you can configure the CRM to automatically create all of these tasks for your staff when a date is added to a particular Key Date field in any lead or case. Of course, this is conditional upon the automation being set up and activated for this to work as described.
To configure automation for Key Dates, click the “Go to Key Date Automation Setup” option from the Key Dates section inside of any lead or case. This will bring you to the Milestones setup screen, which is also used to configure Key Date task automation.
The following screenshot is an example of a Milestones Task Template that uses a Key Date as the trigger to create the task:
💡 Please note that tasks triggered by Key Dates work independently of actual Milestone Steps since they are triggered by dates, and not by Milestones being started. Thus, Milestone Steps that are completed will not stop Key Date task automation.
For more information about the Milestones module, please review this article.
Adding Key Dates to the Vitals
For convenience and ease of use, you may also add Key Dates to the Vitals section of lead/case records. The Key Dates for each lead or case will always be available in the Key Dates section of their record, but you may also add them to your intake or case forms. In addition to that, as mentioned above, you may add them to the Vitals section of the lead/case record. This may be accomplished by using the CRM's Form Builder.
First, using the main navigation menu located on the left-hand side of the screen, go to "Setup".
Then, navigate to the “Intake/Case Form Builder” link in the Setup menu.
Next, select the Case Type of the form that you would like to edit.
To access the Intake/Case Form Builder screen in the CRM, you must be an administrative user. If you need access and do not have it, then please contact your firm or IT administrator.
As an example, let’s pretend that we want to add the "Discovery Due Date" Key Date to the Vitals section of the Auto Accident case type:
In the Form Builder, under the ADD NEW FIELDS menu, use the dropdown in the "Pick an Existing Field" section to select a Key Date of your choice. You may also use keyword searches, such as searching for the term “Date” to find your Key Dates without much scrolling.
Once the Key Date has been selected, click the “Create Field” button.
In the pop-up that appears to edit the new field, select the checkboxes for “Intake Vitals” and/or “Case Vitals” in order to make this field appear in the Vitals section of leads and/or cases. The choice is yours!
Of note: By default, the “Intake Form” and “Case Form” checkboxes are selected when adding a new field. If you do not need to have this Key Date field in the form, we recommend that you uncheck these two checkboxes.
Click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the pop-up to save and add the Key Date field to the Vitals section.
Then, look at any lead/case record in this case type and you will see this particular Key Date field in the Vitals section.
💡 Don’t forget, this process is not limited to only Key Dates – You can add nearly any CRM field to the Vitals of leads and cases by following the same process. To learn more about the Vitals feature, please review this article.
Key Dates Reporting
The CRM offers powerful reporting capabilities for your Key Dates so that you never miss an important deadline.
For firms that only track one SOL date, it is recommended to use the CRM's default SOL Date field. This field is automatically added to all of your Key Date templates. The CRM also offers a specific report that can be utilized if you use the system's default SOL field.
To access this report, use the main navigation menu and go to Reports > SOL Date Report.
If you are a firm that has multiple SOL dates, or if you need to run reports on other Key Dates, the CRM's Custom Report is recommended.
To access the Custom Report, use the main navigation menu and go to Reports > Custom Report Builder. To learn more about the Custom Report builder, click here.
If you need further assistance with your CRM system, please reach out to the support team.
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