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Court Rules: What are Rules?

Question:

  • What are Rules?
  • What are Triggers?

Environment:

  • Clio Manage

Additional Information:

Triggers

In a typical civil litigation court, triggers are the activities that occur during the course of litigation, usually, something is filed and/or served, or some activity is scheduled, like a hearing, deposition, or trial.  New users frequently get hung up on what the trigger is, but really, without using rules automation, one still needs to know what the trigger is, they just have not been labeling it as such.  Asking the question, “what calculation are you double-checking” often brings it out.  

(If you know nothing about litigation, you might benefit from this article as well:  https://www.keglerbrown.com/content/uploads/2015/08/An-Overview-of-Civil-Litigation-in-the-US.pdf).

Related Events

Any deadlines associated with the trigger are created as related events.  For example, if a court rule says that parties have to pay jury fees 30 days before trial, we would have a trigger called Trial, and an event called Last Day to Pay Jury Fees, calculated 30 days before the trial date.  Triggers can have just one related event or over a hundred related events, it depends on the rules.

Holidays

Holidays are critically important to deadline calculations.  Every calculation considers court holidays.  Sometimes calculations are based on court days, so holiday consideration is obvious, but every calendar day calculation also must be aware of holidays.  A calendar day calculation can result in a date which is a weekend or holiday.  The rules always specify what to do when a calculated date falls on a weekend or holiday.  The options are do nothing, roll forwards, or roll backwards.  

Service Offsets

Parties to litigation frequently serve documents on each other.  How a document is served affects the deadlines associated with the document.  For example, if party A personally serves Interrogatories on party B, no additional time is added to the response deadline, but if party A serves the same Interrogatories by US Mail, some additional number of days will be added to the response time.  The user needs to know how much time to add, and also when to add the time (before or after rolling).  

Answer:

The rules are a compilation of triggers and related events, holidays, and service offsets relevant to a specific court (or agency\other governing body).  The rules are designed to streamline double-checking date calculations. 

 

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