Granting Universal Access

Attorneys sometimes work out of more than one office — especially if they work for large firms, which have multiple offices scattered around the country.

This has presented a challenge for RB8 users. If you haven’t encountered problems due to this, here’s what can happen & what can be done about it now:

Let’s say Mr. Smith works mainly out of the New York City office of Smith & Jones. But once in a while he calls from the Washington DC office. In RB8, these two offices must be entered as two separate firms since they have different physical addresses. Mr. Smith also has to be set up twice, as a contact under each firm [office], resulting in two log-in IDs for RB Web. That in itself can seem like a hassle to Mr. Smith, but here comes the real trouble:

When Mr. Smith logs into RB Web using his New York ID, he won’t be able to see the depositions that were scheduled from DC. And vice versa if he logs in with his DC ID. The same goes for transcripts, case files and invoices. Even though this makes a perfect sense to a geek like me; Mr. Smith, your client, no doubt will be very unhappy.

As you know, in RB8, a contact can grant access to other contacts in the same firm, but contacts haven’t been able to grant access beyond the firm [office] boundary. Granting access to other contacts in other firms (called universal access) hasn’t been allowed. So Mr. Smith had to log in twice looking for his own stuff.

Fewer sign-ins to remember

This all changed with the latest update (released  June 4, 2010). We’ve found a way for you to make Mr. Smith happy and keep him as your client.

In the Manage Access tab of the Contact detail screen, we’ve added a new section called Grant Universal Access To. Simply click Add to add contacts from other firms who should have the same access rights as the currently selected contact. Add Mr. Smith’s DC identity to his NYC identity here, and he only needs to remember one user ID and password to access all of his info on your RB Web.

Help your clients collaborate on big cases

It goes without saying that this new feature will also work for cases where multiple attorneys from different firms working as co-counsels need to access the same information. For example, BP is going to need many attorneys from many firms to defend all the cases being filed right now.

As with giving an attorney who works out of multiple offices combined access to all of his/her info on RB Web, you can grant universal access to attorneys from different law firms, per your client’s request. They tell you who to permit access to, and you manage the access rights in RB8.

Now Mr. Smith can go to Washington with the freedom to access any pertinent information in RB Web without worrying about what jobs were called in from which office. And you can go after those big, complex cases with another powerful tool in your arsenal.

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