Eric Eckhardt, United States
CaseRight for Mass Torts
How CaseRight is Assisting Firms with the California Wildfire Settlement
With 67,000 plaintiffs and a complex settlement distribution process, Reach Law Tech has partnered with a financial administration firm to deploy CaseRight to manage distribution payments to plaintiffs, and disbursements of legal fees, referral fees and expenses.
With smart workflow customizations, managing special instructions, Wildfire Assistance Program Payments and applying calculations to raw payment data, distributions are streamlined and completely auditable.
Figure 1.1 – Breakdown of applied settlement calculations for each payment round
Getting funds into the hands of their plaintiffs was a firm priority. By advancing settlement funds, the firm is able to accomplish this in between settlement distributions from the Fire Victims Trust. CaseRight tracks these preliminary payments and calculates adjusted settlement funds when distributed, along with applicable adjustments to attorney and referral fees.
When settlement funds are disbursed, CaseRight tracks aggregate payments made against anticipated total award, and flags deviations throughout the process. Expenses are tracked, and Attorney Fees are calculated based on the fee agreement for each plaintiff (gross vs net & %). Referral fees are also automatically allocated based on referral agreement terms with each referring counsel.
Banking information is memorialized in the system for wire transfers, or any specific instructions pertaining to check payments. This includes the possibility of creating a payment portal for plaintiffs to login, review their settlement statements and update their payment instructions and contact information.
Applying analytics and data visualization best practices, CaseRight provides both the financial administrator and the firm with live updates on settlement progress including financial summaries, pipeline statuses and exceptions.
For Settlement Distribution projects, Reach Law Tech charges a marginal customization fee to meet individual settlement program & firm requirements, then a flat per-plaintiff distribution fee payable at distribution.
CaseRight offers an end-to-end solution for Mass Tort firms to streamline plaintiff and co-counsel communication, manage case data, file claims and efficiently distribute settlement funds to plaintiffs with all appropriate disbursements.
Figure 1.2 – An overview of the user experience during a Mass Tort
In mass tort cases, plaintiff intake and case qualification are of paramount importance. Import your leads from referral or marketing sources while capturing case leads from your website, leveraging CaseRight's advanced digital design and form technology. Workflows for case intake and information exchange apply trauma-informed design principles to ensure plaintiffs' needs are met in communication with your firm.
Plaintiff Hub Services
When case leads are qualified, plaintiffs are given access to the Plaintiff Hub, where they can sign engagement documents and provide detailed information about their case, including plaintiff fact completion and supporting documentation. Throughout the case, the Plaintiff Hub serves as a place where your clients can view updates, securely sign documents or provide updated information as required.
Profiling & Verification
In Mass Tort cases the claim profiling and verification can be complex. CaseRight tailors an electronic workflow to suit the exact needs of the case and helps legal teams to identify and efficiently fill information gaps for streamlined document production and case advancement.
Mass Tort cases often benefit from deep analysis of plaintiff data to optimize use of law firm and service provider resources, including identification of best communication methods, and model the impact of plaintiff circumstances across your clients.
Individual Loss Assessment
By their nature, Mass Tort actions can result in a diverse set of claims with great variability. Working with our clients, CaseRight can offer a tailored loss assessment module that models potential damages for each plaintiff. When the time comes, the settlement formula can be included to assign damages to individual plaintiffs based on their case data to facilitate settlement administration.
When the time comes, the settlement terms can be integrated into CaseRight to assign damages to individual plaintiffs, streamlining settlement administration and reporting. This includes workflows for lien resolution, claim management, financial administrator interface, QSF management and all regulatory compliance requirements through distribution of funds.
Through CaseRight's Settlement Hub, plaintiffs receive their settlement offer, accept/reject the offer and provide banking information for distribution of settlement funds.