“Legal strategic analysis planning and evaluation control system and method” is the euphonious, lapidary description of United States Patent 5875431. It came to light because a friend of mine, Stuart E. Rickerson, is one of the patent owners. My goal is to share it with the law-department management community. Proust could not craft prose better than does this pithy, Strunk & White abstract:
”This invention is directed to a strategic planning control system, and more particularly to a computer-based, closed-loop legal strategic planning system and method having iterative convergence to an optimal strategy and dynamic tracking of current prevailing legal climates. The system of this invention includes a computer-generated legal strategy for streamlining the legal process by converting it from a traditional task-oriented system to a process-oriented system. By so doing, predetermined objectives and tasks are defined according to a disciplined time schedule, cost targets are defined, and deliverables agreed upon prior to beginning the legal process. A key aspect of the system and method of this invention is a series of computer programs which provide a strategic planning template outlining the objectives and tasks, and their associated timing. The template is case category and case type specific and presents the “best practices” strategic process from which to launch a legal action. The “best practices” are taken from previously concluded well managed cases having a similar case category and case type as the instant case, and which have been identified as paradigms. Three closed-loop control systems are integrated into the system and method of this invention for dynamically monitoring and measuring legal cost reporting and billing, for dynamically monitoring and measuring attainment of objectives and milestone tasks, and for dynamically measuring and controlling the deliverables derived from the timely completion of the legal objectives and tasks. These control systems have special features for maximizing the likelihood of a desired legal outcome, increasing legal productivity, minimizing the cost to achieve that outcome.”
Words fail me.