Any law department can use software that helps manage large projects, such as a spin-off, an IPO, a large acquisition, or a major lawsuit. A number of project-management software applications are available (such as Harvard Project Manager) but recently, according to an article in ACC Docket, Vol. 25, Nov. 2007 at 40, “at least one law firm has created its own such a system and has applied for a patent.” That software is customized for major litigation.
The software itemizes virtually every task involved in litigation. It asks the law firm or law department to fill in information concerning people who will work on those tasks, their hourly rates, the number of hours anticipated for the task as well as start and finish dates (See my post of June 24, 2007 with five references to project management.)
Litigation project-management software will generate Gantt charts (bar charts that reflect the project’s progress), reports on milestones, and executive summaries. The software not only will help manage the tasks themselves and their costs but also ought to complement data in matter management systems.