Top Five Tips to Case Management

Posted by Kathleen Murphy | Apr 13, 2020

You have a lawyer and as we tell our clients: "The lawyer is the director, you are the script writer and the judge is the audience".  How best can you get your information, or that script, to your lawyer?  Here are a few tips that help with our firm and we highly recommend:

1.  Identify the subject for each email with the topic of the email in the subject line.   For example, we ask our clients to entitle emails like this:   First Name, Last Name - Subject.  More specifically, here is an example:   John Doe - Children and Doctor Visit Today.

When searching emails we can pull up and quickly see what we are looking for and it helps us mainstream information.

2.  Identify documents uploaded to the electronic filing system.   Our firm uses Drop Box and we create sub folders for each client.  For example, one sub folder is Bank Statements.  When uploading the monthly bank statements, identify the bank, the account number and the month of the statement.  More specifically, here is an example:   SECU - x1234 - June, 2019.     The office staff then can quickly browse the folder and find what they may need.

3.  Use Touch Copy or Decipher Text or IMazing or other text print out program to print out your text messages.  If we need to introduce text messages as evidence, a running document of all messages will be needed and these programs have dates and page numbers so that it is very easy to read for the court.   

4.  Know These Deadlines.   Generally speaking, if a lawsuit is filed against you, you have 30 days from the date you were served to respond to the law suit with Answer.  This original 30 days deadline may be extended to 60 days but must file for an extension of time.   If you are asking for child support or post separation support/alimony in your lawsuit, you must file a DOM 17A (Support Disclosures) and probably a DOM 10 (Financial Affidavit).  The deadlines for these documents if you file the lawsuit are 15 days after service for DOM 17A (Support Disclosures) and 90 days to file a 17B (Property Disclosures) and DOM 19 (Equitable Distribution Inventory Affidavit).  Here is the link for Wake County Local Rules.  Wake County Family Court Local Rules

5.  Keep track of all communication with the opposing party.   When our clients have custody disputes, we recommend a free app named TALKING PARENTS.   A fabulous app for co-parenting is OUR FAMILY WIZARD.   It is really a good idea to communicate in these approved forums and not via text messaging.  Further, stay off social media for all intents and purposes.   Here are the links for each of these apps.  Talking Parents and Our Family Wizard

About the Author

Kathleen Murphy

Kathleen Murphy is graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.A. in Political Science, 1985. She attended Campbell University Law School and received her Juris Doctorate, 1988. Ms. Murphy has been a family law attorney for over 30 years and has limited her practice solely to family law since 1988. On October 1, 2023, Kathleen accepted a position as a senior attorney with Triangle Divorce Lawyers and she can be reached at [email protected]. Ms. Murphy is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, North Carolina Bar Association, NCBA Family Law Section Member, is a trained Family Financial Mediator and a trained Child's Advocate. Ms. Murphy is married to a City of Raleigh Firefighter and has four children, three daughters and a son. Ms. Murphy is a contributor to an International podcast. Crime Stories with Nancy Grace is broadcasted daily and you can hear Ms. Murphy's comments on cases involving victims of family crimes and the impact of family court.