LegalPrecision™ Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is LegalPrecision™?
LegalPrecision is an electronic billing (e-billing) application designed to allow customers to access, review and approve legal invoices submitted over the Internet by their outside counsel. The application speeds up processing and review time, eliminates cumbersome paper files and provides valuable data on how and where customers spend their legal dollars.
2. What is electronic billing?
Electronic billing, otherwise known as e-billing, is the method of submitting an invoice to a customer in a format readable by its computer or database systems. Traditionally, invoices have been submitted to customers in paper format. By processing electronic bills, corporations recoup savings in paper handling and processing costs.
LegalPrecision allows law firms to submit electronic bills in the following formats:
3. What is Structured Data Format?
A structured data format is a uniform, consistent pattern for arranging data in a file. When data is structured in a file, the data can be easily used with less chance for errors.
4. How does the Law Firm prepare bills in LEDES 2000 format? LEDES 98B format? Examen Format?
Generally, a law firm prepares its bills using a time-and-billing software application. Most current time-and-billing software applications include the ability to export an invoice in an electronic format. Some applications do require the purchase of an additional electronic billing module or plug-in in order to output in the above formats.
Once the program or format plug-in is installed, the program enables a firm to output a bill in a format acceptable by LegalPrecision. For more information on how to output a bill in a LegalPrecision-acceptable format, please contact your time-and-billing-software vendor.
5. What is a LEDES 98B invoice?
An ASCII electronic invoice standard, established in 1998 by the LEDES (Legal Electronic Data Exchange System) Oversight Committee. It is currently the most popular of the three formats accepted by LegalPrecision.
6. What is the Examen Format?
The Examen Format is an Examen-proprietary ASCII structured data format, established in 1997, to allow law firms to send bills electronically to our LegalPrecision e-Billing Application. The following applications support the Examen Format: Juris, TimeSlips, TABS III and LegalMaster, among others.
Disclaimer: LexisNexis Examen does not endorse any specific time-and-billing software and lists the names above for purely information purposes.
7. What is a LEDES 2000 invoice?
LEDES 2000 is a robust XML (Extensible Markup Language) format invoice standard adopted by the LEDES committee in 1999/2000. LEDES 2000 is an emerging standard with a growing number of software vendors supporting the format. XML allows for data to be mapped from any database table location to any other database table location between applications with relative ease.
8. What are UTBMS codes?
The Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS) was co-developed in 1995 by the American Bar Association (ABA), American Corporate Counsel Association (ACCA) and PriceWaterhouseCooper in an effort to standardize billing procedures and practices by America's top law firms. This method of work product classification provides unique billing codes and matching category descriptions that are intended for use in detailed client billings.
The Uniform Task-Based Management System is a budgeting and billing system designed to provide clients and law firms with meaningful cost information on legal services. For example, the litigation set enables attorneys to budget and bill by litigation task, aiding client and counsel in understanding, managing and conducting litigations. It is intended to cover all contested matters, including judicial litigation, binding arbitration and regulatory/administrative proceedings.
9. Does LegalPrecision capture UTBMS codes for reporting and budgeting purposes?
Yes. Litigation budgets can be set up and tracked using UTBMS codes. LegalPrecision also captures UTBMS codes and can report on them. This may be valuable to evaluate law firm performance across case phases, task codes and activities.
10. How can law firms use LegalPrecision?
LegalPrecision provides tools and functions for the law firm user to:
11. How does the law firm submit an invoice?
Once the law firm has performed work on a customer matter, it may submit an invoice on that matter directly through LegalPrecision. LegalPrecision enables the law firm user to review any of its new, active or closed matters to ascertain billing details, such as file number or LegalPrecision matter number. Once the firm has generated an invoice in one of the LegalPrecision-acceptable formats: LEDES 98B, LEDES 2000 and the Examen Format, it may submit the bill by clicking on Submit Invoice from the Law Firm home page. After the page has loaded, the user can browse to the invoice file on the firm's hard drive, click on it and click open from the file selector. The filename will populate the Filename field on the screen.
If the invoice was saved in LEDES 98B format, the user must input the matter number and file number/claim number in the appropriate fields.
Next, the user clicks Submit File to submit the invoice to LegalPrecision. A Status of Secure Transmission page will appear to the user. This page references the file submitted (shown by actual file name) and gives an invoice tracking number. The user may print this page for the user's records.
Once LegalPrecision receives the invoice (usually within seconds), it will attempt to validate the invoice to make sure that the invoice is in the correct format, contains no block billed charges or math errors and does not violate any of the other validation rules unique to the customer's rule set.
12. What is Block Billing?
Block billing is the act of billing more than one activity in a single charge item while billing only one aggregate time value for the multiple activities. Here is an example:
In this charge, it is impossible to tell how much time was spent in either activity, preventing accurate review. To correct this, the biller should bill each charge as a discreet charge item as shown below:
13. How does the law firm know if the invoice has been received by the customer?
The invoice will appear as an Active Invoice in the user's inbox. Active invoices are those invoices received by the customer and in a ready or reviewed status (e.g., the customer has not yet approved the invoice for payment). At this point, the law firm user cannot see bill review information pertinent to the invoice. They will only be able to see this information, via the Invoice Summary Report, after the customer has reviewed and approved the invoice for payment.
14. How does the law firm know if the invoice has been approved for payment by the customer?
The invoice will appear as an Approved Invoice in the user's inbox. The law firm user may now view the results of the bill review as the invoice has been reviewed and approved by the customer.
Once approved, the customer should pay the invoice through conventional methods. If a law firm has a question about payment on a specific invoice, they should call their customer contact.