When Virginia doubled the jurisdictional limit for its general district court — a quicker alternative to its circuit court for personal injury cases — a top PI firm made a key adjustment in what might be record time.
Paul Hernandez, a partner with Kalfus & Nachman who jokingly calls himself “the efficiency king,” needed to decide how his firm would adjust before the changes took effect on July 1.
Enacted in March, the changes meant that the general district court could hear cases with personal injury claims up to $50,000 — its prior limit was $25,000. The court offers speedier trial timelines and varied rules that boost efficiency, making it an appealing venue for cases that fit its guidelines.
Using the Needles Neos cloud-based platform, Hernandez was able to quickly compile a report of all his firm’s current cases, drawing on factors including minimum settlement value and insurance coverage.
The report ultimately indicated which circuit court cases should be sent to general district court, complete with details like case number and lawyer. Hernandez distributed it to the firm’s lawyers, who acted quickly in getting the appropriate cases in line to be transferred.
“If it took me two-and-a-half minutes, I’d be surprised,” he told legal tech expert Bob Ambrogi in a recent Above the Law webinar.
“I didn’t rely on my staff to do it. I was able to do it sitting right here at the desk.”
In this full webinar, Hernandez discusses in detail his metrics-driven approach to managing costs and profitability.
The conversation also includes how he secured a 2021 pipeline of cases, managed firmwide productivity amid a changing physical office space, and positioned his firm for success in a post-pandemic future.
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