District Court Prosecutor
Anne is a solicitor who conducts regulatory prosecutions in the District Court. She does about 500-600 cases a year, in relation to a number of different offence types, but she has to be wary of localised bye-laws in drafting her summonses.
She has a really good bank of precedents but there are just so many of them – it’s hard to manage the precedent bank and to individually prepare every single summons by finding the relevant precedent and then copying and pasting the relevant information into the old precedent to make it ready for use in the new case.
Anne contacted us for a chat to see if we could help her.
Consultation with smartlegal
We sat down with Anne and identified her requirements. For every summons she generated she needed to include certain pieces of data:
- Court venue
- Defendant’s name
- Offence type (to include relevant legisltaion and/or bye-laws)
- Offence location
- Offence date
- Prosecutor name (the person who detected the offence)
Not only did she need to generate the summonses but she also needed to generate:
- Covering letters to the courts service to have the summonses issued;
- Covering letters to each defendant to serve the summonses;
- A list (for Anne’s own use in court) of served summonses, broken down by court venue and summarising the defendant’s name and address and the offence type.
We built Anne a form where she can input the data listed above, in the following way:
- Prosecutor Name (select from drop down list)
- Offence Date (select from calendar)
- Offence Location (text input)
- Offence Type (select from drop down list)
- Defendant’s name (text input)
- Defendant’s address (text input)
Based only on this data, the smartlegal system automatically generates District Court summons, covering letters, and a court list (for Anne’s use). The system has some built-in intelligence, as follows:
- Based on the ‘Offence Location’, the system decides what District Court the summons will be made returnable to;
- Based on the ‘Offence Type’ combined with ‘Offence Location’, the system decides what legislation or bye-law applies and includes the relevant particulars in the summons.
Anne has been using the system for 18 months now and is very happy with it. She occasionally contacts us for some minor tweaks (eg. adding a new prosecutor to the drop down list, adding some new text to the covering letters going out to defendants) and we are able to facilitate her requests extremely quickly.
Anne estimates that she is saving 1-2 full days every month by using the smartlegal system instead of her old system. In addition, because the smartlegal system is so straightforward to use, Anne has been able to outsource the data entry, saving herself even more time and money.
*Names and other identifying information have been changed to maintain confidentiality.
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