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August 17, 2020

Litigation Code Definitions

Uniform Task-Based Management System

Litigation Code Set Code Definitions

The Litigation Code Set is intended for use in all adversarial matters including litigation, binding arbitrations, and regulatory/administrative proceedings. The following definitions elaborate on the intended scope of each phase and task and should guide attorneys in coding time.

L100 Case Assessment, Development and Administration.
Focuses on the case as a whole, the "forest" rather than the "trees".

L110 Fact Investigation/Development.
All actions to investigate and understand the facts of a matter. Covers interviews of client personnel and potential witnesses, review of documents to learn the facts of the case (but not for document production, L320), work with an investigator, and all related communications and correspondence.

L120 Analysis/Strategy.
The thinking, strategizing, and planning for a case, including discussions, writing, and meetings on case strategy. Also includes initial legal research for case assessment purposes and legal research for developing a basic case strategy. Most legal research will be under the primary task for which the research is conducted, such as research for a summary judgment motion (L240). Once concrete trial preparation begins, use L440 for trial strategy and planning.

L130 Experts/Consultants.
Identifying and interviewing experts and consultants (testifying or non-testifying), working with them, and developing expert reports. Does not include preparing for expert depositions (L340) or trial (L420).

L140 Document/File Management.
A narrowly defined task that comprises only the processes of creating and populating document and other databases or filing systems. Includes the planning, design, and overall management of this process. Work of outside vendors in building litigation support databases should be an Expense.

L150 Budgeting.
Covers developing, negotiating, and revising the budget for a matter.

L160 Settlement/Non-Binding ADR.
All activities directed specifically to settlement. Encompasses planning for and participating in settlement discussions, conferences, and hearings and implementing a settlement. Covers pursuing and participating in mediation and other non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures. Also includes pre-litigation demand letters and ensuing discussions.

L190 Other Case Assessment, Development and Administration.
Time not attributable to any other overall task. Specific use in a given matter often may be pre-determined jointly by the client and law firm.

L200 Pre-Trial Pleadings and Motions.
Covers all pleadings and all pretrial motions and procedures other than discovery.

L210 Pleadings.
Developing (researching, drafting, editing, filing) and reviewing complaints, answers, counter-claims and third party complaints. Also embraces motions directed at pleadings such as motions to dismiss, motions to strike, and jurisdictional motions.

L220 Preliminary Injunctions/Provisional Remedies.
Developing and discussing strategy for these remedies, preparing motions, affidavits and briefs, reviewing opponent's papers, preparing for and attending court hearing, preparing witnesses for the hearing, and effectuating the remedy.

L230 Court Mandated Conferences.
Preparing for and attending hearings and conferences required by court order or procedural rules (including Rule 16 sessions) other than settlement conferences (L160).

L240 Dispositive Motions.
Developing and discussing strategy for or opposing motions for judgment on the pleadings and motions for complete or partial summary judgment, preparing papers, reviewing opponent's papers, defensive motions (e.g., motion to strike affidavit testimony, Rule 56(f) motion), and preparing for and attending the hearing.

L250 Other Written Motions/Submissions.
Developing, responding to, and arguing all motions other than dispositive (L240), pleadings (L210), and discovery (L350), such as motions to consolidate, to bifurcate, to remand, to stay, to compel arbitration, for MDL treatment and for change of venue.

L260 Class Action Certification and Notice.
Proceedings unique to class action litigation and derivative suits such as class certification and notice.

L300 Discovery.
Includes all work pertaining to discovery according to court or agency rules.

L310 Written Discovery.
Developing, responding to, objecting to, and negotiating interrogatories and requests to admit. Includes mandatory meet-and-confer sessions. Also covers mandatory written disclosures as under Rule 26(a).

L320 Document Production.
Developing, responding to, objecting to, and negotiating document requests, including the mandatory meet-and-confer sessions to resolve objections. Includes identifying documents for production, reviewing documents for privilege, effecting production, and preparing requested privilege lists. (While a general review of documents produced by other parties falls under this task, coding and entering produced documents into a data base is Task L140 and reviewing documents primarily to understand the facts is Task L110.)

L330 Depositions.
All work concerning depositions, including determining the deponents and the timing and sequence of depositions, preparing deposition notices and subpoenas, communicating with opposing or other party's counsel on scheduling and logistics, planning for and preparing to take the depositions, discussing deposition strategy, preparing witnesses, reviewing documents for deposition preparation, attending depositions, and drafting any deposition summaries.

L340 Expert Discovery.
Same as L330, but for expert witnesses.

L350 Discovery Motions.
Developing, responding to, and arguing all motions that arise out of the discovery process. Includes the protective order process.

L390 Other Discovery.
Less frequently used forms of discovery, such as medical examinations and on-site inspections.

L400 Trial Preparation and Trial.
Commences when lawyer and client determine that trial is sufficiently likely and imminent so that the process of actually preparing for trial begins. It continues through the trial and post-trial proceedings in the trial court. Once trial begins, lawyers who appear in court presumptively should bill their court time to L450 Trial and Hearing Attendance. Litigation work outside the courtroom during this phase (e.g., evenings, weekends and the time of other attorneys and support personnel), should continue to be classified using other L400 Tasks.

L410 Fact Witnesses.
Preparing for examination and cross-examination of non-expert witnesses.

L420 Expert Witnesses.
Preparing for examination and cross-examination of expert witnesses.

L430 Written Motions/Submissions.
Developing, responding to and arguing written motions during preparation for trial and trial, such as motions in limine and motions to strike proposed evidence. Also includes developing other written pre-trial and trial filings, such as jury instructions, witness lists, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and trial briefs.

L440 Other Trial Preparation and Support.
All other time spent in preparing for and supporting a trial, including developing overall trial strategy, preparing opening and closing arguments, establishing an off-site support office, identifying documents for use at trial, preparing demonstrative materials, etc.

L450 Trial and Hearing Attendance.
Appearing at trial, at hearings and at court-mandated conferences, including the pre-trial conferences to prepare for trial. For scheduling conferences that are denominated as "Pre-Trial Conferences", but not directed toward conduct of the trial, use Task L230.

L460 Post-Trial Motions and Submissions.
Developing, responding to and arguing all post-verdict matters in the trial court, such as motions for new trial or j.n.o.v., for stay pending appeal, bills of costs, and requests for attorney's fees.

L470 Enforcement.
All work performed in enforcing and collecting judgments and asserting or addressing defenses thereto.

L500 Appeal.
Covers all work on appeal or before a reviewing body.

L510 Appellate Motions and Submissions.
Developing, responding to and arguing motions and other filings before a reviewing body, such as motions and other filings for stay pending appeal.

L520 Appellate Briefs.
Preparing and reviewing appellate briefs.

L530 Oral Argument.
Preparing for and arguing an appeal before a reviewing body.


Litigation Code Set: