In Part I of this series, we explained how UTBMS codes are used in conjunction with LEDES files. In Part II, we will investigate the power behind UTBMS codes and how they can uncover valuable information found in your legal invoices. Using UTBMS codes allows attorneys to budget by litigation task. They also provide meaningful cost information to clients. The majority of our clients request that their law firms provide budgets for their matters. If this is the case, our clients must require their law firms to add UTBMS codes to their billing entries. The firms input a budget based on UTBMS phases. For example, a law firm budget for a matter may resemble the following:
L100 Case Assessment and Development
L110 Fact Investigation
L200 Pre Trial Pleadings and Motions
L400 Trial Preparation and Trial
Budgeting by the UTBMS code allows the client to follow the budget accuracy as the firm begins to bill on the matter. The budget is monitored and tracked against the UTBMS codes assigned to the entries. Additionally, clients use the UTBMS information for analyzing task and expense information. For example, our clients use our analytics in order to review how much was spent on items such as experts/consultants, or in depositions for the year. Having access to this type of intelligence assists you in reviewing the accuracy of your budget for the year as well as aids in forecasting for following years. The information found in legal invoices can provide a legal department with a wealth of information. But, it is important to remember that the data you receive is only as accurate as the law firm coding practices. If you are planning on using the information found in UTBMS codes to evaluate your current position and plan for the future, it is important to stress the accuracy of coding with your law firm.