Purpose: The purpose of the duty attorney feature allows an agency to automatically assign cases to the “on-duty” attorney (or attorney-of-the-day for some programs). The tool uses a number of modules in concert to display attorney availability and which days need coverage, including the Projects Module, the Cases Module, and the Calendar Module.
Cost: $1,500 one time setup
Agency A has an intake unit (or maybe just an intake worker) who conducts each intake and at the end assigns it to a program. Each program has a person who is ‘on call’ to do an additional screening on the case before deciding whether to open the case or not. Duty Attorney allows each agency to create groups of users, to calendar who is ‘on call’, and to automatically assign cases to that person based on branch logic or a guided navigation expression.
Once enabled, administrators should plan to build out the Project’s module, confirm calendaring set ups, and build a guided navigation dialogue to trigger the correct block assigning the case.
Administrators must set up one or more projects by which to group users. Each Project (group of users) can have their own attorney scheduled each day. For example, you may group users by practice area, location, or you may have just one project for your entire agency. A user may be part of multiple projects.
The information for each project is up to the individual site, however to assign a user to the project, you must use the ‘Create Project Assignment’ block. The accompanying listview, Team Assignment, may also be helpful.
The Create Project Assignment block allows you to designate different assignment types for each project. You can control what assignment types exist on your site via the lookup “Project Assignment Type”. Note: This listview allows you to designate one or more assignment types to be able to make assignments.
The Create Project Assignment block also allows you to designate whether the system automatically generates a calendar event for that user's availability to be the Duty Attorney/ Attorney of the Day. If you allow the system to automatically generate a calendar event, each user assigned to the project will have an “Available for Duty Attorney” calendar event automatically generated for each day on their calendar. This generally occurs in three month increments, in the middle of the second month. Users can then go into the event list on the home page of their calendar, filter for the event type, and delete the days they have conflicts for. Alternatively, as described below, users can create all day calendar events with the type “Available for Duty Attorney” to indicate when they are available.
On the project profile or an auxiliary form you must add the block Calendar Time Period View. This block displays days with Attorney of the Day assignments and days without this assignment (displayed in pink). On days with no coverage, a green bar will appear with the number of users available to be assigned to that day. Clicking into this bar allows an Administrator to assign the day from the list of available users. Please note- A project can have more than one Duty Attorney scheduled on the same day. There is a setting on the block that makes the assignment (Set Assignment from Calendar Block) allowing alternating assignment creation.
Although there will be a ‘Duty Attorney’ calendar event type created for you when the Duty Attorney functionality is enabled, you can change the name in the event type lookup list. If you do so, you will want to confirm the new event type is tied to scheduling configuration in your calendar process settings page.
Where the auto-generated duty attorney availability is not enabled (either site-wide, or on a specific user) the user can specify that they are available for Duty Attorney assignment by simply creating an event with the type of Available for Duty Attorney. If a user belongs to more than one project, they will show up as available for all projects. This is done on the Calendar Settings page under the Admin tab.
When a user becomes aware they are not available on a specific day (if the availability is auto-generated, and they know they are vacation certain days or otherwise unavailable) the user can navigate to the Events List on the Calendar section front and delete multiple availability dates.
At the point at which a Duty Attorney should be assigned, the “Set Assignment from Calendar” block will need to be placed on the intake or auxiliary form. This block looks at the specified project’s calendar, determines who is designated as the Duty Attorney that day, and assigns them to the case with the assignment type designated in the block. Multiple versions of this block can be placed behind guided navigation or (less commonly) branch logic so that when certain criteria are met the block with the correct project is triggered.
Alternatively, a specific person can be designated in the block. If there are cases that always go to the same person, they can be automatically assigned without having to go through the project or calendar set up.
Please note: The case IS NOT assigned to this project. The block is looking at the project’s calendar, determining which attorney(s) are serving as Duty Attorney that day, and assigning the case to the attorney.
Email Reminders on a Case
The Duty Attorney assignment is designed to be a short assignment, where the assigned attorney reviews the case and reassigns it quickly. Where a case has an open duty attorney assignment for more than three days (that is- at least 3 days have elapsed from the assignment start date with no end date) you can enable an automatic reminder email to go out to the Duty Attorney.
Under the Admin tab, search for Calendar Settings. From the Calendar Settings Page, you will find a setting called "Enable Duty Attorney Cases Needing Attention Email". Once this is set to 'Yes' the email will be automatically generated. You can restrict what cases this reminder applies to by disposition using the "Case Dispositions to Include in Duty Attorney Cases Needing Attention Email" setting on the same page.