Conflict checks are run by law firms to ensure that their commitment to a client’s cause will not be affected by the commitment the firm has towards some other person. Usually such conflict checks are run at the time when the attorney-client relationship is established.
Creating a fool proof conflict checking system is essential to every law firm or attorney to ensure that their commitment to the client’s best interest is never questioned.
Law practice management software make conflict checks much faster and easier for the law firms. Such software ensures lesser user errors.
The conflict checking software can run searches through its data base that contain the names and details of the current clients, former clients or other parties. Some conflict checking software products are so precise that once a conflict check is run on a name and the system does not find it on the current client list, former clients or other parties list; it proceeds to search the calendars and note pads within the electronic client files of the attorneys in the law firm to check if someone in the firm has come in contact with such person in some informal way.
There are only a few software programs available exclusively for conflict checking. The rest come as part of a case management software program.
There are stand alone and integrated conflict checking software products available for law firms. Stand alone conflict checking programs function independently. Even though they are considered expensive, they provide a comprehensive conflict check result, including checks on non-client information like witnesses and one-time office consultations. Integrated conflict checking software programs are generally used by smaller law firms, where conflict checking is performed by their existing accounting and management software which provide an all in one program.
The conflict checking database program may be purchased in versions of a firm-wide database program, where the whole firm has access to the data base; or a single user program, where a single user may be designated as the conflict checking clerk in the firm.
Examples of conflict checking software applications are: