Litigation Services Counsel

NALP (National Association for Law Placement) Group
May 25, 2023
Jun 18, 2023
Contract Type
About Katten

Katten is a full–service law firm with approximately 700 attorneys in locations across the United States and in London and Shanghai. Clients seeking sophisticated, high–value legal services turn to Katten for counsel locally, nationally and internationally. The firm's core areas of practice include corporate, financial markets and funds, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, structured finance and securitization, transactional tax planning, private credit and private wealth. Katten represents public and private companies in numerous industries, as well as a number of government and nonprofit organizations and individuals.

Summary of the Litigation Services Manager Position

The Litigation Services Counsel will exercise discretion and independent judgment in facilitating actions required for calendaring, docketing and Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF). Responsible for providing day–to–day management of the activities of all staff members in the Chicago Docket department, monitoring information entered into the firm docketing systems and providing docketing systems and general litigation support. In addition, must maintain a direct line of communication to the National Records and Docket Manager on all substantive issues and provide administrative reports on specific activities. The Litigation Services Counsel maintains professionalism and strict confidentiality in all client and firm matters.

Katten offers a hybrid work model, allowing the flexibility to work both on–site and remotely on a regular basis (KattenFlex).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include, but may not be limited to, the following. Other duties may be requested and/or assigned.
  • Directly supervise and fully manage the Chicago Docket staff and all docket related services, including all calendaring and docketing in the docket system. Process new cases expeditiously and provide timely information to the Conflicts department. Audit docket entries placed in the docket database for accuracy. Maintain a thorough working knowledge and ensure the proper maintenance and integrity of the Docket department database as it relates to day–to–day work production. Conduct staff meetings and training sessions where appropriate.
  • In conjunction with the National Records and Docket Manager, create and maintain acceptable standards of professionalism for staff members and promote to everyone utilizing the services of the Docket department. Ensure exceptional client service levels are achieved in delivery of services to secretaries, paralegals, attorneys, and vendors.
  • Ensure consistent application of firm policy and adherence to risk management guidelines, as defined by the firm's legal malpractice carrier, to minimize potential malpractice exposure.
  • Ensure suitability of legal documents for filing and for conformance with applicable federal, state and local court rules. Assist attorneys in the handling of complex litigation. Meet with attorneys on special or large volume cases to determine how information will be entered into the Docket system. Appear in court on behalf of attorneys, if needed, for routine motion calls and similar actions.
  • Maintain up–to–date knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as Illinois state and local rules of the courts. Ability to research and locate current rules pertaining to other jurisdictions on an as needed basis. Communicate to attorneys information regarding rule changes and/or changes in court procedures. Draft appropriate memoranda and distribute to case team.
  • Conduct case law, interested and involved party (including judges, potential arbitrators, opposing counsel, etc.) research and analysis related to prospective and active litigation; prepare corresponding memoranda. Answer civil and criminal procedural questions posed by attorneys, as needed.
  • Perform on–going review of the automated court rule sets as provided by our vendor to ensure that they reflect accurate date calculations so that filing deadlines and critical dates are not missed. For each case being monitored, identify the correct rule set to be used in the calendaring system.
  • Maintain knowledge base of e–filing requirements and procedures for all courts serviced by the Chicago Attorneys. Provide assistance and advice to attorneys and staff concerning electronic case filing issues. Monitor daily receipts of all CM/ECF to ensure that events are posted in a timely manner on attorney and firm calendars.
  • Supervise the staff to ensure appropriate Docket system reminders are set electronically and/or paper based reports are distributed to attorney and staff.
  • Approve all client chargebacks for case filings, photocopies or other court related fees, including sign–off and coding of vendor invoices and petty cash reimbursement requests.
  • Periodic review of case status (i.e. active or closed). Create and distribute reports to attorneys, obtain information and update database.
  • Mentor and train litigation associates and docket personnel on all Illinois court rules and procedures. Provide training on how to draft and file various types of litigation documents. Work with the firm's Attorney Development Department to conduct in–house training (obtain continuing legal education credit, where applicable) on topics that relate to risk management, loss prevention, and firm policy for the Docket department. Provide training on the docket system, court rules and filing procedures to Chicago legal and support staff.
  • Work with the National Records and Docket Manager to implement procedures for systems, processes, technology and services to ensure continual service enhancements, cost reductions, and organizational consistency with firm policy. Recommend changes in procedures to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the department.
  • Participate in meetings and discussions with other firm office locations as related to Docket policy and procedure. Provide assistance with implementation of new technology and procedures affecting the firm. Supervise staff and participate in the testing of docketing system improvements, enhancements and new applications. Participate in the selection of and training on future calendaring technologies.
  • Attend all departmental or administrative meetings and/or conferences to obtain a "full–range" knowledge of the operation of the firm.
  • Participate in professional organizations that promote the on–going education of Federal, State and Local rule changes. Prepare and distribute announcements regarding same to local attorneys and legal support staff.
  • Provide back–up responsibilities for the Docket Department in the absence of the Docket Coordinators and Assistants.
Supervisory Responsibilities
  • Directly manages and supervises employees and is responsible for their overall direction, coordination, and evaluation. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the firm's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing; training; scheduling, monitoring, and approving overtime; planning, assigning, and directing work; budgeting; appraising performance through employee evaluations; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems; making recommendations for hiring, promotion, compensation, bonus amounts, and termination.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Juris Doctorate (J.D.) is required; fully licensed in the state of Illinois with a minimum of four years of litigation experience preferred. Strong knowledge of federal/Illinois state and local court rules required, including expertise in Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) procedures. Managerial experience in the docket department of a large law firm is a plus.
  • Computer proficient with working knowledge and understanding of Docket applications (i.e. CourtAlert, CompuLaw), Bloomberg Law, Internet Explorer, Outlook, and MS Word preferred. Ability to learn and utilize specific internal or third–party Docket Department software. Working knowledge of PACER for electronic filing and research is required. Mastery of applicable docketing/calendaring procedures are essential.
  • Excellent organizational skills including record keeping, data collection and system information. Ability to compile and analyze data and furnish information in report format, written correspondence, e–mail, or verbally.
  • Analytical and technical skills requiring an aptitude for detail, precision and logic with comprehensive knowledge of docket/court rules and procedures in order to manage the day–to–day operations and staff of the Docket department; interpret and process large volumes of complex data quickly and accurately; ensure work is completed within strict deadlines; respond to inquiries relating to docket procedures; accurately calculate court deadline dates; and, assure the accuracy and integrity of the Docket Department database.
  • Supervisory/managerial skills necessary in order to interact and communicate with subordinates, provide instruction/direction/training, determine work priorities, and coordinate the activities of a work team.
  • Ability to routinely travel to various courts and/or agencies and retrieve and/or distribute legal/written documentation, files, etc., or office files or supplies, weighing up to 20 lbs.
We offer an outstanding benefit package which includes: medical/dental/vision, 401k with employer contribution, parental leave, transportation fringe benefit program, back–up care option, generous paid time off policy, and long–term and short–term disability policies.
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