Matter Permissions

Smokeball Matter Permissions offer the ability to restrict specific users from accessing designated matters. These permissions allow the firm to:

  • maintain confidentiality when attorneys within the firm are representing opposing sides in a matter. 
  • take on clients with potential conflicts with existing clients. 
  • safeguard the information of high profile clients. 
  • ease client concerns about confidential document storage, such as medical or financial information. 

Enabling Matter Permissions

Attempted Access by a Non-Permitted User

Restriction Specifics

Enabling Matter Permissions 

  • Smokeball Matter Permissions can restrict specified users from: 
    • opening a matter;
    • assigning new items to a matter;
    • opening items related to a matter; 
    • editing items related to a matter; 
  • Matter Permissions can be enabled by going to the 'Permissions' tab in a specific Matter's Matter Settings. 
  • A Matter's Matter Settings are accessed by clicking on the gear in the upper right hand corner of the Matter screen: 

  • Once there, select the Permissions tab on the left hand side: 

Please Note: the following users cannot be removed from a matter: 

  • The current user setting the permissions (i.e. a user cannot remove themselves); 
  • Firm administrators (Those users shown in Firm Admin as Firm Owners)
  • A user that occupies a role on the matter: Attorney Responsible, Person Assisting, and Originating Attorney
    • These limitations is conveyed in the Matter Info matter detail: 

Attempted Access by a Non-Permitted User

  • If a user does not have permission to access a matter, they will be unable to interact with that matter throughout the Smokeball desktop application, the Mobile app, Smokeball Billing, and the Microsoft Office programs that Smokeball integrates with (Outlook, Word, and Excel). 
  • If a user who does not have permission to access a matter attempts to do so, they will be presented with an error message stating that they do not have access: 

Restriction Specifics

The following will be Restricted/Non-Restricted when permissions are set: 



Not restricted

Matter (General)

Unable to open Matter window from anywhere


Details (layout information)

Unable to view detailed matter information (aka layouts)

Can see matter description (Client – Matter type – other side)

Can see additional matter details surfaced in columns throughout the app (next step date, settlement date, matter stage etc)



Unable to open documents

Documents will not appear in global search


Able to view the document name from AI


No restriction

Contact names are visible in the mater description

Contacts can be opened from the contacts tab with no restriction



Unable to open or edit tasks

Can view Task in lists (can see the task name and due date etc)



Unable to open or edit events

Can view events in lists and calendars (can see the event name, date, location etc)



Memos will not appear when searched




Unable to open or edit AI

Can view the AI event in the list


Time and Expenses

Unable to open or edit T&E

Can view the T&E in the list  



Unable to add non permitted users to a matter conversation




No restriction

Can view all report information related to the matter


Billing (web)

No restriction (Firm owner will need to restrict billing as a whole from the user)


  • Matter Permissions are compatible with Smokeball version 6.5 and later. 
    • Please Note: If a user is on Smokeball version 6.4 or earlier, they will have full access to matters despite being locked out. 
  • Any user can set up permissions on a matter. 
  • Any permitted user can change the permissions that are set. 
  • Firm Owners will always have access to all matters, as they cannot be unselected from the Matter Permissions setting. 
  • Users that are set as an Attorney Responsible/Person Assisting on a matter will always have access to a matter
    • If you change the roles within the matter, this will automatically grant access to the new Attorney Responsible/Person Assisting user and hold the previous Attorney Responsible/Person Assisting user as a permitted user until you proactively remove their access. 
  • New users that are added to the firm will have full access to all matters. 
  • Edits to the permission settings are noted in the Matter's History, visible within the Matter's Matter Settings: 

  • Once saved, the Matter Permissions will take immediate effect. 
  • If a non-permitted user has the matter open when this occurs, they will continue to have access until the close the matter. 
  • If you are bulk selecting anything in a list and do not have access to 1 of the items selected, you will be unable to complete the bulk selection action.
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