Smokeball Start - Matter Basics

How to create a matter in Smokeball Start

  • Start by clicking the Quick Add button (1) in the upper left corner or clicking the Add Matter button (2) from the Matter tab.



  • Select the state, area of law, and matter type. Enter or select the client, attorney responsible, and any other relevant information. 
    • When entering a client, the field will search and allow you to select an existing contact.
    • If you would like to enter a new contact, use the "+" button.
    • Click "Create".

How to navigate a matter in Smokeball Start

Everything you need to bill for a matter is located in one place.

  • (1) Matter information including client name, matter type, reference number, etc.
    • Select the "Edit Matter" settings gear to access additional options including matter info, basic billing settings, Evergreen Retainer, Interest, UTBMS, and more. 
  • (2) High-level overview of your matter. Note: if you use Evergreen Retainer for Trust and amounts fall below the minimum balance, the values turn red.
  • (3) Matter tabs to review, edit, and create time, fees, expenses, invoices, and transactions to trust or operating retainer accounts.


  • Each matter has a variety of tabs.
Time & Fees

Review, edit, and create new time/fee entries. Learn more about Time & Fee Entry.



Review, edit, and create new expense entries. Learn more about Expense Entry.



Review, edit, create and add payments to invoices. The Invoices tab will only show relevant invoices for that specific matter. Smokeball Start has an invoices view where you can manage invoices across all matters. Learn more about creating invoices.



Manage the trust and operating retainer accounts for individual matters including deposits, payments, and credit card requests. Smokeball Start integrates with LawPay for credit card transactions. Learn more about Depositing Funds into Trust or Operating Retainer Accounts.



How to edit a matter in Smokeball Start

  • Start by clicking the Edit Matter settings gear under the matter title. 
Matter Details

Review and edit matter details such as matter status and matter description.



Review and edit Attorney Responsible, Person Assisting, or Originating Attorney on a matter.



Review, edit, and add clients, debtors, and opposing parties on a matter. Here you have the ability to create new contacts to add to a matter, as well as add, view, and edit existing contacts (1). The View link will open the contact page in a new tab and upon closing the tab will return you to the Edit Matter screen. The Edit link will display a pop-up box allowing you to edit details without leaving the page. 


Billing Fees and Rates

Select and edit the matter's billing type and billing rate. In this setting you can override the default rate for the matter by individual staff member or for all staff. 


Trust Retainer

Activate the evergreen retainer on a matter and set the minimum threshold and replenishment amounts. If you do not see this option, go to our article on Evergreen Retainers to learn how to activate this feature.


Late Payment

Set interest on matters with outstanding balances, including any grace period and the date you want the interest to start calculating. Learn more about Interest



Enable UTBMS/LEDES billing on a matter and enter the Firm ID, Matter ID, and Client Matter ID. If you do not see this option, go to our article on UTBMS to learn how to activate this feature.


Invoice Settings

Review and edit certain invoice settings for a matter including the invoice template, title, subtitle, and notes. Learn more about Invoice Settings.  



Did You Know?

  • Smokeball Start allows you to have multiple matters open at one time, creating various matter tabs at the top of Smokeball Start.

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