Version 8.2 Release Notes

Version 8.2 of Smokeball includes some exciting changes, including the following.

Timer Added to Windows Native App

You and your timekeepers now have fast and easy access to the timer in the Smokeball Windows native app.

The timer can now be accessed in several areas within the Smokeball Windows native app:

  • On the main Smokeball window
  • On individual matter pages
  • On the Time & Expenses pop-out page

Timers can be started by clicking on the timer feature in the toolbar and then selecting the "ADD A TIMER" button. This will start a new, blank timer.

You can add the subject within this window, as well as search and select a matter to register this timer against.

If you start a timer on a specific matter page, the "Matter" field will be automatically filled out with the current matter. This can be edited and changed to a different matter if required.

You can create additional timers by clicking the "ADD A TIMER" button. Any existing timers will be paused, and the new timer will start.

Your timers can be marked as complete by clicking on the green checkmark when hovering over the timer entry. You may also delete a timer by clicking on the trash bin icon.

Completed timers will give you the ability to set rates, activity codes, descriptions, and more before registering the time entry against the selected matter.

NOTE: All Smokeball Start users will continue to have access to the timer in the web app.


User Permissions

You now have the ability to set User Permissions designed to restrict sensitive information to best suit the firm’s needs.

As your firm grows, there may come a time when an individual staff member's activities and rates can become more sensitive. It may not be appropriate or desirable to allow staff members to view activity or financially specific information on a matter.

This is when User Permissions can be set by a Firm Owner.

User Permissions have four primary areas of access:

  • Billing App access gives full access to all billing resources and is the default permission.
  • Hourly Rates will show or hide a staff member's individual rates while still showing time entries.
  • Time Entries will show or hide a staff member's time entries, including the rates.
  • Billing Widget will show or hide the Billing widget shown on a matter which contains financial information about that matter.

Full Billing access is the default setting and will give your users full access to Smokeball Billing and staff billing-related information on a matter. You also have the option to set different permission levels to access information based on the information type or individual colleague.

For example, your firm could allow junior staff members to view only their own activities but allow mid-level staff members to access other mid-level colleagues' activities and rates, but not senior staff's activities and rates.

Firm owners can access permissions by logging in to Smokeball, clicking the Settings icon, selecting Staff & Users, and then clicking on the Permissions button.

Permissions are applied in two main ways:

  • Removing staff listings from select boxes where the current user does not have permission to see their information (e.g. adding new time entries on behalf of other staff members).
  • Hiding rates and fees by showing a padlock in their place.

User Permissions gives you the ability to keep confidential information secure to only staff members who need to see it while still allowing their team to work as usual.

NOTE: Expenses will still be visible even if time entries are restricted.


Global Discovery Deadlines Report

This report will allow you to run a report on Discovery Deadlines across all matters. You can enter this information on the Discovery Details layout found on all litigation matter types.

You can choose to view deadlines across all matters, deadlines by discovery type, or deadlines for individual matters. This will help your firm track discovery requests, determine whether responses to these requests are past due, and ensure on-time responses.

NOTE: This report will only work on Version 8.2 of Smokeball or above.


Estate Details Layout

We've released a new version of the Estate Details layout that contains contact cards. You can now enter parties on this layout and elsewhere on the matter without having to retype information. The new Estate Details layout will now open with the Family tab. Because you often have two clients and two estate details on the matter, you will now be able to distinguish which client the Estate Details layout relates to. The “Estate of” dropdown will populate with all clients entered on the matter. You can also enter unlimited children as well as grandchildren.

Each subsequent tab of the layout contains four separate iterations of the same role: the primary, the successor, the alternate successor, and the second alternate successor. Each tab defaults to three of each role and allows you to type in the capacity of the role types. This information can then be automated into documents.

We have removed the general Guardian tab and split that out into Guardian of the Estate and Guardian of the Person. This was previously only available in certain jurisdictions. All jurisdictions will now default to the tabs above. Any documents previously automated with the generic Guardian fields will be pulled into the Guardian of the Children fields in the new layout.

Any existing Co-Guardian fields correspond to the second Guardian entered in the data grid. As these are contact cards, you can write to any contact on the Estate Details layout and use these cards in party selection asks in documents.

Note: You must be on Version 8.2 of Smokeball or above to use this layout and it will only be available on new matters going forward. This change will not apply to existing matters and you will not be able to convert existing matters to use this layout.


Asset Tracking Details Layout

We've released an Asset Tracking Details layout to track your client’s assets including financial accounts, insurance policies, business interests, personal property, and more. You can enter detailed information such as value, ownership, and the intended beneficiary. This information can also be automated, making drafting documents even easier.

You can find this layout on the matter level on all our Estate Planning and Probate & Estate Administration matter types.

Many of these matters already include a Property Details layout, and all real estate holdings should continue to be entered in both places. This is because the Property Details layout has numerous additional fields that are not included in the Real Estate tab of the Asset Tracking Details layout but still needed to be included in the full accounting of the client’s assets. The Real Estate tab should be viewed as a snapshot of the client’s real estate holdings.

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