Best Practices - Matter Naming Conventions

This is an opinionated strategy for best practices in naming Matters for your law practice. The three elements to consider in naming a Matter are Title, Number and Description.

Matter Title

The Matter Title should be an easily searchable, distinguishable title for the Matter. In most cases, the Matter Title should be similar to the In Re: clause of the Matter without "In Re:". Including client names in the Matter Title is preferred, for example, "John Q. Client v. Neighbor Name" is most helpful because it meets simple human readability standards to explain the Matter, but it also provides an easy search query to pull the record from potentially thousands of records in your firm's Matter List.

DO NOT include action descriptions in the Matter Title.

Matter Number

When a Matter is created, GOMATTERS assigns a time stamp for the Matter Number. The inital Matter Number should be changed to reflect the number of hierachical entity Matter Number. For example, once a case number has been assigned by Court, use that number as the Matter Number.

DO NOT adhere to a sequential numbering system for Matters. It is pointless to attempt to number Matters sequentially.

Matter Description

The Matter Description should be short and generally descriptive of the Matter type. For example "Injury, Divorce, Criminal Assault, Chapter 7" or "Injury - Car Accident, Divorce - Custody, Felony - Criminal Assault, Bankruptcy - Chapter 7". Maintaining consistent descriptions of Matters througout your practice allows you to search by description to find all types of Matters based on the Matter Description field.

DO NOT include specific descriptive elements in the Matter Description as this will degrade search results based on Matter Description. For example, "Injyr - Car Accident" or "Car Accident" is a suitable Matter Description, however, "Car Accident at 123 Main St" would be inconsistent across descriptions in your practice.


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