Managing Time Between Settlement and Disbursement to Maximize Law Firm’s Profit

Lawsome episode-todd franklin

In this LAWsome podcast episode, Tanner is joined by Todd Franklin, a Partner at MASSIVE and a distinguished medical and subrogation specialist.

With expertise in client communication and a track record of founding two successful companies in the personal injury practice, Todd is at the forefront of developing MASSIVE’s proprietary software system to resolve medical lien claims efficiently. Join us for an insightful conversation as Todd shares strategies, experiences, and invaluable insights into managing time between settlement and disbursement for maximum law firm profitability.

Key Takeaways:

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 1:10 – A legal professionals multidisciplinary journey
  • 1:17 – The red and green flags of a firm’s financial health
  • 3:27 – Effective benchmarks in assessing a law firm’s profitability
  • 7:18 – What is a medical lien in a personal injury law firm
  • 9:16 – How early lien resolution can impact a law firm’s profit
  • 12:14 – Maintain the balance between serving clients and financial stability
  • 15:35 – Closing thoughts

🔗 Connect with Todd Franklin:

248- 213 – 8700

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Tanner Jones: Lawsome by Consultwebs, breakthrough insights to build a thriving law firm with your host, [00:00:10] Tanner Jones.

[00:00:15] Tanner Jones: Hello, Lawsome listeners. Today on the show, I was very excited to be talking with Todd Franklin. [00:00:20] He’s a longtime friend, but he’s also the partner and co-founder at Massive. Made up of medical and subrogation specialists. Todd’s expertise lies in assisting law firms and [00:00:30] fostering a culture for profitability, enabling them to thrive in a competitive legal environment.

[00:00:35] Tanner Jones: As a renowned thought leader, he employs disciplined and well [00:00:40] documented systems that consistently yield measurable results for his clients. With an exceptional ability to identify and implement effective solutions within the legal industry, Todd has established a [00:00:50] reputation as an expert in creating sustainable strategies for law firms.

[00:00:55] Tanner Jones: Today’s topic, it’s about managing time between settlement and disbursement to [00:01:00] maximize a law firm’s profit. Todd’s going to share his insights and his experiences as a strategist within the legal profession. So welcome Todd, honored to have you on the [00:01:10] show finally.

[00:01:10] Todd Franklin: Thanks Tanner, it’s really good to be here with you as well.

[00:01:14] Tanner Jones: Wonderful, let’s just jump right in. Sure. So let’s start with law firm management. It’s important, I mean we [00:01:20] talk about lagging indicators, leading indicators and all things. Indicators in an effort to really determine the financial health or even the growth potential of a [00:01:30] law firm, but specifically around the waiting time between settlement and disbursement.

[00:01:35] Tanner Jones: That is certainly a metric that one could track. It would be considered probably more of a [00:01:40] lagging indicator. So in your opinion, how do these indicators begin to give insights to law firms around their own financial health and performance.

[00:01:49] Todd Franklin: Thanks. It’s [00:01:50] great to be here, Tanner. It’s good chatting with you and, look forward to answering some of these questions and giving folks an opportunity to listen in and learn a little bit [00:02:00] about some of the things that we’re doing over at Massive.

[00:02:03] Todd Franklin: obviously indicators teach you about your business. it gives you an opportunity to, maybe ask questions that [00:02:10] you haven’t been able to ask before as you find new information. and so for me, I think that, if you’re going to start tracking indicators, some of the more [00:02:20] important ones that you’ll find are time on desk, right?

[00:02:22] Todd Franklin: And the initial one you had mentioned, which was, What is it? It’s time from settlement to disbursement, right? that time on the desk [00:02:30] costs somebody dollars, right? It either cost the plaintiff time. It costs you time, meaning the attorney. and then you’ve also got other indicators, that I think are important as well, which [00:02:40] help you value your workload.

[00:02:42] Todd Franklin: and there’s a lot that goes on, not just with the work itself, right? You’ve got a lot of things that affect culture and how work is [00:02:50] actually accomplished. And so these indicators are true, snapshots of what is happening with your business at any given time. [00:03:00] and so as the more you learn, the more questions that you can ask, the more questions we can ask, the more we can learn.

[00:03:06] Todd Franklin: And then it just allows us to build off of a sense of culture. [00:03:10] Leading towards profitability and it’s just a really amazing thing what indicators can provide whether they be lagging or leading indicators it’s important that you really have a [00:03:20] sense of those prior to getting started

[00:03:23] Tanner Jones: You know profitability is obviously a very important topic.

[00:03:26] Tanner Jones: So let’s start there, what are you seeing in terms [00:03:30] of effective benchmarks? When it comes to assessing a law firm’s profitability.

[00:03:35] Todd Franklin: It’s interesting. You can bring it into culture, right? So hiring tactics, right? [00:03:40] So benchmarks are, having the right person in the right seat.

[00:03:43] Todd Franklin: when you look at the type of work that’s done, it does take a specific set of skills. And [00:03:50] you can start as early as when you’re hiring somebody. So a benchmark is, what is the talent, what is the skill that’s necessary to do subrogation? Is that the same exact skill, [00:04:00] necessary to work with, directly with the, the, plaintiff?

[00:04:04] Todd Franklin: and if that is different, and it’s a different makeup, then that has already given you an initial benchmark, [00:04:10] of trying to Fill your staff with folks that are able to do and have the makeup of doing the work that’s necessary to be done at different phases. So one [00:04:20] is for sure, absolutely the right person in the right seat.

[00:04:23] Todd Franklin: and then obviously time on desk. Again, going back to that, a benchmark is. It’s fairly simple to establish there. but the hope [00:04:30] is that you can, by working both of these angles, you’re able to attack not only the aspect of culture within your office, but also profitability [00:04:40] by hiring folks to the specific skills that you’re requiring.

[00:04:44] Todd Franklin: I think a lot of times, you’ll find that. without necessary benchmarks, [00:04:50] you have maybe folks not always rowing in the same direction, not having the right person in the right seat, which will become an indicator at that point [00:05:00] because you’ll see. less opportunity, less business, going in the manner that you may have thought you had designed it.

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[00:05:25] Tanner Jones: Click on the link in the description. Or visit consultwebs. com for more information. Be [00:05:30] the standout firm. Everyone notices. Yeah. it’s often said lawyers are not taught how to run a business in law school. And [00:05:40] I’m curious to hear just from your own personal experience, how top of mind are some of these?

[00:05:46] Tanner Jones: Indicators just from, any average law [00:05:50] firm. Is this something that you’re seeing being measured consistently from firm to firm?

[00:05:54] Todd Franklin: Not consistently. It’s different from firm to firm. some firms. [00:06:00] another benchmark really is recognizing and understanding the time of how long it takes to actually complete subrogation, right?

[00:06:08] Todd Franklin: it’s not, you call it a [00:06:10] Monday and it’s done on a Tuesday. And if your timing isn’t set properly. And so that’s what I see a lot of times is. Folks may think that they have the timing down, but then when you start to look at the [00:06:20] timing and start to dissect the effect that it causes, then what you end up with is asking more questions and how can we improve this?

[00:06:27] Todd Franklin: But what you found is an area that you [00:06:30] can. So what we see a lot of is law firms will call us. With a case that’s already settled and they’re not exactly sure who they need to contact or they have contacted already And [00:06:40] they’ve got a really big lien that maybe exceeds settlement and things along those lines And you know for me my response is you know, I don’t like to harp on the fact that oh You should have [00:06:50] started earlier.

[00:06:51] Todd Franklin: This is a learning opportunity And so If that side is interested in learning more about how this can become better, and more profitable and build [00:07:00] positive in culture, those are the kinds of things that we can start talking about. And then you just naturally start to build, better, better efficiencies

[00:07:09] Tanner Jones: [00:07:10] So the world of medical liens for personal injury law firms. this is clearly well, actually, I think it may help our audience [00:07:20] start with describing a medical lien. What is a medical lien and a typical personal injury law firm? What are they experiencing there? And what I’d like to lead to specifically is, [00:07:30] the whole concept of getting somewhere faster.

[00:07:33] Tanner Jones: As a business, tightening up processes creates more efficiency, creates more profitability, so I’d like to lead to [00:07:40] what you’re seeing with respect to early resolution, but let’s start at the top.

[00:07:44] Todd Franklin: subrogation is basically the right to be reimbursed. for some of what was paid for medical [00:07:50] bills.

[00:07:50] Todd Franklin: And the example is if you’re injured, no fault of your own, and you hire an attorney, because you’re seeking a third party pot of money, that [00:08:00] triggers a subrogative right for those who paid for your medical bills. Could be Blue Cross, could be Medicare, could be Medicaid. Because you sought and won a third party pot of [00:08:10] money, that triggers that right, allows them, them being the subrogating agent, Medicare, Medicaid, to be reimbursed.

[00:08:16] Todd Franklin: For a percentage, a piece of what they paid for your medical [00:08:20] bills only related to the accident. that you’re seeking that third party pot of money for. And that is a quote unquote lean, [00:08:30] if you will. And they have that right. So lawyers, law firms have to contact them, provide them notice that a settlement occurred and then the negotiation happens.

[00:08:39] Todd Franklin: and [00:08:40] that is really what a lien is. They don’t necessarily file the lien. Medicare is a statutory lien, and there are other statutory liens that are out there that could [00:08:50] be attached to the case. But it’s also recognizing what that lien looks like. And what’s the underlying language that’s driving that?

[00:08:57] Todd Franklin: And so those are important things [00:09:00] to get set up that lead to benchmarks as well and learning more and more about how to set it up properly so that you can actually You know, have a great exit strategy. [00:09:10]

[00:09:10] Tanner Jones: That’s good. And I appreciate the explanation for listeners. And obviously, personal injury lawyers listen, they live this.

[00:09:17] Tanner Jones: but I’m curious to hear from your experiences, [00:09:20] even any kind of personal insights you have on the whole concept of early lien resolution and how that ultimately impacts a financial outcome for a law firm. [00:09:30] what are your stories there?

[00:09:32] Todd Franklin: So client satisfaction, financial stability, it all goes hand in hand.

[00:09:36] Todd Franklin: Starting early, law firms, and I’ve said this [00:09:40] before, law firms spend a lot of money to get cases in the door, but don’t have really full proof, thought out plan in every situation, for the exit strategy, and it leads to, [00:09:50] extended disbursement time, and it, leads to not great results, with regard to, ending up with a positive [00:10:00] goodwill, right?

[00:10:00] Todd Franklin: You spend that much money to get a client in, you want to protect that, because when they leave, you want them to be able to Have that experience. And to me, [00:10:10] client satisfaction, financial stability, all of that really goes hand in hand. And, what I see is that when folks start early, set the understanding.

[00:10:18] Todd Franklin: If you [00:10:20] settle a case pre suit, you should be prepared. To close the file out, right? And whether you start earlier or later [00:10:30] makes a very big difference on when you’ll be done. And we like to talk with law firms about starting early. Doesn’t mean that you need to monitor it every day.

[00:10:39] Todd Franklin: But opening [00:10:40] up lines of communication, doing things to set it up for settlement, will allow you to move the process quicker. After settlement. and that to me is a really [00:10:50] big deal. and then they’ll give you an opportunity to audit liens prior to do events like settlement conferences or in pre suit.

[00:10:57] Todd Franklin: If you’re writing a demand, if you get an offer back, [00:11:00] it’s nice to know what your net medicals are, right? And you’ll have an opportunity to be able to go through and see where your medicals really sit, as far as in, [00:11:10] from Medicare, whoever it might be that you’ve contacted to get a conditional payment history on or a payment history on.

[00:11:17] Todd Franklin: And so being able to start that [00:11:20] process early, cause there’s always more that goes into it, right? And there’s always, oh, this and all that, or there’s a short term or a long term disability plan that needs to be contacted or it’s ERISA, which [00:11:30] becomes more complicated. and All those factors lead to starting early, which will ultimately lead to better financial stability because you’ll be able to [00:11:40] close the cases faster, have a happier customer, and, be able to, really borrow less at the end of the day.

[00:11:46] Todd Franklin: If it takes you 120 days or 90 days to get the [00:11:50] money out, and you can do it in 60 days. there’s less cost there.

[00:11:55] Tanner Jones: That’s it, more money in your pocket and clearly serving the client well. you, [00:12:00] hit on the importance of client satisfaction and clearly that’s a big part in all of this and the quicker you can get things resolved, the better.

[00:12:08] Tanner Jones: There’s also the other side of this, which [00:12:10] would be balancing a law firm’s operational costs. So from your take, how do you maintain a balance between, serving the client, satisfaction [00:12:20] side? Along with consistent financial stability.

[00:12:24] Todd Franklin: So one of the things I talk with law firms about is, valuating, valuing your work, right?

[00:12:29] Todd Franklin: And so [00:12:30] what work that I do is tied to revenue generation, right? What’s profitable work that I do and what’s not profitable work? And so once you get that list of [00:12:40] both sides of that coin, you can then start to make decisions on, okay, where can we put our focus? And then from there You can start to build into your culture, right?

[00:12:48] Todd Franklin: Then you can get the right person in [00:12:50] the right seat, or you can decide that this is work that is, costs us too much money and goodwill, opportunity, and maybe bring in a partner to be able to help us with this so that we can [00:13:00] move forward and not have to spend our time on non revenue generating work, which is really just a cost to the firm and holds the firm back.

[00:13:08] Todd Franklin: And I talk to law firms [00:13:10] about valuing the work that they have. What makes you money? What doesn’t make you money? and who can help you decide, to work on profitable stuff, who can be there to [00:13:20] do the work that you might have to do, but isn’t profitable for you to do it, and can still be done.

[00:13:26] Todd Franklin: And so to me, that’s important. It’s a good thing to talk to law firms [00:13:30] about value of their work.

[00:13:31] Tanner Jones: I love that concept. And it’s true, we all get lost in our day to day. but I think it’s a good grounding principle [00:13:40] to consider.

[00:13:41] Todd Franklin: it’s a lot to think about. Like you said, it’s a good thought.

[00:13:44] Todd Franklin: But there’s also a process to deciding that you’re going to work with an organization like MASSIVE. [00:13:50] and it’s, it, the excitement for me comes with asking questions, learning about whether or not it’s a fit. and so our opportunities are to bring some [00:14:00] of these up to the law firm and whether or not we begin to work together, really, it’s just asking different questions and I think that’s exciting in and of itself.

[00:14:07] Tanner Jones: And you’ve touched on this some, but while we’re on [00:14:10] the whole concept of client relationships and maintaining that, Essentially loyalty in the marketplace. Do you have any personal experiences or [00:14:20] stories that you would share that you’ve seen how the timeline between disbursement and settlement have ultimately impacted the relationship?

[00:14:27] Todd Franklin: Yeah. one of my favorite things is when a law [00:14:30] firm, starts with us and they begin to track more so time on desk and recognizing that the window has shrunk, recognizing that, That we [00:14:40] probably achieve better results as far as reductions are concerned, than what they might do because they don’t always have the same expert person working on it.

[00:14:47] Todd Franklin: You may have a high level paralegal who has been [00:14:50] doing it for years and years but that doesn’t mean that, that, that makes the most sense. It doesn’t mean that it can’t get done at that level or higher at no cost to the firm. So for [00:15:00] me is when people start to recognize that there’s opportunity out there, and that the law firm isn’t on an island.

[00:15:07] Todd Franklin: and that is, law firms are already [00:15:10] outsourcing work, right? They outsource expert work. They outsource court reporting, right? They outsource, SEO and things along those lines. And so this is work that’s high level work. It’s [00:15:20] expert work. and we like to build off of that by asking those questions and really jumping in to see, how can we help?

[00:15:27] Todd Franklin: But, I think I got a little bit away from your [00:15:30] question, but, I think Touched on it enough.

[00:15:33] Tanner Jones: Yeah. And I don’t want to belabor the topic, but I think that’s really the big piece here is that it’s what you don’t [00:15:40] know. You don’t know. And that’s often the concept within a law firm and essentially working on what feels like an island sometimes.

[00:15:47] Tanner Jones: And there are so many experts, [00:15:50] tied to the whole, the wheel of it. Managing a law firm. And I think it’s important to be able to address it. What, other thoughts or, closing feedback [00:16:00] would you share with our listeners around these topics?

[00:16:03] Todd Franklin: transparency is key. I think that’s an important feature.

[00:16:06] Todd Franklin: A lot of times I find law firms aren’t able to be as transparent as they might want to be with [00:16:10] their plaintiff when they call because they might not have an answer. And so those types of things can help improve. And that most of what we do is driven by, making sure that we, [00:16:20] Shrink that window between settlement and disbursement, ask the right questions, and help law firms become more profitable and hopefully build a better culture for profitability in that [00:16:30] recognizing that there’s other opportunities out there and it doesn’t have to be you against the world.

[00:16:34] Tanner Jones: I love that. It’s a good closing thought. That’s really a big concept to Lawsome and what we want to do, [00:16:40] what we want to do for the legal community and obviously profitability just continues to give our Law firms across the country the ability to better serve clients over time. So [00:16:50] thankful, very thankful for you being willing to share some of these nuggets with our audience, for those who are interested in maybe asking some follow up questions [00:17:00] with you, what’s the best way they can reach you, Todd?

[00:17:02] Todd Franklin: Sure. Anybody can reach me anytime at 2 4 8 2 1 3 8 7 0 0. That’s my direct dial, but you can also get me at todd [00:17:10] at go massive. com, which is my email address. I’m always available and we look forward to hearing and answering any questions or beginning a relationship with anybody as far as [00:17:20] asking questions.

[00:17:21] Todd Franklin: Todd, thank you very much. Hey, it’s my pleasure, Tanner. It’s been great talking to you too. Laws buy ConsultWebs with Tanner Jones. For show notes, links and [00:17:30] info, go to Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review. Watch for the next laws episode to discover more breakthrough insights to build a [00:17:40] thriving law firm.