Veterans Affairs Attorney Michael D.J. Eisenberg Relies on Mac-based Daylite CRM App To Help Expedite Client Benefits Claims

Our Customers / April 6, 2022 / Tucky Wong

The Purple Heart was established in 1782 by George Washington when he was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and is a solemn distinction that to this day means a service member has greatly sacrificed themselves, or paid the ultimate price while in the line of duty. Another U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, received his medal after sustaining a serious back injury in naval battle while managing to swim several miles towing the lifejacket strap attached to another wounded soldier in his clenched teeth. 

Among several other legal services offered in his Washington DC law practice, Michael D.J. Eisenberg advocates for deserving veterans to receive their Purple Heart medals and other military records corrections. Purple heart recipients get higher priority access to medical care and don’t have to copay for Veterans Affairs medical treatment or hospitalization. While these cases may seem simple, they can stretch out to over a year if not longer. The military boards of correction for military records are backlogged with applications. They sometimes have to do their own investigations or request opinions from other branches of the military. While the assistance of an attorney can help Veterans create a solid application, that still will not guarantee the boards will simply correct its error.

Portrait of Michael D.J. Eisenberg, Attorney and Counselor at Law

Most veterans affairs cases involve issues of pride and honor

“Most of my cases involve benefits owed, but nearly all of them involve issues of pride and honor,” said Eisenberg, who has been serving veterans, military members and Federal employees for just over 15 years. One of his longer record-correction cases, for a Vietnam war veteran who had not received his Purple Heart, took seven years (the later five that included Mr. Eisenberg). But in the end, including an appeal to a higher court, he received his medal.  His work before the Department of Veterans affairs can last longer.  This year alone he was able to resolve cases that were seven, nine and eleven years old.

Dealing with Federal bureaucracies as well as the courts requires precise tracking of tasks, court filings deposition and hearing deadlines as well as all email communications related to a case. For that, Eisenberg relies on a CRM software program called Daylite. “Specifically, because it’s a Mac-native program, it integrates incredibly well with Apple Mail,” said Eisenberg. “The Daylite Mail Assistant is fantastic. I don’t have to be worried about having access to my email as long as I have access to my Daylite database whether it’s on my iPhone, iPad, iMac or the MacBook Pro I use when I travel. I can very easily look up a case history or see what Tasks I have in relation to it as well as all past communications.” 

Daylite window displayed in the screens of a MacBook, iPad and iPhone.

Eisenberg relies on Daylite to have access to his data even without internet connection on his iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.

“When setting filing deadlines with Calendar appointments and Tasks, it’s great that I can tag the email court or agency notice or confirmation of filing through an email using eFax to an agency,” he said. “I can then tag the email with the appointment and Task and check off the Task as accomplished.  This gives an easy way to track due dates and also easily find the related email and faxes with the filing to confirm things at a later date.”

Daylite is a Mac-native app that integrates incredibly well with Apple Mail

Screenshot of what Daylite Mail Assistant looks like.

Daylite Mail Assistant integrates with Apple Mail, so that Eisenberg can take action from his emails directly from his inbox.

Specifically designed to take advantage of the power and convenience of the Mac and iPhone operating systems, Daylite helps businesses of 1 to 100 people manage more clients, close more deals and finish more projects. Daylite helps teams share communications, next steps, and details to keep everyone in the loop. This means instead of struggling with information silos, teams can collaborate and get the context they need to respond and advance next steps forward with clients without wasted time or interruptions.

Eisenberg’s enthusiasm for Daylite is well informed. He also hosts his own podcast called The Tech Savvy Lawyer Podcast where he interviews judges, lawyers and other professionals who utilize technology in the practice of law. Technology vendors invite him to try their new wares. “I’ve been trying web-based CRM programs, and they don’t work as well for me,” he said. “Daylite has a generic setup similar to Microsoft Outlook and Office. But unlike Microsoft products there are no recurring problems associated with the history of the Windows platform. The Apple foundation is fantastic, and because of that any software issues are always quickly fixed.” 

Screenshot of Daylite's pipelines displaying different follow-up tasks in dark mode.

Eisenberg keeps track of client cases and deadlines using Daylite’s Pipelines in dark mode.

All contacts within a case easily accessible even after staff exits firm

Operating with the help of a Virtual Assistant, a receptionist service and one to three law school students who work as his law clerks, Eisenberg says that in Daylite it’s easy to bring on and exit out staff from his firm. “I can easily add or remove members.” stated Eisenberg, “Once onboard, they can look at the entire history of a particular case. Daylite offers secure syncing to its database, so these rotating staff members can work virtually, including one who worked for me for several years in Australia. When their assignment ends I can deactivate their user account from Daylite, but all of their email histories and other contacts with clients and the court system remain so the next person coming in can instantly see all of the case history.”

Screenshot of client's information being displayed in Daylite.

Daylite helps Eisenberg keep track of every communication, even from team members that have left the company. From emails, notes, tasks, projects and appointments, all in one place.

Filing and court deadlines from CalendarRules appear in Daylite

Delving deeper into Daylite, Eisenberg has set up processes that automate onboarding a client, keep track of the stages of court and administrative hearings, and disengaging with a client after a case closes. He also uses Daylite to automate his dealings with courts and agencies. He imports filing deadline and court date information from CalendarRules, a popular legal software platform used by US courts. He downloads CalendarRules information into the universal .ics calendar format, and then applies Mac-specific Hazel rules to the downloaded information. What he ends up within Daylite is appropriately categorized and dated action items for each case. 

Eisenberg tracks his attorney fees in Daylite

Daylite Pipelines help you visually track what stage each project is in and also act as a guide to make sure everyone in a Team is following steps in order. One of the Daylite Pipelines Eisenberg has set up tracks his attorney fees, which are usually paid through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “The VA usually pays within 65 days,” so within Daylite I have a snapshot of my anticipated income and I can track payments to make sure I’m timely paid over that next 65 day period,” he said.

Screenshot of Daylite's Pipelines showing stages of different projects.

Daylite’s Pipelines help Eisenberg and his team visually track the stage of each case, helping them execute each step of the process with perfection and attention to detail.

Daylite even handles the very first interactions with a client. “Through my receptionist service I’ll get an email that says client Bob called and he’d appreciate a call back with this answer,” said Eisenberg. “So in Apple Mail I tag the email with a client’s Project and Name and a Daylite Task to call Bob today or tomorrow. That entire interaction is now captured and accessible with Bob’s case in Daylite.”

When new lawyers ask him about which CRM they should use, Eisenberg has a stock response: “You want Daylite because you want a program that works, built on a platform that works and that’s been steady for decades. And you want your CRM to sync and integrate with everything you use to run your practice. Daylite gets rid of lots of headaches. The last thing you need to find out is that you missed a deadline because your CRM is not integrated and not keeping you informed as it should.” 

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