Adding a New Case Subsite to SharePoint

Instructions on how to create a new SharePoint sub-site to store all documents relating to a case or matter.

When we open a new matter in SharePoint, we must create a new sub-site for that matter. We have created a carefully designed template we have created for that purpose. Using the template to create a new sub-site for a matter is a multi-step process.

One of the most important aspects of the template used for our case sites is the use of restricted “permissions,” which prevents outside personnel who may have limited access to parts of the site from being able to access privileged portions that they should not be permitted to see.

Further, the template contains the entire pre-defined library structure, workflows and metadata structure (which in SharePoint is known as Content Type information, or Managed Metadata). This Procedure details the simple process of creating a new sub-site.

WARNING! This is one of our more complex procedures. Correct implementation of this process is critically important. Mistakes, errors or missed steps may cause major problems with document access or security of client data. Do not begin this procedure unless you are prepared to devote at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to finish this process. Seek assistance from another to help you complete each step properly until you are very comfortable with each part of the process.

Creating a New Case Sub-Site in SharePoint:

There are 4 parts to creating a new site, which are:

  1. Create the sub-site
  2. Set Permissions for specific groups
  3. Remove Unique Permissions and assign specific Group Permission Levels to individual libraries
  4. Settings for custom branding pages (used by outsiders and bearing our cosmetic firm branding cosmetics).
Part 1 — Create the sub-site
  1. Right-click on the following link to open a new browser window in which to complete the steps of this procedure in SharePoint online:  “Case Site Collection – Case Subsite.” [Note: Split-screen your monitor with the SharePoint pages on one side and these instructions on the other; as you complete each step in this Procedure, scroll the completed step out of this window so that you can keep track of which step you are currently completing.]
  2. Click “+New,” and under the drop-down menu click “Subsite.”
  3. Enter the name of the matter under “Title,” and enter a short but unique and easily understandable name in the box for the URL. [Example: if the case were called Smith v. Jones (a common name set), you could use the URL name “Smith-Jones.”]
  4. Under “Select a template,” click “Custom.”
  5. Click the highest version number for a Case Site Template that you see in the box beneath the tab.
  6. Click “Use unique permissions.” [Note: this setting will be removed later in Part 3, after specific Group Permission Levels have been assigned but before they are assigned to individual libraries.]
  7. Leave the rest of the settings alone.
  8. At the bottom of the page (scroll down), click “Create.”
  9. Wait. It will take approximately 5 minutes for the site creation process to complete.
  10. Once the site creation is complete, a new page will automatically pop up after the site is created asking you to configure permissions.
Part 2 — Set Permissions For Specific Groups
WARNING! Failure to SET PERMISSIONS using the following steps will result IN A SECURITY BREACH allowing unauthorized persons to view or download confidential material. You must ensure that the permissions are set correctly. Use extreme care in following these steps.
  1. Log in to SharePoint once more right now in order to prevent your use of the link provided in the following step from being interrupted and redirected to an incorrect location. (Note: if you have not logged in using the browser you are currently using during the last 10 minutes, this step is essential.)
  2. Right-click following link to open a separate browser window (which will open on a separate desktop if you are using split-screen view) or a new browser tab to make further changes without closing your open SharePoint subsite window: https://gojolaw.sharepoint.com/sites/Case/_layouts/15/settings.aspx 
  3. Hit “Enter” to navigate to that URL.
  4. Under the heading “Look and Feel” at the top of the right column, click “Master page” (two down from the top). You will then see the following on the page that appears, and the next 3 steps should set and save the following settings:
  5. For the “Site Master Page” setting, check the box for “Reset all subsites to inherit the site master page setting” and scroll in the box to “seattleGojoCustom.”
  6. For the “System Master Page” setting, check the box for “Reset all subsites to inherit the site master page setting” and scroll in the box to “seattleGojoCustom.”
  7. Click “OK.
  8. Return to your new sub-site and configure unique Permission Groups for external users by clicking the “gear” icon at the top of the SharePoint ribbon, then clicking “Site settings.” Under the heading “Users and Permissions” click “People and groups.”
  9. Create 3 Groups: Opposing Counsel, Client and Witness and assign each the appropriate permission levels. In the “Name” field for each of the three new groups, add an appropriate name from these three selections:
OPPOSING COUNSEL: Click “Groups” at the top of the menu on your left. Under the “New” tab, select “New Group.” Type the name: “[Case Name] Opposing Counsel” — change “Group owner” to “GOJO Staff” then under “Who can view the membership of this group?” select “Everyone,” then under “Who can edit the membership of this group?” select “Group Owner” then under “Allow requests to join/leave this group?” select “Yes” then under “Auto-accept requests?” select “Yes,” type your email address in the “Send membership requests to the following email address” box, then check the box for “Read” near the bottom of the page, then click “Create.” When the page refreshes, click the word “Groups” at the top of the menu on the left.
CLIENT: Under the “New” tab, select “New Group.” Type the name: “[Case Name] Client” — change “Group owner” to “GOJO Staff”  then under “Who can view the membership of this group?” select “Everyone,” then under “Who can edit the membership of this group?” select “Group Owner” then under “Allow requests to join/leave this group?” select “Yes” then under “Auto-accept requests?” select “Yes” type your email address in the “Send membership requests to the following email address” box, then check the box for “Contribute-no delete” then click “Create.” When the page refreshes, click the word “Groups” at the top of the menu on the left.
WITNESS: Under the “New” tab, select “New Group.” Type the name: “[Case Name] Witness” — change “Group owner” to “GOJO Staff” then under “Who can view the membership of this group?” select “Everyone,” then under “Who can edit the membership of this group?” select “Group Owner” then under “Allow requests to join/leave this group?” select “Yes” then under “Auto-accept requests?” select “Yes” type your email address in the “Send membership requests to the following email address” box, then check the box for “Read” then click “Create.”
Part 3 — Remove Unique Permissions and assign specific Group Permission Levels to individual libraries 
  1. Remove the permission levels associated with each of the three groups you created in the previous step from these libraries: “Billing,” “Drafts,” “Notes,” “People,” “Pending Privilege Review,” “Photos,” “Privileged,” and “Working Copies,” and for each of these 8 libraries, you will be completing the following steps for each library, as follows:
    1. Navigate to the Billing Library using the menu on the left side of your new SharePoint sub-site.
    2. Click the “gear” icon, and click “Library settings.”
    3. Under the heading “Permissions and management” (center column), click “Permissions for this document library.”
    4. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Stop Inheriting Permissions” and then when the warning box appears, click “OK.”
    5. Check the boxes next to “[Case Name] Client,” “[Case Name] Opposing Counsel,” and “[Case Name] Witness.”
    6. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Remove User Permissions.”
    7. When the warning box appears, click “OK.
    8. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Drafts” library.
    9. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Notes” library, but first rename the notebook that appears when you first navigate to the “Notes” library to “[Case Name] Notebook” by right-clicking on the notebook, entering the new name, and clicking “Save.”
    10. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Pending Privilege Review” library.
    11. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “People” library.
    12. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Photos” library.
    13. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Privilege” library.
    14. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Working Copies” library.
  2. Remove the Witness and Client permission levels from the “Attorney’s Eyes Only” library as follows:
    1. Navigate to the Attorney’s Eyes Only Library using the menu on the left side of your new SharePoint sub-site.
    2. Click the “gear” icon, and click “Library settings.”
    3. Under the heading “Permissions and management,” click “Permissions for this document library.”
    4. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Stop Inheriting Permissions.”
    5. Check the boxes next to “[Case Name] Client” and “[Case Name] Witness.”
    6. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Remove User Permissions.”
    7. Click “OK” to save your changes.
  3. Remove the Witness permission level from the “Logs List” “Filed,” “Served,” “Trial,” “Exhibit List,” “Witness List” and “Deposition Exhibits” as follows:
    1. Navigate to the Logs List using the menu on the left side of your new SharePoint sub-site.
    2. Click the “gear” icon, and click “Library settings.”
    3. Under the heading “Permissions and management,” click “Permissions for this document library.”
    4. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Stop Inheriting Permissions.”
    5. Check the box next to “[Case Name] Witness.”
    6. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Remove User Permissions.”
    7. Click “OK” to save your changes.
    8. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Filed” library.
    9. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Served” library.
    10. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Trial” library.
    11. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Exhibit list. [Note: select “list settings” because this is a list rather than a library.]
    12. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Witness” list. [Note: select “list settings” because this is a list rather than a library.]
    13. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Deposition Exhibits” library.
  4. Remove “Opposing Counsel” and “Witness” permission levels from the “Correspondence” and “Records” libraries, as follows:
    1. Navigate to the Correspondence Library using the menu on the left side of your new SharePoint sub-site.
    2. Click the “gear” icon, and click “Library settings.”
    3. Under the heading “Permissions and management,” click “Permissions for this document library.”
    4. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Stop Inheriting Permissions.”
    5. Check the box next to “[Case Name] Witness” and “[Case Name] Opposing Counsel.”
    6. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Remove User Permissions.”
    7. Click “OK” to save your changes.
    8. Repeat steps a. through g. for the “Records” library.
  5. Assign “External User Upload” permission levels for “Client,” “Opposing Counsel” and “Witness” to the “External User Upload” library, as follows:
    1. Navigate to the External User Upload Library using the menu at the left side of your new SharePoint site.
    2. Click the “gear” icon, and click “Library settings.”
    3. Under the heading “Permissions and management,” click “Permissions for this document library.”
    4. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Stop Inheriting Permissions.”
    5. Check the box next to “[Case Name] Client.”
    6. In the ribbon at the top of the page, click “Edit User Permissions.”
    7. Under “Permissions,” check the box next to “External User Upload” approximately 1/3 of the way down the list.
    8. Un-check the box next to “Contribute-no delete.”
    9. Click “OK” to save your changes.
    10. Repeat only steps e. through i. above for “[Case Name] Opposing Counsel,” taking care to un-check the box next to “Read” in step h.
    11. Repeat only steps e. through i. above for “[Case Name] Witness,” taking care to un-check the box next to “Read” in step h.
  6. Set an alert for when new items are added to the External User Upload Library by navigating to that library using the menu at the left side of your new sub-site, then click the three dots at the top of the library, as shown above:
      1. In the dialog box that appears when you click “Alert me,” add the following settings:
Alert Title: type in “[Case Name] External Users Upload Library
Send Alerts To: type in email addresses of all users working on the matter
Delivery Method: Check E-mail
Change Type: check “New items are added
Send Alerts for These Changes: check “Anything changes
When to Send Alerts: check “Send notification immediately
Then click “OK” to save these settings.
Part 4 — Settings for Custom Branding Pages
  1. Set the Landing Page. On your new sub-site, click the “gear” icon, then select “Site Contents” then scroll down and click “Site Pages” and then click “Landing.aspx” to open that particular site page.
  2. Once the “Landing.aspx” page opens, click the “gear” icon once more, and select “Edit page.”
  3. You will need to edit the text of some of the box-like modules (which in SharePoint are called “Web Parts,” and in normal web design are called “elements.” You can edit these items by clicking on them and typing in new text. Change the name of the case, and fill in the information for the Court, the Civil Action No., the name of the Firm’s client or clients, and any other information. Be sure to inspect your work and then click the “Page” tab in the top ribbon and then click “Stop Editing” to save your changes.
Congratulations! You have now finished this procedure.

Next Steps

Now that you have finished creating your new sub-site for the new case or matter, it is ESSENTIAL that you add it to the GOJO Case List.

Important!: Proceed to Adding a New Sub-Site to the GOJO Case List.

Either now or at a later time, you’ll need to add individual users to Client, Opposing Counsel and Witness groups that you have created in the sub-site. The procedure for doing so is much simpler than the Procedure you just completed. You will find it here: Adding Users to SharePoint Groups.