One of the first things you do when you take on a litigation matter is to start writing down the people, places, and things involved in the matter. Next you might start reconstructing the events leading up to litigation on a whiteboard or legal pad. Then you have to keep track of what documents support each fact involved in the matter. How do you keep all these information silos organized and connected together?
That’s why CaseMap has been so popular and respected for decades. Purchased by LexisNexis in 2006, CaseMap has continued to flourish as one of the most powerful case analysis tools for litigators because it elegantly weaves together all of the critical fragments of information involved in a litigation matter. CaseMap version 13 was released in October 2017.
For those that have used CaseMap in the past, you’ll be pleased to know that the software has kept all of its principal features and capabilities. The biggest difference after the LexisNexis acquisition has been the direct linking from CaseMap into the Lexis Advance system for citations, background checks, research, and more.
In addition, any link from CaseMap into Lexis Advance is automatically kept updated via the Shepard’s® Citation Service – this is no small trivial feature, as you can now see within a glance any references that you might need to update.
CaseMap has continued to flourish as one of the most powerful case analysis tools for litigators because it elegantly weaves together all of the critical fragments of information involved in a litigation matter.
Cast of Characters
Many litigators declare that they’re not comfortable using CaseMap because they don’t know all the information about the matter yet, or the facts or issues involved, so they don’t know how to begin. But all you have to do first in CaseMap is start recording the information that you already know such as the people involved in the matter (what CaseMap calls the “Cast of Characters“). You can start by entering in the information about your client. Were they hit by a car? Enter the name of the other driver. Was your client terminated from employment? Enter the name of their supervisor or manager.
In other words, you don’t have to know everything about your matter before you can effectively use CaseMap – just start simply by adding the pieces of information that you already know. As you start to learn more about your matter you can record the information and the great news is that you start linking facts and issues to the list of people that you’ve already entered into CaseMap.
And again, because CaseMap is backed by the power of Lexis® Advance, you can run searches on the individuals through public records, litigation profiles, and much more. Those links take you directly to the relevant Lexis Advance content and not just to the main front page of the research service.
Facts & Issues
Next, start populating the “Facts” table in CaseMap with events. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that “facts” are only for substantive issues that you would use to support your legal arguments. While the Facts table certainly does hold those type of facts, you should add any kind of event that will be helpful in retelling the story about everything leading up to the litigation.
For example, if there was a vehicle accident, you can start by recording the day that the accident happened. And since you already have a table of the “cast of characters,” you can link each fact directly to the individual involved. When you record the date of the accident and you type the name of your client, CaseMap will automatically link that fact with your client’s name.
If this were an employment discrimination matter, start by recording the day the employee was terminated, or maybe the day that your client suspected their supervisors were plotting against them. When you record an event, just be sure you select the names of the individuals that you’ve already entered into CaseMap.
If you were to stop using CaseMap right there, you already have a powerful tool that allows you to filter down to ONLY the facts that involve a single individual. Within a couple of clicks, you can immediately view only the facts that involve your client, or their supervisor, which is extremely helpful for reviewing the past story.
But CaseMap doesn’t stop there – you can also add “Issues” to CaseMap so that you can associate specific facts with specific issues. This lets you quickly filter down to a set of facts that you’ve determined are related to a specific issue.
CaseMap lets you sort all of your Facts in a chronological linear list, but you can now also select the “Fact Cards” view which presents your Facts as if they were written on a bunch of notecards on your desk in front of you, or on a whiteboard. The Fact Cards view offers a quick method for seeing which Facts that you’ve “evaluated” as either being “heavily for us” or “negative” to your matter.
…all you have to do first in CaseMap is start recording the information that you already know such as the people involved in the matter (what CaseMap calls the “Cast of Characters”).
Since many of your “Facts” will presumably be culled from emails, documents, and other files that you read through, CaseMap lets you pull them directly into the software so they can also be linked to your Facts and Issues.
For example, if there was a critical email from your client’s former supervisor where they hinted at a potential termination, you can pull that email into CaseMap (usually as a PDF) and link it to a Fact. Now when you view that Fact, you can click the paperclip button to open the email and read direct from the source.
While CaseMap is not designed to be a full document review platform, it can certainly work for a small batch of documents collected from your client for evidentiary purposes. In the Documents table in CaseMap, you can jot notes or thoughts you have about the files and whether they’re relevant to your matter or not.
CaseMap recommends converting most files to PDF before loading them into the system. CaseMap can handle many file types, but PDFs work best to ensure documents can be opened quickly and accurately.
In addition, CaseMap can link directly inside a PDF file to a specific paragraph or section of text. This can be extremely helpful if you have a large PDF containing several medical records but you only want to link to a specific page in the PDF.
Having all of this information and capabilities inside CaseMap is certainly helpful, but you need to the ability to create reports and export information when you’re going to meet a client or attend a hearing. CaseMap has you covered.
You can generate straightforward reports from CaseMap such as all of your Facts by Issues, or all the people involved in the matter. But CaseMap goes further to offer an extremely customizable “ReportBooks” option where you can pick and choose what you’d like to see included in the final report.
CaseMap lets you sort all of your Facts in a chronological list, but you can now also select the “Fact Cards” view which presents your Facts as if they were written on a bunch of notecards on your desk in front of you, or on a whiteboard.
All of the reports are typically generated as PDF files, although you can elect to have an HTML file or Microsoft Word document. The best part is that the PDF reports keep all of you links intact. If you choose to include documents in the report, they will be part of the PDF and CaseMap will generate a link inside the PDF.
Who Is LexisNexis CaseMap?
The original CaseMap was developed in 1998 as a relational database system for law offices to better organize information related to litigation matters. The parent company, CaseSoft, was acquired by LexisNexis in 2006 who continues to develop this significant software.
Why You Should Consider LexisNexis CaseMap…
- Can instantly send a selected group of Facts from CaseMap into TimeMap to create a visually stunning timeline.
- All components of CaseMap can be linked directly into Lexis Advance services for background checks, public records access, legal research, Shepard’s Citations, and more.
- CaseMap Document Manager provides a location to save and organize relevant documents, as well as annotate and redact sections.
- Multiple options for generating reports of information, including a “Summary Judgment” wizard, a Privilege Log option, and customizable “ReportBooks.”