Making a record: About CaseMap, legal time line software

Time discovers truth. – Seneca, On Anger.
I could not have said it better – Naomi, on Seneca, On Anger.

Notice: I am not being paid to promote the program I’m going to rave about. It’s a freebie rave.

Here’s how I learned about the power of time lines. One day, a lawyer I worked for dropped a Case Map CD on my desk. Case Map, he told me, was an organizational program for litigators recommended by a friend, a noted criminal defense lawyer named David Rudolph.

“David swears by this,” my lawyer said. “Give it a try.” (This reminds me of the evening zillions of years ago, when another David—my friend Dave Van Ronk—knocked on the door to hand me four hardcover books. “Read ’em,” he said.

“But what are they?” I asked. “Just read ’em,” he repeated and left.

I read ’em: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.)

Within fifteen minutes after loading Case Map I was in love. I was more than in love; I was enchanted. After I started working with Case Map, my working life soared celestially.

Everything I’m going to tell you about making times lines and interconnected case information I learned from Case Map.

The web site indicates that LexisNexis, the legal publishing and research giant, has acquired the Case Map company. But they still offer free downloads of the five programs under the Case Map rubric, for 30 day try-outs. I’ve downloaded two:Time Map and Case Map.

Case Map, the mother program, is the one I’d recommend. Although Time Map has some jazzy features—it does colorful graphs and such—it doesn’t offer the specific multiple functions you’ll want for your case.

Although the purchase prices aren’t listed on the web site (before your 30-day trial period runs out, Case Map begins to prod you gently to buy), I assume that Case Map is more expensive than Time Map.

If you do try it, read quickly through the tutorial and get into the sample case they offer. It shows you immediately what Case Map does.

And if you do decide to subscribe to Case Map, you can skip what I’m about to tell you, about making a time line from scratch. Case Map will do 75 percent of the work for you. Or 95 percent of the work. Or 115 percent of the work.

Several times I’ve recommended Case Map to lawyers. Case Map suggests to lawyers (at least it used to) giving a copy to the client to get further input. What a boon, both for lawyer and client! (When you find a lawyer, ask him if he uses Case Map. Maybe I’ll just add this to my criteria for choosing a lawyer.)

As you can see, for better or worse I’m again falling in love with Case Map. I’m thinking I can re-map my two cases and spend an awful lot of time replicating work I’ve already done but…

Case Map is a wizard.

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