Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The plane reaches its cruising altitude of 30,000 feet. Suddenly, the plane hits some severe turbulence. As you finish the last bites of your savory chicken Kiev, the flight attendant announces that the pilot has fallen ill, rendering him unable to land the plane. The tension in the cabin mounts, and the turbulence steadily grows worse. This scenario has the potential to develop into a disastrous situation. However, luckily for the passengers, the co-pilot and crew know exactly what to do because the knowledge required to fly the plane does not reside solely in the pilot’s head. The co-pilot also has this information in his head. As a result, the plane lands safely — another routine flight. Unlike the flight crew in the above scenario, litigation teams often fall prey to the “one head problem.” For example, the lawyer who takes a deposition best understands how that particular testimony fits into the case. Similarly, the lawyer who examines all the documents best understands their relationship to the issues at hand. There is no way to completely eliminate the one head problem and distribute knowledge equally among all lawyers on a team, but CaseMap, a knowledge management tool, and Summation, a litigation support tool, can help minimize the problem. We have used CaseMap and Summation extensively in our respective practices. As a result, we thought it about time that we shared our accumulated knowledge as to how best to use these unique tools to minimize the one head problem. CASEMAP’S REPORTS KEEP LITIGATION TEAMS STABILIZED CaseMap is a chronology outlining program built specifically for litigation by CaseSoft. CaseMap enables litigation teams to organize, evaluate, and share not just all the data related to their case, but also all the connections between the various items of data — from factual propositions developed prior to discovery to actual evidence from documents and witnesses and more. CaseMap’s excellent reports can help combat the one head problem. In essence, CaseMap gives each litigator an electronic photographic memory of every fact and detail in every case. Being on a litigation team doesn’t necessarily mean that you work as a team. Many tasks in litigation are best performed on a solitary basis. Therefore, litigation teams often meet to distribute assignments and then go their separate ways for a day or longer. On a two-person team, one lawyer often becomes the “fact guy” and the other assumes the role of “law guy.” Such is the case with one of us (Rick) regarding a complex fraud case. With all the facts in Rick’s head and all the law in his partner’s head, the two of them generate CaseMap reports whenever they meet. For example, if they discuss a particular bank account that was used by the respondent to embezzle $250,000 of their client’s incoming checks, they will each print out a report of all the facts connected to that account in advance of the meeting. Even when they don’t meet, they regularly run a report called “What’s New” to keep tabs on each other and maintain as much of an equilibrium as possible. On larger teams consisting of partners, associates, and paralegals, knowledge is more widely dispersed. Often the most junior team members know the most. In such situations, CaseMap becomes the common thread that ties the team together by capturing information that might otherwise get lost in the paper shuffle that accompanies all litigation. For example, litigation teams often meet to brainstorm. Some ideas make it into one person’s notes, but not another’s. With CaseMap, one person can serve as the “secretary” by entering information into CaseMap. At the end of the brainstorming session, the team can print and review various CaseMap reports to identify holes and other potential problems. One report enables users to view the facts under the headings “Heavily for Us” and “Heavily Against Us.” Regardless of the size or nature of your litigation team, it will benefit from CaseMap and its reports. Getting information out of one head and into multiple heads via CaseMap’s reports allows everyone on the team to evaluate the case from multiple perspectives. CaseMap’s complement of reports includes the following: (1) Fact Chronology; (2) Cast of Characters; (3) Document Index; (4) Issue Report; (5) Particular Issue; and (6) Question Report. FLY HIGHER WITH A WING MAN — SUMMATION The Summation family of products are the industry standard for managing transcripts and evidentiary documents. Summationsupports technologies such as Interactive Realtime, and features an ever-growing list of capabilities, such as image viewing, evidence linking, and work product synchronization. Summation can serve as an excellent travel companion for CaseMap because you can enter case data into Summation, and then export it to CaseMap — and vice versa. Most lawyers who have used litigation support software for an extended period of time have employed Summation (or Concordance), and tend to approach the application of technology from that perspective. They also have a backlog of cases already in their litigation support program. The mere thought of undertaking double data entry on a large case that has hundreds of transcripts and thousands of documents is enough to frighten even the most devil-may-care of lawyers — not to mention their cost-conscious clients. Fortunately, no need for such a duplication of effort exists. Instead, you can easily annotate transcripts in Summation to create the discrete facts you would want listed under the Fact tab in CaseMap. To make this happen without double input, you can export the Summation annotations to CaseMap, thereby making quick work of the most cumbersome task in CaseMap — entering data into the fact description field. In addition, if you have identified and coded all the documents in Summation, you can also export that information to CaseMap. By doing this, you can rapidly populate the Object tab, and possibly the Issues tab, depending on how you use Summation. At this point, you can develop the case further using CaseMap’s analytical tools. The efficiency gained from using these two complementary programs together is about as sexy as legal software can get. If you start building your case with CaseMap as opposed to Summation, you can export data from CaseMap to Summation. Why would you want to do this, you ask? Summation features transcript and database management with imaging technology. It also offers an electronic trial notebook that allows you to drag and drop all of your case elements, documents, pictures, and other evidentiary items into the electronic trial notebook for easy and rapid trial preparation. If you use a trial presentation program such as Sanction or TrialDirector for viewing evidentiary items, Summation will seamlessly interoperate with those programs as well. In a sense, Summation serves as a litigation support operating system — it ties together all of your other litigation support software. DON’T JUST WING IT Just as you wouldn’t want an unknowledgeable co-pilot landing your 747, you don’t want a colleague who lacks critical knowledge to “wing it” in the courtroom. CaseMap and Summation can help alleviate this problem by enabling everyone on a trial team to have access to and share case information. Therefore, even when you have to fly solo because your team members are unavailable, you won’t crash and burn. While the thought of picking up a file and running cold with it never seems like an attractive option, CaseMap and Summation can help you minimize that dense “one head” fog. Bruce A. Olson is a shareholder in the Green Bay, Wis., office of Davis & Kuelthau, where his practice primarily involves civil litigation; he has participated in over 60 jury trials. You can reach Bruce via e-mail at [email protected]. Rick Talcott has been in sole practice, specializing in family law, since 1975. You can reach Rick via e-mail at [email protected]bell.net. This article originated in The TechnoLawyer Community, a free online community in which legal professionals share information about business and technology issues, products, and services, often developing valuable business relationships in the process. To join The TechnoLawyer Community, visit technolawyer.com.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.