Regular readers will know that I am an enthusiast for CaseMap as a low-cost tool both for its primary purpose – the linking of litigation facts to issues – and as a simple way to handle disclosure. If today’s postings seem CaseMap heavy, that is because there were two CaseMap events last week.
The first was a visit to show it to HHJ Simon Brown QC at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, which I describe in a separate post (Judge how CaseMap gets to the issues). The second was a meeting of the CaseMap user group in London on Friday. The speakers were Bob Wiss, co-founder of CaseSoft, Christine Tomas of LDM and Dr Tony Cox, who gives expert evidence on health and safety matters, mainly to do with mechanical engineering.
Bob Wiss ran over some of the main features of CaseMap and TimeMap, managing to embrace both the neophytes with a summary of the basics and the experts with a look at the new features. He said amongst other things that he was constantly surprised at the range of uses people found for it, including one US lawyer who keeps his wine cellar organised with CaseMap. This is of no surprise to me – I use it every day as my document management system with 39,000 records linked to images covering my business and other interests, as a record of my backups, and as an index of my original software disks.
Tony Cox told how he links his expert’s report to source documents and to his reference documents, and described how he worked with one particularly switched-on barrister in Scotland to build up the trial preparation with cross-references to passages in the expert’s report.
Of most interest to my readership, perhaps, was Christine Tomas’s demonstration as to how CaseMap integrates with Concordance, to combine the latter’s ability to keep very large document populations synchronised with CaseMap’s issue-handling. Concordance and CaseMap are both part of the LexisNexis stable, and LexisNexis are sponsors of my E-Disclosure Information Project, so I should make it clear that whilst there is tight integration between the two products, CaseMap will take in information from almost any electronic source.
The joy of this, as Christine showed, is that work done in the main document repository can be used and updated in the lighter – but in many ways more flexible and sophisticated – CaseMap. That has value at all ends of the scale, whether the CaseMap data is a sub-set of a very large case or the whole of a smaller one.
You do not need to have many facts – documents, events, people and so on – to need a way of focusing on them closely. Most cases, in reality, involve relatively few important facts and usually fewer issues in the formal sense, however many documents there may be. The thrust of both the Commercial Court Recommendations and the urgings of HHJ Simon Brown QC (both in his court and on more public platforms) is that the courts are making parties apply such focus rigorously and at an early stage. Both are amply described elsewhere in this blog.
I have known Christine Tomas for years, and worked with her and LDM most recently on a data exchange exercise getting data into CaseLogistix (which LDM host in the UK). Wearing my E-Disclosure Information Project hat, I appreciate suppliers who are interested in the underlying issues rather than in just shifting software and services. LDM were one of (I think) only two suppliers who showed up when the Commercial Court judges spoke about how they intended to use the Commercial Court Recommendations (see Commercial Court judges set out their case management intentions ). The other was LexisNexis.
It transpired that Bob Wiss has also known Christine for years – she was an early-adopter back in the days when CaseMap had so few customers that Bob knew each of them by name. No one could do that now.