LexisNexis have released Version 8 of CaseMap, the application whose tagline “Case Analysis made easy” is amply justified by its functionality. LexisNexis are, of course, sponsors of my e-Disclosure Information Project, but I am on record as a CaseMap enthusiast since long before the Project existed.
I have not had the chance to look at the new version yet – you can download it easily from here – but the list of new features is enticing. Most attractive, in principle, is the new DocPreviewer review tool which is aimed at helping lawyers handle e-mail disclosure review for small to mid-sized cases.
This allows a user to select an Outlook folder or multiple folders. CaseMap imports and converts the e-mails to PDF and processes the text and metadata, tying the senders and recipients to the documents. Attachments are embedded in the PDF and the metadata goes into CaseMap.
That, to my eye, moves CaseMap yet closer to being a neat Disclosure application in its own right, quite apart from its power as an analysis tool for data whose main home is elsewhere (such as LexisNexis’s own hosted systems). It will not rival true review applications for capacity, speed or functionality, but many cases do not need them. More on this when I have had the chance to test-drive it.
The user interface was pretty friendly anyway, but more has been done to help the user find his or her way around – favourite spreadsheets sounds a good idea, as does alternate shading of rows. Both of these, incidentally, are used in my by-now ageing copy of the accounts package Quicken, long seen as a model of a clear user-friendly interface. Little things like that help the user more than most developers know.
Of the new reports, the Group by Object ones are the most useful in concept. CaseMap treats every component – documents, people, issues, facts – as an object, and has always been strong on showing how one class of objects relates to any other. The examples given are facts grouped by document, facts grouped by person, documents grouped by person – you get the idea.
I do not usually do reviews of applications – I can more than fill my weeks, thank you, in just identifying what exists and pointing people towards it – but since CaseMap is what I use daily to keep track of the information which flows across my desk, I will be able to say a bit more about it in due course.
Until then, as I say, it is easy to download it and see for yourself.