Six years ago, if you were interested in fact management or timeline-based software for your law firm, there was one game in town. But since then, legal fact management software companies have been sprouting like mushrooms. Why is that and who are these companies?
First things first: what is fact management software? This litigation software helps you manage facts, dates, witnesses, and documents and keep them organized. All experienced litigators have a method of organizing information in their case in such a way that best represents their client. Traditional fact management methods run the gamut from spreadsheets in Excel, creating tables in Notepad and using the OODA loop strategy, but very few litigators have used software designed to replicate the best of all of these methods until now.
Instead of rifling through reams of paper or clicking through 62 results from Ctrl+F, proper fact management software efficiently targets, links, and categorizes information exactly when you need it.
Nearly all software worth looking at is cloud-based these days. CaseMap is the grandfather of the group, owned by LexisNexis, and is a case organization and analysis tool. It’s a solid product, though it only runs on Microsoft Windows. Who are some of the notable newcomers to the space?
Allegory: Cloud-based, it cross-references different types of information and can create binders; it bills itself as “the smartphone” of litigation management. Now owned by Integreon.
EverChron: Case and document management, it creates timelines and integrates client and team access across the platform.
FactBox: Captures and organizes facts and documents, the cloud-based software creates chronologies and sorts information through various filters.
Opus 2 Magnum: Case management and trial presentation platform, it organizes documents as part of its Electronic Presentation of Evidence service.
CaseFleet: The cloud-based software which tracks and organizes multiple points of data and streamlines it chronologically.
These companies have cropped up in the last three to six years, thanks to a growing comfort with cloud-based products and a rapidly increasing acceptance of technology across the industry, which has seen lawyers using non-legal tech products, such as Evernote and other productivity tools. But the biggest factor could be a 2012 revision to the American Bar Association’s rules, which requires a familiarity with relevant technology. Meanwhile, as of April of this year, 32 state bars have adopted some duty of tech competence for its lawyers.
The proliferation of fact management software also includes e-discovery companies such as Relativity and Everlaw, which have developed their own software with Case Dynamics and StoryBuilder, respectively. E-discovery is a laborious process and fact management traditionally comes at the end of EDRM flow, when litigators are looking at their most important documents and creating their story for trial, and so it makes sense for these companies to keep clients within their own platform.
Organization plays a powerful role in a case in which there is the outlining of each issue, the facts needed to prove it and the evidence needed to prove those facts.
“FactBox clients are experienced litigators who know how to try their cases and they’ve been excited for a product designed specifically for their existing workflow. They can leverage technology to remove the busy work and do what they do better,” FactBox founder and CEO Lecia Kaslofsky said.
The sheer amount of documentation and disparate information that may or may not be relevant is something that has eaten up countless hours of the life of a litigation lawyer and the time was ripe for something better. A litigator today has more and better options to lighten the load and create efficiencies than even just a few years ago.