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In this series, we explore organizational techniques, software and hardware that will help you clear the mess from your desk, be more productive, and cut office overhead.

This article presents a software program, TextMap5, designed to analyze deposition transcripts, and describes how it can also be used for entirely different purposes.



For some years I have been using software from CaseSoft, a company founded by litigators who designed tools for organizing and analyzing facts (CaseMap), creating outlines (NoteMap), analyzing depo transcripts (TextMap), and creating graphic timelines (TimeMap). When LexisNexis aquired CaseSoft, many users dreaded the increased fees and annual licenses for which the legal behemoth is known.

Surprisingly, the programs got better and more interlinked. Recent changes to TextMap make it well worth the price, even for a solo practitioner with a small practice. I believe it is worth the price just for the time it saves in reviewing deposition transcripts. The added uses described below are icing on the cake.

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Described as a “transcript summary tool,” TextMap 5 can be linked into CaseMap, “a case analysis tool,” or used as a standalone program to review and annotate deposition transcripts. The program creates a word index that allows for rapid searches. You can highlight the text, add notes, hyperlink to files or web pages, link issues, and create reports.

The first screenshot shows a recent deposition review where I linked the doctor’s three reports to the transcript. Clicking on the yellow note to the left of the highlighted text brings up a note (second screenshot), and clicking on the paperclip produces a list of the hyperlinked files:







TextMap is our transcript summary tool, and was designed to work with CaseMap, our case analysis application. TextMap 5 works even better with CaseMap than our earlier versions but it also works independently of CaseMap. TextMap 5 gives you easy, flexible ways to link transcripts from case depositions, examinations, and other proceedings to case exhibits and other documents and the ability to play deposition video synched with text.”

I was able to quickly highlight the most relevant questions and answers, generate a “TextMap Annotation Digest Report” report, and email it as a pdf file to my client along with the entire text file of the deposition.

After a deposition on apportionment, I prepared an issues list with all the reasons the doctor had cited for apportionment.




After highlighting the questions and answers and linking the issues, I was able to generate a report in just minutes that organized the different utterances of the doctor on each issue, even though the comments were scattered throughout the transcript.


Not Just for Transcripts

I have found several other uses for TextMap besides deposition transcript analysis.

1. Combining transcripts and other reports: On complex cases, I save the forensic reports (medical, vocational, etc.) along with the depo transcripts and witness statements in the client’s TextMap file. There are several ways to do this: scan the report to Word, then save as a text file, or ask the evaluator’s office to send the file as a Word or WordPerfect file, then save to a text file (.txt). It is then easy to find all instances of a word, add notes or links, and prepare reports, as outlined above.

2. Saving cases: The same can be done with cases. Download or print as a text file from Lexis, then import into a TextMap file. [Make sure you close the text file before importing it.] If there are several key cases, you can quickly find the disparities or similarities between the opinions by searching on a word or name. When I applied this technique to the Almaraz/Guzman decision, I was able to quickly find where “vocational” was discussed and highlight those passages. I generated a report which I then sent to my vocational expert and may later send to the forensic evaluator:

3. Saving statutes and regulations: Again, save as text files, then annotate. For example, I downloaded the WCAB’s Policy and Procedure Manual as a Word doc, saved it as a text file, then imported it into TextMap file. I did the same with the QME regulations. The advantage of this approach is the speed with which I can find something. All instances of the word I am searching on are instantly visible, and I can add notes, highlight, and extract or report what I want. I can also add links to cases or documents as they become available and notes summarizing the regulations. I wanted to quickly find the rules regarding additional QME panels or evaluations, so I searched on “additional” then printed the report to a PDF file:


In sum, TextMap5 at the minimum is a fast way to search and review a deposition transcript, make notes, link to documents, exhibits, and issues, and generate reports that are useful as a basis for trial briefs, petitions, and to keep clients informed. By extending the concept into a tool for analyzing the law, you are sure to get your money’s worth.


> Send in your tips for office organization or requests for solutions to office problems.


 

 

> Reflections on Almaraz Guzman
> Pain & the Brain: Imaging Methods
> Functional Capacity Evaluation
> Defense Perspective: Mad as Hell
> Computer Corner: TextMap
> Editor's Rant: A Dog's Breakfast
Computer Corner:
Analyze Evidence – and more –
with TextMap
by Marjory Harris, Esq.