Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Lowly but Powerful Timeline

A timeline is a simple but powerful device for marshaling evidence for and in litigation and trials. For example, it can be used to depict the possible sequence of events in issue and thereby identify (i) hypothesized events that have little or no evidential support and (ii) possible causal connections between events. It can also be used for other purposes - for example, (iii) to trace the behavior of a witness or prospective witness over time, (iv) to show the order of submission of evidence at trial, and (v) to develop a story-based opening statement or closing argument.

The construction of a timeline, however, is often a laborious process because of (a) the many events that sometimes go into a timeline and (b) the need to revise timelines as events are added. I am happy to report that SmartDraw 2009 makes the business of creating and updating timelines vastly simpler. For example, new events can be added to a timeline with a click of the mouse and -- voila -- the scale of timeline will automatically adjust to accommodate the added event or events. Moreover, SmartDraw 2009 makes it easy to zoom in and out on segments of timelines. The new SmartDraw timeline tool has other useful features. The new timeline tool is a big advance.

The dynamic evidence page

consulting on investigation strategy and the law of evidence

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