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Best Practices for Creating Facts
Best Practices for Creating Facts

How to create facts that will be reusable, readable, and easy to prove.

Jeff Kerr avatar
Written by Jeff Kerr
Updated over a week ago

When you create new facts in CaseFleet, there are a few tricks that can save you a lot of time in the long run, while also making your cases more readable and compelling. These recommendations are based on our own experience using and building CaseFleet, as well as our experience litigating cases.

This article covers:

Avoid Compound Facts

Our first tip is to avoid "compound" facts. A compound fact is a fact that contains multiple assertions. Here's an example of a compound fact:

  • "On August 1, 2017, at 11:00 am, the blue car was moving at 55 miles per hour when it entered the intersection."

The above fact is compound because it contains three separate assertions:

  1. The car entered the intersection at 11:00 am on August 1, 2017

  2. The car was traveling 55 miles per hour when it entered the intersection

  3. The car was blue

Separating these components into different facts is useful because there could easily be different sources of proof for each assertion. You may not need this level of granularity for every detail in a case, but in general, breaking facts into the smallest possible components makes them easier to prove and easier to weave into the overall story of a case.

How to Break Apart Compound Facts

Sometimes it's hard to avoid creating compound facts when you're reviewing a large trove of documents. In document review, making sure you haven't missed anything is often the top priority, and rewriting the facts can come later.

Once you've finished reviewing a document, we suggest you review the facts you created and ensure they meet your quality standards. This is a great time to turn any compound facts into single-assertion facts.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to the Facts page in the case, and apply a "Sources" + "has any of" filters, with the document you just reviewed in the filter. This will limit the view to the facts you just created from the document. 

  2. When you find a compound fact, double-click on it (or click the "pencil" edit icon) to open the Edit Fact modal.

  3. Click the three dots next to the "X" in the top right corner of the modal, and choose "Create a copy" from the menu.

You can create as many copies as you like, and with each copy ensure that only one assertion is present. This may take a few minutes, but it pays rich dividends later when you need to prove the fact or use it to cross-examine a witness.

Link Each Fact to the Appropriate Contact(s)

Almost every fact involves various persons, places, and things. Whenever you're referring to a proper noun (such as a person or business's name), it often pays to link the fact to the matching contact record.

If you have a contact on the case named "John Smith," you can mention John Smith in a fact by typing @john and choosing the correct option from the drop-down list that appears.

When contacts are linked to facts, you're able to filter facts much more precisely. Moreover, if you need to update the name of a contact midway through a case, all you'll need to do is update it on the contact page, and it will update what displays within each linked fact.

Tag Each Fact with Issues

A fact that's not linked to any issues could be hard to use at a later date because you won't immediately understand why the fact is relevant to the case at all. Issue tags help you understand the importance of a fact, and the part of the case that the fact relates to.

To find facts in your cases that aren't currently linked to issues, apply a filter with the criteria "Issues" + "is empty": 

You can then go through and add appropriate issues to each of these facts until there are no facts that lack issues.

To learn how to create facts using the Document Reviewer, which is our recommended way of creating facts, click here

To learn how to add facts manually to your case, click here

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