Timestream Through the Eyes of a Consumer Law Attorney
As a seasoned consumer protection lawyer, Dave Maxfield understands the challenges associated with an unlevel playing field. Maxfield’s niche practice often finds itself in David vs. Goliath situations, representing individual plaintiffs against resource-rich banks, credit reporting agencies and insurance companies. As a result, he is often on the lookout for new technologies capable of giving him an edge.
A self-proclaimed tech junkie, Maxfield was on the hunt for something to facilitate “information visualization” when he came across the Timestream booth at the 2012 ABA TECHSHOW. Because the deluge of information from so many different sources is only compounding, he wanted a tool that enabled him to display a lot of information on one screen giving him an overview of the big picture. “A lot of lawyers get slowed down when trying to read through scores of documents to figure out what happened,” he says. “It’s easy to lose your train of thought, while trying to put things in order as you go.”
Timestream offers Maxfield a unique application that features a timeline creator, integrated with document management and note-taking capabilities all combined in a “truly elegant space.” It didn’t take long for Timestream to become a critical part of Maxfield’s process. “The biggest plus is having the huge advantage of knowing your case really well, and having the ability to find things quickly,” he says. “If I need to know something, I can find it really fast. I can slice and dice a lot of data really fast.”
“The biggest plus is having the huge advantage of knowing your case really well, and having the ability to find things quickly. I can slice and dice a lot of data really fast.”
Timestream also gives Maxfield’s firm a common language to discuss cases. They appreciate how the server allows for seamless collaboration across different computers. Paralegals can upload documents and complete prep work, allowing Maxfield to receive a review-ready case and begin constructing a timeline. Very quickly, they all know what happened in the case. “That’s where it bears the fruit,” he says. “You only really have to review your documents once to figure things out.”
Reports exported from Timestream with specific events then provide the basis for factual allegations in a complaint or while drafting a pleading, saving a significant amount of time. Maxfield also uses the Reports feature to give a chronology of ‘what happened when’ to expert witnesses. When meeting with a client, he can put Timestream up on a big screen, and the client can see the events going into the timeline as they tell their story. “The more information you put in, the more it makes sense,” says Maxfield. Once the course of events is in the timeline, the cause and effect of what took place is visually revealed.
Bottom line, if Maxfield can do his job faster and better, he can win more cases for his clients and ultimately grow his practice. With Timestream in his arsenal, Maxfield has improved many aspects of his business by streamlining the collaborative workflow and bringing a new degree of clarity to his cases.
“Visual representation of time as distance is really important,” he says. “To have the timeline constantly front and center, to never lose that view, to put what’s really most important first — which is what happened and when.”