Lawyers--don't hesitate to use narrative view for various legal issues (non-facts/events)

TLDR: Use narrative view and the narrative outline to structure the legal aspects of your case, incorporate fact/events from the spreadsheet view where needed. Aeon Timeline is an extremely flexible database app that you can customize to your needs in virtually any given litigation-type of case.

I was kind of hesitant to use narrative view for the past year that I’ve been using this app for legal chronologies. I mean, I wish I were talented enough at writing to write lucrative novels, but I just don’t think of legal writing/analysis in terms of narrative. So basically whenever I wanted to document a legal issue, I would put it in as an issue data type. Makes sense right? But I found that using the data type alone just didn’t give me enough visual cues for fleshing out my legal issues. Basically, I buried everything in a note field that was a meta data field for the issue item type.

But today I started using the narrative view when analyzing a new case and its great. I basically start with a folder in the narrative view. So I’m a criminal lawyer so I started out with a “charges” folder and then proceeded to create subfolders within it setting out the different charges and created an “elements” item type with a puzzle icon (symbolizing pieces of the puzzle) for the different legal crime elements making up each charge, which I put within each folder representing that charge. And I made a “law” item type to put legal citations in there, etc. Basically, it appears this is the best way to flesh out legal issues. This appears to be extremely flexible and you can make item types that directly correlate to how you analyze your case and your legal specialty.

Then, of course, you can incorporate existing facts/events into your narrative where needed. And then you can Order things as you like in the outline view. Thus, avoiding unnecessary duplication of entries.

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Though I’m using Aeon Timeline 3 for writing a novel series, I am a lawyer. (I’ve been one for 41 years and a month. In fact, today is the last day I will be a lawyer, as I’ve placed my California law license on inactive status effective at midnight.)

I did civil litigation for the first decade of my practice. Tools like Aeon simply didn’t exist. As I read your process, it was easy to imagine using it for trial prep, particularly for causes of action sounding in tort where causation was an issue.

I think I would have used the Narrative view to plan my trials. I’d probably start with what I imagined my closing arguments to be, then work backward to organize the evidence (particularly, the order of laying out the evidence) leading to my closing argument.

Anyway, I enjoyed the post. Off to do some writing now.

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I’ve often thought it would be fun to work in law enforcement as an archivist. I know that sounds weird, but I bet there are crimes that could be solved with the right correlation of facts with no direct commonality. Chronology and secondary relationships could mean a lot.

Hmmm… Might be a story in that, now that I think about it.

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A story – and a crime show, for sure. :slight_smile:

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Congratulations on concluding a long career in law. I have no doubt you’ll make good use of the time you won’t be spending in that profession on your writing.

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Thank you for your good wishes. :slight_smile: