Time savers to be had with just a little effort
With the start of the new year, why not make a pledge to make your life easier? Give me an hour, and you can start saving time.
If you aren’t using fields, or placeholders, start. Case CATalyst has built in a lot of time-saving features. Imagine only typing in an attorney’s firm once? Yes. Using fields, you can do that. The next time you see them, no sweat. Scan to the field and a box opens with a list. Click. Done. New attorney with the same firm? Click “Save as new” and type in the name. The next time you see that attorney, the system will give you a choice of attorneys, and you just select the one from that firm.
All you have to do is replace your current placeholders with fields. You may even set a field for the date. Imagine never having to check for the right date again. It’s right there at your fingertips! Gone are the days of copying and pasting. Not only do you create more work for yourself when you copy and paste, the chance of making an error increases.
The system creates a “Fill in Fields” database. You may enter information there, too, or if a firm has changed addresses or an attorney has changed firms, this is where you would change that information.
For CC users:
- Open your title page. Go to, say, the first firm name. Use the “Replace” command to replace what you have there. Click on the “fields” tab. You may select one at a time or hold down the shift key and select all of the fields you would like to see on your app page. It’s pretty easy. Something not there? No sweat. You may create a new field with one click by clicking “new field.”
- Go to your caption. Here, you add a field for courts, if you like, or county. I have only county set up on mine and a caret for the court number.
- Next, go to your witness name. Here you can create a field and call it what you like. Mine is WITNESS NAME. Remember to change it everywhere you have the witness name. This includes your ending pages, too.
- Date taken. Scroll way down the field list *(or type CR). Here you can make a choice. I use “Creation date with words.” It will come out as “December 10, 2012.” Now, remember: It’s creation date. The minute you pull that include into your depo, the date will change. That’s the beauty of it! No more date errors!
- Location. If you are required to put location on your appearance page, no sweat. I use Firm 1/Firm 2 plus their addresses. I make sure that when I fill out the appearance page, one of those two fields is the location. Nine times out of 10, you will know where you are going and can delete the other field.
- In edit, if you make an error when filling out a field, just go to the end of the field and double click. The change you make will apply everywhere you have that field.
- Ending pages. Set your app page fields to match your cert pages where appropriate with matching fields. Do it once, and you are done.
- Use auto includes? As an example, I have an include that I have set up for the end of depos. I type d*of/do*f and I get (Deposition concluded at ^static date.) Perfect every time. You may add fields to any auto include you have.
These simple things can save you so much time. It’s a set ‘em and forget ‘em. Who doesn’t like that?
Every time I go to a convention, I am amazed by the conversations I have with other reporters. It’s mainly “When I have some free time, I will…” Make time. You won’t be sorry.