Proficiency in CaseLines is not only a valuable skill for litigators but it can have an impact on substantive outcomes. Justice Myers has noted:
As advocacy is the art of persuasion, is it not obvious that efforts by an advocate to assist the judge to focus on the argument and see the evidence will increase the chances of comprehension by the judge and therefore the persuasiveness of the presentation? In addition, it is also likely to garner some appreciation for the effort to simplify cumbersome and distracting technical tasks.
In declining a summary judgment, Justice Dunphy noted:
I cannot grant judgment where I am not confident in my ability to make findings of fact and I cannot acquire that confidence where every single fact requires me to dive repeatedly into the thick of the electronic document jungle, machete in hand as some kind of judicial Stanley in search of Dr. Livingstone.
In another declined summary motion, Justice Dunphy held:
None of the parties hyperlinked the references to the evidence contained in their facta. Each such reference was to a motion record or transcripts with neither hyperlinks nor even a reference to the relevant Caselines page number. […]
This failing alone is more than sufficient to warrant dismissal of this motion. […] Hyerlinks and, in appropriate cases, separate uploading of individual tabs or exhibits serve to make the task of navigating large volumes of documents feasible. That was simply not done here. The result was to drop a task in my lap akin to asking me to sort through an overturned bowl of spaghetti. […]
My closing comment would be to exhort ALL counsel to check back on their case after they have uploaded their documents to Caselines and verify that a judge reviewing it will be able to navigate through the evidence, case law and written argument in the way they would like. Hyperlinks in facta and motion records are a MUST. Separately loaded and clearly identified tabs should be considered. It must be usable.
Care and attention should be given to keeping CaseLines organized. Hyperlinking documents not only assists the Court but can help advance arguments. Below is a step-by-step guide to using CaseLines’ internal hyperlink function to create a “hyperlink sticker” on an uploaded document (as opposed to uploading pre-hyperlinked documents).
A CaseLines hyperlink is like a sticker that can be placed on a page, particularly next to footnotes or in an index. In the “Review Evidence” interface, a hyperlink sticker appears as the “page number” of the destination location. For example, if you are on page “A2” and see a blue hyperlink sticker that says “H: A45”, by clicking on it you will be brought to page “A45” (or open page “A45” on the right panel if you have two panels open).
In order to create a CaseLines hyperlink sticker on a document that has been uploaded, follow these steps:
- Update Case – From the homepage, go to “Update Case” for the selected case (right under “Review Evidence”).
- Index – Go to the “Index” tab on the top of the interface. The Index will include all uploaded documents.
- Select Bundle – Make sure you are on the correct bundle (you can change the bundle on “Select Bundle”). A bundle is similar to a folder containing the documents for a hearing date. Some cases can have multiple bundles while others may only have one active bundle.
- View – Choose the “View” function for the selected document you want to hyperlink.
- Hyperlink – To enter the Hyperlink interface where you can create stickers, click on the blue “Hyperlink” next to the page numbers at the top of the document.
- Left-click on the Sticker Spot – Once you are in the hyperlink interface, scroll down or select the document page where you want to create a hyperlink sticker. Left-click on the chosen spot where the sticker will be placed (you can move it around once it has been created).
- OK – once you have chosen a spot for the hyperlink sticker, a pop-up will appear saying “Add a hyperlink to this page?”. Press OK.
- Edit Hyperlink – Once you press OK, an “Edit Hyperlink” window appears. In this window, you will create the destination address for the hyperlink sticker. You can add “Web site” or add “Document Page” if you are hyperlinking within the bundle. You are creating an address where the hyperlink sticker leads to. Follow these steps:
- Description – You can add a description for your hyperlink sticker. However, this description usually does not appear in the “Review” tab. Only the “page number” end destination appears as the hyperlink sticker.
- Section – Choose the “Section” where the hyperlink sticker’s destination document is located. These are court created sections (i.e. plaintiff or defendant).
- Document – Choose the “Document” where the hyperlink sticker’s destination page is located. These documents are those that were uploaded to CaseLines by the parties so make sure to follow the naming conventions to facilitate organisation.
- Page – Scroll to the page number where the hyperlink sticker’s destination is located.
- Save – Once you press “Save”, the hyperlink sticker is created on the selected location.
- Move – you can move the hyperlink sticker around to your desired location on the page.
- Remove or Edit – you can modify or remove the hyperlink sticker on the right side of the document under the “Hyperlinks” column which will include all hyperlink stickers on the selected page.
The following additional tips can assist in using hyperlink stickers:
- In the “Review” interface open two panels by clicking on the superimposed rectangles on the top of the document (to the right of the document name). Once two panels are open, clicking on a hyperlink sticker on the left panel opens the hyperlink destination on the right panel. This allows you to keep the original document (such as an index or a factum) open on the left while you review the hyperlink sticker destination documents on the right.
- When drafting documents, anticipate additional space for hyperlink stickers in an index or in footnotes prior to uploading to CaseLines.
- Periodically check your hyperlink stickers in the “Review” tab to make sure they are correct.
- When hyperlinking a large document, open the document in a separate PDF outside of CaseLines in order to navigate between pages quickly.
- Hyperlink stickers between bundles do not seem to work.
- Additional information and resources can be found on the LSO CaseLines FAQ