Making of a Public Case: Syed, FactBox and Syed's Lawyer
What is a “public” FactBox case and why did we make one?
We have videos, demos and sample cases available, but the true magic of FactBox happens when you see new revelations and connections from the facts in your case with the click of a button. Who knew about the questionable events that hour? Click. What evidence supports the key legal issue? Click. Videos convey plenty of information, but nothing compares to sorting through a mountain of facts yourself.
So we made a “public” FactBox about a case that had captured ours and millions of others’ interest: Adnan Syed’s conviction for murdering his ex-girlfriend almost 15 years ago. This case became popular as the topic of the first season of NPR’s Serial podcast and has since spawned additional podcasts, chat groups and blogs. There was lots of information in this case – so much that the volume itself became part of Serial’s coverage of the case.
We recently released the public case: The Case of Adnan Syed. It has 292 facts and 247 source documents organized with 59 issues and 47 tags.
How do we know it was helpful? We immediately received clicks and comments. Mostly “wow” and “oh now I see!” We also received comments about our landing page that were helpful; “she was his ex-girlfriend,” for example.
One person who saw the public case was Justin Brown, Adnan Syed’s current criminal-defense lawyer. He said he had never seen a product like FactBox before. Though Mr. Brown already had all the facts in the case, they were not stored in an organized system like FactBox. We happily re-created a private and secure version of the case for Brown’s use in defending Adnan Syed.
Now Justin has joined the leagues of attorneys using FactBox in their criminal cases. “I like it,” he says, “Now we easily accumulate facts while working our cases and at the same time are prepared for trial. FactBox does a lot of the grunt work so we can focus on serving our clients.”
Ideas for our next public case? Email us with your suggestions.