How can we improve InDesign?

Add features to draft legal briefs

Legal filings are just complicated, cross-linked books.

Lawyers have to follow court rules when typesetting appellate briefs.
See e.g., http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/clerk/case_filing/rules/rules_home.html
https://www.supremecourt.gov/filingandrules/rules_guidance.aspx

WordPerfect has a few useful features: see "Legal Toolbar" https://www.wordperfect.com/en/product/professional-edition/#features

You should add a feature to create a Table of Authorities (ToA). The ToA lists each authority cited along with every page on which it is cited. The ToA has different sections for different kinds of authorities, e.g., cases, statutes, etc.

The best way would be to have InDesign identify authorities/citations. Most lawyers follow the Bluebook. https://www.legalbluebook.com/default.aspx
Others follow the RedBook or the MaroonBook.

Make selecting, dragging, and dropping text visually similar to Microsoft Word.

Add a global word count feature. See https://www.scotxblog.com/writing/worried-about-word-counts-your-choice-of-word-processor-matters-a-great-deal/

Make creating hi­er­ar­chi­cal head­ings easier.

Add an option to import text and formatting from a pdf.

Consider restoring Ctrl+I for italics, Ctrl+B for bold, etc.

Adding code that helps us follow the grammar and spelling guidelines in Garner's legal writing book would be loads of icing on the proverbial cake. https://smile.amazon.com/Legal-Writing-Plain-English-Second/dp/0226283933

Thanks,

10 votes
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  • David Bluestone commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would gladly contribute to crowdsource someone to write a plugin or script to do this...or just to be able to import a word version with a table of authorities already set up, so that you can update the page numbers due to layout changes.

  • Lindsey Thomas Martin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I added my vote for this but as style varies by country (we don't write briefs but publish a fair number of papers that cite Canadian, US and UK law and cases--we follow Carswell) and the market may be both limited and fragmented, I wonder if this would best be served by a plug-in. I very much like the suggestions of a ToA and global word count. On the other hand, you can easily assign ctrl+I and ctrl+B via Keyboard Shortcuts … : look under Text and Tables > Apply bold, Apply italic.

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