Case Study: "There is no alternative to Inspiration!"

Nick Critelli uses Inspiration daily to help in his law practice.

Nick has been working for 50 years as an American trial lawyer in Iowa and New York and an English barrister with chambers in London. Nick’s job is to make complex issues of law and fact understandable to clients, courts and juries, and his number one tool is Inspiration. He says it helps him organise chaos and create roadmaps to resolution for his colleagues and clients. For him there really is no alternative!

We caught up with Nick recently and he showed us some of the incredible mind maps he has created for his work; one of which was eventually enlarged, framed and gifted to the judge on a case he worked on. We were proud to learn that this Inspiration visual map now hangs on the wall in the judge’s chambers, as a reminder of how that case was concluded.

How do you use Inspiration in your work?

“The nature of my practise is strategic planning, not only for litigation, but also for in court advocacy. My job is to create a roadmap to resolution; my clients are all in dispute, so the name of the game is to organise the chaos that they’re experiencing, and I found out early on that Inspiration was an invaluable tool in that regard. We use it in every case, we use it in our practise every day. We use it for the most complex of cases down to the simple, ordinary task of organising our schedule. It's absolutely an indispensable tool in my practise.”

Can you show us some of the maps you have created with Inspiration?

“Here is one; I am involved with training members of the bar, both in the US and London. I have an English pupil who will be with me for six weeks studying, and she’ll understand how to use mind maps before her time with me is up. This is an overview of our bar training institute that we’re in the process of putting together; you can see it’s a form of strategic planning and shows what our curriculum is, what our administration is, what the institute will be, how long it’ll last, the different aspects that we’ll be training on, how to train the trainer. But I can find no better way to get people up to speed in a hurry than by using mind maps.”

“Here's another one that should blow you away! This is a mind map of probably one of the most complex cases ever that was in the Iowa Court system. All of these are lawsuits stemming from just one major suit! It spawned all of these different lawsuits you see here. Now, think about the magnitude of that. And how do you describe that to a court, a judge or a jury without a mind map? This case went on for seven years and at the conclusion of the case, all the lawyers got together and did what we refer to as an after-action review, meaning what we could have done better. This chart was developed early in the litigation, but it became the benchmark for all our after-action reviews. So much so that we had it enlarged and framed and presented to the judge. It is now hanging on the wall in his quarters.” 

Because of confidentiality the true names of the parties have been changed.

How else do you use Inspiration?

“I use it for my schedule, my calendar, it’s all done through Inspiration, with respect to deadlines on cases. It literally becomes an essential tool for me to be able to explain to my clients, and to lawyers, what the facts are and where the process leads to. As I mentioned, I've used it in court and what’s nice is when you stand in front of a jury, and you've got a mind map you can link to different things. So, you can just click on the link, and it brings up a document or a photo. And the looks on the juror's faces when this thing shows up; it's very, very powerful.”

What’s the alternative to using Inspiration, for you?

There is no alternative! Obviously, there are other mind mapping program out there, and I did my due diligence and checked them out, but they can’t match Inspiration; they aren’t anywhere near as powerful either. They get the job done, if the goal is to focus your thinking but this goes beyond that. This not only focuses the thinking, but it also acts as a presentation tool, which I like. It’s got the colour tool, the dimension and a variety of different things that I can change. Most frequently what you’d see is PowerPoint and we're all familiar with death by PowerPoint, but what that means is you're drowning in facts and data, and you can't put the facts into perspective. I have a friend, who is a psychiatrist actually and we started discussing Inspiration once and he told me that what’s happening here is we’re actually communicating to the right side of the brain, where the photographic memory lies. The left side of the brain is where the textual concepts are but communicating to the right side too means we get a much deeper understanding of a complex situation. So, that's maybe some explanation as to why Inspiration is so powerful.”

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration, click here, and for more user case studies, click here.

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