Increased flexibility in how Contacts are listed in reports
ChristianS9906 last edited by
It would be nice if the reports feature allowed for more flexible display options for contact-related data. For example, it would be useful to be able to list contacts for a matter in a number of ways, e.g., by full name (as is, I believe, currently the only way you can do so), by initials, by first name last initial, by first name only, by last name only, by first initial last name, by nickname, etc.
It is often the case that contact names take up a significant amount of column space in reports since contacts are typically listed by first/middle/last name. If you have a report that includes attorney, paralegal, contributor, and partner columns, you're likely looking at about a page-width of report space that is occupied by detailed name data. Most of the time, however, providing abbreviated name information would be sufficient--for example, displaying the same information using initials would convey the same information using only 12 characters, thereby consuming much less report real estate.
There could be several ways of implementing this--one would be to simply include the alternate forms of contact name display as separate columns that could be added to a report, e.g., AttorneyFullName, AttorneyInitials, AttorneyNickname, AttorneyFirstInitLastName, etc.
Another option would be to provide a format option for contact columns that are to be included in a report. Each contact column, e.g., Attorney, ClientContact, etc., would, when selected in the column chooser, cause a listbox to be shown that would allow the user to choose between a variety of formats for how that data will be shown. This could also be extended to non-Contact data, e.g., date formats, text data (e.g., All Caps, Sentence Caps, As-entered, etc.).
A third option would be to allow the user to specify a global format setting for the report in question (which could also affect how data is displayed in the Matters/Tasks/etc. modules). For example, the user could specify that Contacts are to be shown using their middle initials as opposed to their full names. This would be applied to all such data in the module in question, so you wouldn't be able to mix-and-match, e.g., have one column with Contacts listed by initials and another column with Contacts listed by full name.
A somewhat related enhancement would be to allow the user to change how the Inventors are listed for a matter. Right now, I think the Inventors field lists inventors by their non-alias ("true") names, even if an alias was used in filing an application. It would be nice to allow users to choose to list inventors for an application using their "true" names and their "as-filed" names. It would also be nice to be able to list such data in a way that indicates when there is a discrepancy between the true inventor name and the as-filed inventor name. For example, in the Matter Details interface, when a listed inventor was listed using an alias when an application was filed, the Inventors list shows both the true name for the inventor and, in parentheses, the alias for that inventor that was used in the filing. It would be great if that could also be an option in the Reports module.