Tag Archives: Jury

The Verdict Is In: Trial Presentation Software vs PowerPoint

Trialdirector by Ipro

PowerPoint has long been used by attorneys in trial, but is it the best option out there when taking your argument to the jury? An important factor during trial is holding the jury’s attention, relaying the facts of the case in a clear and effective manner and presenting evidence in the most persuasive way to convince the jury to side with your client. While PowerPoint can be a great choice for opening remarks and closing arguments, there is so much more that goes into a compelling case.

Dynamic Presentation

With the technology-heavy world we live in, it’s no surprise jurors expect a certain amount of that tech to follow them into a courtroom. The plethora of law focused TV shows like Bull and CSI helps to perpetuate that idea, so much so that there’s a term for it, The CSI Effect. As courtroom technology becomes even more pervasive, jurors will continue to expect a sophisticated argument during trial.

While it may not be realistic to implement the level of tech in fictional television dramas, it is possible to move away from foam boards and the limitations of linear presentations like PowerPoint and embrace the dynamic presentation.

Dynamic presentation lets you jump to different exhibits, zoom in on particular points in a document to draw the jury’s attention, and display synchronized deposition videos with a transcript of text for jurors to follow along. As you move effortlessly through the evidence, the jurors won’t be able to take their eyes or attention off of you.

Captivate the Jury

The course of a case can shift during trial with unexpected events. Preparation for the unexpected builds juror confidence in the evidence presented. Don’t lose them searching through slides while the expediency of your argument is diminished. Instead, adjust in real time seamlessly adapting to changes. Newly admissible evidence? It’s easily available. A witness answers differently on the stand than in the deposition? Bring up their synchronized video depo for a surefire impeachment. The jury’s attention will stay focused on the details of the case, not the logistics of attorneys sorting through case files.

The Transition

Worried about making the switch? Getting started using TrialDirector is easy. With an intuitive user interface, you can get documents loaded and start putting your case together in a snap. Or grab the resources in MyIpro to help you set up your case. Once you’re ready for more, training is available to unlock the technology’s fullest potential. And if you aren’t quite ready to walk away from PowerPoint completely, that’s okay. You can convert your PowerPoint slides to PDF and upload them to TrialDirector and take advantage of the robust tools available.

While PowerPoint has its place in the courtroom, its features are limited. Why not use a software program specifically designed for trial to prepare, deliver, and ultimately, wow the jury? When you’re ready to take your trial presentation to the next level, you’re ready for TrialDirector 360.

Learn more on our website.

Join us at the Ipro Tech Show April 29 – May 1 for training, hands-on workshops, and networking. Learn more and register today.

Ipro Announces Details For The Ipro Tech Show, formerly Innovations

Ipro Tech Show

Tempe, Ariz. Feb 20th, 2019 – Ipro Tech, LLC, a global leader in eDiscovery and Trial software technology announced today additional details for its popular annual user conference. Ipro Tech Show highlights the company’s dedication to simplifying the process from eDiscovery to Trial technology. The show provides attendees insights into quality industry knowledge, legal technology futures, productivity drivers, education and training. The Ipro Tech Show will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019.

“Fresh off a successful showing at Legalweek, we’re excited to celebrate our future with our customers and industry friends at our own user conference that offers CLE credits, training, and hands-on opportunities. What differentiates Ipro from our competitors is that we offer eDiscovery and Trial software, services and support – bundled as a solution. Ipro eDiscovery is deployed the way you want it, Cloud, On-Prem or Desktop,” said Ipro CEO Dean Brown.

Ipro is pleased to announce the return of the Sedona Conference to the 2019 show. The Sedona Conference sessions are among over 50 other informative breakouts that cover eDiscovery and Trial Presentation best practices. Additionally, the company is adding an Industry track to provide attendees information on the trends affecting their work.

Before and after the conference, Ipro offers comprehensive training and certification courses for its most popular offerings that attendees with an All Access pass can register for, enhancing the conference experience.

Conference highlights include a Monday night Welcome Reception, a chance to meet and connect with Ipro professionals, a Tuesday night dinner, entertainment, networking opportunities with industry peers and an evening of fun with giveaways and prizes. The show wraps up midday on Wednesday with final training ending on Thursday. Details on Keynote speakers and additional speakers are to be announced. Early bird registration is closing soon so register today.

Ipro Tech Show 2019 is held at Talking Stick Resort in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, which also offers visitors two golf courses, The Spa at Talking Stick, several live entertainment venues and a casino. Spring temperatures in Arizona average in the high 80’s, a perfect opportunity to get a head start on summer vacation with the family. Additional details and event registration can be found at https://techshow.iprotech.com

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Ipro – Simplifying the Process from Discovery to Trial.

About Ipro Tech, LLC 

Ipro is a global leader in eDiscovery technology used by legal professionals to streamline discovery of electronic data through presentation at trial. Ipro draws upon decades of innovation to deliver high-performance software solutions and services that significantly reduce the cost and complexity of eDiscovery.

3 Tips to Hold the Audience’s Attention During Your Next Trial Presentation- Part 3

Ipro tips

In the previous installment, we reviewed the power of repetition to capture the jury’s attention. If you missed it, be sure to check it out. In this next and final post in the series, we’ll touch on a few more powerful techniques you can use in the courtroom to take your presentation to the next level and be the attorney the jury remembers.

Use Attention Getters
They’re called attention getters for a reason. You don’t want to bore your audience by talking for a long time, especially with a heavy topic, so try changing things up throughout your time in front of them.
When working with a jury, litigators cannot interact with their audience like presenters in normal presentations can, but the attention and focus strategies for other presentation types can still apply. Just tailor them for trial.
Use the following presentation mechanisms to put a little variety and spice into your presentations and examinations.
• Tell an engaging story
• Use a rhetorical question that makes them think more critically about the case
• State a shocking or interesting fact the audience may not be familiar with
• Use a quote from a prominent figure or even something from your case that illustrates your point and sets the mood
• Show an enthralling clip from a video testimony
• Use a prop or creative visual aid that you can hold or use to demonstrate what you’re talking about

Conclusion
Think about what you would want a presenter to do to keep you engaged during trial. What techniques would work best to not only maintain your attention but help you understand the many moving parts of a given case?

Fortunately, the days of file boxes of boring paper exhibits are gone (almost). It’s now possible to use technology combined with compelling storytelling techniques to present your argument to the jury in a way that connects in this modern world. Now, who doesn’t want that?

Learn more about TrialDirector 360 and how it can help you by visiting our website.

3 Tips to Hold the Jury’s Attention During Your Next Trial Presentation- Part 2

In the previous installment, we discussed the initial approach to capturing the jury’s attention. If you missed it, be sure to check it out.

In this next post, we’ll go over a few more important aspects for not only engaging the jury, but best practices to ensure they understand and remember the critical pieces of your argument so when it comes to deliberation, the outcome is in your client’s favor.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
In any presentation, if you want your audience to remember what you’re talking about, one of the best tools in your arsenal is to say and show the thing you want them to remember several times.
There’s quite a bit of science to back up the power of repetition. Basically, every time you let your audience see, hear and, best of all, feel what you want, you strengthen the synapses firing in their brain around that thing.
You should know what you want your audience to focus on well before trial starts. In fact, you should decide what that thing is very near to the case outset and then build your strategy around it. Doing this not only helps with knowing what you want your jury to focus on, but it can also help with an organized and efficient trial prep process.

Don’t forget the tools that help you with repetition. With trial presentation software, you can quickly display items you want to keep fresh in the jury’s mind any time you want. No digging through folders and paper to try to find the right document or image. Imagine simply typing a number into your laptop and up pops an important document, image, or video you want the jury to see.

Then, remember you can leave the document or image up. Think about how valuable it is having an image on a large screen for a long period of time as you’re relaying the critical parts of your argument. As you speak, the jury can look and see exactly what you’re talking about. You can zoom in on the image, mark it to focus the jury’s eyes on where you want them to go, and even have the image show side by side with something else that you want to show. You can harness the power of video tools to make an impact on the jury. Impeaching a witness? Imagine the jury’s reaction when you question the witness about signing a document, who then answers ambiguously, but then you produce a video clip of their deposition where they contradict the answer they just provided. Pair that up with the Tear out feature of their signature on the document in question. The jury won’t forget what they saw or you.

Later, if you find the need or wish to drive your point even further, all you need to do is type in that number you assigned again, and the document or image appears just like it did the first time. We cannot overstate how powerful it is using video tools, document management and trial presentation software to supplement your presentations.

Found these tips helpful? Tune in next week for the final tip in this series.

If you’re ready to take your trial presentation to the next level, read more about TrialDirector 360 here.

3 Tips to Hold the Jury’s Attention During Your Next Trial Presentation- Part 1

With the internet at our fingertips, it seems like people, in general, can’t hold their attention as long as they used to. Most can’t go a few seconds without pulling out their phone to check the latest updates, pics, or videos. The short attention span reality doesn’t change when someone is selected for jury duty, so it’s the attorney’s job to be as engaging as those phone notifications waiting for them when court is over. As courtroom jurors called on to decide fate, where they’re expected to sit in a jury box and listen to hours of presentation and testimony, holding their attention to key facts, is critical. And let’s be real, it’s rare any of them to want to be there, let alone take the initiative to focus on the task at hand for an extended period.

Of course, any given case is important to the people involved with it directly, but to the people coming in on the jury, it’s not really part of their world. Jurors have their own worries and life issues that don’t stop just because they were selected to be part of a case. So how do you get and keep a jury hanging on your words? General presentation tips are out there, but we want to talk about things that work particularly well when in the courtroom, especially when using trial presentation software.

Put Yourself in the Jury’s Shoes
Yes, the jury has a civic duty to listen to the facts of the case and issue a decision on the outcome, but that doesn’t mean you automatically have their undivided attention. So, what can you do to deliver the information you need the jury to hear, understand, and absorb to persuade them to agree with your argument?

Trial is all about persuasion, but it’s also a balancing act of maintaining legalities, stating the facts, not irritating the judge, and ultimately crafting a passionate compelling presentation that intricately and definitively proves your argument.

One tactic to crafting this compelling presentation is understanding where your jury is coming from in terms of the case. Representing a pharmaceutical case where the testimonies and information shared will be heavily science based may lead you to be a teacher to your jury. How do you help them understand the importance of the details and jargon without zoning out? How do you keep them engaged, informed, and interested? How do you ensure they understand without being condescending?

If you are covering a criminal case involving an accident, perhaps using a technique to engage the jury’s emotional core is the way to go. Help them relate to how the situation would impact their lives if it happened to them or a loved one. This works regardless of whether you’re prosecuting or defending.

Likeability is important. Remember jurors will start forming an opinion on you from their first interaction, so wooing them begins in the jury selection process. From the beginning, jurors will gravitate to who the better storyteller is. They will engage with who speaks their language best. They will believe who best presents the facts of the case in a way they understand. Wow them with visuals, videos, and dynamic presentations. Entertain while educating. An entertained audience is an engaged once.

Found these tips helpful? Tune in next week for the second tip in this series.
If you’re ready to take your trial presentation to the next level, read more about TrialDirector 360 here.

No “Bull” in the Courtroom with TrialDirector 360

A high profile wealthy man is found shot to death in his home. The scene appears suspiciously staged to investigating police and in short time, the victim’s wife, a woman not known for her warmth and kindness, is immediately charged with his murder. Her alibi is slippery, and the evidence is stacking up. Her only hope is securing the best defense team possible.

Enter Dr. Jason Bull, the founder of Trial Analysis Corporation on the fictional courtroom drama, Bull. He and his team of experts employ psychology, human intuition, and high tech to influence trial outcomes in favor of their clients. His process starts with jury selection and the ability to assess if the potential jurors will lean his way. He does this in the typical way, through attorney questioning, but also using a mirror jury with palm sensors to gauge response and shift the narrative during trial. Impressive use of technology, albeit, tech that either doesn’t exist or would be extremely expensive to utilize, but that’s not the point of this post.

The typical Bull episode begins with Dr. Bull and his team being hired by a client and deciding based on the facts if they should accept. The premise of the previously referenced episode was about proving the wife’s innocence when public opinion had already convicted her. Dr. Bull goes through his usual jury manipulations, but what stood out during the episode was with all the technology he uses in the initial process to develop a strategy, once they got to the courtroom, technology disappeared.

When it came time for the defense attorney to stun the courtroom with the proof of his client’s innocence, he lifted a simple clipped stack of papers and told the jurors what it contained. Papers? Really? Is this 2018 or an episode of Perry Mason? Where’s the fancy graphics? Where’s the video? For a show so heavily focused on technology, it was a strange dichotomy. Let’s look at how impactful that trial argument could have been with the use of stellar trial presentation software like TrialDirector 360.

Lawyer showing evidence to the jury

First up: the accused provides a false alibi to the police the night of the murder because she fears her true whereabouts would be more incriminating. When she’s deposed, she lies again, until Dr. Bull and his team confront her and learn she was really seeing a divorce attorney that night. During trial, she’s asked about it, as is the police officer who took her statement, but how much more powerful for the prosecution could that have been with a deposition transcript replay for the juror’s ears. With TrialDirector 360’s video and transcript management, the exact piece of the interview could be played back for the jury’s consideration. Granted, it may have worked out initially in the prosecution’s favor until the defense had an opportunity to explain.

The smoking gun (spoiler alert!) of this episode was the discovery of a website and paper trail that showed the husband sought out a hitman via the dark web and planned and paid for his own execution. The motive? He had gambled away his family’s fortune and knew that suicide would prevent the payout of the 25 million dollar life insurance policy. This information was verbally relayed to the wife during her testimony rather than bringing it up on a screen to show the jury the proof and evidence of the existence of this website. Using TrialDirector 360’s tear out feature, the defense could highlight the exact information proving their client’s innocence. Dun dun dun! It’s hard to argue with something that’s right in front of your face.

In another powerful moment, the prosecution played a recording the deceased left for his wife, seemingly pleading for his life, the prosecution contending that he knew she wanted him dead. The defense, however, after learning the events that really took place, explained to the court how it was actually a suicide note, but never took the opportunity to play the recording again, reframing it with the newfound facts to sway the jury closer to the truth. Imagine the impact to the jury to visually see the website, the paper trail and the voice recording securing beyond a shadow of a doubt the wife’s innocence.

The outcomes always work out in Dr. Bull’s favor as many fictional shows do, but in a real courtroom, it’s critical to maximize the impact of your argument, and ultimately obtain the desired verdict, by implementing trial technology that actually does exist.

Want to take your trial presentation to the next level?

Click here to request a demo.

TrialDirector 360 is here!

Trial Director 360

Tempe, Ariz., June 25, 2018 — Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in eDiscovery solutions, announced today the release of the all-new TrialDirector 360, the most widely-used trial presentation application available. TrialDirector 360 streamlines the trial presentation process with powerful tools to professionally present case evidence in court.

“We’ve made an already proven and robust product even better while keeping the features our clients love about TrialDirector” said Derek Miller, VP of Product Management.

In addition to the powerful and well-known presentation features, the new TrialDirector 360 includes:

• New database structure to increase reliability and performance

• Updated user interface with customized layouts to fit your workflow

• Ability to share your case and collaborate with others during your trial preparation

• Transcript Management tool with advanced video editing options, including redactions

• Bulk update exhibits in minutes with dynamic labels and resequencing options

• Easily compare designations by party with options to edit video clips on-the-fly

TrialDirector 360 is loaded with new features that simplify the entire trial prep workflow for legal teams. Visit our TrialDirector 360 page to learn more or email sales@iprotech.com

Attending ILTACON 18? Click here to schedule a private demo of TrialDirector 360 or any Ipro product.

About Ipro Tech, LLC

Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced eDiscovery software solutions. With the addition of the industry leader in trial presentation, TrialDirector 360, Ipro provides solutions from discovery to trial.

Video File Formats – What is best?

One of the many powerful tools available for use in litigation is video. Video can be used to tell a story, depict a day in the life of someone, see the actual event happening, see a witness’s demeanor during examination, substitute for a witness who cannot attend the trial in person, impeachment and the list goes on. From the early days of 8mm film, followed by VHS tapes to today’s digital video, this tool is an essential part of almost every trial.

When an attorney used 8mm film, VHS tapes or LaserDisc, the setup and use was straightforward. Someone would hook up the player to a projector or TV and when they needed it, they pressed the play button. Pretty easy. Once digital video came into the mix, things started to get complicated. While you still hook up to a projector or TV and press the play button, digital video has some potential complications that can add a degree of difficulty you really don’t need at trial.

Digital Formats:
One of the most common digital formats and the focus of this blog is MPEG. MPEG is an acronym for Moving Pictures Experts Group. This group of authorities set the standards for audio/video compression and transmission of the digital files that everyone “abides” by. These standards set the compressed data format to a standard video compression specification. Creation of these digital files requires software known as a “video codec” that includes an encoder that can compress the video into a smaller file size and a decoder that will decompress the files for playback. More on video codecs later.
The original MPEG standard that was first developed and released in 1993 was called MPEG-1. This standard is still very much in use today and has continuously been recommended, especially in litigation, because MPEG-1 doesn’t require anything special to make it work. Using an MPEG-1 video compression algorithm, a 120-minute video would be compressed to about 1.2 GB. MPEG-2 is a standard that has been adopted by most of the movie producing companies because of the higher visual quality of video available during playback. The compression algorithm of MPEG-2 would take a 120-minute video and compress it to about 4GB – 8GB, but with a much higher quality than MPEG-1. With the eruption of the internet, MPEG-4 has steadily become the standard of choice thanks to its high level of compression while maintaining a high level of quality during playback. One of the many reasons that MPEG-4 has become popular is that its compression algorithm will compress a 120-minute video to about 300MB and maintain a very high quality. Choosing a video format essentially becomes a comparison between power, speed, storage capacity and fidelity or quality of the video and the requirements to play the video, i.e. video codecs.

Issues:
When it comes to working with digital video files, the number one culprit that causes issues is the video codec. If you have ever had audio play, but not the video or had some MPEG files play but not others, it is because the video codec is incompatible. Video playback software that came pre-installed or was installed after the fact may install their own codec and you can have multiple codecs installed on the same computer. When this happens there are potential conflicts and it is unknown what codec will be used with what video. The problem is consistently found when dealing with MPEG-2 video files and less of an issue with the other MPEG formats. There are several packages commercially available that can be used to determine what codecs are installed and what may or may not be conflicting.
A secondary issue when dealing with digital video that may be encountered is that not all digital video is created equally. Just because the format is MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 doesn’t mean that it is compliant or compatible with the player. One thing to verify is if the video was created using a constant bit rate or a variable bit rate. Another possible area to check is if within the file format, standards or “parts” have been included. For example, MPEG-4 Part 8, is video formatted using a method to carry the content on IP networks. Another would be MPEG-4 – H.264 or Part 10 that supports video resolutions up to 4096×2304 or 4K UHD. Making sure that your video codec supports constant or variable bit rates and parts or variants to a format will help alleviate some of the potential issues you may encounter.

Conclusion:
When it comes to working with video files and having issues, find out who/what created the video, if there are any non-standard or non-compliant issues and what video codecs are installed on the computer. Taking these steps to resolve any issues beforehand is critical to a smooth presentation and keeping your focus where it needs to be at trial.

TrialDirector vs. PowerPoint

You put a lot of time and effort into preparing your case for trial, but how are you going to effectively show your case to the jury? TrialDirector was designed specifically for trial (as you can tell by the name) and is the leading trial presentation software because of the following features:

  • Organize witness workbooks – quickly drag and drop items into a witness folder
  • Apply exhibit numbers – add trial exhibit numbers and other unique identifiers to your case items
  • Search transcripts and create designations – generate PDF reports to print, email, and share
  • Make exhibit lists – TrialDirector creates Word documents that you can save, print, or copy into other files
  • Present documents and video in a variety of ways to maximize your presence in front of the jury
  • Zoom, highlight, and use a variety of mark-up tools for maximum impact and understanding

“Eh I’m good, I use PowerPoint.”

We agree that PowerPoint is an excellent presentation program. It creates linear presentations that you can make in advance. So why take the time to learn TrialDirector? Putting aside all the functions listed above (which PowerPoint can’t do, by the way), let’s focus on the presentation.

When you’re presenting to a jury, you need to adapt, be quick on your feet, and prepare for the unexpected. For instance, a document might suddenly be admissible, or the witness answers your question in court differently than in his deposition. What do you do – take a few minutes to create a new PowerPoint slide at counsel’s table? Request a recess? Make the jury wait in silence? You don’t want to lose the impact of expediency.

TrialDirector lets you present any document, any time. You just type in the exhibit number and hit enter; that’s it. You can now continue your questioning about this now-admissible document without missing a beat. When you finish, return to your regularly scheduled presentation organized in a workbook. It’s seamless for you and transparent to the jury.

But don’t worry…

PowerPoint has a place in your case and it has a place in TrialDirector! We know that PowerPoint is ideal for opening statements. Create your opening in PowerPoint and easily load it into your TrialDirector case. TrialDirector will display your PowerPoint presentation and you can move through the slides at your pace, just as you would in PowerPoint.

Ready for closing arguments? Insert the images you showed the jury through TrialDirector into your PowerPoint closing. This will enhance memory and recall. Jurors will not only remember the document, they’ll remember what you showed them.

So, you use PowerPoint? That’s not a problem, because TrialDirector doesn’t make you choose. Use the comfort of PowerPoint along with the flexibility and power of TrialDirector to make your case.

How to Get 10/10 on Your Next Trial Presentation

Some people just have it.

The confidence, the perfect rhythm and speed of talking, the right vocabulary and stories…everything to make a stellar presentation. They could be talking about the importance of tying your shoes with two loops instead of one, and you would still leave the room feeling inspired to be a better person.

But what about those of us who just don’t have it? You’ve spent weeks and months collecting evidence, annotating exhibits, and constructing your argument, but without a good presentation, all that effort might not matter.

In addition to having stellar trial presentation software, here are some tips to help you engage the jury and give a worthwhile presentation:

  1. Be Yourself. Yes, it’s cliché, but it has power. You have a unique personality, whether that is outgoing, soft-spoken, serious, light-hearted, confident, or more reserved. To be effective and confident while you’re presenting, you need to do what comes naturally. Talking too slow can be just as distracting as talking too fast. The jurors may not have law degrees, but they can tell when you’re faking enthusiasm or solemnity. Your strongest asset is to be natural.
  2. Don’t give them the whole pie. Imagine your favorite dessert, whether that be mint brownies, hazelnut cheesecake, or raspberry pie. You eat one bite of that dessert, and that delicious spoonful leaves you craving more. Now imagine how you would feel if you ate a whole giant pan of that dessert in one sitting. You would probably be sick to your stomach and ready to swear off sugar for the next 6 months. The same concept applies to your presentation; your videos, depositions, and annotated exhibits are great elements, but it’s possible to have too much of good thing. Make sure to give your jury a bite of the case instead of overwhelming them with too much information.
  3. Practice. You know the saying, “Practice makes perfect”. Practicing can be mundane and repetitive by nature, but the more you practice, the more confident you’ll be. Your presentation will flow smoothly, and you’ll be better able to handle any last-minute revisions or curveballs that get thrown your way during a trial.
  4. Don’t let technology control you. Your technological tools are meant to enhance your presentation, not replace you as the presenter. Ultimately your words are going to have the biggest impact on the jury, not the annotated exhibit on the screen. You provide the necessary commentary and explanations to give meaning and purpose to the evidence; without you, the jury sees a random collection of videos and images. Don’t underestimate your influence in the courtroom, and make sure the technology doesn’t overpower your argument.
  5. Involve your audience. The jurors in the courtroom have experiences and circumstances that strongly impact their perspectives and decisions. If you truly know your audience, you can communicate in a way that helps them to see the personal relevance of the trial. If one of the jurors is a middle school math teacher with three young kids, present in a way that connects his circumstances with your case.

Comment with any tips you use to have a successful trial presentation!

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or learn more about TrialDirector and how it can help you by visiting our website. Already have TrialDirector? Check out one of our training courses.