Tag Archives: law firm

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.

Convenient or Creepy: The Smart Speakers are Listening

In a previous blog post, we talked about privacy as it relates to fitness wearable devices. To continue on the privacy vein, let’s examine smart speakers like Google Home, Alexa, and Siri. If you use any of these devices, you know the convenience associated with voice commands. Need the time? Alexa has it. Want to know some obscure movie fact? Ask Siri. Need to buy paper towels? Tell Google Home. Easy peasy, right? In today’s busy world of work, events, and to do lists, these devices lend a helpful hand, but at the price of consumer privacy.

Recently, both Google and Amazon filed patents to allow even broader abilities to listen in on consumer lives. Rather than waiting for a wake command as the speakers do now, the device would always be on and listening for keywords, but what is it doing with that information? According to both companies, the information would be used to target advertising based on the collected data. Say, you’re sitting around the dinner table discussing your next family vacation and then Alexa starts to recite travel deals to your target destination? How about Google Home listening to you discuss your medical issue with a friend and then offering related prescription ads? What about recognizing your mood, or an oncoming cold based on a sneeze, or an argument with your spouse? Google Home could even suggest parenting tactics based on its monitoring of your family interactions. You should spend more time with Susie, Google says. Do you want all of that in the cloud for advertisers to mill through? Is this level of technology cool or creepy?

While these assistants can be a source of convenience, we’d be remiss not to consider the potential consequences. Could information collected from smart speakers be used in a court of law? Are they discoverable? Could anything obtained be used for a conviction? Technology often moves faster than the law, but the law is catching up. Consider the Arkansas murder case where investigators wanted to use information gathered by Amazon’s smart speaker, Echo belonging to the suspect. Amazon jumped in citing First Amendment protections, an important step in setting a precedent for how this technology could be handled in the future. The suspect ended up granting permission for the data to be collected, but in future cases, consent and rights will need heavy consideration. For an innocent person accused of a crime or the unfortunate victim, the smoking gun, in this case, could be a home assistant device. But take a moment to consider the flip side. Could a conversation taken out of context lead to suspicion in the event something goes afoul, making it difficult to defend oneself? Do you really want your casual conversations used against you in a court of law?

As with much of current technology, consumers need to weigh the pros and cons of adopting smart devices. You must ask yourself the question is giving the device full access to your life, habits, interests, and vices worth the convenience? Where is the line and once we cross it, can we ever go back?

Should Small Firms Adopt eDiscovery?

To a small law firm, perhaps one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of eDiscovery is the uncertainty. There is a starting point and an endpoint, but the in-between can be a walk through a minefield. The most significant question of all can be, “Can we do our eDiscovery in-house?”

To help you safely navigate eDiscovery, let’s look at the most common pitfalls you’re likely to encounter and how to get past them.

You Don’t Have a Lit-Support Staff

When people think about discovery, it’s usually teams of attorneys burning the midnight oil, sifting through data to find that smoking gun. It can take an entire supporting staff to manage the technology that gets ESI in front of reviewers. These are the folks whose responsibilities include:

  • Loading data into review systems
  • Keeping the pipeline moving by batching data
  • Handling technical issues that might arise

However, the cost of maintaining or outsourcing work quickly becomes prohibitive, limiting the size of cases you can manage. Fortunately, as eDiscovery has become more common, related technology is making leaps and bounds.

For example, Ipro Tech’s Automated Digital Discovery platform lets organizations of any size implement a workflow where discovery data is automatically copied, processed, filtered and loaded with minimal human interaction. Systems like these can quickly pay for themselves; time and staffing requirements are reduced while more extensive and lucrative cases become feasible.

Your Current Solutions Can’t Scale to Your Projects

The phone rings. It’s the case of a lifetime. You eagerly agree. But fast forward a few months; megabytes become terabytes, and your eDiscovery platform is redlining trying to keep up.

It’s critical to remain aware of any thresholds your technology might have, and plan accordingly. If you’re expecting to take on bulkier cases, choose an eDiscovery platform for the future. Knowing the options for swappable and burstable licensing is a must before committing to a solution. Does the provider offer both; In the Cloud or Behind the Firewall options?

Make sure you find a veteran provider, like Ipro Tech, who offers live support, training and consulting to ensure clients are never stuck while deadlines loom. Client-focused providers often have service teams, like Ipro’s Professional Services, which are deployed to provide clients with any necessary support from implementation to project management.

Technology & Millennials: Why Your Firm Needs Both

Within the last few years, technology has gradually integrated into all aspects of the legal industry, which means it no longer relates solely to internal functions such as time and billing records. Technology is an essential part of the legal supply chain as it is used to streamline services, reduce costs, and make services accessible to smaller companies. We see technology used in every facet of legal practice, from marketing and client relations to discovery and trial presentation.

So what does this mean for litigators? They must be prepared to use available technology to make their practices more efficient and serve their clients’ needs. Otherwise, litigators risk falling behind in today’s fast-moving legal market.

But what we have seen over and over again are lawyers who don’t embrace new technology. Many live by the mantra, “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.” However, as these litigators hesitate to put down their padfolio in exchange for a laptop, they are limiting their effectiveness with a case.

But don’t dive headfirst into an intense study of all the possible technological solutions available. You actually don’t need to worry about understanding the ins and outs of all legal technology. Just hire some millennials.

We have been told countless times that millennials and technology go together like bread and butter. But why are young people and tech so inseparable? Millennials may have fewer walks around the block than you, but those walks have been immersed with technology. They saw the creation of AOL and the advancement of the iPhone; using technology, whether unfamiliar or well-known, comes naturally. Even their time in law school was more technology-infused compared to that of prior generations. The key to success in any industry is to allow millennials to leverage their innate technological abilities.

The best place to start is being willing to grasp new technical concepts; then quickly and efficiently apply the latest technology to the practice of law. Firms of all sizes should rely on their young millennial lawyers to insert technology into their practices wherever possible to avoid falling behind. Strive to provide opportunities for young millennial lawyers to take leadership roles on firm committees designed to bring technological advances to the business. Giving them a voice concerning technology will allow your firm the company to embrace technology for the better. Additionally, it will provide your young lawyers with a chance to take a leadership role in the firm early on in their career, giving them a vested interest in the growth and success of the company.

Working with millennials and technology can be unfamiliar and require some adjustments, but it will make all the difference for your firm, starting now.