Tag Archives: Trial

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 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.

Ipro Announces Platinum ADD Partnership with Avalon

TEMPE, Arizona – Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in eDiscovery solutions, announced today its Platinum ADD Partnership with Avalon, a New York-based company that has been committed to solving client challenges since May 2000. The combined commitment of these two companies to helping their customers has naturally led to a partnership.

Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Seth Wiersma explained, “More and more of our clients are looking for other hosting and review options that provide alternative workflows and different pricing options that best suit the needs of their particular case. Ipro’s continued development in their product and a like-minded approach to creative and flexible solutions for their customers very much appealed to us.”

When asked about their decision to use Ipro’s ADD platform, Wiersma stated, “Our primary goal was to position Avalon with options to bring to our customers. No single platform can suit the needs of every matter, and no single platform will appeal to every user. The addition of Ipro enables us to appeal to a wider customer audience with a broader solution set.”

The Ipro Partner Program is designed to help companies offer the products and solutions that customers want, gain differentiation in provided services, build credibility in the industry, and grow the business. Kim Taylor, CEO/President of Ipro Tech, claimed, “Avalon is an exceptional company, and we have enjoyed working with them. We look forward to the future as our teams work together to change the legal tech industry.”

In addition to being a Platinum ADD Partner, Avalon has successfully achieved the highest level of ADD certifications to be able to administer and train on the full ADD solution. Among their employees are three ADD Sales Experts, two ADD Administrators, and an ADD Trainer.

For more information about becoming an Ipro Partner, email partnership@iprotech.com or visit their Partner Program page. To learn more about ADD certifications, visit the Training page.

 

ABOUT IPRO TECH, LLC

Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced software solutions used by legal professionals to streamline the discovery process. Ipro’s worldwide network of corporations, law firms, government agencies, and legal service providers rely on Ipro’s Enterprise platform to organize, review, process, and produce litigation data of vast sizes and complexity levels more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. For more information on Ipro, visit www.iprotech.com.

 

ABOUT AVALON

Founded in 2000 and based in Syracuse, New York, Avalon is a national leader in document services and has experienced steady growth since its creation. Avalon provides eDiscovery, digital forensics, cyber security, managed eDiscovery, and traditional litigation support services to law firms and corporations across the United States. At its core, Avalon is a problem solver. They work hard to find solutions to clients’ challenges and strive to prove that no one can out-service their team. For more information on Avalon, visit www.teamavalon.com.

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.

iPad vs. PC: Which One Should You Use?

We all love our tablets.

They’re light, portable, and intuitive. Many computer tasks can be done efficiently on a tablet, and as a society, we are huge fans.

Both tablets and laptops make a huge impact in the courtroom when it comes to trial presentation technology, but every case is unique and each presenter has different needs. We compare the differences between the two so you can choose the option that is best for your circumstances.

For those “pacers” out there, an iPad allows you to walk freely around the room and present from wherever you’re standing. A laptop is a little more restrictive; you can still pace, but you need to return to the laptop to move forward in your presentation or rely on someone else to call up your exhibits. However, presenting with an iPad requires you to set-up a private, wireless network to use Apple TV and similar products, and there is always the concern of becoming wirelessly disconnected in the middle of your presentation.

When using TrialDirector on a computer, you have much more storage and a higher processing speed, which allows you to handle a higher volume of documents, photos, and videos. Due to the lower processing speed, TrialDirector for iPad is great when using a small number of exhibits but not for managing larger case files.

Within the PC software, you have access to more tools and features while preparing and presenting your case, while you can use your iPad to make fewer, more basic edits and play pre-edited clips. This allows the iPad application to have a simpler experience and interface. However, working with an iPad requires you to load sensitive documents through iTunes, Dropbox, Box, or any other file sharing application, but you get to skip that step if you’re using a computer.

With a PC, you also have access to the most-used aspects of TrialDirector software. You can easily:

  • Retrieve and display exhibits faster
  • Create or adjust deposition clips, even while you’re in trial
  • Search transcripts and create detailed search results
  • Import synched transcripts
  • Easily cut deposition clips
  • Choose from eight different playback options
  • Link exhibits to deposition clips

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You want to do your best while presenting, and so we recommend using the software the allows you to manage your case your way you while also allowing you to be comfortable and confident in the courtroom.

During your next trial, which one are you going to use?

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.

How Your Trial Could Have Gone Differently

For Jenna, it was one of those days.

The kind of day that just drags on in a perfect storm of bad luck. Her computer crashed right before she finished writing her quarterly report. For some reason, her office smelled like a rotting dairy farm, and she managed to spill her lunch all over her new blouse.

It was just one of those days.

As she flipped through her mail while walking through the front door of her tiny apartment, she paused on an official-looking envelope. “Official Jury Summons Smith County” was printed in a bright yellow box. Just like that, she knew the universe was working against her.

With no valid reason to be excused from jury duty, Jenna dutifully, yet grudgingly arrived at the appointed time and location to offer her services as a juror. When she arrived, she was amazed by the diversity of people who would be serving with her; people from a variety of backgrounds and education levels, all working together for a common goal.

But after the amazement came the worry. Jenna had earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and considered herself fairly educated, and even she was stressed about understanding the court proceedings and vocabulary used by the judge and attorney. But there were other jurors who didn’t have the same educational opportunities as her, and she wondered how was she supposed to reach a verdict with people who were so different from her.

After everyone had entered the courtroom, the trial began. Jenna’s thoughts quickly left the case as she started to think about the work she needed to catch up on and when she would go grocery shopping. Occasionally, she would tune back into the trial, but it was hard to pay attention when they were using so many big words that she didn’t understand and showing documents that didn’t mean anything to her. If she wasn’t getting anything out of this, she doubted that any of the other jurors were understanding anything.

Pause.

Does this sound familiar? It’s rare to find a group of jurors that are actively engaged during most of a trial, let alone the entirety of it. In a perfect world, each jury would be composed of 12 people from diverse backgrounds who are also well-versed in legal affairs while being wholeheartedly committed to pursuing justice. Since that situation isn’t a plausible option, we go for the next best thing: an appealing presentation.

Think back to your days in school when a professor would spend ten minutes writing on the board, and two minutes in you were mentally checked out; your jury isn’t any different. You can’t afford to spend time setting up documents, zooming in on images, and fast-forwarding to a specific segment of a deposition. You need to be able to present your case clearly and concisely so that the jury can understand and remember your presentation.

Yes, it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare a seamless case presentation beforehand; but if it helps the jury to reach the desired verdict, isn’t it worth it?

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

The Solution You Didn’t Know You Needed

Imagine if every member of your jury entered the courtroom with a basic understanding of how to navigate the legal system.  Instead of spending precious time trying to explain the basics of law practices, you could focus on the evidence and timeline of your case. They would understand your presentation and you wouldn’t lose their attention. It probably sounds too good to be true.

While this scenario may seem unrealistic and out of reach, Kimball Parker, the creator of the legal education website CO/COUNSEL, announced a solution that will make that dream a reality. It’s called LawX.

Partnering with Gordon Smith, dean of Brigham Young University’s Law School, Parker plans to create a legal design lab this upcoming fall semester. This lab will be dedicated to brainstorming solutions for the thousands of people who have limited knowledge of legal affairs. According to an article published in the Daily Herald, “This is a serious issue because navigating the law is very difficult and the consequences are high…If you make the wrong move, you can lose a lawsuit. Period.”

Individuals working with LawX hope to develop software and new legislation to implement the change that many Americans desperately need. Because a new legal topic will be tackled each semester, LawX participants have plenty of work on their plates.

But how does this new design lab affect your jury? With legal practices and methods being presented in a way that is more accessible and more easily understood, more of the general population will better comprehend the events that occur within a courtroom. They will understand the language of your case and presentation, and their decisions will be based on evidence and facts rather than their own personal biases and perceptions of litigators.

Not only will the jury benefit from the work of this design lab, but attorneys will have additional tools to better communicate with their clients about the proceedings of a case. Although the many benefits of LawX won’t be obvious immediately, we can have confidence that innovation in the legal field is headed in a promising direction.

Check out this video for more details about the potential solution to legal inexperience.

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.

The Top Three File Formats to Use with Case Management and Trial Presentation Software

Trial Director 360

Working with documents on the computer is usually much easier than working with physical paper, folders, notebooks and file cabinets. When you’re on the computer, you don’t have to get up out of your chair, maneuver around the stacks of paper cluttering your office, pull out the right file folder, and sift through everything until you finally find what you are looking for. All the while, precious minutes are floating by.

But as you’ve worked with digital documents, you’ve probably come across a lot of file types you are not familiar with or that you do not fully understand. Although we will not discuss every single file format option available to you, we will talk about some of the best options we’ve seen that make working through your case much more efficient and easy, especially when working with case management and trial presentation technology.

First, a word about a couple different file types you’ll come across:

Native File Types vs Image File Types

Native files are in formats that are understood by the original program a given file was created in. For example, an original document created in Word would have a “.doc” or “.docx” file extension. For WordPerfect, the native file extension is “.wpd”. These types of files can only be opened in the program they were created in unless another third-party program specifically creates functionality around opening those types of files.

Because of the information above, trying to always use native files like Word can result in a frustrating experience since the file cannot always be opened everywhere. Or, if it can, it can be slow, awkward, and can result in a frustrating experience.

That’s why it’s usually easier to work with image documents. Image documents are exactly what they sound like. They’re pictures. And pictures can usually be used most everywhere. While you do lose some ability to edit the text of a document, images are very responsive and can be easily managed and annotated.

Native file formats vs image file formats.

Plus, you probably shouldn’t be changing the text of documents anyway…

For our purposes here, we will mostly talk about common image file formats.

PDF

PDF stands for “portable document format”. PDFs are pictures that look like printed paper but appear on your computer.

While other image file formats only allow one page or picture per file, one of the main benefits of PDFs comes from their ability to house multiple pages into one file. For this reason, they are much easier to store and organize when dealing with multi-page documents, and they can be annotated just as easily as any other image file types.

Multi-page vs Single-page
A multi-page document vs a single-page document.

In some cases, you may want to use native files if you want to find the metadata of your documents, like the author and the date a document was created, to help you build the story of your case. Even in these cases, after you’re done pulling the information you need, it is still beneficial to convert native files to PDF when preparing your case for trial with presentation software.

However, PDF isn’t the only image file format you can use. There may be cases where the PDF option isn’t available, or it’s simply easier to use another format. In that case, we suggest you use PNGs.

PNG

The PNG file format provides a single image of a single picture or page of a document. While some programs may allow you to organize several pictures into a multipage document, PNG files do not provide such organization on their own like a PDF does.

PNG stands for “portable network graphics”. This file format was designed to make transferring high-quality images across the internet easier. As such, PNGs have become very popular.

If you’re not going to use a PDF, the PNG file format is great for storing high-quality photographs of evidence, especially if you plan on annotating those photographs and saving multiple versions of the photo.

With other file types like JPEG, TIFF, and GIF, you do not get as much quality out of your image, and at a relatively low file size, as you would with the PNG. Also, the quality of the image can degrade with each newly saved version using these other formats over PNG.

All in all, using a PNG is often a better option.

We suggest only using one of these other image file formats if you have a specific reason for doing so. For example, you may want to use the GIF format for an animation, since GIFs inherently support animated images, whereas with PNG you would have to muddle with image settings to do so.

MPEG 4

We have an entire white paper on the MPEG-4 video format. If you want more detailed information, we suggest you download the whitepaper. But, in general, MPEG-4 is the best file format option when working with video.

Using MPEG-4 for your video and audio files provides a better overall experience for you and everyone else you work with.

It retains a high-quality display and sound which is important for reviewing evidence and especially presenting the video to an audience.

It works with most every video-supported software today, making it much easier to transfer the files to clients or other parties in a case. It is also compatible with tablets and other mobile devices. With MPEG-4 you don’t have to worry about running it through a program to change it to another supported file type. It’ll just work.

It also produces a smaller file size, which saves on the cost of transfer as well as the cost of storage. When working with the number of hours that can add up in a single case, that saving is significant.

We’ve gone through some of the most convenient file formats, but you may be asking yourself how you can switch from one file format to the other. Let’s talk about it.

How Do I Change from One File Format to Another?

Changing a file format will be different for any type of file you are working with.

If you’re working with a native file, you can simply open the program the document was created in, and save it as one of the different file types mentioned above. For example, you can open your document in Word, click the File tab, click Save as, choose where you want the new file to go, then select the dropdown that shows all the different file types.

Word File Format Options
File format options in Word.

If you’re working with an image, you can use an image editor program to save the image as a different file type using most of the same steps as above. For example, if you want to change a JPEG image to a PNG, you can open the JPEG in Microsoft Paint (it comes free with Windows). Click the File tab, click Save As, and choose the file format you want.

When it comes to video and audio files, changing the file types isn’t quite so simple. It is usually easier to create the audio or video file in MPEG-4, to begin with. But if you didn’t do that, you’ll need to convert the file to MPEG-4. There is a litany of software options, many of which are free, that you can use to convert to MPEG-4. We suggest you search the internet for such options, talk to a trusted tech-friend, and choose the best option for yourself. Once you choose the option you want, converting your file to MPEG-4 should be quite easy.

Conclusion

Overall, when working through the documents of a case, there are only a few file formats you should worry about that will provide all the essential options you need:

  • PDF
  • PNG
  • MPEG-4

If you go outside these file formats, you should have specific reasons for doing so, like collecting metadata from native file formats or wanting to easily show an animation with a GIF.

What file formats do you use when reviewing documents for a case and why?

Let us know on any of our social media accounts! You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

What Is the Best Trial Presentation Software?

TrialDirector 360

Let’s reframe the question. What does the best presentation software do? More importantly, what do you want it to do?

Woman giving trial presentation
The best trial presentation software is an all-in-one tool.

The best trial presentation software needs to have instant document and deposition retrieval, and instant video playback. It should allow side-by-side document presentation and multiple display options as well as a variety of highlight and annotation tools that you can customize.

The best trial presentation program does all these things and more. It organizes. It helps you prepare. It makes your presentation engage the audience.

From the beginning of the case, you gathered and analyzed data: documents, video, depositions, photographs. Maybe you also developed animations, re-creations, or flash files. Now add the Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoints you created that explain key aspects or your opening statement. How do you manage such a multitude of items?

You use an all-in-one tool that lets you do all the things described above. You use TrialDirector.

TrialDirector is designed for and excels at trial presentation, but does much, much more. Let me show you how.

Organize

One of the main keys to success for any case, even before a trial date is set, is organization.

First, set up your case files on your computer or network drive in a way that is secure and easily accessible for you. Then, put those files and data into TrialDirector which will guide you through the case creation and import processes. It’s that simple.

Graphic of organizing and managing documents
TrialDirector helps you manage and organize documents.

Once inside, your files are automatically sorted by document, transcript, and multimedia. Looking for a PDF? Go to Documents. Want to search transcripts for a keyword? Go to Transcript Manager. Forgot where you put the surveillance video? Go to Multimedia.

With all your data now in one location, getting started is easy. Create a witness workbook and drag case items into the folder where you assign exhibit numbers and apply exhibit labels with a few clicks of the mouse. Next, export the workbook contents to a single PDF that you can email or print then generate an exhibit outline of the workbook to use in court.

And still, there is more. Create exhibit lists in Word, apply redactions, search, print, and add identifiable names to all your files for fast recall.

Now, let’s tackle transcripts…

Use robust search features and a full word index to quickly and easily find specific words and phrases. As you review transcripts, highlight testimony that relates to specific areas of your case with issue codes. As issues are applied, the transcript is color-coded drawing your eye to areas of importance. But what if you need to submit excerpts to the judge? TrialDirector provides several print and report features so you can share only the information you want.

Prepare

Case preparation, without utilizing the right tools, can be tedious, especially when working with physical files. Coupled with the fact that teams often assume their case will settle and won’t even go to trial, they find themselves in trouble when it does. Unprepared, they have to scramble to get a presentation together, putting in extra hours and adding to the stress and cost of the whole situation.

TrialDirector cuts out the mundane, time-consuming aspects of case preparation, and allows you the freedom to focus on what’s most important – preparation and strategy.

Here’s how.

After searching, issue coding, and organizing your transcripts, you’ve decided what portions you’ll show in court. No need for a DVD player and definitely no need to fast forward or rewind to find the parts you want to play. Use TrialDirector to make clips of the excerpts you wish to present. With several options, making clips is as easy as a highlight, right click, select… and voila! Your clip is made.

Now let’s talk about one of the biggest time-saving features: the visual clip editor. It’s a wave file to fine-tune the start and end points of a clip down to the millisecond. In just a few minutes, you can distil hours of deposition testimony to only the clips you need. And, like issue codes, print a report of your clips which gives you the total run time – so if the judge gave a strict 30-minute time limit to play clips, you can use every second you’re allotted and know exactly how long your video will take.

Getting back to your documents, let’s start prepping them for court. Keep in mind, you want annotation tools that you can use ahead of trial as well as at trial. We refer to this as ‘pre-treat’ vs ‘on-the-fly’ annotation. Either way, annotations focus the jury’s attention on a specific part of the document or photograph. Remember, a jury member may get distracted or sneeze or glance around the courtroom. When they look back, they’ve lost track of the three pertinent sentences you were discussing. However, if those sentences are highlighted, the jury will know exactly where you are.

With the ability to pre-treat, you can apply exhibit labels, stamps, arrows, circles, squares, redactions, highlights and more ahead of trial. Save the annotated documents as page revisions, retaining a ‘clean’ original image as well as your marked-up copy.

A word on the iPad…

Do you want to use an iPad in court? Use our free TrialDirector for iPad app! This is a standalone application so you don’t need TrialDirector software for it to work, but use them together and you have the best of both worlds. Make a TrialDirector for iPad workbook in your TrialDirector case (it’s as easy as a right mouse click), drag and drop the material you will use, and export. TrialDirector will create a folder that you can load into TrialDirector for iPad.

Present

You made it. It’s your first day in court and you are organized and prepared. Launch your TrialDirector Presentation, take a deep breath, and begin…

Remember those witness notebooks? They’re in your presentation toolbar. Press the green (or the spacebar on your keyboard) and the first item in the workbook is displayed. Press the arrow again and the next item in the workbook replaces the image on the screen, press it again and the third item replaces the image, and so on…

When you reach the long letter that you knew was coming and the jury is squinting at the screen, you’re ready. You select a zoom tool, grab the paragraph you want the jury to focus on with your mouse, and it is projected full screen so they see exactly what you are referring to. Even better, the letter remains in the background and you scroll through it while zoomed, moving line by line through the page. Once you finish with the letter, press the green arrow and continue through your witness workbook.

There are so many display options (there are nine different display zones!) and tools (and you can change the colors) in TrialDirector Presentation that it’s impossible to cover them here. The most common and popular display options are full screen (one image, centered) and two images, side-by-side. And if you only learn two annotation tools for on-the-fly presenting, stick to zoom and highlight.

So, if you’re nervous or think presenting with TrialDirector is hard, just remember, even the most seasoned TrialDirector professionals stick to two display zones and two annotation tools.

So, What Is the Best Trial Presentation Software?

The best presentation software helps you organize, prepare, and present. It files your documents and transcripts. It creates exhibit lists and reports. It helps you create a presentation plan of attack. It does more. It’s TrialDirector.