To Beta or Not to Beta? Apple's iPadOS 13 Isn't Ready For Installation on Your Primary iPad Device

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As we mentioned in our WWDC summary blog post, Apple has some really exciting plans on the horizon, many of which will positively effect our ability to continue to create and support great apps. Some of the most interesting revelations revolve around new features in iPadOS 13. As you may know, iPadOS 13 is now available for public beta testing, and you may be as excited as we are to take the new features for a test drive, but you shouldn’t!

Public betas are a great way for a company like Apple to crowdsource software issues and bug reports. Those who download public betas get a preview of new features and the ability to give Apple feedback about them. But, the chance to open your presents early comes with a cost. The nature of a beta is that many of the features of the new iPadOS aren’t ready for prime time, and many apps may lose some functionality in the beta process. A beta is fluid—always fixing and updating aspects of the software. So, some apps may work perfectly at the outset, but a later update may cause issues, or vice versa.

As a LIT SOFTWARE user, there’s a good chance you use our apps for your work, that they contain work product, that you rely on them for day-to-day work, and that you will need them in a courtroom. In short, our apps aren’t games. Consider Apple’s own words of warning in its introduction about the new iPadOS beta on its developer portal, “Important Note for Thrill Seekers: If you’re interested in living on the edge...”. 

If you need to get your hands on the newest and the latest, you can, and your efforts in beta testing will help Apple and everyone who will use iPadOS. If you’re still interested in living on the edge, our recommendation is to install it on a secondary device - one that you do not rely on for your legal practice or your client matters.

If you already installed it, and you don’t have another iPad device, here are a couple links you’ll want to know about:

Unenroll your device from the public beta:
https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/unenroll#ipados


Restore your backup of iOS 12:
https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/restore#ipados




Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference Was Huge for iPad and iPad-wielding Lawyers

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This past week Apple held their annual worldwide developer conference, WWDC, where they announced their software plans and roadmap for the coming year. This year was a huge conference for iPad, and also for iPad-wielding lawyers!

Let's start with the name, this fall, iOS will be divided into two distinct operating systems for mobile devices. iPhones will still use the iOS name, while iPad will get its own version of the operating system called iPadOS. This is great news for iPad as it will no longer be constrained by design and feature requirements that have to work with a small display, and new capabilities can be added that are specifically useful to the larger screen size and use cases of an iPad.

One example of how iPadOS will be distinctive from the iPhone iOS can be seen in the Files app, which will now support Column View with previews, making it easier to navigate in and out of folders, and iCloud Drive support for folder sharing. This ties in nicely with our upcoming support for the Document Browser, which will allow you to import files into LIT SOFTWARE apps using the Files app and any cloud integrations you enable (e.g. Dropbox, Box, Citrix Files, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.).

Apple has also added USB flash drive support to iPadOS. This means that you will be able to plug a flash drive into your iPad and import documents directly into a case. There will also be support for external drives, SD cards, and SMB file servers. This will make getting your files into the apps easier than ever. Take a look at this video by AppleInsider to see it in action: https://youtu.be/Kc5a5-6FhJQ

As an added bonus, the Files app will also be able to work with zip files, allowing you to compress and uncompress files right on your iPad!

The iPad Home screen is getting a refresh with the ability to add your widgets so you can see your upcoming appointments, or the weather forecast, without opening any apps. And Dark Mode is coming to the iPad. We don't know many lawyers who are looking forward to this feature, but we have to be prepared in case the feature is turned on, and we will be.

One feature that has been frequently requested by lawyers, however, is better writing ability in DocReviewPad and TrialPad. So, we are happy to announce that we will be adding Apple’s PencilKit annotation tool to both DocReviewPad and TrialPad as soon as possible. PencilKit will make for much smoother writing and note-taking in our apps.

Mouse support will also be added to iPad in the new iPadOS. It can be found under the Accessibility settings. The cursor isn't the most beautiful thing right now, but you’ll be able to use a mouse to navigate the interface with the apps.

In addition to all the above, iTunes for Mac is being split up into three separate apps (Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV). This means that Mac users will not be able to use iTunes File Sharing features to transfer files between their Mac desktop and their iPad. However, there is good news for fans of File Sharing, in that the file transfer ability is coming to the main Finder, making file transfer easier than ever before. Windows users can still use iTunes File Sharing.

We expect that some of these exciting new features and improvements may be refined or changed leading up to the official release of iPadOS (dubbed iPadOS 13), but we're looking forward to implementing many of these features in the new LIT SUITE and continue to add ongoing improvements and new features - making the best litigation apps available on the iPad even better.

As Steve Jobs used to say, one more thing…something called “Project Catalyst” was announced by Apple last week. This may be the most exciting development for us as Project Catalyst will allow app developers like LIT SOFTWARE to create a Mac version of our apps! With over one million iPad apps available, this is great news for all our users, especially lawyers who love their Mac products as much as they love their iPads. When Project Catalyst was announced on stage LIT SOFTWARE was honored to have two of our apps featured in the background artwork on stage (which might offer you a hint about more of our future plans!)

LIT SOFTWARE was honored to have two of our apps featured in the background artwork on stage

LIT SOFTWARE was honored to have two of our apps featured in the background artwork on stage

For more details about iPadOS and what to expect this fall, here’s a preview from Apple: https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-preview/

Featured Pro: Jim Nosich, Esq.

Jim Nosich is a Partner in the law firm of Nosich & Ganz in Coral Gables, Florida. His practice consists of both the defense and prosecution of medical malpractice cases, and TrialPad, TranscriptPad, and DocReviewPad have become an integral part of the way he practices. As Jim told us, “I am a regular user of the apps, and I recommend all three to any attorney that will listen.”

TranscriptPad is now the only way he reviews depositions. Jim told us that it while TranscriptPad allows him to summarize testimony by using the amazing built-in reports, he also uses it with the trial judge and opposing counsel for rulings on page and line designations and objections. Jim has found it is the only product that can help argue objections in a courtroom without the headache of passing around stacks of paper loaded with a rainbow of magic marker colorings, sticky notes, and handwritten strikeouts.

While Jim has used TrialPad successfully in trial, his favorite use is for mediation presentations. Jim said, “I find it easy to build a presentation using not only exhibits and deposition testimony (imported directly from TranscriptPad), but TrialPad also allows me to effortlessly edit and present important video and audio evidence.”

At the outset of every matter all of the medical records go into DocReviewPad, perhaps the most useful app to Jim’s practice. “I can assign and later review Issue Codes and Notes I attach to records and individual pages, including, for example, the date of treatment or the type of care provided. Significantly, DocReviewPad reports summarize my entire document set, allowing me to pick up right where I left off if the case is continued for several months.” Most essentially, Jim uses DocReviewPad Issue Codes to organize his records the same way he once had paralegals prepare tabbed binders. Where the stacks of binders once were, there is no more paper, and no more binders. Jim noted that DocReviewPad doesn’t omit all of the paper from his practice, but has significantly reduced it. 

Jim underlined to us that the greatest benefit he’s seen in his practice is how well the three apps interact with each other. DocReviewPad can send issue coded key pages right to corresponding Key Docs folders that area automatically created in TrialPad; TranscriptPad can generate text impeachment slides in seconds, sending them to TrialPad for instant presentation. TrialPad can easily interact with a number of other native iPad apps, like Photos, or send an exhibit to DocReviewPad to be Bates stamped or split into a smaller exhibit. Jim told us that “The more time you spend using the apps together, the more efficient you become.” 

Jim emailed us a review this week that ended this way: “Right now, I am typing this on a plane on the way to a deposition with 20 depositions and 3000 pages of medical records.  But no binders!!!!!! No paper!!! Just my iPad with TrialPad, TranscriptPad, and DocReviewPad.”

We think that says it all.

Download LIT SOFTWARE apps to your iPad!

Collaborating With Your Trial Team

As many of you know, we are in the process of working on a completely new generation of our apps, the LIT SUITE, and many of you have also reached out to ask about our progress. We’re excited to say we’ve completed most of the new features and improvements for each app, and now we’re also working on allowing deeper and better collaboration between users, and between the apps themselves. We expect to deliver a level of collaboration unprecedented in litigation software, e.g. imagine being able to AirDrop a Case File to co-counsel! We have no release date to announce yet, just know that we’re making great progress.


We’ve recently had a lot of questions about the best ways to use our current apps to collaborate with co-counsel and other members of your trial team. Until we release the LIT SUITE, collaboration takes three main approaches:


Library System
The first approach works like a public library, where a Case Folder is “checked out” and “checked in”. So, after Person A creates and works on a Case Folder they transfer it to their desktop computer and then back it up to a central location. This can be a cloud service like Dropbox, a firm server, or even a USB device. Then, Person B can download the backed-up Case Folder, and move it from their desktop computer to the app on their iPad. The file and folder structure, and any and all annotations are preserved when a Case Folder is backed up and transferred, allowing Person B to pick up right where Person A left off. We posted a 4-minute video on our blog showing how to backup and share Case Folders between users (the video is created using TrialPad but the same principal also applies to TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad): https://www.litsoftware.com/blog/2017/1/13/share-or-backup-your-trialpad-case


Dedicated iPad
Another approach to collaboration we commonly see involves dedicating a particular iPad to a specific case. In this approach, Person A can work on a case, then pass the iPad on to Person B to work on the same matter. Using this method, a legal assistant or paralegal can add new documents to the case, assign exhibit stickers, mark documents as admitted, create reports, etc. In the case of TrialPad, lawyers might create their own witness folders in Key Docs, bring the iPad to depositions, or pre-annotate documents they will call out during presentation. For trial, the Case Folder that everyone has been working on can be backed up, and transferred (using the Library System) to multiple iPad devices so that the entire team can benefit from each other’s prep work.

Centralized Data
The third approach to collaboration sees multiple trial team members accessing the same evidence from a cloud storage provider, e.g. Dropbox, Box, etc. Each person, using their own iPad, would download the documents or transcripts they want to organize, review, and annotate. In this scenario, teams have usually determined who would be responsible for tackling specific witnesses or issues in a case, and everyone would download a copy of the evidence they need from a central document location. It is important in this scenario that the central document location be well organized. New documents, depositions, and other discovery would typically be added in folders labeled with a YYYYMMDD prefix so that they appear in chronological order, and team members can easily see what folders they last downloaded, updating their Case Folders as needed. This last method is described in an article which appeared in Law Technology News, about how fifteen lawyers in the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Deepwater Horizon matter used our apps: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54908c62e4b057b61056af60/t/5caf97164785d3c2ac9bdc21/1555011351179/20121200+LTN+-+iPads+in+Deepwater.pdf

Feel free to reach out to support@litsoftware.com with any technical support questions, and make sure you’re on our mailing list to be notified of the availability and special introductory pricing for the LIT SUITE: https://www.litsoftware.com

Update on Subscriptions

(We're incredibly proud that our apps have been ranked 5️⃣ and 6️⃣ on the list of the most popular apps in the 2018 ABA Technology Survey!  Read all about the survey in iPhoneJD.com’s recent blog post.)

SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE COMING 

It's been no secret that we'll be transitioning to a subscription model, we announced it over a year ago. We've been working on the best solution for our customers, and believe we have a win-win situation for both our users and LIT SOFTWARE.

It will allow our development team to grow alongside our user base, provide even better customer support, add user requested features and improvements more rapidly, create better support and training documentation, and continue to provide the same level of quality and reliability you've come to expect from us. All this will make LIT SOFTWARE the platform you can rely on for all your litigation software needs.

With a subscription our users won't have to worry about upfront costs, or whether the the app they just purchased is at the end of its lifecycle, or having to wait for major updates to get new features (the apps will be updated as new features become available). There also won't be any maintenance or support costs  (which is a favorite of the traditional software vendors ).

We're going to offer a simple annual subscription for all our apps which means the cost can be budgeted, and you'll always be receiving the latest new features and improvements.


SO WHAT'S COMING AND WHEN?

We've been working on big updates to TrialPad, TranscriptPad, and DocReviewPad. There are too many new features and improvements to list here. Just know that we've read every support email you've sent, listened to all your feature requests, and taken your critiques seriously. We’ve also been working with Apple to make sure our apps can take advantage of the features coming in iPadOS.

This subscription will be called the LIT SUITE™, and this is where all our development efforts will be focused going forward. So when we introduce a new feature (or a new app) it will only be available to LIT SUITE subscribers. The existing versions of our current apps will be sunsetted and replaced by the new LIT SUITE apps. Our existing customers of our current apps will be able to take advantage of a special discount when they sign up for the LIT SUITE subscription. This discounted subscription will remain in effect as long as users maintain their membership, which adds up to significant savings over time! We want to reward our early supporters after all.

We are very excited about what we’ll be able to offer with the LIT SUITE, and hope you’ll stay tuned as we make some great announcements over the coming months.

Featured Pro: Michael Beckelman, Esq.

Michael Beckelman is a Partner in the Houston office of Wilson Elser, a regional chair of the Complex Tort and General Casualty practice team and co-chair of the firm’s Design Professional practice. As a litigation supervisor, he works on and supervises approximately 100-120 active files. A couple weeks ago Michael reached out to LIT SOFTWARE for more information regarding our apps and to discuss how they have made his practice more mobile and more efficient. 

 

TrialPad Makes its Case in Deposition
The first time Michael used TrialPad was about five years ago in a deposition in a construction defect case. At the time, none of the 15 or so parties attending the deposition had seen anything like it. Even the large conference room was crowded, and when everyone was jockeying for the best viewpoint to simultaneously view a 2’x3’ architectural drawing that was the subject of the witness’s testimony, Michael suggested TrialPad. He had previously loaded a PDF of the same drawing onto TrialPad, and brought it up on the conference room screen. Within a few minutes, everyone was back in their chairs. He was able to zoom into details of the drawing and call them out without losing resolution. The laser tool allowed the witness to easily specify each portion of the drawing he was discussing. Moreover, the witness was able to mark the drawing up.  In the end, the marked up exhibit on TrialPad was emailed to the court reporter for inclusion in the transcript as an exhibit. Already a believer in the mobility of the iPad, Michael was now also sold on the capabilities of TrialPad.

  

TranscriptPad Wins the Argument in Court
While TrialPad can hold all your documents, pertinent case law, videos, etc., TranscriptPad can be your best reference for every transcript in your case, including deposition testimony, hearing transcripts, and previous or related trial records. With both on your iPad, you will have everything you need to argue in any hearing. A case where this worked particularly well for Michael involved the plaintiff attempting to use a business record affidavit hearsay exception to get a root cause report admitted into evidence. Michael was opposed to the admission of the evidence and contested admission of the evidence based upon the trustworthiness of the conclusions. The judge requested evidence that the conclusions were not trustworthy. Prior to the hearing, Michael created an Issue Code within TranscriptPad for exactly this purpose, and was able to create and print a detailed PDF report for the judge within seconds. Impressed with his preparation and speed, the judge reviewed the TranscriptPad issue code report, and ruled in his favor precluding the admission of the contested evidence based upon the substance of the report provided from TranscriptPad. 

 

Settle in Mediation with TrialPad
The forum in which Michael presents with TrialPad most often is in mediation. Like most modern conference rooms, most mediation locations have plug-and-play technology, allowing Michael to show up, connect, and present. In a recent commercial auto accident matter, Michael used TrialPad with an Apple TV to present to the mediator and all parties. Everyone was always on the same page, whether reviewing a document or a photo, and the mediator’s questions were quickly addressed and answered as documents detailing Michael’s case were brought up on screen. As impressive as TrialPad is in court, it has the same effect in mediation. Most mediators still expect a slide presentation, PowerPoint, or saved PDFs, but Michael has used TrialPad to keep mediations dynamic and persuasive by quickly referencing and presenting relevant and persuasive documents, and highlighting relevant and persuasive information through callouts, highlighting, and annotations. Mediators love it.

 

An iPad (or two) Is Really All You Need
Michael’s practice is diverse and constant, and often requires travel. The ability to work anywhere, and bring everything important to your practice with you is important. Michael’s mobile law practice no longer includes a laptop. Instead, he brings two iPads, which are more easily carried and set up, and hold a charge for longer. Transferring files between iPads can easily be accomplished with with AirDrop, eliminating the need for thumb drives as well as laptop charger cables, and angry looks from flight attendants eager to shut down laptops, but happy enough to allow tablets of any kind. Between DocReviewPad, TranscriptPad, and TrialPad his entire case file can be accessed at any time he needs to reference a document, transcript, or video. Michael uses two iPads as a dual monitor workstation. This means that even on a plane, he can have a document open on one iPad, and draw up a response document using Word on the other.  Document drafts that need to be emailed can be placed in queue, and will be sent as soon as the iPad has connectivity, which means he’s working even as he walks off the plane.

 

Last time he went to trial, he left his laptop in the office, and brought two iPads and an Apple TV to court. No binders. No paper. While everything he expected was important to the case was brought into TrialPad, ready to present, the entire case file was stored within DocReviewPad, ready for easy export to TrialPad for presentation if necessary. DocReviewPad creates and maintains your Bates control, and allows for document culling and production prior to trial, but also works as the new electronic binder of the entire case record in court, allowing Michael the confidence of knowing that anything he could possibly need to reference, was a couple taps away. In trial, TrialPad works as Michael’s trial binder, holding all important evidence, organized into folders by witness or issue, and ready to present when necessary.

While documents can be compared side by side, called out, and highlighted to focus the jury’s attention on key points, TrialPad also makes video and photographic evidence comes alive for the jury. In one case, a series of photographs were taken after the case entered litigation, and the particular room in question had been altered. As the Plaintiff testified, the photographs were marked up to better reflect the changes to the original layout of the room, and tell the story of the case. All the annotations were saved in TrialPad. The judge loved it, and after trial the jurors told opposing counsel he needed to step up his game

 

The iPad and key apps like LIT SOFTWARE’s DocReviewPad, TranscriptPad, and TrialPad have allowed Michael the freedom and ability to practice with confidence in any location and any forum. 

 

Download LIT SOFTWARE apps for your practice today.

Featured Pro: Adam Stone, Esq.

Adam Stone is a criminal defense attorney with his own firm based in northern Ohio. Adam called us a couple weeks ago to tell us about a win at trial, and about how he used TrialPad to help convince the jury his client was innocent. He told us that as an attorney from a small firm, TrialPad lets you “swing with the big guys”. He shared his experience, and gave us permission to share it with you.

Adam Stone initially heard of our apps while listening to a National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers podcast with F. Lee Bailey (yes, that F. Lee Bailey). TrialPad was described as “the must-have software for criminal defense”, as criminal defense attorneys have to be able to put on a show for the jury that allows them to visualize the case, and understand the defendant. Adam downloaded all three apps, and got started. 

After using LIT SOFTWARE apps for a while, Adam purchased iPads for his entire office. Their typical work flow is to have the paralegal staff scan and load discovery, witness lists, videos, background checks, including divorce filings, bankruptcies, etc, and any law enforcement documentation into DocReviewPad. Having everything digitally available on the iPad means that he no longer has to carry boxes of documents to meet with clients, witnesses, and the prosecutor. There is a litigation team meeting a couple times a week to discuss all current cases, their progress, and what needs to be done, ensuring open communication and coordination—a key to keeping a paperless office organized. He told us that “if you use them right, and strategically, the apps can be used by everyone in the firm to have a role in preparing for trial”.

As Adam meets with all the important parties in a matter, the evidence that is most important to his case and to his client’s story becomes obvious. Adam assigns various issue codes within DocReviewPad, and transfers what is needed into TrialPad for hearings and trial. The process to getting there often involves a lot of travel and time out of the office talking to all the parties involved. He told us that using LIT SOFTWARE apps is “like having your office, minus the staff, on your iPad.” 

The case that led Adam to call us had lasted well over a year before going to trial, and having all the documents with him no matter where he was, was key to preparing the case. It was a juvenile bindover case in Seneca County. His client was a teenager being tried for murder, having been accused of a stabbing the victim during a fist fight that was caught on surveillance video at an apartment complex. The accused maintained his innocence, but attorney Stone saw that, especially with the surveillance video, it was a case with a lot of bad facts. It would be especially important to walk the jury through the video, and visually tell his story. 

When trial began, he used TrialPad for opening, reviewing the key video. The prosecutor was impressed, and openly said so in court. Throughout the trial, the video was played and re-played for witness after witness. Often the prosecutor asked Adam to bring up and callout a document, and even asked Adam how to use TrialPad for himself. The presentation of evidence during trial, and the ability to play the video was key to the outcome of the case. It took the jury less than an hour and a half to come to their decision of “not guilty”—a verdict that saved his client’s life.

You can learn more about Adam Stone, his firm, and his most recent victories at AdamStoneLawFirm.com, or reach out to him on Twitter @stonedefenselaw.


Download LIT SOFTWARE apps today!



Featured Pro: Brian Snyder, Esq.

Brian Snyder Receives Record-Breaking Verdicts in Arizona with TrialPad

If you practice law in Arizona, you’ve probably heard of Brian Snyder of Snyder & Wenner. He’s made legal news, and set verdict records for Arizona in the past few years, among them the largest verdict in Arizona of any kind in 2017, and, in a separate case, the largest verdict against the Veteran’s Administration. His case load is 98% document- intensive, complex medical malpractice work and trucking accident litigation, and requires sophisticated presentation technology for trial. To present his record-breaking cases to judges and juries, Brian uses TrialPad.

Here are some tips from Brian on using TrialPad in court:

DIY 
Brian has been using TrialPad in trial once or twice a year for the past four years. He has been in courtrooms where opposing counsel have hired trial technology teams, or rented expensive touch screen monitors, and experience has shown him that using TrialPad was easier, and worked better. There was no need to communicate to a team about what needed to be put on screen or highlighted, and there was no need to walk across a courtroom to a touch screen monitor or an Elmo/overhead projector to present a document. Presenting using TrialPad is straightforward, putting the technology in the background and allowing the judge and jury to concentrate on the argument and on what is being presented - not on how it is presented.

Wired and Wireless
When Brian wants to walk around the courtroom, he chooses to use TrialPad and an AppleTV, and he always runs a cable to the podium to plug in as well. This allows him flexibility in his presentation and courtroom choreography, as well as providing a backup presentation method if needed. [Download the White Paper on Wired and Wireless Presentation]

Opening and Closing
To create linear presentations, Brian uses the Snapshot tool in TrialPad to screen grab documents for opening and closing. Using the Callout and Highlight tools in conjunction with the Snapshot tool in TrialPad is an easy way to prepare documents for insertion into a Keynote presentation, or a TrialPad folder.

Dedicated iPads
Brian uses a different iPad for every matter, loading all exhibits from each case onto its own iPad. All documents live in DocReviewPad until a couple weeks before trial. Prior to that, Brian uses DocReviewPad to sort documents, and find issues in the case. As the case progresses, all depositions are loaded into TranscriptPad, and the iPad comes with him to every subsequent deposition. TranscriptPad allows him to search the entire record of testimony, find issues in the case, and cross examine witnesses in deposition and in court. As trial approaches, Brian loads all potential evidence to be presented into TrialPad, and begins organizing for opening, closing and witness examinations. 

Download LIT SOFTWARE Apps today!

Featured Pro: Natasha Gellatly

Natasha Gellatly, owner of NG Solutions in Vancouver, WA, recently shared with us her unique business model, and how she uses LIT SOFTWARE’s apps to improve litigation practices in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Natasha started her company out of her experiences in her career as a litigation paralegal. For many years, she was employed in a large firm in Portland, Oregon, where she became the go-to paralegal for any attorney headed to trial. She spent years preparing and presenting at trial. Then, four years ago, she tried a new type of presentation software—TrialPad

TrialPad revolutionized the way she approached trial preparation and presentation. More than anything, it made her desk space almost irrelevant as she could perform many trial preparation tasks on her iPad, regardless of location. TrialPad even made some tasks easier and faster than before, such as preparing documents with exhibit stickers. Applying exhibit stickers to, for example, 400 documents by hand, or even applying them using a program like Adobe’s Acrobat to open and electronically annotate the documents took her much longer before TrialPad, which accomplishes the same task in about 10 seconds. And when the exhibit stickers (invariably) have to be re-done because a document was added mid-sequence, TrialPad re-labels them all equally as quickly. Over time, the exhibit sticker feature alone saved her hours of work, freeing her up for other tasks, and adding up to significant billable time savings for grateful clients. In short order, Natasha also added TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad to her iPad, and her iPad became her new mobile workstation.

After a couple of years of iPad trials, Natasha took the knowledge and experience of large firm litigation and started a company of her own. Through NG Solutions, Natasha now trains lawyers and paralegals in the easiest and most efficient ways to prepare and present at trial using only an iPad. She also offers trained paralegal staffing for those pre-trial moments when extra hands are needed. In short, NG Solutions has become the life ring that small and medium sized firms often need when headed to court.

A couple weeks ago, Natasha shared with us some of the tips she gives to her clients: 

THE BUNDLE
For Natasha, preparing and presenting at trial involves using the LIT SOFTWARE bundle, not just TrialPad. She told us that using all three apps’ different abilities to access a case is a HUGE additional tool at trial. The three apps work together on the iPad become your entire workstation. Use DocReviewPad to process, Bates label, and redact and to start organizing documents around the issues in your case. Then transfer only what you think you’ll need to present to TrialPad. She reminds her clients that transferring additional documents from DocReviewPad to TrialPad if needed is quick, and doesn’t require an internet connection, as it all happens within the iPad ecosystem. The same app to app transfer can be done with TranscriptPad, as deposition summaries and Impeachment Reports can be brought into TrialPad to show a witness in a matter of seconds.

THE RECORD
All three apps have tools to keep track of what you’ve already done, so you don’t have to  duplicate your efforts. DocReviewPad saves a report every time you make a production set. Keeping those reports will let you know exactly what you produced to the other side, or transferred into TrialPad. TranscriptPad reports can be saved in the same folder as the transcript so that if you’ve reviewed it, and then put it down for a couple months, it is easy to read your summary and pick up exactly where you left off. Additionally, Issue Codes saved in both DocReviewPad and TranscriptPad also allow you to see exactly what issues there are in a case if you open it after several months continuance. Lastly, Evidence Reports in TrialPad help preserve the case record for appeal, noting documents, exhibit numbers and admitted status. Natasha recommends taking a couple seconds (literally) after each day of trial to create an Evidence Report. 

YOU CAN DO IT
Natasha teaches the art of the iPad Trial to lawyers and paralegals, and has had a fantastic response from her clients, as well as the judges and juries in court. An iPad trial is easy to learn and implement, and saves time for the firm, and money for the client. Law firms are also happily surprised to find that all three apps cost under $300! Together with Natasha’s experience, the three iPad apps allow firms to take on more clients, confident in a proven system she’s shown them how to employ. Judges and juries recognize the high quality of the presentations, and appreciate the amazing capabilities of the apps that allow the trial team to be efficient and nimble in presenting and responding in the courtroom.

You can read more about Natasha, and NG Solutions at www.ngsolutionslegal.com/trial-by-ipad/

Get the Ultimate Litigation Bundle on your iPad today!

Want to be a Featured Pro? Send us an email!

Featured Pro: Cari Pines, Esq.

Cari Pines is a Family Law attorney practicing in Southern California. If you know her, you know she’s a dynamo. Upon meeting her, you get the distinct impression that she’s unstoppable—a great asset for a family law attorney, and especially important to the clients she represents. Part of that impression comes from the huge amount of work she does, not just for clients, but for other attorneys in advancing the cause of technology and efficiency in law and client representation.

Family lawyers in California previously weren’t afforded much trial time, they worked by declarations and written pleadings. But there has been a shift over the last few years. California law now entitles more litigants to evidentiary hearings. This change has seen family law attorneys, retraining and retooling their practices. Judges in California have asked bar associations to train family law attorneys on how to introduce and use evidence during evidentiary hearings. Cari is at the forefront of that effort, as is the iPad and LIT SOFTWARE’s apps.

We talked with Cari at the ABA TECHSHOW this past spring, and then again just a few weeks ago, about her efforts in bringing technology to the practice of Family Law, and also about how she uses technology in her own practice. While it’s true that Cari uses LIT SOFTWARE’s apps in the conventional ways they were designed for, she talked to us about some of the additional ways she uses their features and capabilities to streamline her practice and her busy speaking schedule.

It all begins with DocReviewPad. First, Cari imports every single page of discovery, and assigns Bates stamps to have her own Bates control. She told us that one of her favorite things about DocReviewPad happens when she teaches people how to use it for Bates Stamping. When they see first hand how it can easily assign Bates numbers to hundreds of documents with thousands of pages in only a couple seconds, she invariably gets to watch their mouths drop. Cari recently used DocReviewPad as her main e-discovery tool to review a huge production of a party’s employer correspondence regarding compensation. She found emails that were integral to establishing the party’s value in the divorce proceeding, including documentation of payroll, insurance compensation, and even previously hidden client contracts. All of that key correspondence was assigned Issue Codes within DocReviewPad and easily exported to TrialPad, where it was automatically sorted into Key Doc folders—ready to bring up during the client conference or in deposition. Anything not imported into TrialPad is still available and searchable on her iPad anytime, and can be sent to TrialPad for presentation in seconds.

At the outset of a matter Cari is loading elements of her case into TrialPad. Cari sets up a TrialPad case not just for evidence, but also for pleadings and court orders so that the entire case is with her all the time. This allows her to move from the office to a meeting to a courtroom as needed, while still able to discuss a case and specific documents and issues with a client or associate any time by simply opening an app on her iPad—a much simpler and faster process than opening and loading a laptop. After going through DocReviewPad and finding key documents and issues, she imports them into a case that already exists. Rather than picking up DocReviewPad, and then putting it down once the case is in TrialPad, she uses the apps fluidly, going back and forth according to her need and the strengths of each app’s features.

For Cari, TrialPad is her main tool for courtroom presentation of evidence, but she also uses it to discuss a case with a client, while creating pleadings, for deposition, and to present slides at conferences. Cari constantly reviews the entire file in TrialPad, so she knows exactly where all her documents are, she has them with her at all times, and she is able to respond quickly and efficiently whenever needed. As she reviews, she organizes evidence into folders according to important issues. When there are key portions of a page or document, she uses the callout tool and snapshot tool so that the important part of the page is immediately front and center when she opens it. When it comes time to conference with the client, she knows every issue and the relevant information to discuss.

Those same snapshots come in handy again when it is time to create pleadings. Cari exports the document snapshots and pastes the images into the pleading document. She has done this with support calculations, police reports, photos, etc., often also placing two documents side by side and calling out the relevant portions of each. This practice has been key to illustrating important issues for judges as they review, for example, a Prayer for Relief. These screenshots are also pasted into slide decks for courtroom presentations of opening statements or closing arguments.

When it comes time to take depositions in a case, Cari creates a brand new TrialPad case just for deposition and includes pleadings, notes, exhibits, and anything she thinks she will use. She copies and transfers that case onto several iPads, and hands them out at deposition, one for opposing counsel, one for deponent, one for the court reporter, etc. Then, everyone can bring up the exact same documents at the same time. When the witness comments on “Exhibit 134”, Cari applies an Exhibit Sticker in TrialPad and emails the exhibit to the opposing counsel and the court reporter on the spot. No more bringing binders to deposition. She’s brought up to 6 iPads to a deposition, with every possible document she might use, and it was still lighter than one of the deposition binders she used to bring. Plus, it is faster and easier to keep everyone on the same page, looks professional, and yes, maybe a little intimidating.

After depositions and hearings, all transcripts are copied to TranscriptPad. There, she again assigns Issue Codes, and exports key pieces of testimony as PDFs into TrialPad—the hub of her case—using the Impeachment Reports. As a matter progresses, Cari continues to add evidence to the TrialPad case. If and when it comes time to create and submit an Exhibit List to the court, she saves time by simply printing the Evidence Report in TrialPad. The Evidence Report becomes her Exhibit List, and requires only a caption page before filing.

During the course of a matter, Cari’s iPad is used for case-specific client storage and is ready to refer to or to present at a moment’s notice. This efficiency is especially important, since, in addition to running her own firm, Cari does a lot more in and around the Southern California legal community. She volunteers on the board of a not-for-profit legal aid law firm, is the incoming Chair of the Family Law Section for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, serves on the California State Bar’s Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s Executive Committee, and regularly presents at family law conferences, at colloquia, and at symposia. And she uses TrialPad for those legal conferences and speaking events too. Cari creates slide show presentations, turns them into PDFs, and uses TrialPad to present them better than if she had done so in the native program, as she can zoom in, call out and highlight doing the presentation.

Cari walks the walk as she talks the talk, and if you practice in Southern California, you can watch her do it again on July 14. Cari’s efforts to bring technology to family law in California have led to the creation of FAMTech Los Angeles 2018 - Southern California’s first Family Law Technology conference. FAMTech is a full day CLE where family law attorneys will learn from judges, lawyers, and vendors how to use and incorporate technology into family law. (Monies collected from the program will go to Levitt Quinn.) 

To learn more about FAMTech Los Angeles, click or tap on this link: levittquinn.org/famtech-la-2018

You can read more about Cari and her firm at her website: pineslawgroup.com

Start using LIT SOFTWARE apps today! 

Top Gun Mock Trial Uses TrialPad for Victory

For the fourth year in a row, the Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition held at Baylor University has encouraged their competitors to present evidence electronically using TrialPad! Here at LIT SOFTWARE, we are proud to congratulate all the teams for making the cut to even enter the competition. A special congratulations goes out to this year's winning team from the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Future lawyers Philip Pasquarello and Jessica Falkenstein did an excellent job as the defense team.

Check out the video of the final round here: https://www.baylor.edu/law/index.php?id=951786 and get a preview of some of the trial skills coming to a courtroom near you when these students graduate!

The use of TrialPad in mock trial competitions mirrors its use in classrooms across the country. Both at the law school and continuing education level, TrialPad is an excellent tool to use to train attorneys how to effectively do electronic presentation of evidence in a courtroom. TrialPad takes only a couple minutes to learn, and is as portable as the iPad itself, allowing for wired or wireless presentation. Pick up a copy of TrialPad today, and see how easy it is to create a compelling courtroom presentation.