Michael Ko (@groundworkTC), founder of Groundwork Trial Consulting in Chicago, might be one of the few trial consultants willing to admit equal footing for laptop based and iPad based trial presentation technology. Many people in the trial presentation business see how simple the iPad and TrialPad are to use, and fear it will be the end of their profession. Instead of fear, Michael sees an opportunity.
When TrialPad was originally released, he had been trying to figure out how to expand his business into the trials that didn’t have the math to justify the large expense of his full trial presentation system in court. Hoping that it would be a way to get a foot in the door for larger longer trials, the iPad and TrialPad became his answer. So now, while Groundwork still offers traditional laptop based courtroom trial support, it also offers iPad trials to lawyers who want an alternative, or whose case demands it.
Michael says that TrialPad is easy to set up and to teach to attorneys. He offers a 45 minute training session, rents the iPad and presentation equipment, sets it all up in the courtroom, and checks in every morning. The attorney benefits with a lower cost, and complete control of the presentation, and also comes away having learned to use a new and effective tool. Offering iPad trials using TrialPad is a win for the company as well, as he no longer is put in a situation where he has to tell a client that they called him too late to ramp up for trial, or quote a price that they can’t justified paying for the size of the matter.
Michael views the iPad as one of several tools that can be used for courtroom presentations, but adds that the iPad is the future, and it cannot be ignored, especially as it becomes as powerful as the laptops many trial consultants rely on. He even says what many are unwilling to admit: that trial presentation is no longer the highly skilled black art it once was. While others in his business write off or fight the future, he’s successfully embraced it to both his and his clients’ benefit.