Yes, today’s Featured Pro is Lloyd Bell. You’ve probably already heard of him, and if you have, you’ve probably also already heard him talk about our apps. Lloyd was an early adopter of TrialPad, and has spoken at State and National seminars on exactly how to use the iPad, and our apps for your practice. So we’re really excited to share some tips from someone who has logged many hours in courtroom presentations, and in legal seminar presentations.
Lloyd is the founding member of the Bell Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia and, has practiced law for over 25 years, focusing on medical malpractice and premises liability law. Like much of the rest of America, Atlanta has changed a lot in those 25 years, including, and importantly the juries that sit in the courtrooms and decide the cases. Lloyd told us that a lawyer simply “can’t sit still in practice, because juries change, and you have to change with them.” To help explain and illustrate his cases, Lloyd picked up TrialPad several years ago. Because it is a very fluid and flexible tool for trial presentation, he still hasn’t put it down.
As a plaintiff’s attorney, Lloyd believes that a jury trial can often start as an uphill battle. Often a jury will start off in favor of the defense, particularly in medical malpractice cases, as they may not wish to believe a medical professional would be negligent or worse, alter medical records to cover up negligence. For this reason, Lloyd believes that he needs an edge in the courtroom the minute he walks in. TrialPad is that edge. By the time Lloyd walks into a courtroom he has lived with his exhibits on his iPad for depositions, hearings, and other proceedings—in short, for the duration of the case. He knows the exhibits inside and out, he knows exactly where they are within TrialPad, and he’s already begun the process of organizing and annotating with trial in mind. More than that, TrialPad is deadly effective in court, allowing Lloyd speed and clarity as he works with exhibits in front of the jury. Working that efficiently with the documents can seem magical to the jury, but most importantly, his skill and efficiency makes him appear as the most competent and credible person in the courtroom, essential qualities to a successful outcome.
In a recent medical malpractice case in Georgia, Lloyd used TrialPad extensively to present medical records, deposition clips and demonstrative evidence. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a record verdict of $26,000,000.
Many times defense counsel in a case will hire a trial presentation company to sit with them for the duration of the trial, asking the company representative to bring up and annotate documents. Even if they don’t accidentally bring up the wrong exhibit, which happens not infrequently, Lloyd believes the defense case often suffers because the trial company has had such a minimal role in preparation that there is no way for them to know the documents as well as the presenting attorney. It is much more effective to know your documents inside and out, and know where they are for easy access. “This mastery of the exhibits empowers the lawyer to be truly spontaneous during a witness examination,” says Lloyd. Presentation with an intimate knowledge of your case and presentation program is much more effective, and “blows the other side away”.
The proof is in the pudding. Lloyd is a successful attorney, who has obtained eight, 7 and 8 figure verdicts over the past 5 years since using TrialPad, including a $15,000,000 medical malpractice verdict, and a $26,000,000 verdict, both in 2017. He hasn’t slowed down or looked back. Here are some tips Lloyd suggests for presenting with TrialPad:
Lloyd uses the newest Apple TV connected to a 55” flat screen “smart” TV on a movable stand to move it around the courtroom. He ensures his own closed network using Airport Express. This allows him to walk around the courtroom, and present as needed with a wireless connection while interacting with the witness and jury. [We recommend an Apple TV 4th generation (https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-tv/apple-tv/apple-tv-32gb) and using Peer-to-Peer AirPlay, a feature that eliminates the need for a Wi-Fi connection altogether and is very reliable (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204289). And this article shows how to require a password to prevent others from accessing your Apple TV: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202618]
Belts and Suspenders:
Lloyd does a backup of his iPad every night of trial, and performs a hard re-boot every morning. He also keeps a charger in the courtroom and makes sure the iPad stays fully charged throughout the trial day. Lastly, he brings a second iPad Pro to court with a mirror of his entire case.
Lloyd organizes his cross examinations by witness folders he’s created on the iPad. He also exports Impeachment Reports from TranscriptPad (an app he uses regularly in his practice), and exports them into the witness folders to call out and highlight any time a witness answers differently than they did in deposition.
Sometimes spontaneity means diverging from your original examination outline, which is why knowing your documents so well is such a strength at trial. Sometimes it also means making a demonstrative on the fly. That can mean taking a photo with your iPad and importing it to brings it up before the jury, or even making a screen shot of a map to import and annotate a witness’s location. Both of those actions take mere seconds, and are easy to do with TrialPad. [Sneak Peek: Taking photos and creating maps are two features that will be built in to the next generation TrialPad!]
For a quick, clean, and effective presentation, pick up TrialPad today. If you have used TrialPad already, why not try some of Lloyd’s tips in your next trial?