Today’s Featured Pro, Ron Clark, happily spoke to us on the back of three defense verdicts in a row - all using TrialPad. Ron practices Insurance Defense in Texas, and frequently finds himself in front of a judge and jury in Central Texas. Ron’s recent hat trick involved three very different cases, of varying complexity, and varying presentation needs, but TrialPad fit the bill every time. Here’s a breakdown of each, and how Ron used TrialPad to present them:
Case One: Traumatic Brain Injury
This case involved a traumatic brain injury resulting from a crash in a school zone. It was important to Ron’s case to show the school zone itself, as well as the approach, and to hone in on testimony from witnesses, such as a police officer, as well as medical expert testimony. Photos and maps displayed through TrialPad were annotated in the courtroom, and saved for later use with other witnesses, and for closing. Video was also key, and Ron played video deposition excerpts of the plaintiff’s experts, then saved many of the same clips for his closing argument as well. During closing, he reviewed the court's charge with the jury and displayed clips of key testimony paired with the marked up images from witnesses. This had the effect of summarizing his case before the jury. For each new issue, he asked them to recall the testimony, then played it using TrialPad, and showed corresponding photos marked up by witnesses. Days of trial merged together coherently, and resulted in a clear presentation of his case and defense verdict.
Case Two: Cervical Spine Injury
Plaintiff claimed a severe neck injury in side swipe accident. Prior to trial, the plaintiff in the case had testified that he had no prior neck injury or pain. This particular plaintiff was well traveled, and in his video deposition told Ron that Ron would never find any record of prior neck pain or injury no matter where Ron would look - even in another country. In this case, video would again be important. While on the stand, Ron was able to impeach using TrialPad. He asked about prior records of neck injury or pain, then later played the witness’s challenge to the jury. He paused the video on screen, and brought up a record from one of plaintiff's prior treating physicians, whose office was a mere 20 blocks from the courtroom. The medical history read “chronic neck pain x10 years”. At that point, from Ron’s perspective, the case was over, the jury apparently agreed - another defense verdict.
Case Three: Cervical Spine Discectomy Procedure
In this case police reports, diagrams, and photos were front and center before the jury, all courtesy of TrialPad. Again, video excerpts from the cervical spine doctor were important and used during witness examination, and in closing. Ron shared a couple extra tips for success in the courtroom: presenting wirelessly, and using TranscriptPad to identify deposition designations, earning points with his official court reporter and video editor by simply exporting and emailing purpose-built TranscriptPad reports. Presenting wirelessly allows him to walk around the courtroom as he presents from his iPad. Using TranscriptPad saves him time, saves his video editor time, and also helps him summarize exactly what a case is about as he reviews depositions, creating issue codes for “damages”, “no evidence”, “causation”, “pain and suffering”, etc.
After recounting his three successes, a bit of his workflow, and how he presents in court, Ron had two more valuable things to add. All the equipment he needs to present and win at trial fits into a small backpack. It includes an iPad, Apple TV, and a power strip to stay charged all day. He’s been in front of judges for most of his career, and he knows what works, and what doesn’t, as well as what judges think. He said TrialPad is always smooth, and that judges like it “A LOT”. Perhaps best of all, TrialPad was quick to pick up and learn, and easier to use. Here’s to Ron Clark, and his hat trick in a backpack. May there be many more.