LIT SOFTWARE Roadmap Update

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Big changes have come to the iPad, so we thought it would be a good time to share what we’ve been up to, and what our plans are going forward…

In our December 2018 blog post (https://www.litsoftware.com/blog/2018/12/21/update-on-subscriptions) we shared some of our plans relating to our upcoming switch to subscriptions. Since then we’ve been working on the new subscription versions of our apps, the LIT SUITE, creating a strong foundation with the ability to add many new features and capabilities for years to come.

LIT SOFTWARE launched its first app at the end of 2010, just a few months after the introduction of the iPad. We’ve grown consistently over the years with 2018 being our best year yet, and 2019 is on track to be even better. This growth and success is due to users like you, thank you! We’ve always been passionate about designing, developing, and supporting software that allows our users to do great things. Providing unique solutions and a better user experience than exists on any platform is enormously gratifying. We believe our apps allow you to do more in less time, with less effort, and less expense, all while keeping you mobile and allowing for a work-life balance. We’ve enjoyed hearing from users so much that we’ve shared your experiences in our Featured Pro blog posts.

LIT SUITE
We’ve been working on the next generation of our apps, the LIT SUITE, and we’ve removed any self-imposed deadlines about what is going to be finished or released by when. The current versions of the apps are great, and we intend to keep them available on the App Store until the LIT SUITE is released. This will allow users to continue to get value from the apps even with our new apps on the horizon. We also intend to offer a special discounted subscription to our existing users so there’s no reason to put off buying the existing apps. We’re still working on pricing tiers, but it could be advantageous to be an existing owner of one of our apps when the subscription is announced 😉.

iPadOS 13
We were very happy with Apple’s decision to bifurcate the operating system into iOS for iPhone and a totally new iPadOS. This allows new features and capabilities that will be useful to legal professionals and exclusive to iPad users, such as the ability to transfer files to and from a USB drive. For this, and many other reasons, the LIT SUITE apps will only be available on iPad devices running iPadOS 13 or later. But all the new features and capabilities of iPadOS came with a cost. When it was announced by Apple this past June it meant that we had to revisit all of our plans. And the iPadOS beta cycle was particularly challenging, especially when we were adding our own new features and improvements, while moving to Apple’s document browser and iCloud at the same time.

Files App
Since we came out with the first version of TrialPad in 2010 we’ve always had our own custom Cases Screen, with intuitive folders representing each matter you may be working on. With the new LIT SUITE we’ll be adopting Apple’s standard document browser, the same one used by Apple’s own Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps, so they should be familiar to users. With the Files app and iPadOS 13, our users will now be able to access their files using many of the cloud storage providers that they have been asking for, particularly Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iManage, and the new Citrix Files (which replaces the deprecated ShareFile), and users will be able to copy files to and from USB drives. Soon you’ll be able to freely choose where you want to keep your documents and your Case File backups.

Collaboration
Many of you have reached out to us with suggestions for new features or improvements. The most popular request so far is better collaboration between users working on the same matter, a feature that iCloud and the syncing capabilities of iPad have made people aware of and hope for. We have big plans in this area, starting with easily sharing of Case Files using the Files app interface. That means you’ll be able to upload or download the whole Case File to or from any cloud storage provider that integrates with the Files app (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Citrix Files, iManage, Box, etc.). You’ll also be able to copy a Case File to or from a USB drive connected directly to your iPad. Imagine creating a Case File for Smith v. Jones, and easily sharing a copy using Dropbox with co-counsel across town, or even across the country. Or a legal assistant copying the Case File to a USB drive to share with all the attorneys in the office who are working on the matter. We want to take this even further, allowing multiple users to access one Case File, which will require more work on our part going forward.

Sign in with Apple
Another feature we’ll be implementing is Sign in with Apple, which is the fast, easy, and private way to purchase and sign into apps using the Apple ID that you already have. So instead of using a social media account, or filling out forms with an email address and creating a password, you’ll just tap the Sign in with Apple button, review your information, and sign in quickly and securely with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.

Dark Mode
With iPadOS 13, Apple requires all new apps and updates to include the option for a dark system-wide appearance called Dark Mode. This seemingly simple task has been a huge undertaking, it is not as simple as reversing all the colors. A darker color palette has to be designed for all screens, views, menus, and controls, and it has to use more vibrancy to make foreground content stand out against the darker backgrounds. We don't think many of our users will want to use TrialPad or DocReviewPad in Dark Mode, especially since the original documents they’ll be working with are likely to be white pages, but the ability to use TranscriptPad to review a transcript file with white testimony on a dark background might be appealing to some.

TimelinePad
We announced TimelinePad some time ago, but decided to take it back a few steps to make sure it would meet the expectations of our users, a very discriminating bunch! We don't want to say any more about it now other than when TimelinePad is finished it will be amazing, and will be exclusive to the new LIT SUITE. Stay tuned!

Current Versions
For any existing users who want to keep using the current versions of our apps (TrialPad 4.6.5, TranscriptPad 2.3.5, DocReviewPad 1.5.10) you can, you won’t be charged a subscription. However, once the LIT SUITE is released the legacy versions will be removed from the App Store and will not receive any more updates. All new features and improvements, and the aforementioned TimelinePad app, will only be available as part of the LIT SUITE.

Summary
The LIT SOFTWARE team has spent over a year focusing on improving our apps and getting them ready for the future. We’ve touched just about every line of code in our apps, which means our apps will be more robust going forward, and prepared for more powerful iPad devices. They may even work on the Mac sometime in the near future 😎!

If you have any feedback we’d love to hear from you! You can email us at support@litsoftware.com. (We know that looks like a generic corporate email address, but rest assured, it is read and acted upon by real people.)

Featured Pro: Richard Gurfein, Esq.

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Richard Gurfein, Esq. is a principal in the boutique law firm of Gurfein Douglas, with offices in New York and New Jersey. His practice focuses on mass tort products liability, medical malpractice, and automobile and construction accidents. He is past president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, has a background in computer engineering, and lectures on technology and the law for a number of legal organizations. 

A couple weeks ago Richard won a verdict of $110,640,958 in a medical malpractice suit! He reached out to us to tell us a little about the matter, and how he used TrialPad to present his case at the trial.

THE EQUIPMENT SETUP
Richard uses Apple TV to present wirelessly to a large monitor in the courtroom. This allows him to move freely around the courtroom, instead of being confined to the lectern or counsel table. If his opposing counsel have not brought any presentation technology into the courtroom, at the outset of the trial, Richard usually offers to display any documents they might wish to show the jury, earning goodwill with opposing counsel, as well as the judge and jury, who always appreciate the speed and efficiency of a paperless proceeding.

THE CASE
Richard shared the case summary with us, which describes the medical malpractice allegation against four doctors and St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx, N.Y. The trial lasted seven weeks, and included the testimony of 12 witnesses and five experts in the plaintiff’s case. Organization of the information, and how to communicate the story of the case, the evidence, and the legal argument to the jury was a primary concern. 

Importantly, to that end TrialPad allowed Richard to effortlessly maneuver in and out of a huge medical record, especially during cross examinations, when responding to previously given testimony is key. When it comes time to walk his witnesses and experts through the documents he needs to present to the jury, Richard organizes his evidence using Key Docs. After creating a witness folder in Key Docs, while he could rely on the Custom sort filter, Richard renames the documents within the folder, adding a prefix for the order in which he plans to present them to the jury. This keeps everything aligned with the questions he has prepared for witness examination, and eliminates the need to pause and read the title of the document he’s about to present. With planned examinations, and summations, using Key Docs in this way is very fluid. Finding and presenting is merely a matter of tapping on the next document in the sequence.

WHY TRIALPAD?
Richard has been on the cutting edge of technology for a long time. Now in his 48th year of practice, Richard has used technology since the beginning. In his first trial in 1972, he used an overhead projector (cutting edge at the time), and he has continued modernizing since then, leading him to use TrialPad for the past 5 years. In between, he has tested, tried, or used just about every other solution under the sun, including a variety of software solutions on different platforms, and even a cloud-based presentation program. He’s never needed or wanted an assistant to help present his cases, relying on himself and technology to communicate with the jury. TrialPad was a natural fit. It is intuitive, uses Apple’s plug and play technology, and stores all evidence on the iPad itself, so no internet connection is needed to access or present in court, not even for the Apple TV.

LEARN MORE
After the trial, the case and verdict were written up in the New York Daily News, and the New York Law Journal. You can read more about Richard, his client, and his case in those articles, and more about Richard and his practice at www.gurfeindouglas.com.

Featured Pro: Joel V. Payne

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Today’s Featured Pro is Joel V. Payne, a civil litigation and appeals lawyer, and the principal of Payne Litigation Modern Advocacy in Vancouver, British Columbia. Joel is an experienced trial and appeals lawyer; he has represented clients in every level of court in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. His approach to the practice of law is deliberately modern and tech-forward. His practice is cloud-based and almost entirely paperless. 

Joel spoke to us to talk about the way the iPad and TrialPad has assisted him in being prepared, efficient, and mobile. Joel uses TrialPad on a daily basis, both in and out of court. For examinations for discovery, meetings with clients, experts, or other counsel, Joel stores copies of case documents in TrialPad in a way that mimics paper trial binders or key document binders. In court, he uses TrialPad to keep his copies of the trial or appeal hearing binders (instead of the paper versions used by the judge and other counsel) and to present evidence when questioning witnesses or making submissions.

IN DISCOVERIES
Similar to a deposition in the United Stated legal system, Canadian law gives parties the right to conduct pre-trial examinations under oath, called “examinations for discovery”. In this setting, efficiency and organization and the ability to quickly find a document or piece of evidence are important. With TrialPad, Joel has the ability to instantly call up exactly the document he wants, or search for a key word or phrase to find another document or piece of evidence that arises during the flow of the examination. (Because Joel has an electronic practice, he ensures all documents he saves are processed for OCR before being saved into his document management system.) While TrialPad is often used to passively view and navigate case files while in the discovery forum, the ability to call up photos or to play back a video for a witness has been an important and useful tool in Joel’s practice.

IN THE COURTROOM
In British Columbia, as in many courtrooms, tabbed paper binders are still commonly relied upon. Joel deals with this by using his iPad Pro with TrialPad to hold his digital replica of the hearing binders given to the court and opposing counsel. He can then quickly and easily navigate the documents and find specific passages, all while being able to direct the court and opposing counsel to the appropriate spot in the physical binders.

Having a digital copy of everything at his fingertips streamlines the typically slow process of flipping around the tabs of large binders, changing binders, and hunting around for a specific document or page. If the Court and opposing counsel are using physical binders, Joel will often have to wait for everyone to organize their binders, but this gives him time to get ready for the next part of his submissions or to use TrialPad’s highlighting or callout features to annotate a document for his next point.

As more and more judges and lawyers in British Columbia are using computers in the courtroom, Joel thinks it will continue to get easier and more efficient to use TrialPad to conduct the flow of evidence and submissions. His hope is that trials and other hearings without paper binders will soon become common, if not the norm.

Joel told us about a recent summary trial where TrialPad “worked perfectly.” The case was about a motorcycle crash that happened shortly after his client picked up his motorcycle from the repair shop. The question before the court was whether the repair shop had improperly serviced the motorcycle and caused the crash. 

Joel cross-examined the defendant’s engineering expert witness in court using TrialPad and television displays placed before the witness, opposing counsel, and the judge. Joel was able to use the laser tool, line drawing tools, and other TrialPad presentation features during the examination. For example, when looking at an exploded-view schematic for a complicated motorcycle part, Joel used the laser and pen to make sure the judge was able to identify the specific part being discussed. He used the callout tool to enlarge and call attention to critical parts of the expert’s written opinion while he questioned the expert about those passages. He also used the straight line drawing tool to question and contradict the expert about certain paths and angles on a crash reconstruction diagram

After this particular summary trial hearing, the judge asked Joel what he had been using on his iPad to present the evidence during the hearing. He had the impression she found the visual presentation of the evidence useful and was curious about how it was done.

Joel believes that many judges in British Columbia are curious about this kind of electronic presentation technology and are ready and willing to see how it can be used to improve the court process. Counsel just need to learn how to use it and be willing to try something new. Lawyers are often wary of something going wrong with technology in court, but iPads in particular are very stable and reliable. In Joel’s experience, no one reasonably expects perfection over the course of an entire hearing when counsel use paper and binders. Counsel can often be seen fumbling with heavy binders and loose pages, struggling to deal with misprinted binders or incorrect page numbers, illegible notes and so on. Using technology in the courtroom avoids these issues, but can lead to other minor technical problems. The few times Joel has had a minor issue with technology in court, it is has been easy and quick to fix without missing a beat. In his view the benefit of using TrialPad in the courtroom far outweighs any of the real or perceived risks.


You can learn more about Joel and his practice at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jvp/ or www.paynelitigation.com.




Featured Pro: Paul Kiesel, Esq.

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Paul Kiesel, Esq. of Kiesel Law handles Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Class Action and MDL Actions. Based in California, he’s often traveling in pursuit of justice for his clients, or to speak on the topic of litigation and litigation technology. Paul took some time a couple of weeks ago to talk to us about how he uses our apps in his litigation practice, and we asked if he’d be willing to share some of his experiences and tips with other users. He generously wrote us the below email, and now we are sharing it with you!

“Trial Pad is such an integral part of my trial practice that I am excited to share how I use some of the key features of this program for my colleagues. Whether you are on the plaintiff side or the defense side of the practice, the one thing we all share in common is a desire to improve productivity while also enhancing the quality of our working time. TrialPad has become such a critical component of my trial preparation that I begin most cases opening up a TrialPad folder and assembling all of my exhibits and other documentary evidence in one location. The ability to have documents—multimedia along with key documents—truly improves the quality of my work life. So how do I use TrialPad? To begin, I have my IT professional load all of the exhibits, on a rolling basis, into TrialPad. I assign numbers to each exhibit and use the same exhibit number throughout all of the pre-trial proceedings. This way, for example, Exhibit 1, is the same exhibit from deposition to deposition and there is no need to re-number the exhibit later in the case. I typically suggest to defense counsel that we will take, for example, Exhibits 1 to 1,000, and defense can have numbers above that (see note 1). Occasionally, I need to carve out an even larger number of exhibits, but that is the exception and certainly not the rule. While I may only use 100 exhibits or less, at the time of trial, I might mark several thousand exhibits.

“Let’s discuss the real world application. In a trial I completed two years ago that resulted in a $25 million dollar award against Nissan Corporation, I pre-loaded around 100 exhibits that included both documents and multimedia files. The real plus for me of TrialPad, during trial, was the ability to display exhibits, to the judge and jury, using nothing more than an iPad, a projector, and a wall (or a screen). In a typical trial, I will use the iPad mini for trial presentation although, now that the iPad Pro is an option, I am likely to use the smaller iPad Pro 11” for trial presentation purposes and my iPad Pro 12.9” for all other aspects of the trial (see note 2). Back to trial preparation. Once the exhibits have been loaded in TrialPad, when taking depositions, I now link my iPad up to the videographer and actually display the exhibit while questioning the witness. This allows for several very cool things. First, the jury is able to follow along, directly, as I question the witness about an exhibit should I play the video at trial. The screen is split, so the jury can visualize the witness on one half and the exhibit on the other. Cooler still, as I take the witness through the document, I can mark up the exhibit, using TrialPad’s annotation tools, in real time, highlighting, underlining and even pulling out key provisions I want the witness and, of course, the jury to focus on. One very important tip here: when marking up an exhibit, it is critical you press the Key Doc button to save the markups once you exit the exhibit.  

“In my Nissan trial, I was able to create an exhibit, literally after the defendant’s closing argument, to use in my rebuttal. In fact, I was able to create this document in a matter of fifteen minutes that summarized the key issue in dispute. The case involved a Nissan QX56 that we claimed suffered a brake failure seconds before running a red signal, entering an intersection and tragically killing a mother and her two young children on their way to school. Nissan alleged that my client mistook the brake for the accelerator and, rather than pressing on the brake, he was actually pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor. The defendant’s theory of the case was that the speed on impact was in excess of 70 miles an hour. The trial lasted four weeks and the defendant spent well over $1 million dollars on experts and exhibits, actually performing multiple crash simulations for the jury to see. The witnesses, however, testified at trial that they estimated the speed at less than 50 miles an hour. As you can see, from the exhibit, I was able to create a document that showed that the speeds varied only a few miles an hour, from 45 to 48. Certainly nowhere near the 70+ miles an hour that the defendant contended my client was traveling. My problem, of course, was the 35 mile an hour speed limit. There was no question my client was traveling in excess of the posted limit (I agreed with that) but, had the brakes been working, all agreed he would have been able to bring the vehicle to a stop before entering the intersection. The end result: jury concluded (I asked them to) that my client was negligent, but that he was NOT a substantial factor in the collision because the brakes failed. So here’s the take away: the flexibility of being able to create this exhibit, on the fly, contributed significantly to the successful outcome of this trial. Space prevents me from going into more details but, needless to say, I wouldn’t try a case in 2020 without TrialPad in my tool kit.”

Many thanks again to Paul for contributing to our LIT SOFTWARE community! 

1 TrialPad also offers the ability for one part to take numbers and the other party to take letters. Importantly, TrialPad uses correct letter sequencing (A through Z, then AA through AZ, then BA through BZ, then CA through CZ, and so on). This ensures that you still only use two letters for exhibits well into the 700 range. No more Exhibit AAAAAA if you end up with letters! 

2 If you like to use two iPad devices at trial (it’s always a good idea to have a backup), remember you can use the amazing AirDrop (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204144) to quickly and easily transfer documents or videos from one iPad (or Mac) to another without any cables, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.



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.

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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.

Featured Pro

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.

Featured Pro

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

Featured Pro

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!