After posting a blog post on using TrialPad with Zoom, we received a number of email responses from users looking to implement it. One user, Chris Stoy of Fort Worth, TX, put it into practice right away, writing, "With the recent COVID-19 crisis, many courts allow or even mandate depositions be conducted via video conferencing. I think many lawyers are concerned their ability to conduct a good deposition will be hindered by a video conference depo. I've done a few in recent weeks. Today I did one and used every function of TrialPad."
Based on that experience, he told us that there’s no reason discovery shouldn’t proceed in any of his matters. With the ability to use TrialPad through the Zoom video conference, and to record everything, depositions, hearings, and mediations should still go forward (and they go forward smoothly). He shared the results of his deposition with us via YouTube link, and we spoke to him last week. He offered to let us share the video with all our users too. Here’s a little more about Chris and his practice:
Chris and his partner Susan started Hutchinson & Stoy in 2014. He focuses on personal injury law, while she focuses on employment and civil rights law. They’ve been able to grow their practice significantly, opening two offices in Texas, with a third planned to open in New Mexico.
Chris has been a TrialPad user for years, using it in every deposition he takes as a way to question the witness on documents, add exhibit stickers, and keep track of annotations. In video depositions, he has his videographer record both the deponent and the screen on which TrialPad is displayed. Afterward, his videographer edits the videos together to be used in court. He shared an example on his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXYsjnLg_HI
But, in 2020, things changed significantly in almost every jurisdiction across the country, and in-person video depositions were widely cancelled or relegated to video conference depositions. In addition, many courts closed, and law practices across the country found themselves limited in their ability to litigate as they did before. Using technology allowed Chris to continue working despite all those changes. Cases that his firm took on continued being litigated just as before, even with everyone working remotely. In fact, the momentary slow-down in client intake is allowed his firm to spend more time working their cases.
Over the past few years, Chris has tried at least 12 cases to verdict with TrialPad. In a recent jury trial, he used TrialPad to present his argument in a traumatic brain injury case. Key uses of TrialPad included bringing up a letter that opposing counsel had used to prove their case. Without any technology, the defense had no choice but to publish the letter by reading certain portions to the jury. Chris quickly took a picture of the letter with his iPad and displayed it on a screen in the courtroom. He was able to highlight and call out the sections of the letter the defense had elected not to read. The jury was impressed with his case, and his ability to present it. They returned a $1. 3 million verdict in favor of his client. Afterward, a juror whose daughter was a paralegal even asked about the technology he was using to present!
Chris told us he’ll continue to push to conduct depositions and hearings and to mediate his cases confident that the remote technology and TrialPad work together just as seamlessly as they perform in person.
Update from Chris: “Here’s an additional video I did about connecting TrialPad to Zoom. https://youtu.be/bv4sS_9hQxs”
Update from Chris: “I tried another case a couple of weeks ago. The juror comments the judge provided me afterward gave great reviews of my use of technology and criticized opposing counsel for their technological incompetence. The judge had juror comment cards going back a couple of years, covering over 70 trials. The predominant critique by jurors was the lawyers’ lack of technological competence.”
You can learn more about Chris and his practice at the links below:
Firm Website: warriorsforjustice.com
YouTube Channel: youtube.com/c/HutchisonStoyPLLCFortWorth
YouTube Trial Technology Playlist: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWuKZ_xoWH7jEJVNROgJdo0ZxaAbunbqr