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.
Richard won a huge 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.
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.
Richard has been on the cutting edge of technology for a long time. Richard has used technology since the beginning of his practice. 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 8 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.
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, and his practice at www.gurfeindouglas.com.