Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 54
Courtroom Technology and the iPad Print E-mail

courtroom_intro.jpgAs Ian O’Flaherty explains, TrialPad is a useful tool for organising case presentations for the courtroom. Ian is the Managing Partner of Lit Software and Developer of TrialPad and TranscriptPad.

In the age of the ubiquitous iPad, in private and professional life, most iPad owners have come to expect that there truly is an app for everything. Legal presentations are no exception with Lit Software’s TrialPad, available exclusively in the App Store for iPad.

courtroom_trialpad-logo.jpgTrialPad was created to harness the abilities of complex desktop presentation software on the iPad. TrialPad helps maximize presentations before the Court, while minimizing time spent doing so. After many years assisting lawyers with the electronic presentation of evidence, in matters of all sizes, I’ve seen what works and what lawyers are willing to learn to advocate for their clients at court. After being an early iPad adopter, I recognized that the rules as we know them were about to change. The iPad had the potential to be the laptop, the cloud, and complicated software applications rolled into one, and demystified.


The idea was to leverage the efficiency of the size of the iPad, and effortlessness of its user interface, to replace laptops with their cumbersome and complicated presentation programs. Because the practice of law requires a high level of attention to very important subject matter, development emphasis was put into keeping the app as easy to use as the iPad itself. Put simply, there is no learning curve for the iPad user.

Beginning with TrialPad’s splash screen one is presented with a manila folder system to keep matters separate and organized. Once you open a matter there is more organizational capability, all following Apple user interface guidelines. So, if you’ve used your iPad’s Mail app, you’ve already learned the basics of TrialPad. Press the “plus” button to add a folder, press Edit to Rename, Move, or Delete. This ability to organize has allowed many of TrialPad’s users to hold all their documents in one easily accessible place, regardless of intention to present them at court. Simply bringing your iPad to a client meeting is enough when using TrialPad as a document management tool.

Flexibility is also important, so TrialPad allows you to import via iTunes, email, or Dropbox. You can organize your documents into folders, and save key documents to the aptly named “Key Docs” area. Once in presentation mode, you can keep your entire audience on the same page, or the same part of the same page, using the various annotation tools such as Highlight, Pen, and Redact, with each tool offering options such as color or stroke. The most important tool, the Callout, allows the user to pull out and magnify certain sections of a document, or pull out multiple callouts from two documents displayed side-by-side. There is also the useful Laser tool to draw the viewers’ attention to a certain area, and a Whiteboard tool allowing for simple sketches.


courtroom_callouts-(two).jpg courtroom_side-by-side.jpg

Like many deep apps, and the iOS itself, TrialPad is very effective at face value, but has hidden gems as well. When presenting, TrialPad automatically turns off the iPad’s ability to mirror on an external display until you are ready to present, preventing your list of documents, and possibly your strategy from being projected in front of a judge and your opposing counsel. However, TrialPad has a War Room Mode option that allows mirroring for discussing strategy with your associates at your office, or training other members of your team.

To present your documents, photos, and videos to the court or in an ADR setting, you can plug and play with VGA or HDMI connections, present and built into many courts and boardrooms, or present wirelessly using Apple TV allowing you the freedom to walk around your venue while presenting from the palm of your hand.

Where apps are concerned, TrialPad is a senior. Initially released in the App Store in December of 2010, and continuously updated since, it is a presence that is both looked after and consistently on the cutting edge of the iPad’s capabilities. TrialPad has been downloaded in well over 20 different countries, with the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand being the top five.

courtroom_transcriptpad-logo.jpgWith Lit Software’s recent release of TranscriptPad, an app that allows the user to review, annotate, and print reports of transcripts received in TXT format, the tradition of simple and immensely useful apps continues.

courtroom-lit-software-logo.jpgLit Software’s website offers information on both TrialPad and TranscriptPad, with many news articles, reviews, as well as frequently asked questions, and videos.

Ian O’Flaherty

Managing Partner

Lit Software, LLC

Developer of TrialPad and TranscriptPad

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