It’s my policy to not promote products in this blog, but today is an exception. I’ve gone through a transition over the past several months regarding a new experience in trial preparation. For many years I have relied upon two hole notebooks for all of my trial materials. I should have bought stock in Bindertek who makes the notebooks I use because I’ve purchased so many of them over the years. See: www.bindertek.com.
I put my trial prepration and trial materials in different colored notebooks depending upon whether it is witness’s materials, discovery, cross examination, briefs, exhibits and so on. Not only is the color a great organizational tool, they also come in different sizes and, best of all, because they are two hole they do not make a snapping noise when you open and close them in court the way three hole notebooks do. They are also much easier to open and close than three hole notebooks. I have hauled these notebooks in brief cases around the country and have had them in boxes under the audience benches in court rooms during trials and at pre trial motions. We determined how big our cases were by the number of notebooks we used. I am still a big promoter of Binderetek notebooks and continue to religiously use them.
However, while I still follow the practice of organizing the hard copies of materials in notebooks and will have the notebooks available at trial, I have been introduced to a wonderful way to use the Apple I-pad with two Apps that have made a huge difference in how I organize and use trial materials. Both are available at the Apple Store. www.apple.com. One App is TrialPad which costs $89.99 and is worth every penny and more. The other is TranscriptPad which costs $49.99 and is equally a bargain price. Lit Sofware is the creator www.litsoftware.com It should be noted that the purchase price for both comes with free (and very prompt) support and all updates are free. There are no subscription fees, no registration cost and no annual maintenance costs.
A simplistic description of the purpose of each is this: TranscriptPad is made to use in organizing depositions and exhibits and TrialPad is intended for court room presentation of trial materials and exhibits. Both of these products are strong for reporting, organization and searching. Take a look at You Tube for better descriptions about the use of these products.
Why am I enthusiastic about these products? For two reasons. One is because, at the moment, I have two large entire cases stored in my single I-Pad using these products. That includes every pleading, motion, brief, deposition, trial brief, jury instructions, photograph, video and exhibit of every kind. When I travel or go to court I have the entire cases in my I-pad and I can easily access the documents because they allow detailed organization within the Apps. I am not packing brief cases full of documents around, but rather only the hard copy I need such as the proposed orders on motions or documents I want to show the court. However, if I wanted to I could project the document from the Ipad to a screen or TV in the court room. I have the assurance of having the entire file with me without having to have the physical materials and I can access it quickly and easily in a single Ipad device.
The second reason is that TranscriptPad allows such excellent organization and designation of discovery testimony. It has features which allow me to create color coded issues and highlight deposition testimony saving under an issue heading. I can print reports of the designated testimony in a variety of ways including by issue. I can also export the work product by document or even the entire file to another device with TranscriptPad. I can e-mail designated testimony as well. That allows me to send portions of a deposition to a video tech as an instruction of what parts of the video deposition I need for court use.
In addition, TrialPad has such excellent features for designiating parts of a deposition or exhibit and enlarging it as a callout for projection on a screen or TV or for use in other ways. It includes many features for presenting the materials while putting the entire file in a device I can hold in one hand with the ability to find files quickly.
Here’s is an overview of how I am using these products. I subscribe to a software called Dropbox. www.dropbox.com This software allows one to simply and easily transfer documents from your computer to your I-Pad. While there is a free version I pay a low monthly fee for a version that allows transferring more volume for my cases. One thing to note, however, is that we use a different sofware, Box for transferring medical information because it offers security that Dropbox doesn’t offer. See www.box.com
Here’s how it works. Documents which are E-mailed to us or those created in our computers are saved and then easily moved into Dropbox program in the computer. Other documents are scanned into the computer. Once deposited they are wirelessly transferred through WiFi and deposited in the Dropbox in my I-pad. I open them in the Ipad Dropbox and quickly move them to either TranscriptPad or TrialPad. Simce Pdf is required for these products, I will originally save them in the computer in that format or, if in some other format like Word, in my I-pad move them from Dropbox to another App I have downloaded to my I-Pad: IAdobe through the Apple store. See www.adobe.com This App has features I like including conversion of documents into a Pdf format and from there moving it easily into either TranscriptPad or TrialPad.
Since both Apps allow detailed organization (in color) one can locate documents quickly as needed. I now travel or go to court with an I-Pad and even though I will have my Bindertek notebooks in the court room during the several weeks of trial I won’t be hauling them home every night. In mid-May my wife Lita and I are traveling to Botswana for a photo safari. I plan to take with me my Amazon Kindle for reading and my I-pad for my mail and with two entire cases loaded in the device. Furthermore, on this trip I’m taking my mini-IPad which has duplicate case material instead of the full size Ipad. Isn’t it amazing? Two small (5″ x 8″) devices. One with a dozen books electronically stored for my reading and the other with two large cases with every paper stored in it. I don’t have to take either one out at the security checkpoint and with a small backup battery as well as a portable WiFi connection I am prepared as possible.
I know that many of you will be saying to yourself: “He’s just now discovering all of this? What rock has he been living under?” But, I thought I’d share my personal discovery for the few that aren’t aware of the advantages and would like to investigate it. Unfortunately, I don’t get any kick back or a free anything from the makers of these products. Check them out.