Essential Apps for Trial, Round Two

By Robert Ambrogi Esq

For many trial lawyers, the iPad has become an essential tool in the courtroom and in depositions. Two years ago, we reported on the increasing popularity of the iPad among litigators and we surveyed some of the essential and most popular apps for trial.

In the two years since, the use of the iPad – and, to a lesser extent, Android tablets – has increased significantly and so has the number of apps available for use in trials and litigation. Given that, we thought it was time to revisit the topic and round up some of the more popular apps.

Trial Presentation Apps

TrialPad ($89.99). TrialPad is generally considered the leader among trial presentation apps. While it is also the priciest of these apps, it is comparable in its capabilities to far more expensive desktop applications. With TrialPad, you can highlight, annotate, redact and zoom in on documents as you present them; view and compare documents side-by-side; view and edit video; mark up an exhibit with annotations and call-outs and then save the mark-ups for your closing; and project wirelessly.

TrialDirector (free). This app enables you to create case folders on your iPad and then add exhibits, including video, through a Dropbox or iTunes account. Once added, you can use the app to annotate and present the exhibits. If you have the TrialDirector 6 desktop application, which sells for an annual license of $695, you can prepare exhibits there and then export them to this app for presentation at trial.

ExhibitView ($49.99). This app is similar to TrialPad but at a lower price. It lets you organize and annotate exhibits and then present them wirelessly. It includes a “deposition mode” that lets you hand the iPad to a witness to view an exhibit without fear that the witness will be able to access other documents. For more functionality, there is a PC version of ExhibitView ($598) where you can prepare your exhibits and then transfer them to your iPad via Dropbox.

Keynote (Apple; $9.99). Although not designed specifically for trials, Apple’s Keynote is a popular presentation app among lawyers in the courtroom and elsewhere. You can use it to view, edit and present presentations created in either Keynote ’09 or Microsoft PowerPoint. It allows video mirroring so that you can present on an HDTV while seeing a presenter view on your iPad that shows your slides and notes.

Jury Selection and Monitoring Apps

JuryPad ($24.99). This app, from the same company that produces TrialPad, is designed to make it easy for you to record, arrange, evaluate and use juror information, as well as to create, edit and reuse voir dire questions. A unique feature of JuryPad is its ability to take you on a “virtual tour” of jurors’ neighborhoods.

JuryTracker ($4.99). This app was created by an attorney and trial consultant who wanted a better way to keep track of how jurors were reacting to specific testimony and evidence. The app allows lawyers, paralegals and jury consultants to use built-in gestures and emoticons to quickly record juror reactions.

iJury ($14.99). This app uses jurors’ responses to voir dire questions to assign them a score as negative or positive for your case. You start by creating a case profile and adding members of the jury pool. As they respond to the jury questionnaire, you tap a button to indicate whether each response is positive or negative to your case. The app records these responses and creates an overall grade.

iJuror ($19.99). This jury-selection app lets you record information about jurors, assign scores to jurors, assign color codes to jurors for visual reference, view juror demographics, and configure seating charts to match the courtroom. Information can be shared among multiple devices by exporting and importing via Dropbox. Information can also be shared via Bluetooth with someone else using iJuror.

Jury Notepad ($4.99). From the same company that developed iJuror, Jury Notepad is designed specifically for creating, keeping and organizing notes about jurors. It has a simpler interface that makes it easier to use on iPhones, but it can also be used on an iPad.

JuryStar ($39.99). Developed by a trial lawyer for use in selecting juries, JuryStar lets you enter and record voir dire questions and juror responses and demographic information. It uses color codes to help you rate jurors and make decisions about which jurors to strike.

JuryDuty ($39.99). Similar to other jury-selection apps, JuryDuty lets you add information and notes about each juror, prepare topics and questions for voir dire, creating seating charts, and share information among members of your trial team via Bluetooth.

Trial Preparation Apps

Court Days Pro ($2.99). This is a legal calendaring app for iPad and iPhone. It gives you the ability to calculate dates and deadlines based on a customizable database of court rules and statutes. Once you set a trigger event, the app displays a list of corresponding dates and deadlines. Dates appear within the app and can also be added to your device’s native calendar app.

DocketLaw (free). This app lets you calculate event dates and deadlines for free based on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For additional monthly fees, you can add subscriptions to rules-based calendars for specific state and federal courts. The cost varies by state and court. By way of example, you can add all New York courts for a monthly fee of $49.95.

iTestimony ($9.99). Use this app to keep track of witness information and notes before and during trial and depositions. Assign avatars to each witness for easier identification. Information about witnesses can be shared with others by email.

The Deponent ($9.99). This iPad app lets you outline and prepare questions and exhibits for a deposition. It comes with more than 300 questions relating to areas such as qualifying an expert witness or exploring a witness’s educational background. You can customize and arrange these as you like and link them to exhibits.

Transcript Review Apps

DepoView (free). This app from inData Corporation allows attorneys to import and manage deposition transcripts along with corresponding video. It provides simple processes to organize depositions into individual cases, create focused clips from those depositions and export the clips to be used in TrialDirector for presentation.

Mobile Transcript (free). This app is optimized for reviewing and annotating transcripts on an iPhone, although it also works on an iPad and has versions for BlackBerry and Android phones. A paid version of the app, at $29 a month, lets you upload your own transcripts in either Amicus or Summation format.

TranscriptPad ($89.99). This full-featured app enables you to store, organize, review and annotate all your transcripts on your iPad. It lets you search across an entire case, a single witness, or a single deposition, and flag or highlight important sections and assign issue codes. It works only with ASCII files in .TXT format, which is the standard format for transcripts.

Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript (free). This app lets you review, search and annotate transcripts in the E-Transcript .PTX format on iPads and iPhones.

Legal Research Apps

Fastcase (free). When you need to do some quick legal research on the road, there is no more convenient app than this. Research federal and state case law and statutes, directly on your iPad (or iPhone) and all for free.

RuleBook (free). This app gives you mobile access to federal and state court rules and to The Bluebook for legal citation. Although the app is free, the various rule sets must be purchased separately from within the app. Most are just $2 or $3, but The Bluebook costs $39.99.

Settlement Apps

Picture It Settled (free). Most cases never make it to trial, of course. If you are trying to reach a settlement but unable to come to terms, this app might help. The app helps litigants analyze their positions and develop a successful negotiation strategy. Using data harvested from thousands of cases, it predicts when you will be able to settle and for what amount.

Your turn: What apps have you found useful for litigation?

Robert Ambrogi Esq

Robert Ambrogi Esq

We are proud to partner with an author of Bob’s caliber to provide exclusive articles for our legal clients and leading industry experts. Robert J. Ambrogi is a news media veteran and the only person ever to hold the top editorial positions at the two leading national U.S. legal newspapers, the National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly USA. He is currently a Massachusetts lawyer who represents clients at the intersection of law, media and technology. He is also internationally known for his writing and blogging about the Internet and technology. Media and Technology Law Bob represents a range of businesses and individuals, concentrating in print and electronic media companies and the editorial, sales, marketing and technology professionals who work in them. He also counsels businesses and individuals in employment matters. Arbitration and Mediation An established professional in alternative dispute resolution, Bob has been an arbitrator since 1994, focusing on labor and employment and securities disputes. A mediator in a range of civil disputes, Bob completed the training required by Massachusetts law to protect confidentiality.

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