What happens when there’s a glitch during trial?

By Spencer E. Farris, Esq

TrialPad iPad app in Trial

Preparing for trial is stressful and demanding. The last thing you want is to arrive in the courtroom and discover that you can’t get your trial presentation technology to work. It is the nightmare that haunts many trial attorneys.

Well, I recently got a chance to live that unwelcome dream. I use the TrialPad app on my iPad to present evidence. (Affiliate links) When I arrived in court, I discovered that I could not get the output switch on TrialPad — which displays documents on the projector — to work. I was frantic.

At 11:30 p.m. I logged on to TrialPad’s website and sent a message to tech support. After sending the message, I searched the website and discovered what had happened: The developers had updated the app because the iOS operating system had evolved, and I had missed some of the updates. After I downloaded those updates, the app worked perfectly.

But that isn’t the end of the story.

TrialPad tech support never sleeps! At 4:30 a.m., five hours after sending my message, I received a reply that outlined a complete and detailed fix. Tech support for Lit Software explained that iOS 5 changes the behavior of the app, altering the multitasking functions.

What’s really important is that TrialPad’s maker, Lit Software gets us, understands that when a lawyer is in trial and something doesn’t go as planned, delayed answers can be disastrous.

Holding iPad with TrialPad

I have now tried two complete jury trials using only TrialPad to present my evidence. The software is much less clunky than using a laptop computer or documents alone. The best part is that witnesses are able to mark up documents without changing the originals or erasing the notations made by previous witnesses. And integration with Dropbox is fantastic! I can now retrieve exhibits in batch mode, and it takes a short second to ask my office staff to change a PDF document and reload it in trial.

I haven’t experienced any problems with the system locking up or behaving erratically. The only drawbacks are that I can only present documents in landscape mode and it can be challenging to center exhibits. However, I have saved several times the cost of the software because of the reduced need for blown-up exhibits.

Before that recent trial, my experience with TrialPad had been positive. Now that I know that TrialPad tech support will be there to help when things don’t go as planned, I am even more impressed with the app.

The principal of the St. Louis-based S.E. Farris Law Firm, Spencer Farris represents injured personal injury victims and their families in a wide variety of product liability, auto accident, medical malpractice and premises liability cases.