Business people


Trial Director

When you start off in the litigation support field, your firm may not even own licensing for trial presentation software, so there’s a good chance you’ve never seen or even heard of TrialDirector®. And when you finally see it, you still may not fully grasp the value of a software program like it.

I know I didn’t, even after starting work at inData Corporation and later moving to Ipro. It was only after training and consulting law firms for months on TrialDirector software, while customizing case management tactics and workflows to help clients be prepared for trial, before I fully understood. But when you ultimately sit in the hot seat to support firms with presentation in the courtroom, there’s no doubt about its value.

An attorney’s job is to tell a true and complete story with words, using months, if not years of case management, motions, discovery, productions, hearings, and finally a trial. TrialDirector puts all of those things together in just a few seconds to enhance the presentation of the evidence to the 12 members of the jury. Evidence gets you to trial but telling the story of the evidence to the jury wins it.

So, what is TrialDirector exactly? On paper, TrialDirector is software that gives attorneys a way to present their evidence in a clear, concise manner the jury can understand. It helps organize documentary and testimonial evidence for easy presentation and offers advanced functionality and workflows that best help attorneys prepare for trial or alternative dispute resolution. In other words, framed in the reality of the courtroom, TrialDirector is the workhorse that will help you win.

Below are some examples from my experiences in court which best show the impact of trial presentation software. Both examples took seconds to execute after receiving direction from the attorney.

*Please note that words, terms, and phrases have been modified to use as examples in this article.

Example #1:
Counsel: I would like to present testimony from Mr. Smith’s deposition, dated January 1, 2015. As you’ll see on page 15 it states…
TD Hot Seat Operator: Presents page 15 with question and answer prestaged with a call out and a highlight.

Example #2:
Counsel: I would like to present the signed copy of the Purchase Agreement.
TD Hot Seat Operator: Presents exhibit number one on the Presentation Screen, then quickly navigates directly to page 22, then to a call out and highlight of the signature.
Counsel: I would also like to reference the sixth paragraph found on page 17 of exhibit number one.
TD Hot Seat Operator: Transitions current image to the left-hand side of the screen and presents page 17 of exhibit number one directly to the right-hand side of the screen.

Anyone can fully understand the value of TrialDirector when it’s experienced firsthand in the courtroom. But I knew for a fact it was making an impact when, more than once, opposing counsel came over to my station either during or after the trial and asked, “What software are you using?”

This article was originally published in Facts & Findings – Q1 2020 issue. To read the full publication please Log In to your personal NALA account. 

Author Biography:

Ethan Hirsch
Ethan has provided law firms, government agencies, and other litigation companies with the highest level of training, consulting, and support, using his knowledge of case management, trial preparation and presentation. Prior to joining Ipro, Ethan spent two years as a Paralegal Assistant, supporting all aspects of case management and deposition/trial prep. Ethan currently serves as a Client Success Manager, providing in-depth and comprehensive assistance to law firms across the country.