June 01, 2017

TAPAs: Using the iPad in Court

Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene

Recent activities in preparing for a trial reminded me that we have not written about using the iPad in court for a while. I have made the iPad one of my standard trial tools of late and strongly recommend it to you for that purpose. In this column, we will give you some tips about using an iPad in court and at trial. My iPad of choice is a 256 GB iPad Pro (9.7”) WiFi + cellular. Please note, however, that the tips in this column do not require an iPad Pro or a high-powered configuration.

Tip 1: Go to the App Store and download a copy of Lit Software LLC’s Ultimate Litigation Bundle ($299.99). The bundle consists of three powerful applications and represents a small savings ($10) over purchasing the individual apps (TrialPad, $129.99; DocReviewPad, $89.99; and Transcript Pad, $89.99). You might as well save the $10, as you will undoubtedly want all three of these applications. There are other apps that you can get that will help you with trial work, but these three live at the top of my list. If you have an iPad and do trial work, you will likely want these apps. They give you the ability you bought the iPad to provide.

Tip 2: Don’t wait until the day before trial to buy the apps. Do it far enough in advance to give you time to learn the functionality of the applications and to enable you to load your documents and transcripts into the programs and get them set up. In fact, the earlier in the game you get the apps the better, as they can help you with your preparation. The applications are not hard to learn, but some of it is not intuitive, and if you read the manuals (downloadable as PDFs), it cuts the learning curve dramatically.

Tip 3: Load your transcripts into TranscriptPad and then go through them and mark them within the application. You will want to load an ASCII file (or a text file) into the program to enable you to mark it. If you have not already established the practice, you should always get one of those (as well as a PDF copy) from your deposition reporter. Using the application, you can highlight, underline, and issue code the transcript very easily.

Tip 4: Load your documents into DocReviewPad and then go through and code them. DocReviewPad helps you review, highlight, notate, and issue code your documents quickly and easily. You can also Bates number each of your documents.

Tip 5: As you get closer to trial, load your evidence into TrialPad. TrialPad lets you easily access your evidence during the trial and doubles as a presentation tool, allowing you to display your evidence through a projected image and to highlight documents, compare them next to each other, and even do callouts. Spend a bit of time working with it as a presentation tool to ensure you have familiarized yourself with its features and its operation.


Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene


Jeffrey Allen is the principal in the Graves & Allen law firm in Oakland, California, where he has practiced since 1973. He is active in the ABA (particularly in the GPSolo and Senior Lawyers Divisions), the California State Bar Association and the Alameda County Bar Association. A frequent speaker on technology topics, he is Editor-in-Chief of GPSolo magazine and GPSolo eReport. He serves as an editor and the technology columnist for Experience Magazine and has served on the Board of Editors of the ABA Journal. He also serves on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Information Technology. Recently, he coauthored (with Ashley Hallene) Technology Solutions for Today's Lawyer and iPad for Lawyers: The Tools You Need at Your Fingertips. In addition to being licensed as an attorney in California, he has been admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He teaches at California State University of the East Bay. He may be reached at jallenlawtek@aol.com. You may also get technology information from his blog: jallenlawtekblog.com


Ashley Hallene is a petroleum landman at Alta Mesa Holdings, LP, and practices Oil and Gas law, Title Examination, Due Diligence, Acquisitions and Oil and Gas Leasing in Houston, Texas. She maintains a diverse solo practice on the side. Ashley is the coauthor of the technology overview Making Technology Work for You (A Guide for Solo and Small Firm Attorneys) along with attorney Jeffrey Allen. She has published articles on legal technology in GPSolo Magazine, GPSolo eReport, and the TechnoLawyer Newsletter. Ashley is an active member of the American Bar Association’s General Practice Solo & Small Firm Division, ABA’s Young Lawyers Division, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the Houston Young Lawyers Association, and the Houston Association of Petroleum Landmen. She frequently speaks in technology CLEs and is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Technology and Reviews Department of the GPSolo eReport.