Currently, there are three trial presentation iPad applications available at the App Store: TrialPad ($89.00), Exhibit A ($9.99) and RLTC Evidence ($4.99). I have tested each of them, and offer the following general observations:
(1) All of these applications offer rather rudimentary trial presentation capabilities—far less capable than expensive and robust trial presentation software such a Trial Director or Sanction.
(2) Trialpad is the easiest to use of the three Apps reviewed and provides sufficient trial presentation functionality that I would actually consider using it at trial.
(3) Exhibit A provides most of the functionality of TrialPad at 10% of the cost. However, its highlight feature obscures more than it emphasizes and the App does not retain annotations in call outs. These are big shortcomings that need to be corrected.
(4) RLTC Evidence is sorely lacking and not in the same league as TrialPad or Exhibit A. This application has not been updated by the developer since January of 2011. Not recommended.
TrialPad is pricey, although the cost is de minimis as compared to the preparation cost for even one good quality trial exhibit. What you get for your money is a basic, but highly usable trial presentation tool.
Documents may be imported into TrialPad via Dropbox, Email, and iTunes Sync. iPad compatible videos can be loaded into the iPad’s camera roll or photo library and then can be transferred to Trialpad.
To use the App, the first step is to set up an individual case file. You then load documents or videos into that file.
To use the App in a presentation, one simply touches on the case file icon which opens showing the documents that are available for display.
From there you may select the document. Once selected, you can highlight, markup, blow-up, create callouts or redact documents on the fly.
There is an “output” button that permits you to turn the display on or off. All of these features work well. The video clip display feature also works well. (however, I could not get the video clip editing feature to work). TrialPad also has a “laser” pointer and whiteboard feature. Only one pen color was available for the whiteboard– multiple colors would be a good additional feature. Also, the whiteboard pen stops functioning seconds after you lift your finger/stylus from the screen. The pen function needs to continue until turned off.
One of the neat features of TrialPad is its “hot docs” feature which allows the designation of documents as “hot.” You can call up your list of hot documents by the push of a button. Highlight and pen annotations are preserved for documents saved “hot docs” but call outs are not. The preservation of call outs for hot docs should also be on the Trialpad improvement plan.
In summary, TrialPad generally does what it claims to do—provide an easy to use versatile presentation tool with very basic capabilities. RECOMMENDED
Exhibit A has much of the basic functionality as Trialpad. Like Trialpad, you set up a case file.
Documents can be imported into Exhibit A via Dropbox, Email, FTP, or iTunes sync. You then move the imported documents to the appropriate case file.
You can highlight, markup, blow-up, create callouts or redact documents on the fly. You can also play iPad compatible videos. Video file capability is also supported.
While not quite as intuitively designed as TrialPad, I found Exhibit A to be generally very easy to use.
Now the issues– Exhibit A’s highlight feature tends to color over the text instead of making it pop out. In other words, highlighting the text made it more difficult to read.
Also, annotations and highlighting on a document do not show up in callouts. In my opinion, these are major shortcomings that need to be addressed. On the plus side, Exhibit A has a superior whiteboard function as compared with TrialPad, with five pen colors available. RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS
RLTC Evidence has only one method to import documents, by iTunes sync. Multiple case files are not supported, i.e., you cannot set up separate case folders.
Like Exhibit A, the Evidence highlight feature does more to obscure text than to make it pop out for the jury. There is no callout feature, although you can do a basic pinch zoom. The underlining feature is not free hand and limited to very rigid lines. The app has no free hand annotation capability or whiteboard. It also has no “laser pointer” function. There have not been any updates to the application since January of 2011. In short, I would not waste your money on this application. NOT RECOMMENDED
With the minor improvements noted above Exhibit A could be a rough equivalent to the higher priced TrialPad. However, in my opinion right now, TrialPad is the best available iPad trial presentation application and worth the extra $70.