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  1. Transitioning from TrialDirector 6.8 to TRIAL DIRECTOR (aka TrialDirector 360) By Susanne Strong, Trainer, IPRO Product Learning Experience Team If your company has recently switched from TrialDirector 6.8 to TRIAL DIRECTOR (aka TrialDirector 360) don’t fret. If you haven’t, check out more about transitioning to TRIAL DIRECTOR. The products might look different with the layouts and workflows contrasting a bit, but the basics are the same. Even though change can be daunting, I think you’ll find that once you start using it, TRIAL DIRECTOR is extremely user-friendly. That said, in order to get started, here’s what you need to know to make the transition as smooth as possible. When you get right down to the nitty-gritty, there are a myriad of items that are different between the two products. First off, there’s the interface, which has a new look and feel in TRIAL DIRECTOR and there’s also some new terminology to go along with it. For example, instead of Pack & GO, we now have Export / Import and Data Sync. And then of course there’s the fact that you no longer have to worry about file pathing simply because all data is copied into the case database directory upon import. In a nutshell, we’ve simplified a few things, kept several items the same, and have made workflows a little more straightforward and easier to use. New Features in TRIAL DIRECTOR Let’s dive a little deeper and take a look at what’s changed: The Interface: The Interface between the two products is entirely different. First off, in TrialDirector 6.8, there are five main modules: The Case Library; The Document Manager, The Transcript Manager, The Coding Module and Presentation; whereas in TRIAL DIRECTOR there are only three, two of which are found on home base: The Case Manager and Evidence, with one embedded into Evidence: Presentation. In addition, TRIAL DIRECTOR is now wizard-based and is highly customizable. Terminology: You’ll notice in training that we use some new terminology in TRIAL DIRECTOR to explain the interface and how we conduct certain tasks. For instance, work areas and ribbon bars, etc. For more information on this topic, take a look at our online help center: Overview: TrialDirector Evidence Data Sync: Users have the ability to collaborate on cases with something called “Enabling Case Data Sync.” If TrialDirector is installed on the network, teammates can work on cases together as long as data sync is enabled upon case creation. In addition, TRIAL DIRECTOR now makes it easy to transfer your case to a local repository when it’s time to present and push any and all changes back up to the network at any time thereafter. Export/Import: Instead of Pack & Go, in TD 6, in TD, we now have the Export/Import function for those cases that are stored locally only. File Pathing/Conversion: With TD, all files are now copied to a centralized repository, thus managing a case file path is no longer a consideration. Synced Deposition Transcripts: In 6.8 .cms files are imported, while in TRIAL DIRECTOR, .dvt files are the file type of choice, though you can still import .cms files should you receive them. Parity between TrialDirector 6.8 and TRIAL DIRECTOR Now that we’ve taken a look at the main differences, how about we talk about the parity between the two? You can still import Native Files into TRIAL DIRECTOR, which, in my book is a huge plus. This includes MS Office files such as Word and Excel docs as well as PowerPoints. Something to note, however, is that after launching in their native application, these files are saved in their native file formats, so if you make a change to these items in ][ TrialDirector, changes will get saved to the native files. Users can also import metadata files (.csv’s) to code document properties such as Descriptions, Common Names, Exhibit Numbers, and the almighty Trial Exhibit Number. Having been a former hot seat operator, I speak from experience in saying this makes coding documents a whole lot easier. Next up, we have creating and editing video clips. When it comes to editing clips, the waveform editor works virtually the same way. Lastly, we have Presentation. Though the Presentation modules open up differently, both TrialDirector 6.8 and TRIAL DIRECTOR have Presentation Mode, Presentation Preview, and Mirror Mode, and thankfully, the functionality of them work essentially the same way (as do all those fabulous little command keys we’ve been using for years). Conclusion While the product itself looks a little different, the additional functionality is deeper and richer – and it continues to evolve to make trial prep and presentation better and better. We here at IPRO hope you’ll find that the look, feel, and usability of TRIAL DIRECTOR will make your transition effortless. If you’d like to learn more about IPRO’s products or purchase any type of training, head to our online Learning Center: https://learn.iprotech.com/ IPRO’s Help Center, which is where you can find documentation on all IPRO products, can also be found here: https://myipro.iprotech.com/help If you have topics you’d like for us to cover, please feel free to comment on this post and we will incorporate your ideas into future blog posts.
  2. By Brittany Thaler, ACP eDiscovery When it comes to Trial presentation, practice makes perfect. To ease your practice and pull up documents with ease, the Learning Experience Team has some recommendations for you: Set standardized naming conventions for your Item ID, Exhibit Number, and Trial Exhibit Number fields. If you have a standardized way of entering information into Evidence, that muscle memory will translate with ease onto Presentation. Utilize the Common Name field. Attorneys may not always refer to a document by its Item ID or Trial Exhibit Number. Having a field filled in with ways an attorney normally refers to a document may prevent you from searching for documents and delaying presentation. Set up Witness Workbooks. Utilizing the workbook feature will allow you to pull up pages of exhibits in the order in which your previously planned for witnesses. This will speed up the transition from document/page and reduce potential errors. If you find yourself needing to go out of order or into an unplanned document, you still have access to your entire database. Check out Troubleshooting in TRIAL DIRECTOR: Why Documents aren't pulling up in Presentation in our Learning Center for getting out of sticky situations. Just as the Learning Experience Team has your back with our Blog series, we now have Tech Tip Tuesday! A short, concise Tech Tip that can get you back on track. Drop us a line at training@iprotech.com with Tech Tips and guidance you would like to see.
  3. TRIAL DIRECTOR – Presentation Tips & Tricks By Susanne Strong, Content Developer, IPRO Learning Experience Team When it comes to getting ready for Trial, practice and preparation are key. As a former Paralegal and Trial Technician, I believe in the tried-and-true method of practicing before being put in the hot seat. Whenever I had a spare moment, I practiced using Presentation Mode and Presentation Preview in TrialDirector. Why? Simply because practice makes perfect. The fact is, no one is perfect. But, the more we use the Presentation Mode in TrialDirector when we’re preparing for trial, the more comfortable we feel when the pressure is on. It’s our muscle memory that will get us through when we’re in the hot seat. If the attorneys I was working with didn’t use trial outlines, I used Presentation Mode solely. If they used outlines, I used both Presentation Mode and Presentation Preview in conjunction with each other. When the attorneys used an outline approach, I would put one exhibit up on the screen in Presentation Mode, while getting the next exhibit ready in Preview. If I had time late at night, or on weekends before a trial, I would take my laptop home and practice putting exhibits up on the screen, in different zones, replacing exhibits, and moving them around on the screen. Thereafter, I’d use annotations, call-outs, screen-shots and workbooks. Trial presentation short cuts Once I was comfortable with that, I’d work on my command-key shortcuts (a list of which can be found on our Help Center). It is with practice, and practice alone that I became comfortable. When I first started out, and in cases where there were several deponents or key issues, I always used workbooks, both to organize my documents and to present from. This helped me choreograph my presentations, and let’s face it, that’s half the battle, right there. While there are a couple of methods you can use to place documents into zones, I used the function keys on my keyboard (F1 for zone 1, F2 for zone 2, etc.), for me this is the quickest and the easiest method, thus this is what I practiced doing. Once I got that down pat, I then moved documents around using the Zone Mover tool. While there are two ways you can move items, my go to was also a function key, the F10 key, in conjunction with the zone I wanted to move a document to. The benefit of the F10 key option is that the document moves “magically” and the jury didn’t get distracted watching me move the documents around on the screen. Committing commands to memory With practice, I comfy using command keys as referenced above. Initially, I didn’t have them memorized like I do now. At first, I had the key commands typed on an index card (before those became obsolete!). Luckily, that became unnecessary once command-keys were included in TrialDirector’s Preferences in both Presentation Mode and Presentation Preview. Last but not least, I made sure to practice using a projector to ensure that I could pretend like I was in a courtroom and could use both modes of Presentation. Another must for me was contacting the court to set up a time to view the courtroom. Knowing their setup and determining what technology they had, in order to be prepared ahead of time, in case I needed to bring all my own equipment, was key as well. While these tips aren’t TrialDirector specific, knowing the courtroom setup and being familiar with the hardware needed during trial greatly improves the presentation experience for you and the jury. It’s the knowledge of and practice in the tool that takes you from good to great. If you’d like to learn more about IPRO’s products or purchase any type of training, head to our online Learning Center: https://learn.iprotech.com/ If you need any help with the Presentation course in TRIAL DIRECTOR, go here: TRIAL DIRECTOR: Presentation IPRO’s Help Center, which is where you can find documentation on all IPRO products can also be found here: https://myipro.iprotech.com/help If you have topics you’d like for us to cover, please feel free to drop us a line and we will incorporate your ideas into future blog posts.
  4. Working as a team to build your TRIAL DIRECTOR Case with Data Sync By Julie Badger Today’s topic is about the Data Sync capabilities of TRIAL DIRECTOR. If you’re on the legacy version of TrialDirector 6.8, you’re used to using pack and go to take your case to trial and you are likely the only person working on the case in TrialDirector 6. When you switch to TRIAL DIRECTORyou’ll see a whole world of possibility open up. When you create your case in this updated version, you select the Data Sync button and BOOM, now you and your colleagues can all work on the case together. When you’re ready to head to the courtroom, you just click “Bring Data Local” from within the Case Manager, and your case data is copied from the shared network location to your local machine. Once your trial is over and you head back to the office, all you have to do is connect your laptop to the network. All changes made to your case, whether it be on your trial laptop or on your network, will automatically be synched and your case will be up to date. The diagram below summarizes the workflow for a synched case. What does this mean in practical terms? What’s the benefit? Use Case for Data Sync Let’s take a sample use case from real-world customer experience. ACME Legal has a case that is set to head to trial. It’s a big case, and they have three paralegals working on it. Marco is primarily focusing on depositions, creating and editing video clips, linked exhibits, and issue tagging. Rhasheed is working on exhibits, adding them, and organizing them into workbooks. Rebecca is the hot seat operator and she’s focused on pre-trial annotations and prepping for presentation. A lot of the work they do will overlap and that’s OK because they’re working in a Data Sync Case. They’ve completed their last review of all of the evidence and the trial prep. Rebecca is ready to download the case to her local machine. She brings her case data to her local machine and is ready to go. In the early morning, before trial, the attorney, Mark, asks her to add a few items to a workbook and make a clip of a specific spot in a deposition. She makes the changes. Throughout the day she’s admitting items as trial exhibits, creating snapshots, and creating clips on the fly. Back at the office, Rhasheed and Marco are tweaking annotations on exhibits, creating more clips, adding linked exhibits, and planning for the following day of trial. That night, in the war room, Rebecca fires up her machine and, as soon as she connects to the network, her changes are pushed into the case and any changes that took place while she was at trial are synched back to her machine. Bringing evidence local The team continues to work on the case late into the night. At the very end of their marathon working session, Rebecca again Brings Case Data Local, which is a rapid update since she’s got the majority of the case already in her local storage location. “Bringing Local” the second time around means the system is just pulling the net changes since the last Bring Local event. The case proceeds for several more days, and the team follows the same process for working collaboratively to continue updating the case to keep themselves on schedule. Data Sync helped ensure their success during trial and spread the workload out to ensure no one was ever stuck waiting to work on the case. It was truly a team endeavor! They won the case because of their group effort! If you’re interested in learning more about Data Sync and how it works in TRIAL DIRECTOR. Check out this free course on our Learning Center. If you want to dive deeper, check out these Help topics: Overview: Data Sync Workflow: Disconnect and Reconnect a Data Sync Case FAQs: TRIAL DIRECTOR Data Sync Keep checking back with the Learning Experience team’s regular blog series for more information on IPRO’s products, the Help Center, the Learning Center, and different training options! IPRO’s Help Center, where you can find documentation on all IPRO products, can also be found here: https://myipro.iprotech.com/help   If you’d like to learn more about IPRO’s products or if you’d like to purchase any type of training, head to our online Learning Center: https://learn.ipro.com/ If you have topics you’d like for us to cover in our blog, or want to share feedback about the Help Center or the Learning Center, please feel free to drop us a line. We will incorporate your ideas into future blog posts and/or adjust our content roadmap based on customer feedback we receive.
  5. Why You Too Should be Utilizing Workbooks in TRIAL DIRECTOR By Susanne Strong, Content Developer, IPRO’s Learning Experience Team As a former Paralegal, I am a huge fan of organization. In fact, you could say that organization is one of the key factors as to why I was successful in my past roles and why I continue to be as a Content Developer here at IPRO. The fact that I love organization may be why Workbooks in TRIAL DIRECTOR just happen to be one of my favorite features and something I love diving deep into , when delivering live training. The reason why? Workbooks can assist you in a variety of ways, whether it be to help organize your case data in Evidence, or to better help you present when it comes to arbitrations and trials. Utilizing Workbooks in Evidence is a great way to organize documents and relate them to specific groups of items, such as documents or clips or to a particular witness or an issue. If you’re from my generation, think of Workbooks in TRIAL DIRECTOR like that Trapper Keeper you used to use in school, with the Velcro, Notepad, Storage Packet, 3-Ring Binder and all of the separate folders inside. For someone geeky like me, that binder just about made my school day and professionally speaking, I can say the same for Workbooks. Organizing evidence in Workbooks by deponent or issue When it comes to organizing documents into Workbooks in Evidence, I create workbooks in the same manner that I would deposition and trial notebooks: by deponent, issue and/or opening and closing statements. Going back to my paralegal days, creating workbooks for each deponent and placing documents related to those deponents into those workbooks enabled me to effectively prepare attorneys for upcoming depositions. Creating reports of the documents in those workbooks, of course, goes hand in hand. Compiling the corresponding transcripts for each deponent to go along with those is simply a must. If your case is issue intensive and you’ve categorized both documents and transcript text by issue, you can create Workbooks by issue, electronically print those workbooks and their Workbook Listing reports, and all Transcript Issue reports after you’ve coded them to go along with the corresponding Workbooks. It’s just like organizing documents into those 3-Ring Binders and all of the separate folders in that good old Trapper Keeper of mine, except it’s even better because I haven’t had to print any paper! Organizing documents in Workbooks by argument Organizing documents in Workbooks by trial argument, such as opening and closing statements, is another way to set up documents in Evidence and effectively present arguments at trial. Besides creating trial exhibit and deposition workbooks, to use in both Evidence and Presentation, in my opinion, this is the best use of workbooks in TRIAL DIRECTOR. While everyone wants to know how to present on the fly and show off their mad skills in the courtroom, organizing your documents into workbooks and presenting from there is in fact one of the most flawless ways of presenting. By placing documents into workbooks in the order you wish to present them, you can simply launch them in that manner, one at a time and then flip through all pages of those items seamlessly. If you use the spacebar to launch from the workbook instead of the green launch button, it’s almost like waving a magic wand, no one sees you doing it, and magic happens on the screen right before your eyes. In this instance, you too can be either Harry Potter or Hermione Granger (take your pick!). The Trial Exhibits Workbook is the default Workbook, as they are of course the most used items. and we’ve put them at your fingertips. All you have to do is launch them in order or select the exhibit you want and voila, the item is presented on the screen. You can also organize clips via Workbooks and present them in this manner as well. Whether you create a clips Workbook on its own or create Workbooks by deponent and place all documents and clips that relate to each deponent into that Workbook is up to you. Conclusion When it comes to the use cases for Workbooks, the options here are truly endless. For me, it’s all about organization: Organizing items in Evidence and using that organization to the best of my ability when it comes to presenting. When I’m organized, I’m confident and that makes me one heck of a hot seat operator. If you’re looking for a little help on creating workbooks or say, working with transcripts, here at IPRO, we’ve got you covered. We have several topics on our help center that’ll get you started and we also created a whole bunch of self-guided learning courses related to TRIAL DIRECTOR made especially for you. Workflow: Get Started in TRIAL DIRECTOR Overview: Workbooks TRIAL DIRECTOR Self-Guided Learning TRIAL DIRECTOR Document Management For links to other courses, or if you’d like to learn more about IPRO’s products, log on to our online learning center, https://learn.iprotech.com/ For step-by-step instructions, on processes, IPRO’s Help Center can also be found here: https://myipro.iprotech.com/help If you have topics you’d like for us to cover, please feel free to drop us a line and we will incorporate your ideas into future blog posts.
  6. TRIAL DIRECTOR Training: Where do I Start? By Brittany Thaler, ACP eDiscovery When it comes to trial, time is limited. There are so many deadlines, motions, hard copies, and settlement talks floating around that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to breathe, let alone remember how to use IPRO TRIAL DIRECTOR It’s even more frustrating when you’ve transitioned over from TrialDirector 6.8 to TRIAL DIRECTOR (also known as TrialDirector 360) and you need to learn new functionality! For many, trial doesn’t come around often. It may be several months, or even years, since you last worked in TRIAL DIRECTOR, much less presented in it. As a trainer, this is something I hear often: “I just haven’t used it in so long, I don’t even know where to begin”. If this is something you are struggling to admit, now you know, you are not alone. In fact, as a paralegal, I experienced this myself. I went from using it once a year, to using it 5 times a year, back to using it once a year throughout my tenure. Lucky for you, the Product Learning Experience Team is packed full of trainers like me with real world experience, knowledge, and humility. Knowing that this is something our clients grapple with, we have tried to address the common pitfall of “just haven’t used it in a while” with IPRO’s Learning Center. Getting Started with TRIAL DIRECTOR Our Self-Guided Getting Started Series can be helpful for overall understanding TRIAL DIRECTOR if you are just totally lost. At a very low cost, this series provides you with a full product training at your own pace and on your own schedule. The unique thing about trial is that you are working around the clock; with self-guided learning, you can start and stop whenever you need, 24/7. If you are pressed for time, you can purchase our TRIAL DIRECTOR Administrator – Recorded Webinar. The courses are formatted into three different 3-hour webinar sessions. When finished, you will have a thorough, complete, advanced, and in-depth knowledge of ][TrialDirector, as well as study guides, sample data, and practice scenarios to help retain the information gained. We also have Live Administrator Training for small private groups if you want a more one-on-one feel or sessions that are open to TRIAL DIRECTOR users on a per seat basis. The courses are formatted in the same manner as referenced above. Learning specific tasks in TRIAL DIRECTOR The Learning Center also hosts the On a Mission series, providing bite-sized videos for accomplishing a specific task or workflow. This series is perfect for those times when you simply need a little extra help and don’t have a lot of time to dedicate. Perhaps you recall how to set up cases, but you just can’t remember how to Create & Manage Exhibit Labels, or Create & Present Carousel Workbooks, or you want to utilize Alias when working in transcripts. These itty-bitty videos are less than 10 minutes long and free of charge. Yes, that is correct, FREE! Whatever your situation when it comes to preparing for trial, we know the struggle is real. With all of the options listed above, know that panicking can take a backseat because IPRO is on your side. Happy Learning! For more information about Transitioning from TrialDirector 6.8 to TRIAL DIRECTOR (aka TrialDirector 360), checkout this blog article. For more information about tips like these, keep tuning in to our regular blog series from our Product Learning Experience team. If you’d like to learn more about IPRO’s products or sign up for Self-Guided Learning, log in to our online learning center, https://learn.iprotech.com/ IPRO’s Help Center can also be found here: https://myipro.iprotech.com/help If you have topics you’d like for us to cover, please feel free to drop us a line and we will incorporate your ideas into future blog posts.
  7. By Brittany Thaler, ACP eDiscovery LOCAL DISCOVERY and TRIAL DIRECTOR 7.0 Release has a so much to offer we couldn’t keep our typing fingers still! From clip editing features to new reporting options, 7.0 is a customer driven release born out of requests from our customers from our feature request inbox at ideas@iprotech.com: Video Editing Cut & Paste Segments: IPRO added the ability to select multiple segments to be cut and pasted for moving to new locations. More editing options means better presentations! Set Clip Start/End: Setting the start or end of clips will now save automatically so that an additional save is eliminated. Yay to less clicking and forgetting! Clip Report: This report was updated to include synchronized exhibits, provide page numbers for segments that span multiple pages, group clips by parent transcript, and add the ability to provide single space output to the final report. More flexibility and more options equal greater efficiency! Fact Management Deposition Transcript Report: This new Transcript Report allows users to select issues, NOTES, quick marks, designations, and linked exhibits to specific transcripts. That’s right, you read it correctly, notes can now be exported per transcript! Fact Management Cast Member Report: This new report allows users to select one or more cast members with the option to include selected transcripts, documents, multimedia, clips and contact information with export to .csv. Yay, for these added options for increased efficiency with Witness/Trial Notebook organization! Fact Management Issue Report: The new report allows users to report on selected issues with options to include documents, facts, and transcripts with export to .csv! More versatility and post report edits! Want to see these features in action? Check out the learning center for an On a Mission course related to these new release items. For full 7.0 Release notes, check out the Help Center for more detailed information on performance and printability for sharing around your office! There is such much more content on the page and in the Learning Center overall. The Product Learning Team’s goal is to provide you the right content, at the right time, and in the right format. As we continue to execute on our mission, more content will become available and easily accessible to guide you through your journey. The Learning Experience Team wants you to succeed in this fast-paced, new world. We wish you luck on this endeavor and know with the right tools, the right training, and the right support, you can be a truly remarkable eDiscovery practitioner! Happy Learning! For more information about tips like these, keep tuning in to our regular blog series from our Learning Experience team.  If you’d like to learn more about IPRO’s products or sign up for Self-Guided Learning, log in to our online learning center,  https://learn.ipro.com/  IPRO’s Help Center can also be found here: https://myipro.iprotech.com/help 
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