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By Mary Girsch-Bock
TrialDirector 5 is a trial presentation software program from inData Corp. Those of you who already are familiar with previous versions of TrialDirector will be delighted with the changes found in the latest version released in May.
The awkward user interface is replaced with an easy-to-navigate interface that uses a Windows Explorer-style tree. Previously an interactive suite of three applications (DepositionDirector, DocumentDirector and TrialDirector Presentation Mode), TrialDirector 5 integrates all three into a single program. Instead of switching back and forth between modules, now you can enter all pertinent information from a single interface. Folders are gone too, replaced by workbooks that can be organized to suit your needs. There also is a color-coding option available that makes it easy to identify and retrieve workbooks.
There are a number of interactive presentations and tutorials available for new users and those already familiar with TrialDirector.
The main screen is low on clutter. A drop-down menu allows you to work with documents, multimedia, coding, tools and an excellent help feature. To the left is the Case Explorer, which contains all your documents, multimedia and transcripts.
The Workbooks Explorer is a handy tool that sorts workbooks by user-defined criteria such as “admitted,” “opening,” “trial exhibits” and “witnesses.” The “Presentation” tab at the top of the screen directs you to your completed presentations. At the bottom of the screen you will find four tabs that direct you to your case library, document manager, transcript manager and coding.
TrialDirector uses three phases for setting up trial presentations. The first is called “Setting the Stage,” where you can create a new case and later add any additional items to the case. The “New Case” wizard prompts you for the required information every step of the way. The second stage is called “Organizing For Trial,” where you can make good use of all of the tools included in TrialDirector 5, including the ability to add image mark-ups, video clips and coded transcripts. You also can add issue codes to transcripts. The third stage is called “Presenting at Trial,” where you easily can retrieve all of the information in your case and organize it in your workbooks to professionally present it in the courtroom.
When you are ready to view the presentation, simply click on the “Presentation” tab directly beneath the menu bar to bring up a black presentation screen that contains a series of icons to help you locate the appropriate files and easily navigate through the presentation.
Additional features include the ability to search your files for key testimony using specific words or search terms. You can save depositions, and later view and edit them for trial. You can view video depositions with an accompanying transcript, and you can present exhibits side-by-side for easy comparison. In addition, TrialDirector 5 is Section 508 compliant for people with hearing, visual and other impairments.
Documents and transcripts can be imported in a variety of formats including OLL, LPT, LOG, TXT, ASCII, AMICUS or DVT. Reports easily are exported to Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format, HTML or TXT files. TrialDirector 5 also integrates with other legal software products such as iConect, and CT Summation LG and iBlaze.
Overall, TrialDirector 5 is an affordable, timesaving trial presentation program that gives you professional results when and where you need them.
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