TrialDirector is a presentation software program made by inData Corporation specifically for attorneys to present evidence in trials, mediations, and arbitrations. It works similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, but has more advanced functions that allow for flexibility during presentation.
Using presentation software is becoming more and more important these days. The two most common types of evidence in trial are photographs and documents. Here's how TrialDirector can help you present both.
Jeff Bennion is a Certified TrialDirector Instructor
Presenting Photographs as Exhibits in Trial
Most photographs these days start out as digital photographs, which have a much higher image quality than prints displayed on a blow up board or on an Elmo document camera.
This is an original digital image the way it displays on your computer. It looks clean and crisp at full size and zoomed in.
Here is a print of the same image from a digital photograph. You lose a lot of detail and color from the original.
If projecting a picture from an Elmo or a blow up board, this is what you will be using. Additionally, the quality of your picture will be reduced further by the quality of the Elmo. The other problem with the Elmo is that it is difficult to zoom on and focus on certain areas of a picture. If you are using a blow up foam board, you can only enlarge your picture to 3 or 4 feet at a cost of several hundred dollars per board. A projected image will be about 8-10 times larger than a foam board. Additionally, if you load your photos into TrialDirector, you can show all of your photos in high quality in a large size, instead of just the few that you handpicked to pay a couple hundred dollars to put on boards.
Presenting Documents as Exhibits in Trial
The problem is even more evident with documents. TrialDirector allows you to zoom in on and display only the portions that you want the jury to see on a 10 foot screen. If you make a blow up board that is 3 feet by 4 feet, it is only about 4 times wider than an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and it is difficult for jurors to read. Again, if you use TrialDirector, you can display any document you want in a large format. This is critical when you are forming a dynamic presentation that you can change in on the fly, instead of locking yourself into a scripted witness examination.
If you want to compare two documents or refer to two documents regularly, you can display them side by side and zoom into selected portions.
TrialDirector also allows you to highlight and annotate documents that you display. You can save the annotations for later use, or start over with a clean exhibit.
Unique Features of TrialDirector - Presenting Video
TrialDirector also has an advanced set of functions for displaying videos. When showing the jury video depositions, you can display the scrolling text of the deposition under the video and you can synchronize deposition exhibits to allow a side by side display. The jury not only sees the deponent, but sees the exhibits he is looking at as he is discussing them.
Microsoft PowerPoint in Trial
PowerPoint allows you to present a script of pre-planned slides. Unlike TrialDirector, PowerPoint allows you to use animations to present text and other elements of a slide. PowerPoint can also be a good tool to do simple animations.
Prezi in Trial
Prezi is a presentation platform that creates a large canvas that allows the user to pan and zoom to various portions of the canvas as opposed to flipping from slide to slide. Here is an example: