The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers divorce trial, People v. Robert Blake murder trial, and a hundreds of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

ExhibitView: Simply Trial Presentation

If you’re in the market for trial presentation software, and you don’t have the time or energy to master a more complex program, or are only an occasional user, ExhibitView may be right for you.

ExhibitView 5.0 runs well on Windows 8 and in wide-screen formats, and of course also works on older systems and formats. With its simple interface, anyone can quickly and confidently present and annotate exhibits. From the first introduction of the program in 2008, one of the primary goals of partners Bill Roach and Robert Finnell was to develop a program that anyone could quickly learn and take to trial. Although it certainly has enough power and capacity to handle large databases, the real key strength of ExhibitView continues to be its simplicity and ease of use.

Interestingly, Roach started this journey using TrialDirector, assisting attorney Finnell with his trial presentation needs. According to his bio, “In 1996, Roach & family moved to Atlanta to start his own audio/video business where he met and assisted Robert Finnell with many legal cases. One heart-wrenching wrongful death case ignited the spark that led Roach to create a presentation software any lawyer could use to win more cases. As VP of Customer Relations, Roach uses his creativity and innovation to make ExhibitView the trial presentation software that lawyers prefer.”

After a significant wrongful death case in 2004, the idea for ExhibitView was conceived. The entire story is detailed in an interesting timeline, showing the development and evolution of the program.

I have tried most of the popular trial presentation programs available today, and can confidently say that an attorney who wants to save a client some money by handling the entire trial presentation on their own won’t be intimidated by ExhibitView.

ExhibitView 5.0 (click to enlarge)
ExhibitView comes with a sample database which can be used to quickly get up to speed on the program. The desktop offers tabs for documents, images, and other exhibit items.

Once you create a new case database (one of the options from the startup screen, or may be accessed from the File menu), you can present evidence in just a few minutes. Please refer to this desktop screenshot for reference.

1.   Import documents – In the Documents tab, you will see an “Add Documents” icon in the top left corner (see image above). Click, and follow the prompts to your exhibits. While I’d like to see a true drag and drop import from the file folder to the program, this works fine.

2.    View exhibits – Drag and drop a document onto the presentation screen (center, left or right) area. Zoom in using the Callout tool, highlight desired text, or try some of the other annotation features. Some other programs such as TrialDirector will allow more options for displaying additional documents, but in reality, the most common presentation will be of just one or two exhibits together at a time.

3.   Connect your projector cable – In most cases, the projector will be automatically connected to the program, so you’re ready to present.

4.   Present your evidence – Click the Projector icon (at the top right of program window). You may leave it on, or use it to blank the screen. Alternatively, you may clear the presentation preview, which will put up a blank screen. This can be helpful if your projector defaults to a blue or white screen when there is no signal. ExhibitView differs from other trial presentation programs in that annotations are done directly on your preview screen, rather than your presentation view. This isn’t a problem unless you have a small laptop running the program, since you are not viewing the exhibit in a full-screen view.

5.   Win your trial – Well, that part is up to you, but you’ll have the tools to help you present the evidence.

  ExhibitView is available for $549, plus $149 for an annual support contract. They also feature an iPad version and TranscriptPro. Additional info may be found on the ExhibitView website.

NOTE: If you are considering ExhibitView, it is available for 50% off today (May 30, 2014) and tomorrow. Purchase Any ExhibitView PC or TranscriptPro product for 50% off, by using promo code 50%OFF.

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