Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney Ltd. was looking for a way to reduce the amount of paper the 122-attorney ﬁrm had to manage and bring to court for trials. Despite some partner skepticism, the ﬁrm’s New York office litigation support team pushed to implement TRIAL DIRECTOR to use electronic documents in the courtroom and innovate their trial preparation and presentation.
Segal McCambridge initially began using TRIAL DIRECTOR (formerly inData) in trials using projectors and monitors for the judge and jurors to view all case documents electronically in the courtroom. After IPRO purchased and integrated the solution with its eDiscovery suite of products, the ﬁrm also purchased IPRO OPEN DISCOVERY to more easily go to litigation without leaving the IPRO platform.
Getting the Go for a Trial
When a case has been designated for trial, Segal McCambridge, which has which has 9 locations in 8 states, gathers all the required documents from the OPEN DISCOVERY solution and transcripts, then organizes them in a case binder in TRIAL DIRECTOR. Each binder generates an identiﬁcation number for the case, as well as a unique bar code for each exhibit so that the ﬁrm’s attorneys and litigation support teams can collaborate on the case documents before and during hearings.
When the hearing begins, they use a wireless scanner to pick up the bar code to search for the document they want to present and then it’s displayed on the screen for both jurors and the judge to view or print. “TRIAL DIRECTOR has worked so well we never went back,” said Gabe Cubero, Litigation Support Manager. “We never try a case without it.”
We never miss a beat because TRIAL DIRECTOR makes it seamless. We are able to show the judge we have everything organized and mean business. What I love about IPRO is they are not just a vendor; they are the source.
Gabe Cubero, Litigation Support Manager
New Era of Litigation
As Segal McCambridge continued to use TRIAL DIRECTOR in more cases, the ﬁrm had such great feedback from judges, jurors—and even opposing council—they began utilizing more of the system’s capabilities. For example, Cubero often uses the solution to highlight, underline, or put arrows around the words or paragraphs—or compare documents—on the presentation screen that the attorney is emphasizing during the hearing.
He also uses the solution’s video capabilities to zoom in on videos and use call outs in them—and even use them during virtual trials–which has been essential during the pandemic. “We need to keep jurors engaged, because they already are used to seeing presentations on their phones all day long,” Cubero said. “The power that TRIAL DIRECTOR brings to a trial is the ability to show on a screen that we care about our case and want jurors to see it live and clear.”
Judicial, Juror Support
Segal McCambridge has received support from the legal community for using TRIAL DIRECTOR in their litigation. In one case, it had several disputes from opposing council over the authentication of documents. But when the ﬁrm’s attorney explained how the database and coding capabilities of the solution allowed for easier searching, the judge agreed to use the solution as the source of truth for the case documents.
“Every trial we try where the plaintiff’s attorney doesn’t have TRIAL DIRECTOR, the ﬁrst thing the juror say was that their presentation was boring, and they needed that solution. It just speaks to the testament about how good the product is,“ Cubero said. “It’s just not an option anymore not to have it. They expect it from us.”