There are some iPad apps that can be put to use for legal business. Then there are some that are beautifully designed -- and designed specifically for lawyers. TranscriptPad is one of the latter.
TranscriptPad is designed with one task in mind: deposition review. If you spend any time at all litigating, you know that is no small task.
Reading through depositions on paper is a hunt-and-peck task. You search for relevant words and phrases that could help or hurt at trial, and try to organize them on a notepad or in a computer document.
TranscriptPad takes the heavy lifting out of that process. Here's how it works:
First, you need a deposition transcript. TranscriptPad can quickly import depositions from a text file in your email or from Dropbox. From there, the app handles almost everything.
Highlighting relevant text in different colors is easy, and you can flag certain sections for a particular use as you build your case. You can also do a simple search for a word or phrase in the depo transcript, and the app will show you all the places where it shows up.
The search isn't too sophisticated, but it is much better than searching it yourself.
When depositions are imported, the app can immediately identify the date and deponent, and will ask you to assign it to a case. Depositions from a case are grouped together, and the search function allows you to search within a single depo or all the depos in a given case.
When you're done marking up the document, you can then export reports that contain only issue-coded text grouped together or create a highlighted PDF of the entire document. That report can be emailed or printed from the iPad so it's easily shared.
But lest you think it's all sunshine and roses, there are some downsides to the app. For example, there is a space to upload exhibits to the app, but there's no way to edit or annotate them. Another downside is the price tag: The app costs $49.99, which is much more than most apps.
But most reviewers agree that the price is worth it. What you get is a very efficient and powerful piece of software that is more mobile than anything else on the market.
The TranscriptPad app is made by the same people who produced TrialPad, which is similarly beloved by the legal community. If you spend any time in litigation in the course of your practice, the only real question is: Why don't you have it yet?
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