E-Trial by iPad – Precedent Protocol

A protocol for an E-Trial by iPad is a huge resource. The team behind the iPad E-Trial for Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. v Schad have shared this iPad E-Trial Protocol with us and we are sharing it with you. It is a protocol for the imaginary case of Widget Co v. Widget Store, and it lists the granular details required to make these iPad E-Trials work.

The Protocol suggests that the Judge will have an iPad Air 2 for trial, and that each party will have iTunes installed on their laptops to facilitate transferring files to the Judge’s iPad.

It also says that the parties will use ShareFile.com as the repository for digital documents used at trial.

E-Trial by iPad

The Protocol provides great details, including:

  • a detailed and careful naming format so documents in the shared cloud storage at ShareFile will be consistent.
  • a plan for coordinating the documents which will be uploaded to the judge’s iPad, including details on how to stamp each document on its face with its tab number and document identifier.
  • a timeline and process for loading and preparing documents for Examinations in Chief and Cross Examinations to the ShareFile site, and for uploading those same documents to the Judge’s iPad.
  • a process where, at the end of each court day, the parties discuss and confirm which documents were actually put to a witness, and thus which documents should remain on the ShareFile site.

Why this matters: This is a well thought-out protocol. It shows the kind of careful details that need to be nailed down to make an iPad E-Trial work. Ms. Chantelle Cseh and her team have successfully run a number of these iPad E-Trials. She tells me that their firm has invested in a collection of iPads so that their lawyers can sign them out for trial and hand out iPads full of PDF’ed documents in court, instead of binders of paper.

On November 15, 2019, Ms. Cseh presents updated information on E-Trials by iPad in her talk “Tablet Trials and Workflows – Tools, Tips and Best Practices” at the Pacific Legal Technology Conference (and it is available as a webinar).