Many users have contacted us about how to collaborate with co-counsel, associates, paralegals, legal assistants, or to have the same Case File appear on multiple devices. It is currently not possible to have multiple users work on the same Case File at the same time from different iPad devices. However, here are three workarounds that will allow better collaboration between users:
The first approach works like a public library, where a Case File is “checked out” and “checked in”. So, after User A creates and works on a Case File they transfer it to their desktop computer, a cloud service like Dropbox, or even a USB drive. Then, User B can copy the Case File to their iPad. The file and folder structure and any and all annotations are preserved when a Case File is moved, allowing User B to pick up right where User A left off. (As a Case File is moved back and forth it should be renamed to include the date and time so you will always know the most recent version.) Here is a tutorial video on various options on how to share a Case File: https://support.litsoftware.com/hc/en-us/articles/360058503134-VIDEO-Backing-Up-and-Sharing-Case-Files
Another approach to collaboration we commonly see involves dedicating a particular iPad to a specific case. In this approach, User A can work on a matter, then pass the iPad on to User B to continue working on the same matter. Using this method, a legal assistant or paralegal can add new documents to the case, apply exhibit stickers, make Key Docs, create reports, etc. In the case of TrialPad, lawyers might create their own witness folders, bring the iPad to depositions or hearings, pre-annotate documents they will present and call out during presentation, and mark documents as admitted. When it comes time for trial, the Case File that everyone has been working on can be backed up, and transferred (using the Library System) to multiple iPad devices so that the entire trial team can benefit from each other’s prep work and have a backup.
The third approach to collaboration sees multiple trial team members accessing the same evidence from a cloud storage provider, e.g. Dropbox. Each person, using their own iPad, would download the documents or transcripts they want to organize, review, and annotate. In this scenario, teams have usually determined who would be responsible for tackling specific witnesses or issues in a case, and everyone would download a copy of the evidence they need from a central document location. It is important in this scenario that the central document location be well organized. New documents, transcripts, and other discovery would typically be added in folders labeled with a YYYY-MM-DD prefix so that they appear in chronological order, and team members can easily see what folders they last downloaded, updating their Case Files with new evidence as needed. This last method was implemented by lawyers from the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Deepwater Horizon matter who were using our apps.
One Exception… TranscriptPad
TranscriptPad has a unique Share Annotated Transcript feature that allows a user to export a single transcript from a TranscriptPad Case File, including any associated annotations such as Issue Codes or Highlights, and share it with another TranscriptPad user. This allows a legal assistant or associate to do a first pass on a transcript, adding Highlights, Issue Codes, Flags and Notes, and then share that transcript (by email, uploading to Dropbox, even by AirDrop) with another TranscriptPad user for further review and annotation. This Share Annotated Transcript feature will also be useful for collaboration with an expert witness, and for our customers working on MDL and class action cases. Co-counsel in any given matter can share universally-relevant transcripts and annotations with each other from across an office, or across the country. An annotated transcript can even be shared with your opposing counsel as you prepare for trial, including only an Issue Code called “Our Designations”. Your opposing counsel can then add their designations and send the transcript back to you. You will each see each other’s designations, and can add Flags and Notes for objections, then create a beautiful color-coded PDF report to submit to the Court for rulings.