Natasha Gellatly, owner of NG Solutions in Vancouver, WA, recently shared with us her unique business model, and how she uses LIT SOFTWARE’s apps to improve litigation practices in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Natasha started her company out of her experiences in her career as a litigation paralegal. For many years, she was employed in a large firm in Portland, Oregon, where she became the go-to paralegal for any attorney headed to trial. She spent years preparing and presenting at trial. Then, four years ago, she tried a new type of presentation software—TrialPad.
TrialPad revolutionized the way she approached trial preparation and presentation. More than anything, it made her desk space almost irrelevant as she could perform many trial preparation tasks on her iPad, regardless of location. TrialPad even made some tasks easier and faster than before, such as preparing documents with exhibit stickers. Applying exhibit stickers to, for example, 400 documents by hand, or even applying them using a program like Adobe’s Acrobat to open and electronically annotate the documents took her much longer before TrialPad, which accomplishes the same task in about 10 seconds. And when the exhibit stickers (invariably) have to be re-done because a document was added mid-sequence, TrialPad re-labels them all equally as quickly. Over time, the exhibit sticker feature alone saved her hours of work, freeing her up for other tasks, and adding up to significant billable time savings for grateful clients. In short order, Natasha also added TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad to her iPad, and her iPad became her new mobile workstation.
After a couple of years of iPad trials, Natasha took the knowledge and experience of large firm litigation and started a company of her own. Through NG Solutions, Natasha now trains lawyers and paralegals in the easiest and most efficient ways to prepare and present at trial using only an iPad. She also offers trained paralegal staffing for those pre-trial moments when extra hands are needed. In short, NG Solutions has become the life ring that small and medium sized firms often need when headed to court.
A couple weeks ago, Natasha shared with us some of the tips she gives to her clients:
For Natasha, preparing and presenting at trial involves using the LIT SOFTWARE bundle, not just TrialPad. She told us that using all three apps’ different abilities to access a case is a HUGE additional tool at trial. The three apps work together on the iPad become your entire workstation. Use DocReviewPad to process, Bates label, and redact and to start organizing documents around the issues in your case. Then transfer only what you think you’ll need to present to TrialPad. She reminds her clients that transferring additional documents from DocReviewPad to TrialPad if needed is quick, and doesn’t require an internet connection, as it all happens within the iPad ecosystem. The same app to app transfer can be done with TranscriptPad, as deposition summaries and Impeachment Reports can be brought into TrialPad to show a witness in a matter of seconds.
All three apps have tools to keep track of what you’ve already done, so you don’t have to duplicate your efforts. DocReviewPad saves a report every time you make a production set. Keeping those reports will let you know exactly what you produced to the other side, or transferred into TrialPad. TranscriptPad reports can be saved in the same folder as the transcript so that if you’ve reviewed it, and then put it down for a couple months, it is easy to read your summary and pick up exactly where you left off. Additionally, Issue Codes saved in both DocReviewPad and TranscriptPad also allow you to see exactly what issues there are in a case if you open it after several months continuance. Lastly, Evidence Reports in TrialPad help preserve the case record for appeal, noting documents, exhibit numbers and admitted status. Natasha recommends taking a couple seconds (literally) after each day of trial to create an Evidence Report.
YOU CAN DO IT
Natasha teaches the art of the iPad Trial to lawyers and paralegals, and has had a fantastic response from her clients, as well as the judges and juries in court. An iPad trial is easy to learn and implement, and saves time for the firm, and money for the client. Law firms are also happily surprised to find that all three apps cost under $300! Together with Natasha’s experience, the three iPad apps allow firms to take on more clients, confident in a proven system she’s shown them how to employ. Judges and juries recognize the high quality of the presentations, and appreciate the amazing capabilities of the apps that allow the trial team to be efficient and nimble in presenting and responding in the courtroom.