As you are probably aware (and/or tired of hearing), we pride ourselves on staying at the cutting edge of litigation and trial presentation technology. We were the first Louisville court reporting firm to begin using Visionary trial presentation and synchronization software. We have also always carried West Publisher and Trial Director for our synchronization and trial presentation needs.. We are now proud to add Sanction Trial Presentation software to our Production Department’s stable of litigation software. The purpose of this article is to tell you why.
Sanction or Trial Director: Which is Better?
When Sanction and Trial Director first began marketing trial presentation software, they represented two very different approaches. TrialDirector was more likely to be preferred by a database programmer while Sanction had broad appeal to users with basic computer skills. Sanction had a simpler user interface that was easier to learn. The Sanction viewer was also preferred by many attorneys. That said, TrialDirector was a vastly superior program when it came to dealing with large or complex data sets. As a result, full-time trial presentation specialists (like us) and attorneys involved in document-heavy litigation quickly moved toward TrialDirector. A recent informal pole of trial presentation specialists has shown a clear preference for Trial Director. Moreover, Sanction began to fall behind as technology evolved. They launched very few updates and were purchased by Gallo Holdings in 2009. Gallo, in turn, went bankrupt less than three years later. Things were not looking good for Sanction and we had little interest in pursuing what appeared to be a dying product. However, LexisNexis stepped up in 2012 and purchased Sanction. They have immediately begun upgrading the software and bundling it with portions of their many other legal support software packages. As a result, we are confident that Sanction will continue to improve, adapt and be available for years to come. Our conclusion is that attorneys should choose between TrialDirector and Sanction based on their individual needs. Of course, we always want attorneys to work with us, so we now carry both.
Why Add Sanction Now?
Aside from the fact that Sanction was solidified by Lexis’ purchase, we have a very good personal reason to add it. Just a few weeks ago, a Louisville area attorney asked us to synchronize about 25 hours of deposition testimony. Now, this was not an out of the ordinary request as we synchronize that much video-to-text on a typical busy day. So, we quickly synchronized the depositions and converted them to a .mdb file. We then spot-checked the synchronization and everything looked great. Much to our surprise, the attorney sent all of the video back and complained that it was out of sync. Occasionally,an automatic synchronization program can give less than perfect results. While the video looked good to us, we really wanted to make the client happy. We decided to sync all 25+ hours manually to ensure that it was absolutely perfect. Of course, this required around 30+ hours of actual work by our staff. We completed the manual syncing and once again reviewed it. Everything looked great. Much to our horror, the attorney called back complaining that the sync still was not perfect. At this point we decided that minor variance between the length of the video and the transcript was causing a gradual shift in the sync. In other words there were places where the videographer had caught off-the-record colloquy and it was interfering with the sync (we were not the videographers, of course). We elected to go the extreme route of cutting the video and re-syncing by hand. As you’ve probably guessed, this failed as well. We finally chose to go to the attorney’s office and make sure he was not just a sadist. As it turns out, our .mdb files were not totally compatible with his sanction software. We know that makes little sense but, trust us, it was also the conclusion of Sanction tech support. Long story short, it took close to 80 hours of labor to do a job that should’ve taken a day. Of course, we did not charge the client anything. We decided that, from this point forward, we will own and be fluent in every type of trial presentation software so we can create and edit files in their original programming. Even if we prefer TrialDirector, the customer is always right.
Kentuckiana Court Reporters Carries All Of The Leading Trial Presentation Software.
We are leaving the debate about which trial presentation and synchronization software is best to our competitors. In the court reporting business you have to be multilingual. Whether you use TrialDirector, Sanction, Visionary, TimeCoder, Synchron or LegaLink – – we speak your language. If you use a software which we have not used (unlikely) then we will learn how to use it. When you need your transcript synchronized to video we can do it for you in any format. If you need you video edited into any file format, we can do that as well. The best part? If you use us for your court reporting and video, we perform the edits for free.