Do you only train or do trial presentation work in Arizona?
No, we're good friends with Southwest Airlines and travel all over the country to train and to work on trials.
So we'd like to use you for our trial presentation. How far in advance of trial should we contact you?
We've been called as early as a month before trial and as late as the day before trial (not the best idea!). Loading images into a TrialDirector case is usually fairly easily and quickly done, although entering descriptions of the exhibits (when necessary) may take longer if there's no pre-existing database to tap into. Loading video and creating video clips are more time-consuming, so an earlier start is wiser. If you need to arrange for courtroom equipment, you want to be sure and allow enough time to survey the courtroom, determine what equipment is needed, identify an equipment vendor, and give them time to acquire and set up the equipment.
My lawyers want me to handle all of the pretrial preparation, my usual paralegal responsibilities during trial and now they've added electronic trial presentation to my “to do” list. Is this a good idea?
As a former paralegal, I'm all for paralegals extending their skills. The problem during trial is that most paralegals already have a long list of things to handle, some of which happen while their attorney is questioning a witness. If you're in line to present in the courtroom, it's important for the attorney to realize that you have to be dedicated to presenting and can't run out of the courtroom to locate a tardy witness or find a missing exhibit. That's where a courtroom presentation specialist comes into play. They'll work with you and the rest of the trial team so that you can focus on what you need to focus. Having said that, if the attorneys are determined that you do the presentation, it's a good idea to “intern” on your first trial with an experienced trial consultant so you can learn how to handle the real-life situations that arise.
Can you give me an idea of what to include in a trial technology “survival” kit”?
Take a look at the list of items we suggest you include when you go into a technology-based trial. This list is always being tweaked though as we acquire new technology or find a favorite new tool.
Loading images and data into Summation makes me crazy. I just don't have the time (or patience) to do it. Can't we just ask you to handle it for us?
I know what you mean! But I like jigsaw puzzles, so working out DII and data loading issues are almost fun for me. (I know -- geeky.) So yes, if you'd like me to help you, I can do remote data loading for you. Just give me a call so we discuss what you need.
When I call Summation to get a trainer's name, they tell me I can get training through them. Why can't I reach an independent trainer through Summation anymore?
In late 2010, AccessData discontinued the Summation Certified Trainer program. Although they generally don't refer training to outside trainers as used to happen, you can always call us or, if you wish, check outwww.legalsoftwaretrainers.comto locate a trainer near you. The Legal Software Trainers website includes listings for trainers on a variety of programs, not simply Summation. You can also find resellers and other specialists on the site.
I heard that after AccessData merged with Summation, we couldn't buy Summation LG or Summation LG Gold. Is that true?
Yes. Shortly after the merger went through, AccessData eliminated the lower end editions of Summation (LG and LG Gold), opting to only provide and support iBlaze, WebBlaze and Enterprise. At the time, they offered the upgrade to iBlaze for the cost of the upgraded maintenance. In 2011, AccessData introduced a new platform (Summation Express and Summation Pro). The last version of Summation iBlaze was ver. 3.1. (It is possible to download this version on AccessData's website at http://www.accessdata.com/support/product-downloads. You will need to have a current license code to activate the version.)
If you want to keep your software current, contact Summation sales (800.574.5199 ) and ask them about pricing. Evans Training & Consulting no longer sells the software.
Our lawyers don't really know what Summation is. How can we get them up to speed so that we can use our Summation training right away?
Great question. If the attorneys haven't signed up for training themselves, we offer a lunchtime overview session of Summation's key features for attorneys. We've often found after these sessions that the attorneys sign up for a two-hour training session because they've seen the benefit of the software.
How much do you charge for training?
That depends on the training your firm needs and how many students will be attending. Give us a call at 480.899.5588 or email us at email@example.com, and we'll be happy to identify what you need for training and give you a quote.
What kind of training materials do you provide?
Depending on the software, we provide a training manual and training handouts. The training manual is offered in electronic format (searchable PDF) but the handouts (Quick Reference Cards) are provided to you at the training session in paper format.
Do you sell your training materials?
No. Those are a benefit of obtaining training through Evans Training & Consulting and are not sold to the public.
Do you have a training facility that we can come to in Arizona? It gets pretty cold in Michigan during the winter!
We have access to an excellent training facility in Arizona, if the economics of flying your team to Arizona rather than a trainer to your location work better for you.
Do you provide computers and equipment for training if you come to our offices?
Generally no, but if you don't have enough computers, we may be able to supplement the systems with additional laptops. Additional shipping costs may apply. If you don't have a projector, we'll bring one to use for training.
How many students can attend a training session?
We've found the optimum number of students in lit support software training is 8.
Can I book a one-on-one training session with you?
Just give us a call and we can set it up at our local training facility, in your office, or on-line.
Do you provide agendas for your training sessions?
Yes, we do provide agendas. When you call to ask about our training, we'll send you some sample agendas. Please remember though that we may need to customize the agenda to better fit in with your firm's needs. We're always happy to discuss variations on the agenda, so we see the agendas as flexible.
Is Summation just for paralegals to use or should attorneys be using it themselves?
You know, I've been working with Summation since 1988, and for the majority of that time, the perception has been that it's a program to be used by paralegals. But over the past several years, clients have put pressure on law firms to apply more efficiency to how they work cases. At the same time, we've been inundated by cases with hundreds of thousands of documents that need reviewing for subjective analysis (how does this document relate to our case?) and for privilege reviews. As a result, attorneys have had to get their hands on the keyboards and mice.
Yes, Summation can seem daunting, but there are ways to make the program easier to hop into, even if an attorney has been away from it for awhile. We know attorneys have other things to focus on; learning a software program – and re-learning it – shouldn't monopolize their time. Let us come in and show you and the attorneys how to make Summation friendlier for document and privilege review. Heck, we might even teach the attorneys a few searching tricks, too!
What software programs do you train?
inData: TrialDirector and TimeCoder Pro
Lexis-Nexis: CaseMap, TimeMap, TextMap, and Concordance
AccessData: Summation iBlaze version 3.1 or earlier
PowerPoint for trial
What's do you recommend for a training environment?
We've trained in about any environment you can think of. Well, maybe not outside – yet. We believe that the best initial training takes place face-to-face with everyone having hands-on access to the software. We've trained in conference rooms where we stepped over dogs (yes, the law firm allowed dogs in the office – and it was great!) to wonderfully equipped training rooms with extended monitors, smart boards, and everything high-tech you could think of. A white board or easel is handy, but if one isn't available, Notepad works well, too. The best class size is 8 or fewer students. We always bring our own laptop because it has all of the software we need and, if the firm doesn't have one, we can bring a projector.
How long are your training classes?
That's hard to answer. It depends on the program and who's being trained and the agenda we're following. We can customize the agendas to fit your firm's needs, but obviously, cutting back on the duration of a class means we cover fewer topics.
Generally, for attorney training for Summation, we're looking at about 3 hours of training. For paralegals first learning the program, training lasts 8 hours, preferably split over two four-hour sessions. More advanced topics for paralegals wanting to use advanced features can take another day, sometimes two if they really want to become Summation gurus.
CaseMap/TimeMap training typically lasts a day as does TrialDirector training.
Do you provide CLE-accredited training?
We've been asked this several times. Each state bar has different rules about CLE requirements. In Arizona, for example, a class provided to a law firm has to meet certain fairly easy-to-fulfill criteria where CLE in California requires much more. Evans Training & Consulting will be happy to provide you with a signed certificate of attendance and an agenda, which you may then be able to use to obtain CLE credit in your area.
Do you provide certificates of attendance?
Yes, if you need certificates of attendance for CLE or other purposes, please let us know in advance of the training and we'll provide them at the end of the training session.
I know I can call Summation or inData for support, but may I also call you?
Sure you can call me. If you have a maintenance agreement with one of the software companies, though, you've already paid for their support. I bill for my time, although it may be that we can resolve your question quickly enough that it's not worth billing for. Several of my clients have me run a “tab” for them. Then, at the end of the quarter, I send them a bill for the time. We just need to be sure it's a charge that's approved by your firm. We can either troubleshoot on the phone or set up an online session to figure out what's going on.
I saw on your resume that you've written several articles. I'd like to read read some of them.