District Attorney's Office goes high-tech in courtroom: Prosecutors use iPad app to build cases

'Trialpad' allows attorneys to build e-exhibits

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County District Attorney's Office is going high-tech in the courtroom. They are the first district-wide office in the country to use an app to present evidence electronically.

Deputy district attorney David Grapilon's skills as a prosecutor helped him win a recent robbery case, but he admits technology was on his side.

"It really is a small compact unit to present a variety of evidence, a variety of media, really, at the touch of a finger," he told 10News.

He is now training other prosecutors how to use an iPad app called "Trialpad." It allows attorneys to build e-exhibits and get creative on how cases, clients and crimes are presented.

"I can bring the area up, and rotate the image by using my fingers to allow the witness to better describe the area they want," said Grapilon. "I can even tilt it or pan it."

For example, you can compare diagrams. You can even draw on documents and blow it up, making it more engaging for jurors and witnesses.

"We're no longer limited by space, no longer limited by static exhibits," said Grapilon.

The tablet show-and-tell is in response to a San Diego Superior Court ruling banning the use of poster boards, except for murder trials.

With room running out to store the bulky exhibits, more prosecutors can expect to start training on the app soon.

"Some of those trial attorneys who have been around a long time, they barely got used to using a computer, now we're giving them an iPad with touch screens," said Grapilon.

The app is not meant to replace any physical evidence, such as weapons.

10News has learned the U.S. Attorney's Office will soon be using the app as well.

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