They say that good things come to those who wait. And while waiting and waiting and waiting in court, the good thing that came to attorney Scott Hudson was the idea for Trile, an iPad exclusive app for criminal law attorneys.
Hudson is a Charlotte-area based attorney who spent a lot of time in the District and Superior Court. “I would routinely have to carry around 10 or more files daily. It just wasn’t practical to carry around that much paperwork,” said Hudson, now the CEO of Trile.
In 2017, he attempted to move his practice entirely onto his iPad. “The problem was access to the information,” recalled Hudson. “While I could store everything in the cloud, I needed to edit it, to take notes on it, to work with forms and draft a fee application.”
“I needed four to five apps for each case. Sometimes during hearings, I would just be switching between apps, not listening to my client or hearing what the judge had to say.”
The idea for Trile was to create software for NC criminal law attorneys to streamline their practices so they could handle cases as quickly and efficiently as possible.
JUST 4 TAPS
“People may think, ‘This is just a lawyer who decided to have a weekend project.’ But Trile is way, way more developed than that,” explained Hudson.
To design the software, he partnered with Christopher Abbod, who is a software engineer at General Motors, where he helped develop the infotainment systems in their vehicles. Other team members included a user interface designer and a programmer who created their server infrastructure.
“All of the information is aggregated in a single app. All the documents are in one central location per client per file number,” said Hudson.
“Four taps are all you need. You have your client’s picture next to their name. Then you tap on the cell that brings up what they’re charged with, what their bond is and all previous court dates. Then you add the notes you normally take, what the plea offer was, what the client was charged with, how the judge adjudicated the matter, and their contact information. It’s all the information you would need for an IDS fee application.”
Hudson said Trile does not store sensitive client information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. “We knew early on that information security was a top priority, so we implemented the Firebase platform, developed and maintained by Google. They handle our security, so that’s something that users can be confident that all of their data will be protected, and it’s managed by one of the biggest companies on earth.”
TEN MINUTES TO LEARN
Hudson said Trile does not require technical knowledge to use. “If you are familiar with an iPad, it takes about 10 minutes to learn. Once you learn the flow, it’s very straightforward. What used to take me 20 minutes per client now takes me 5 or 10.”
“If you charge hourly on a criminal case, with Trile, you spend less time on the file because there’s less time being spent on the administrative work, which means that the user can handle more cases and the client pays less out of pocket.”
Trile has marketed via Facebook in the past, but Hudson thinks word of mouth will work best for growing sales.
The app went live in August 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. Users will eventually pay a monthly subscription, but for now, “because of practice limitations put in place by the Administrative Office of the Courts and because my colleagues are struggling to maintain revenue streams, we decided to make Trile free to use until things get back to normal.”