December 3, 2020

Gettin’ Jiggy With It: Your Review Layouts

Sorry for the bad title but who doesn’t like Will Smith??  Okay, “jiggy” might not be the best word, but I do think you can certainly get extremely creative with your layouts in SummationPro.  I have personally been using this tool pretty much all day, everyday for almost two years.  However, I am always surprised and get totally giddy in a geeky kind of way when I create a new layout that I like.  I thought it would be fun to expand on this topic and show you guys some of the layouts I typically use and like.

Did you know there are literally THOUSANDS of custom layouts that you can make with SummationPro?

Yeah, no joke. A layout is any combination of viewer panels, positioning of those panels on the screen, and name for the layout.  Since SummationPro has 17 panels in total that you can mix and match together in any combination – plus you can either pin or dock them in multiple quadrants or areas of the browser window – there are seriously thousands of layout options. In this post I’ll show some popular panels, how to position them, and how to manage them.

Now the program comes with 4 default layouts: Search, Culling, Review, & Transcript, and those are very useful, but let me show you a few of my favorites.  Here is my layouts drop down; the first four are the defaults, the rest are custom layouts.

1) Column & Image

Oh “Column & Image”, I seriously do not know what I’d do without you…  This is a favorite amongst IBlaze users, and is probably the layout I use the most.  Mainly it’s good for doc review and coding at the same time.  Keep in mind you can also use dual monitors by selecting the “Move viewers to new window” option in the layouts drop-down menu.  Also note that I keep the CaseExplorer Panel pinned in the upper left corner in case I need to change my record set or search scope. I’ve also docked the natural image and text viewer so I can quickly change viewer if the record is native or image or if I want to see the OCR/Filtered text.

2) Email Review

This is a good layout for reviewing email.  Notice the Conversation viewer is on the right allowing me to see a whole conversation instead of just 1 email.  I can click on any message in the conversation viewer if I want to jump around the thread.  Also note I’ve docked the Family and Coding panels in case I need to look at parent/child relationships for a given doc, or if I want to code an individual document.  Keep in mind you can bulk code from the Conversation and Family panels by using the Actions button.

3) Transcript & Exhibits Review

In keeping with our IBlaze roots, SummationPro allows for deposition exhibits to be uploaded and associated to transcripts, furthermore you can link depo text to these exhibits.  The “Exhibits” panel is dedicated for depo exhibits and it will show you how many exhibits are associated to a single transcript.  Click on the exhibit name and the exhibit will open up in a new window. You can do this as many times as you want if you want to bring up more than one exhibit. Note the hyperlinks in the transcript will also open the exhibit in a new window if you click on them.

4) Document & Note Review

The notes tool in SummationPro treats document notes and transcript notes the same way.  Just bring up the “Notes” panel at anytime to see user’s notes for a document or transcript.  Clicking on the page#/line# hyperlink in the notes panel will take you to that note’s tools.  You can also click directly on the highlighted note text in the document viewer to open the note.  Note the different colors on this email, indicating which issues I’ve coded for the documents.

5) Presentation Layout

So this kind of layout is what I use if any kind of exhibit presentation is required.  Just bring up the natural/image panel.  For presentation use the “Edit” mode which will give you some enhancement zoom capabilities. You can also go “Full Screen” in our viewer to maximize the image on your screen/projector.  The “View” button in the viewer is good for showing the exhibit in thumbnail view or to rotate a specific page.  The nice thing about this layout is that to go to another doc all you have to do is just hit the next button or type the docid and click “go” at the top of the screen, or you will see that I have the item list and case explorer panels pinned in the upper left hand corner.  This allows me to quickly bring up other exhibits in my item list.

6 ECA Review

This layout is all about quick culling. Use the filter facets in the CaseExplorer panel to locate groups of documents that are most relevant, or use the filter to get rid of the junk.  I do like to have the viewer up in case I need to look at any specific document.

7) Tagging & Foldering

This is really pretty straightforward.  I have my Labels panel and my Coding panel docked to the left and my view pretty much full screen.  Just check next to the label I want to apply and hit save, or use the coding panel and click “save” or “save and next”.    This is good when looking at one document at time in linear fashion.

Creating Custom Layouts

This is really easy; just click and drag at the drop of the panel, then drop the panel where you want it to go.  You will see this icon indicating which zone you will place the panel. I’ve circled all the possible locations in this instance where you can put a panel. By using the icon in the middle you can group/dock panels together.  Now you can also “Pin” panels to the sides of your browser window, by simply clicking on the “Pin” icon in the upper right corner of the panel.

Managing Layouts

This is also really easy to do, just use the drop down menu to access the Manage Layouts utility.  This allows you to save, edit, or delete any custom layouts you’ve created.


So those are just some of my favorites, and you can see how easy it is to come up with some interesting layouts of your own depending on the type of evidence you are reviewing and what kind of review you are conducting.  Now this is just barely scratching the surface really; there are many other panels that I haven’t even touched like the Activity, Production, Review Batches, and Similar panels.  Once you put all this together you can see how flexible the SummationPro review interface can be.  Thanks for tuning in and hope these may help next time you use SummationPro!


Scott Lefton

Scott began to work in the legal industry as a in-house IT Administrator and Litigation Support Specialist for Epstein Turner and Song in Los Angeles, CA. ( At this firm, Scott gained extensive experience working directly with veteran trial attorneys and learning the litigation process. In 2005, his technical background and litigation support expertise led him to become a Trial Technician and Department Manager at Merrill Legal Solutions. ( In 2008, Scott move home to St. Louis and began working with Midwest Trial Services ( as a Trial Consultant. In 2010 Scott's began to work for AccessData, as a Sales Engineer specializing in AD's Legal Products; Ediscovery, Summation, & AD ECA. Scott is a certified TrialDirector and Summation trainer, and has supported more than 100 trials. During his Trial consulting career he worked on many high profile trials and case with nationally recognized law firms such as Morrison Foerster, Jones Day, Manatt Phelps, and Munger Tolles& Olson. Scott has worked with notable attorneys such as: James Bennett of Morrison Foerster on the JDS Uniphase Securities Litigation, Robert Zeavin of Manatt Phelps on the ICO vs. Boeing Satellite Systems trial, Michael Olecki of Grodsky Olecki on the landmark case Ramirez vs. Los Angeles Co. Sheriffs Dept., and Michael Zellers of Tucker Ellis & West on an anti-trust trial RLH Industries vs. SBC Global Communications. He has helped clients avoid over $20 Billion in damages and has helped others to win over $2 Billion in awards.

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