Frank King 0000-00-00 00:00:00
TECHGEAR The Apple iPad 3 ($499-$899) is the newest iteration of Apple’s bestselling tablet computer featuring a higherresolution “Retina Display” screen, iSight camera, and voice dictation software. WEBLINKS CHRIS ATTIG represents U.S. veterans in their claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He is co-chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Veterans Assistance Subcommittee and is author of the Veterans Benefits Blog (attiglawfirm.com/blog/category/va-benefits). National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. (NOVA) (vetadvocates.org) NOVA is the premier organization for attorneys and agents representing U.S. veterans. In addition to a very comprehensive document “wiki,” the website has a members- only bulletin board for veterans’ advocates to share experiences, information, and knowledge. The Mac Lawyer (themaclawyer.com) A blog by an attorney and for attorneys who use Macs and other Apple devices in their daily law practice. Hardball Talk (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com) As a die-hard baseball fan, this website keeps me up to speed on MLB news, trade rumors, and other baseball stories, even through the long, cold off-season. AlterNet (alternet.org) A great alternative to the regurgitated stories and superficial coverage of American mass media. AlterNet provides original journalism and amplifies reports from other media sources around the world. Their stories are extremely well-researched and thorough. iPad for Trial Lawyers In this video-based age, jurors and judges have come to expect fast-moving and visually compelling evidence presentations. The old “hand everybody a copy of the exhibit” does not work anymore. After suffering the indignities of using Windows-based laptops in trials in the past — requiring a tech-savvy legal assistant, or usually, having a full-blown team of trial presentation consultants on hand, and still watching the whole thing crash into black-screen, delaying the trial and angering the judge and jurors — the iPad and its assorted apps are a dream come true for trial lawyers. Although initially marketed as an easy-to-use consumer device, the iPad has increasingly penetrated the business market.1 It is even slowly replacing the laptop in the legal market.2 This is not surprising given that the iPad is lightweight; has a simple-to-use interface, instant power-on, a long battery life, and a lower cost than many laptops; and can do just about everything a lawyer needs. The iPad can be used for reviewing and annotating documents, reading briefs and pleadings, taking notes from meetings and hearings, accessing calendars and contact lists, researching on Westlaw and Lexis, and logging billable hours. The iPad’s major drawback is its weakness as a word processor and its touchscreen keyboard, although Quickoffice Pro and an external wireless keyboard can easily solve those problems. There are numerous legal apps available at Apple’s iTunes App Store. Every iPad-using lawyer needs to know about services and apps such as: • Clio (a web-based practice management system); • Dropbox (a web-based cloud storage service that enables users to store and share files); • Evernote (stores screen shots, photos, and text notes within a customizable storage system); • iAnnotate (read, annotate, and share PDFs); and • WestlawNext iPad app (legal research). In addition, the State Bar of Texas Computer and Technology Section publishes an app containing dozens of Texas and federal codes, rules, and statutes (free to section members).3 There is also a website from the UCLA School of Law devoted to apps for legal research and news.4 This column will concentrate on apps and hardware that a litigator needs to effectively use the iPad in courtroom hearings and trials. However, the article is not intended to be a comprehensive critique of each of these apps or devices. GOODREADER This PDF reader app is the alternative to taking large binders of pleadings and papers to courtroom hearings and trials. GoodReader allows you to load any of your documents onto your iPad, including any annotations or highlights you have made to the document. GoodReader can magnify and highlight portions of the document and also has a freehand drawing engine that allows you to make further annotations and highlights. Especially nice is the ability to search a document to find a key sentence or phrase you want to highlight during oral arguments. Gone are the days of dragging a box of documents produced by opposing counsel to court in the off chance you need to reference something during your hearing. RULEBOOK This app does away with hauling your set of rules to court with you, because everything you need is loaded onto your iPad. Rulebook has the ability to search by key words and phrases, highlight and annotate court rules, and does not require an Internet connection while in court. Rulebook also automatically updates rules when they are amended, thus putting an end to checking pocket parts or going online. Rulebook’s updating process also preserves attorneys’ highlights, bookmarks, and annotations even when rules are amended — something no paper rule books can do. iJUROR This app assists in the process of voir dire by replacing the Post-it notes lawyers often use to select jurors. iJuror allows you to quickly enter essential juror information into each panel member’s seat location and then later add details of their responses to your questions. Once you have the information entered, you can drag-and-drop the icons into peremptory or for-cause challenge categories, along with the reason for the challenge. iJuror also allows you to take notes about the jurors eventually seated as the trial continues, however, this feature is somewhat clunky. JURYTRACKER JuryTracker does a better job than iJuror to track individual jurors’ reactions to evidence and testimony presented at trial. This app also allows lawyers to track key jurors to identify who will become the foreperson, standardize notes on juror reactions, track time spent by each party, and share reports with your trial team. KEYNOTE Keynote is a PowerPoint-like app for designing and showing presentations, such as slideshows for hearings, mediations, and opening and closing arguments. You can choose from 12 themes that share the same font, colors, and background. Tables and charts automatically have matching textures. When you add a new slide, choose a slide layout, and then tap the placeholder text and images. Keynote has a slide navigator to organize your presentation with a thumbnail view of each slide. You tap to add new ones and drag to reorder them or to group related slides together. EXHIBIT A Exhibit A organizes and presents your exhibits, including documents, photos, and videos, onto the court’s external monitors or your own projector. Its presentation tools allow you to highlight, mark, and call-out key sections of your exhibit. You can import documents using Dropbox, iTunes, Wi-Fi, FTP, or email (Dropbox and FTP work best). Exhibit A supports JPEG, TIFF, GIF, and PNG images, as well as PDF documents and MPEG-4 and .mov videos, but it is not recommended for files larger than 3 MB, such as color PDFs. (If you must use large files or have lots of exhibits, it is recommended to pay for trial presentation systems such as Evidence or TrialPad.) Documents are shown as thumbnails and can be sorted by name, alphanumeric grouping, or file type, or placed into custom folders for quick retrieval. You can select documents to display or markup by touching the document thumbnail, and zoom in, out, and pan about by using pinch and swipe gestures. The tools available in the annotation screen include several options available from a palette: zoom, highlight, pen, eraser, and even a glowing-red laserpointer that is only displayed when your finger is on an exhibit. Exhibit A also has a whiteboard mode for outlining final arguments. This app is especially effective during the opening sessions of mediations when showing presentations with case documents, clips from video depositions, and car crash animations. APPLE iPAD VGA ADAPTER The adapter connects the iPad to a projector or display using the VGA port. Most electronic courtroom display systems in federal district courts and major metropolitan state district courts in Texas are compatible with a VGA port (although it is a good idea to contact the court’s IT person to verify the technical specifications beforehand). This $29 accessory mirrors whatever is on the iPad (e.g., Keynote presentations or trial exhibits presented through the Exhibit A app) onto VGA-equipped monitors, projectors, or other compatible displays. However, not all projectors or iPad apps work smoothly with the VGA Adapter, so be sure to allow enough time to test apps and equipment. Notes 1. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/351462/iPad_Creeping_Into_Business_Offices. 2. http://tabletlegal.com/enterprise-adoption-ipadlawyers. 3. http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section =Texas_Bar_Journal&Template=/CM/Content Display. cfm&ContentID=16007. 4. http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/content.php?pid= 112286&sid=845584. FRANK KING is an assistant attorney general with the General Litigation Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. He serves on the board of the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
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