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iPad and the Paperless Office - Part 4

Posted by attorney Timothy Williams

This is the fourth part of a guide published today.

Trial Preparation

Realizing that there is already a presenter on the iPad at trial, I will give this section only a brief mention. The reason I want to include it, however, is that the iPad allows me to prepare for trial during the evolution of my cases, rather than just before trial as I used to do. Thus, in this respect, I don’t use it solely for trial presentation. Some of my favorite apps include:

TrialPad. This app works seamlessly with Dropbox. You can upload and organize your expected trial exhibits right into the app. You can then pre-mark or highlight the exhibits within the app, and save the edited copies as a “Key Doc" that can be brought up later, edits and all. I find the app extremely intuitive. Indeed, my associate first used it at one of my trials he was second chairing, and it was so seamless, it appeared as though he were a pro. I do have one caveat, however. If I have a multi-page document that I want to highlight portions of, I prefer to do that on my computer, using Adobe Acrobat X Pro, as it tends to be a bit easier for me on the larger screen. That being said, it is still quite easy to highlight and save your document using TrialPad, iAnnotate, Goodreader, and the like. The best thing about this app is that I no longer have to blow up and mount 15+ exhibits for trial. Rather, I create an exhibit notebook to submit into evidence, and project the exhibits onto a screen as the “blow up" to use at trial. Not bad, considering the fact that the app costs less than just one traditional exhibit would cost to prepare for use!

Keynote. Discussed above, this is Apple's equivalent to PowerPoint. I generally use a 10-slide opening, and try to limit my closing to 15 slides or so. Because I do not use notes at trial, I always prefer to use a slideshow presentation. It serves not only as my notes to keep me on track, but also provides some entertainment for the jury. You would be shocked to know how many opening statements or closing arguments I have put together at 11:00 at night...on my iPad...while in bed. For additional reading on the art of creating a slideshow, I strongly recommend the books Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds; Slide:ology, by Nancy Duarte; Beyond Bullet Points, by Cliff Atkinson; Show the Story: the Power of Visual Advocacy, by William S. Bailey & Robert W. Bailey; Now What Makes Juries Listen, by Sonya Hamlin; and Resonate, by Nancy Duarte.

Exhibit A. This app is similar to TrialPad, though costs less. Like TrialPad, it has the ability to upload photos and documents, perform call-outs, mark them up, highlight, etc. Also, it has the ability to import from Dropbox, FTP, iTunes, WiFi, and e-mail. Admittedly, I have not used ExhibitA, as I was an early adopter of TrialPad, and am quite pleased with that app. Exhibit A gets five stars in the app store, but suspiciously, there are only five reviewers! While this may be a fine app, indeed, for now I choose to stick with the one that is tried and true.

ExhibitView. This is also a relative newcomer to the trial exhibit game. It appears to do most of what TrialPad and Exhibit A do, and is priced between the two. It receives five stars (though only 16 reviewed the app). I have not purchased this app, but looking at it in the app store, I would have to say that I like the interface more than I do Exhibit A. However, and again, TrialPad works for me, so I am sticking with what I know.

iJuror. This is an example of a handful of jury selection apps that exist. I do not use my iPad during jury selection; rather, I have an associate sit at counsel table to take notes for me. Therefore, I have not tested the app in trial, nor others of its ilk, but wanted to make you aware they exist if you wanted to give one a whirl. Personally, I prefer eye contact during jury selection, so as to create a conversational feel for the prospective jurors, so I will not likely be using jury selection apps any time soon.

Connectivity

I don’t use my iPad to remotely access my PC or my Mac laptop. However, this can be done through several available apps. The following are simply a coupe of examples:

Desktop Connect. Allows you to connect remotely to a PC or Mac computer. You can connect and control the computer remotely, or connect and watch what others are doing on the computer. (Seems kind of creepy just watching someone else working on the computer, but I guess it could be useful in some circumstances.)

PocketCloud Remote Desktop – RDP / VNC. Essentially the same abilities as Desktop Connect. Works with a PC and Mac. Need to upgrade to premium service for quicker response times.

Jump Desktop (Remote Desktop) – RDP / VNC. Pretty much the same. No need to upgrade. Works with both PC and Mac.

Print n Share. This app allows you to remotely print on most WiFi enabled printers. Can also print over the cellular network, read several formats of files (PDF, Office, iWork, etc.), Zip/Unzip files, and convert files/documents/websites into PDF.

NOTE: Many printer manufacturers also have their own apps for printing to their printers. For example, I have an Epson at home, and use the app developed by Epson to remotely print to Epson printers.

Legal Research

I primarily do my legal research on my desktop computer, as that is where I draft the vast majority of my pleadings and memoranda. However, it is not unusual to find the need to pull a case in the field – at mediation, at oral argument, at trial, etc. Thankfully, the iPad has options that fill the need nicely.

WestlawNext. If you are a Westlaw Next subscriber, as I am, you will have access to your research through this app without an additional fee. This is my "go to" research app, and I am happy with the service. Everything you are used to on the desktop condensed into an iPad app. It even has your recent desktop searches, your saved research, etc.

Lexis Advance HD. This is Lexis’ version of its desktop app. I believe it is free with a paid Lexis account. I don’t use Lexis, but it appears as though it has all of the options your desktop research portal would have.

FastCase. This is a decent research tool, especially if your state subscribes to the service as mine does. It is not as good as Westlaw or Lexis, but can get the job done.

Thomson Reuters ProView. This app acts as a portal through which you can access your West eBook, such as Oregon Rules of Court – State and Federal, 2013 ed. One less book to order, one less book to store, and one less book to lug to trial.

Federal Court Records (PACER). This is exactly what you think it is. You can log into PACER and access the federal court records.

Research Aids

These are simply apps that help organize Internet research, saving it electronically rather than printing website after website. Each offers slightly different features, so I included the four most popular for you to check out.

Evernote. This is my favorite. You can clip and save webpages, photographs, typewritten notes, etc. into “Notes." You can organize these Notes within the app – by case, topic, etc. It also installs on your iPhone, as well as PC and Mac. When you add a note, or edit an existing note, the changes are made on all devices simultaneously. I use one Note as my “To Do" list, which is nice, as I always have it with me. There are also other apps that link to your Evernote app (Penultimate and Hello, for example, which are both discussed elsewhere), so there is an organized place to view all of your Notes at once.

OneNote. Similar idea as Evernote, brought to you by the good folks at Microsoft. This is part of the Office suite. The app store gives it three stars out of five.

Instapaper. Similar idea, but limited to saving webpages for later reading. Moreover, it saves web pages as text only, stripping out pictures, background colors, etc. Pretty cool, but really best for news or blogs.

Pocket. Same as Instapaper, except it includes the photos and backgrounds when saving.

Scanner Pro by Readdle. This is an entirely different idea than the previous apps, but similar in the sense that it is an archiving tool. Rather than converting websites to files that can be saved, this app converts photographs to PDF files that can be saved in Dropbox, Google Drive or Evernote, or you can print or e-mail it from the app. Thus, you can take a photograph of a document, and this app will convert the photograph to a PDF and save it in one of those directories. It is an excellent app.

JotNot Scanner Pro. Extremely similar to Scanner Pro. Another excellent app.

Hello. This is a nifty app that simply scans business cards. It attempts to recognize the text on the card, and creates a surprisingly accurate contact form for the person, records where you met them (GPS), and allows you to make notes of the meeting. It also automatically links to their LinkedIn profile, uploads their photos, and backs up the information in Evernote. I love this app, as I constantly collect business cards from great people I meet, and then can’t keep straight who is who some weeks later!

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