Tag Archives: iPad

Introducing Exhibit B… & Other Efficient Uses For The iPad At Law Firms

Imagine a world where a new client walks into your office. The receptionist welcomes him and hands over an iPad and tells your guest to press “Start”. There’s a short, automated video introducing your firm, its practice areas, and its partners. Afterward, a new client form appears, ready to fill out. Once your new client is done, your receptionist has an already digital copy of important information pertaining to this person’s case and business. And, the client can keep the iPad and browse your home page while he waits for the name partner to see him.

Streamlined, efficient, modern. The iPad is changing the way lawyers operate.

Patrick A. Wright, founding partner at The Wright Firm LLP in Lewisville and Dallas, is board certified in family law and is an active member of the ABA Law Practice Editorial Board. In an American Bar Association article, Wright said about his first use of the iPad in a court case:

“When I bought my first iPad, I decided that the best way to experiment and see if it was as versatile as it seemed to be was to use it in a high-profile case. The Cooke County case was an experiment. I intended to see if the court would allow me to play a few videos on the iPad through the VLC app while questioning a witness. With the iPad, I could quickly pause the video, replay an exact point and further emphasize what I wanted without the awkward television on a cart and a temperamental DVD player. I could control everything from the palm of my hand—if the court would allow it. The experiment worked. The court did allow me to use my iPad, and the videos and the iPad supplied the dramatic moment in a long custody trial that I ultimately won.”

Today, traditional PCs barely overtake sales of tablets. However, by 2015, predictions by Gartner Inc. believe that worldwide shipments of tablets will outnumber that of desk-based and notebook computers.

On the whole, worldwide combined shipments of devices, which include PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones, are projected to reach 2.4 billion units by the end of 2014, a 4.2 percent increase from 2013, Gartner Inc. reported this week.

It’s not surprising that lawyers are making better use of slimmer, more portable technology.

Tablets are not just great to present courtroom exhibits, they also organize client files, allow regular contact with colleagues, courts, and clients, and facilitate the immediate access to records, codes and criminal procedures, or Fastcase when out of the office.

There are a myriad of apps designed specifically for law firm professions available for bothe the iPad, iPhone, and other mobile devices.

Tablets are also capable of running programs like PowerPoint of Apple’s Keynote app, even Excel spreadsheets.

If you’re worried about typing on the tablet’s touchscreen, most tablets now allow Bluetooth connection to wireless keyboards.

Finally, the iPad is low-profile and ultraportable, which means when you take notes during a meeting or courtroom appearance, you don’t have that distracted look on your face behind a giant laptop screen. It gives (at least) the illusion of concentration, with a 10 to 20-hour battery life.

In fact, iPads or other tablets are becoming such common place in the practice of law, clients are starting to expect it. Technology is a reflection of your firm’s willingness to get creative, be flexible, and innovative—key to surviving this cutthroat industry.

With the traditional PC market on the decline, it’s clear law firms need to get with the times by going mobile. Instead of using a laptop, consider using an iPad—going paperless is both practical and productive.

Update your firm home page to accommodate mobile devices. Create an internal app for employees and clients, and a public app to attract new business. Make sure your IT department is up-to-date on all social media.

The iPad may not have the old-school cache of a yellow legal pad, but where it remains deficient in tradition, it will likely exceed in expectations and outcomes for efficiency.

Of course, there are always liability issues when it comes to data-sharing and digital devices. Attend C4CM’s training course, “Smartphones and the Law: Avoiding Legal Liabilities in the Workplace” to ensure your policies and practices are air-tight.

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iPad Apps That Every Lawyer Needs (Especially On A Friday)

Friday—it’s full of upsides and downsides. The upside is, the weekend is approaching. The downside is, you may not leave the office in time to enjoy it.

What is it about Friday afternoons that attract last minute requests from clients, colleagues, and, especially, bosses?

Luckily, if you’re an iPad-wielding lawyer, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy your weekend and work from home. Here are some new and improved legal services iPad apps, which–like the last day of the week—yield their own fair share of upsides and downsides.

Lexis Advance HD. FREE

Upside. Add to your defense of Flex scheduling or work from home policies.

Lexis Advance is mobile app available on your iPad that gives law firm professionals the ability to conduct legal research on the go.

Whether it’s in the courtroom, boardroom, or your bedroom, you can search, view, and annotate documents while online or offline. And, you can save files in folders remotely to access alter.

Downside. Now you can’t blame travel, family events, or other out of the office excuses for tardy work product. Research remotely has never been easier (and your boss knows it!).

iTranslate Voice HD. $1.99

Upside. No more miscommunication.

“Can you imagine talking into your phone in one language and immediately hearing yourself in another language?” asks iTranslate Voice HD.

“That’s exactly what iTranslate Voice does. Just speak into your phone and it immediately replies in one of our 36 languages.”

Occasionally technology makes our dreams possible. For Star Trek fans, this is a real-life universal translator. Let’s hope that warp drive, transporters, and commercial space travel is next.

Downside. Without reasons why not, your boss may send you on more trips abroad for client meetings, which means less time at home. And, unlike Enterprise captains, you can’t transport there instantly.

TrialPad for iPad. $49.99-$89.99

Upside. Trial prep in the palm of your hand.

The top iPad app for lawyers in 2012, TrialPad and TranscriptPad are specialized iPad apps that bring productivity to its peak.

Litigants can use these apps to organize trial materials. You can highlight, annotate, redact, and zoom documents and depositions. You can add exhibit stickers to documents, create reports of all your evidence with these exhibit numbers, and process them via Dropbox and other Cloud apps. Edit video clips or take snapshots of surveillance video, then bring them to court.

Meanwhile, organize all these documents with folders with separate case and witness files.

Basically, this is a lawyer’s entire trial prep in one, small, digital box.

Downside. Only for tech-savvy legal professionals.

Fastcase. $65-95/mo

Upside. Easy to use, quick to understand.

Fastcase is another legal research app. It’s competitive advantage is the easy and quick access to the comprehensive national law library via more powerful searching, sorting, and visualization tools.

Its user-friendly design may be way many big name law firms already use it.

Downside. Must subscribe, and it can get pricey.

Readdle. FREE

Upside. Something lawyers love to keep for themselves but hate to give away to clients—this product is free.

One of the newer apps on the market, Readdle is an all-purpose app that lets you read, listen, view, download, annotate almost anything you want on your iPad. Readdle is an all-stop shop for viewing, reading and annotating documents, editing text files, viewing photos, watching movies, listening to music, managing files, sharing files remotely with others, and storing email attachments and other web documents.

Like an all-service firm, this app serves general audiences.

Downside. In a world of specialization, do we really need one more app for these things?

Have a wonderful weekend on your iPad. Whether it’s for work or play, technology certainly has a place in a lawyer’s everyday life.


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From Yellow Legal Pad to iPad—A Law Firm Evolution Explained

In 1888, Thomas W. Holley had an idea.

The 24-year-old worked at a paper mill in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and he discovered a way to make use of old scraps of paper discarded by the mill. Holley decided to bind the scraps into a notepad and sell them at a discounted rate.

In gathering scraps of paper to make his pads, Holley constructed a fairly successful refurbished paper business. And, in the 1900s, a local judge asked Holley to add a margin to the ruled pads so he could have some extra space to make comments on his own notes.

Thus, the legal pad was borne.

With 1.25-inch margin, yellow legal pads are now iconic in the legal industry. American Pad & Paper Company—Holley’s entrepreneurial firm—finally closed their factory in Holyoke, Mass., but the company and its legacy lives on in courthouses and law offices across America.

Lawyers have formed a psychological attachment to legal pads. Philip Moustakis, a mid-level associate at the New York firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, uses one legal pad per case. He prefers yellow over white pads and a faint, as opposed to a dark, rule, telling Legal Affairs Magazine, “The darker lines intrude upon my thinking—they’re yelling back at you.”

“You want a more subtle line.”

Nevertheless, technology is encroaching on more traditional industries, like the market for notepads. And, corporate social responsibility, especially concern for the environment, is taking hold in firms.

Iris Harris, the assistant director of purchasing at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, told Legal Affairs Magazine that her firm no longer leaves stacks of pads lying around on conference tables. Harris’ firm consumes, on average, 1,200 legal-size legal pads, 12,000 letter-size legal pads, and 4,200 Junior-size legal pads a year. Around 2000, her firm switched from yellow to white pads.

“Yellow wasn’t recyclable,” Harris explained.

Today, lawyers are more economical and ecological. The yellow legal pad has been replaced by the iPad.

Luckily, technology today is more flexible than in Holley’s paper mill days.

Jotting down notes, writing in the margin, and drawing diagrams are often the work of handwriting. Many have trouble typing on the iPad, even if they appreciate its dynamic uses.

Instead of using a laptop or typing on the touchscreen, consider one of these iPad apps that make paperless notes both practical and productive.

Notability is an app that allows legal professionals to switch between typing and handwriting notes. The thickness of the stylus is adjustable, as well as the ink color. Notability also allows the user to record a message and embed it into the digital notebook.

Organizing your notes has never been simpler or thinner with Notability’s filing feature.

Penultimate is another popular iPad handwriting notebook. Change the background from ruled to grid to plain paper, and channel Holley as you do it.

Use Your Handwriting is a great app for iPhone and iPad.

A more organic reflection of handwriting, Use Your Handwriting lets lawyers create sublists, quick alarms, and sync data with one press of a button. It’s clear we’ve moved a long way from the mill to mobility in notetaking.

The iPad may not conform to the patented standards of a yellow legal pad, but where it remains deficient in screen size, it will likely exceed in expectations and outcomes for efficiency.


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10 iPhone Apps For Lawyers Under $5

Portable convenience for the mobile lawyer. The following apps will bolster your legal knowledge without breaking the bank:


Fastcase –created for both the iPhone and iPad—is a free legal research app. Fastcase contains cases and statutes from all 50 states and from the federal government. You can search by citation, keyword (in Boolean or natural language), or browse statute collections, like a portable American Law Library. The best part for an on-the-go lawyer? Customizable, sortable search results.


This free app allows for immediate access to RSS feeds. Now you can o keep up with your favorite websites and news.


You never have to forget to properly record your legal expenses. Keep track of your legal bills with images, e-mail, currency conversion, and password protection with this cheap app.

Cliff Maier Reference Apps

Cliff Maier Reference Apps are a must-have for every mobile lawyer. Plus, the information contained in these apps are available offline, which means you no longer have to delay at Starbucks with its free wifi while you brush up on Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, NY CPL, The Constitution, Patent Rules, and so on.

Pocket Attorney App

Lawyers should advise their most overactive clients to download the Pocket Attorney app for a mini-me version of legal counsel. This app provides information about the most common crimes, including details regarding the types of sentences available for each crime and sites where the information (i.e., which document) is coming from. For overly-concerned and overly-communicative clients, this app will put the answers to all legal questions in the palm of their hands. And, it frees you up to dig around for that “get-out-of-jail-free” card.

Court Days- Date Calculator for Lawyers

It’s so hard to keep track of dates and deadlines. Especially when different jurisdictions observe different holidays. With this app, a lawyer can schedule multiple court dates in a single location. Never be late to file again.


It may not be the best source of information on the web, but it’s free and quick. Plus, let’s face it, everybody uses Wikipedia these days. Now you can have a wikipanion in your pocket for friendly reminders of case-pertinent historical facts, popular culture, and scientific discoveries.


The iPleading app is the first mobile litigation template generator. The iPleading app was created by a lawyer for lawyers to design quick PDF documents, ready for filing. The formats follow customs of the legal profession and the rules of pleading in State and Federal Courts. The app iPleading is easy to use, with four steps: (1) Fill out your info such as name, bar number, address, and footer; (2) Employ optional fields such as firm name, 2nd attorney, and court name; (3) Click ‘Create and Send'; and (4) The iPleading app is generated and sent to any email address, ready to be finalized. For attorneys of high-stakes litigation, in a hurry.

QuickVoice Recorder w/ Free Voicemail

This app turns your iPhone into a free voice recorder. You can be on the record, all the time.


This app is a portable scanner. Lawyers can take a photo of any document with their iPhone camera, and watch it automatically convert the image to a PDF document.

Unfortunately, now lawyers have no excuse for being unprepared, whether in court or at the office.


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Why Integrating Legal Technology Will Save Your Firm Time And Money

Although your law firm manager may not be yelling over the internal comm-system, “Time is money, people!” certainly, he or she is thinking it.

So why, exactly, does time equal money?

In purely financial terms, there exists a time value of money. Money earns interest over time. So, the value of money actually changes—for example, if invested, $100, in one year, could turn into $105 future value at 5 percent interest.

In addition, if a finite amount of money is spent to accomplish a certain task, the money is spent in place of a second, possible, alternative task. Would you rather spend $15 per hour for a paralegal to locate a physical document in the law library over 10 hours? Or, would it be more efficient and cost-effective to purchase e-document software at $150 that locates important paperwork in under 5 minutes?

These are all questions with which financial consultants and law firm administrators struggle everyday.

And, in the 21st Century, questions about the time value of money generally surround a tradeoff: investments in technology or in manpower.

The Legal Loudspeaker suggests a few reasons why technology converts time into money in the article excerpted below:

When you’re efficient, you take on less risk – Simply put, the less time you spend on a contingency case, the less risk associated with taking it on. If you lose, you’re not sacrificing as much time or revenue. If you win, you’ll make the same amount of money, but since you spent less time on the case, your margins are higher. And, if you win or lose but don’t get paid, you’re out less money.

When you’re efficient, you can take on more cases – If you can generate a Will twice as fast as your competitor, you can do twice the amount of work, right? When your process for settling civil disputes speeds up, you can twice as many disputes. In essence, the more time savings you experience, the more availability you have to generate revenue, and the more revenue you can generate.

When you’re efficient, you can spend more time on client-facing activities – I get it, just because you have more time in your day doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have clients running to your door asking for your services. But it does mean that you can do more indirect revenue-generating activities.  Spend your new-found time meeting people, creating stronger relationships with your clients, and building value in your firm. Try to  drive in new opportunities from your current client base (maybe they didn’t know you take on divorces). Did you know that once you have a client, each subsequent sale has a close ratio of over 70%? It’s easy money!”

To read the entire article, go here.

So, are you sold on technology, but unsure where to start? Think about integrating the following products into your business systems:


Apps for smartphones and the iPad have contributed some of the most significant improvements in efficiency and productivity within law firms recently. Get with your IT Department to brainstorm how best to implement this tool into your everyday legal activity.

Read about some of the most valuable legal iPad apps here.

Near-Field Communications (NFC) Technology.

From Google Wallet to Starbucks Mobile Payment App, NFC technology has myriad uses in law and billing arrangements.

Make sure your firm is paid on-time by reading about applications for NFC technology here.

Social Media and Blogging.

Social media sites like LinkedIn or legal recruitment web-agenices, including lawcrossing.com, are cheap and easy ways to locate qualified candidates. It saves recruiters time and money by already compiling information about prospective employees.

Even if your firm is not looking to hire, it’s certainly still looking to recruit clients. At which point, social media—blog posts, tweets, or Facebook feeds—become crucial in advertising what services your firm offers, who its lawyers are, and why a client should hire you, as opposed to another firm.

In the time it took you to read this line, I sent a tweet, then 500 people read it. Talk about a brand new, instant value for time in money.

E-Discovery Software.

Today, most law firms already use some sort of electronic discovery software. However, when did your firm last update it?

The capabilities of software and technology change rapidly each day. Thus, if you can’t remember the last time your firm updated its online systems, chances are there exists a more efficient way to organize and file e-discovery documents. 

In sum, time, money, and technology are inextricably linked. So, consider putting together a “technology team” at your law firm—to keep apprised of developments in the field of legal gadgetry—one that will ensure your associates are not falling behind or sinking your bottom line.


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Lawyer App Of The Day: Smartphones, Cowboys, And Fee Payment Options

Collecting, managing, and dispensing of attorneys’ fees is a constant topic of discussion and source of contention. So what if a mobile app could make this process easier?

Typically the argument extolling the benefits of mobile apps surrounds social media, reference materials, firm exposure, or marketing. However, now there’s at least one direct financial benefit to downloading smartphone apps to your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.

 Consider the following situation. A client walks into your office. After a few minutes of conversation, you seal the deal, so to speak, and a new account begins with a handshake.

 Unfortunately, we don’t all do business in Texas, and sometimes a gentleman’s word makes for an insufficient retainer.

 Luckily, Google—frequently at the forefront of technological innovation—has a mobile app that can transfer monetary promises straight to your pocketbook. Leave it to 3 Geeks And A Law Blog to highlight the legal applications for near-field communications (NFC) technology. Such as, for example, this Google Wallet app.

 Google Wallet uses any devise with an NFC chip to make financial transactions, whether that be swiping your phone to purchase a vending machine soda or swiping your phone to hire a costly private investigator in your contentious divorce case. Either way, good news for lawyers.

 Despite its diversity, Google Wallet not our mobile app of the day. Instead, let’s refocus attention onto another tool vital for the litigious, fast-paced attorney: caffeine. This time, Starbucks has a solution for you.

 Welcome, Starbucks Mobile Payment app.

 With this free app, you can check your balance, reload your Starbucks card, and  view and track your transactions via your iPhone, iTouch, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android phone.

 And, sneaking out of the office for a cup of Joe was never easier. All you need is your phone (and this app) to pay at the counter. Lisa Salazar of 3 Geeks And A Law Blog summarizes its application perfectly:

“At first, I was all, ‘why in the world would I want to download an app for coffee?’

Well, I will tell you why:

  1. When I leave my office to grab my afternoon fix, I don’t have to carry my purse with my wallet that holds my credit card and Starbucks card.
  2. I can budget my coffee addiction allotment.
  3. The app collects and monitors my rewards—no more carrying around the infamously losable Starbucks Card.
  4. In the event I am traveling, it loads up the closest Starbucks for my drinking pleasure.
  5. I get to look cool when I whip out my phone to pay.”

In the legal world of power suits, power ties, and power plays… how can you say no to that?

 Even if Starbucks is not your morning addiction of choice, it still serves as a wake-up call for legal trends. Methods of payment are being revolutionized, mobile apps cannot be ignored, and, finally, law firms on the cutting edge of technology will also be the first ones securing clients (that is, unless you prefer to practice in the Wild West).


Of course, there are always liability issues when it comes to data-sharing and smartphones. Attend C4CM’s training course, “Smartphones and the Law: Avoiding Legal Liabilities in the Workplace” to ensure your policies and practices are air-tight.

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New Whistleblowing Rules And The iPad Apps To Manage Them

Yesterday, the SEC decision on the The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act sent corporate America back in time. Famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg with the “Pentagon Papers,” Jeffrey Wigand  with “impact boosting” nicotine in cigarettes, Roy Olofson with telecom fraud, Cynthia Cooper with WorldCom accounting fraud, and Bunnatine Greenhouse for her exposure of non-bid contracts at Halliburton[1]—came to mind as the SEC ruled in a 3-2 vote that employees with knowledge of wrongdoing or malpractice are not required to report it first through internal company channels to be eligible for a reward.[2]  

Corporate America is none too pleased at the idea that the new rules may motivate workers to bypass traditional fraud hotlines implemented after the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law so as to collect a whistleblower bounty. The WSJ first reported this malcontent by quoting a statement from David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness:   

“Not informing the company of a potential fraud and waiting for the SEC to act is the equivalent of not calling the firefighters down the street to put out a raging fire.”

The good news for lawyers is that new rules usually make for more lawsuits. In light of these changes, employees may feel more inclined to report corporate fraud or other illicit activity to their attorneys or the SEC. In terms of empowering shareholders and individual staff, National Whistleblowers Center Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn said, “Today, investors and whistleblowers scored a major victory.”  

Whether advocate or foe of yesterday’s ruling, one thing is certain. These days, technology—specifically computers, social media, smart phones, and portable electronic devices—make smuggling whistleblowing information to your lawyer a lot easier.

So, here is a list of smart phone and tablet apps that lawyers (say, perhaps, those at Vinson & Elkins?) wish they had back in 2005.

  1. Legal Notes (The Lawyer’s Notepad) by Kavapoint LLC. This app turns your iPad into a yellow legal pad for those lengthy client meetings or late-night calls from whistleblowers. Not only can you scribble down important facts (Name: Sherron Watkins, Date: 2006, Company: Enron, Position: ex-VP), but lawyers can also time stamp their notes, password protect the information, and compile relevant court details (hearing, court, judge, location, etc).
  2. TrialPad by Saurian. Once trial is imminent, use this app to organize, manage, and annotate Adobe PDF files on the iPad. TrialPad was specifically designed for litigators to store key documents easily and quickly for electronic presentations. Created by legal professionals and trial consultants, this app allows lawyers to separate case folders to sort your most important pieces of evidence. $89.99
  3. RLTC: Evidence by Rosen LTC, inc. Another app designed for trial lawyers to organize and annotate documents and images on the iPad. Via the iPad VGA Adapter, lawyers can use Evidence to project their most valuable pieces of, well, evidence. $4.99
  4. Fastcase by Fastcase. For both the iPad and iPhone, Fastcase is a free legal research application, which means no more trips to the law library. With statues from fifty states and the federal government and the ability to keyword or customize your search, lawyers can visually map search results—with dual-column printing and compete citation analysis—in the palms of their hands. Fastcase has a desktop application as well, for the gadget-impaired.
  5. The Law Guide by TheLaw.com. Is your unofficial law mentor the Internet? Mine too. So consult TheLaw.com more clandestinely from your desk via its mobile app, The Law Guide. The app contains a comprehensive law dictionary, law guide containing legal discussion forums (for addressing questions like, why did Watkins do it? Will class action mean the demise of Enron?), a lawyer directory, and myriad other legal resources. If your standards for credibility require paid apps, then try Black’s Law Dictionary for $54.99, an app from West, Thomson Reuteurs business.   

In conclusion? The Government Will Pay You Big Bucks To Find The Next Madoff.  And now, in 2011, law firms can manage the fallout more efficiently.



See, Persuading Managing Partners To Employ Social Media.

Special thanks to http://digitaldownloadnow.info/5-ipad-apps-for-legal-professionals/

[1] http://www.nbpjobs.org/2009/03/a-list-of-famous-whistle-blowers/

[2] http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/05/25/corporate-america-not-totally-thrilled-with-new-whistleblower-rules/

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