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LawTech Blog by Seth Azria, Esq.
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Years ago, before going to law school, I thought that being able to type quickly would be a good idea.  Little did I know that typing is really not the issue in law school.  Nevertheless I bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  I thought it was okay although I did not really need it.

Now as a practicing lawyer, typing quickly seems to mean a lot more.  So, I visited nuance, and bought Dragon dictation 2.5 for the Mac.  I just installed it today, and so far I think it is pretty good.  In fact, I am writing this post using it, and it has not made a single error.


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Document Automation in the Cloud with Google Apps and Drawloop's DDP

Similar cases require similar documents, so why not just create all the documents you might need all at once?

Now you can and very easily.  I have been using DDPs (Dynamic Document Packages) for a while now and it is a fast and easy to create entire sets of docs at once. 


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According to www.trialpad.com:

"TrialPad for iPad is an easy-to-use app for preparing and presenting compelling presentations for trial. It literally puts your next presentation into your own hands, at a fraction of the cost of traditional courtroom presentations.

  • Organize documents quickly and easily
  • Present compelling evidence to judge or jury
  • Annotate and display documents to increase their impact."

 

The App opens up with a welcome case folder, I liked the large folder icons.  With a tap the large folder icon disappears to reveal an attractive interface loaded with a quick start PDF. 

The quick start PDF includes instructions for:

  • Creating a New Case - Just touch the add icon in the cases screen; it's like adding a Doc in Pages.
  • Adding Documents to a Case - The easiest way is to email a PDF to yourself and open it in TrialPad from the iPad mail client. You can also import Docs through iTunes.
  • Annotating Documents- TrialPad includes a highlighter, pen, and redaction tool.  You can also pinch to zoom and undo annotations.
  • Hot Docs - Allows users to save an annotated copy of a doc in the Hot Docs list while leaving the original without annotations.
  • Organizing Documents - TrialPad duplicates, renames, and moves files.  Touch "Edit",  select target files, and then select the desired action. 
  • Displaying Documents -  Just move the "Output" slider from "Off" to "On". Playback is controlled with play, pause, and stop buttons. 


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Cloud Computiong for Lawyers Cloud computing moves the desktop to the internet.  Cloud based applications can now do many of the things that were previously possible only on the desktop. Microsoft Word is no longer required to write a letter, now you just need a web browser to visit Google Docs or Adobe Buzzword.
 
Another task that the cloud handles well is building and editing interactive websites for public or private purposes.
 
Sites that allow regular people to edit and add content are generally called “content management systems.” While not everyone wants to personally interact with their website, the option exists. With cloud based applications, the options have proliferated and they tend to bring the web and the people who use it closer together.  
 
It’s the age of the hands-on web, and no coding is required. 
 


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John Cleaves, supervisor of practice support for Latham & Watckins in LA, has recently released and an iPad App that can be used to:

  • Identify key jurors
  • Simplify jury observation,
  • Standardize notes on juror responses,
  • Track time spent by each party, and
  • Share reports with your trial team.  www.jurytracker.com.

After using the App for a little while it seems that the App can certainly do all of those things.  Like most iPad Apps, figuring out how to use JuryTracker is not too difficult as a good portion of the interface is graphical.  


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Most who know me know that I am an Apple advocate.  I think that every lawyer should use a Mac because Macs are simply better than the competition. Those who know me well, know that I am an Apple advocate for that reason alone and if Microsoft, Google, or some other company has something better I will not hesitate to use their products. 

In the age of the cloud and data sync among devices, I have abandoned Apple's MobileMe and have gone elsewhere for the increasingly important data sync service. 

I used MobileMe to automatically sync my contacts, calendar, and files between two Macs, and iPad, and iPhone. 


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43 Respondents to my poll on the iPad page indicated they would join an iPad forum and only 3 thought it was a bad idea. That's enough for me.  We now have a Forum to discuss the iPad and digital practice. All are welcome.

Please let me know if you would like more, or less, features in the Forum by commenting on this post.

Thank you.

Seth


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When I get excited about some new tech or discover new things about an old standby, I tend to skip a few steps in the explanatory chain.

 

With the iPad, I skipped right to the end with visions of a practice and life unencumbered by logistic and administrative burdens and enabled by astounding new capability.

 

Now that the dust has settled, I think it might be helpful to take an unassuming look at how the iPad works, what it comes with, what it can do, how much it costs, and answers to a few questions that regularly arise.

Let's start with a few answers to some common questions.


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Cloud Computing for LawyersBoth an Island and Bridge means Freedom

A specific computer used to be the center of the work life.  It had contacts, files, and programs that let us be productive.  But it also tethered us to a location and put us at the mercy of that particular machine. 

 

Cloud Apps have changed all that and are now powerful enough to get work done from any computer so your computer is a preference and not a necessity.    And the Cloud syncs data between machines so your stuff is always here, there, and anywhere you may need it. 


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iPad PDF bookmarks for lawyersJust after I declared full-text online the pinnacle of legal materials, iPad and GoodReader have breathed new life into the PDF. Of course, full-text online legal reference materials remains the best way I can think of to share and collaborate on a large amounts of materials with multiple users.

However, the iPad and GoodReader make a PDF library an outstanding option for a single person or for a particular purpose; a trial or deposition come to immediately to mind.

For me, the animating force is the prospect of having thousands of cases, statutes, and reference materials with me and ready to go- it was the "ready to go" part that concerned me.

Acrobat has a range of features to help organize and deal with long documents, including bookmarks, full search, portfolios, and the constellation of commenting tools that each create the functional equivalent of a bookmark in dizzying variety.

Initially, I thought by viewing PDF on the iPad, I would be giving up most if not all of the Acrobat features. And I was right, but not so much so that it really matters in the scheme of things.

Here is a how I use bookmarks, rapidly applied in Acrobat, to create an document outline in iPad's GoodReader. Like most things great things, this is simple.

First. Apply the bookmarks to your PDF in Acrobat and nest them as you desire. See short demo video on bookmarking in Acrobat.

Second. Save your PDF in a convenient place to access it with iPad's GoodReader. I use Dropbox and MobileMe for this. Review of Using Dropbox and GoodReader.

Third, Open your PDF in GoodReader and touch the bookmark button and see the bookmarks saved as an outline. I applaud GoodReader's programmers for doing it this way because it leaves the bookmarks section for case-by-case application.

Now you have an outlined PDF ready for repeated use.

As to the loss of commenting and annotation, iPad has an App for that. It's called iAnnotate PDF- but that's a separate review.

Check out the iPad Screen Shots
 


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