We have long been fans of Tom Mighell’s iPad books, which include iPad in One Hour for Lawyers, iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, and now the third member of the series, iPad in One Hour for Litigators. If lawyers have tended to fall in love with the iPad, litigators are becoming obsessed with it.
The small form factor, the ease of use and the ability to compete with large firms which have huge litigation budgets have all been factors. One thing we’ve seen as we lecture is that litigators buy the iPad and only then ask, “How do I use it?”
If you been wondering what to do with your iPad in the courtroom, the iPad in One Hour for Litigators is an essential starting point. The author’s language is comprehensible even to those who are not the least bit geeky and he introduces the wonder of the iPad in digestible bites.
Tom is quite candid, and we second this, that no resource on the iPad can ever remain wholly accurate. Within two days of publication of a book, something will have changed – the price of an app, new features – and whole new apps will crop up.
But understanding that, there are now a lot of apps that have been around for a while and proven their worth. Probably the two that we see used most often by litigators are TrialPad and TranscriptPad, both by Lit Software. Can TrialPad do everything that Sanction and Trial Director (the conventional trial presentation tools) can do? No – but it sure can do everything that most lawyers need it to do.
The book also takes you through the process of syncing files – these days, most commonly using Dropbox. Can this be done securely, protecting client confidentiality? Certainly, by password protecting files (PDF, Word, etc.) and thereby encrypting them. This is probably the most common question we are asked as litigators are still nervous about ethical issues involving Dropbox. And of course, there are Dropbox alternatives – but Dropbox seems to have won the beachhead and all software developers make sure their software works with Dropbox first.
The book conjures an imaginary case as a way of guiding you through apps that help with notetaking, calendaring, recording deadlines, taking depositions and reviewing transcripts, reviewing documents, researching, preparing for trial, selecting a jury and, of course, presenting your evidence.
There are a lot of great apps in this book, some heartily recommended by the author and some whose flaws are duly noted. We have already gotten to the point where there are so many legal apps that a useful book (and this one is!) will identify several of the best-known and most-utilized apps, but not all of the available apps – it is just too confusing.
While it is a “One Hour” book, as the author notes, it will take much more than that to read AND explore the apps mentioned. But whether you are starting from scratch or have been using the iPad in the courtroom for a while, you will find this book extraordinary helpful. We have had several litigators tell us that this book was the best investment (roughly $40) that they could have made in pursuit of understanding what the iPad could accomplish in their litigation practices.
You can purchase the book at the ABA bookstore online.