Don’t be that Luddite Lawyer

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word Luddite describes “one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest [for fear of losing their jobs]; broadly: one who is opposed to especially techno­logical change.” Being an out of the closet technophile, I frequently en­counter self-described “luddite law­yers” who brag about their lack of … Read More

The Hytech Lawyer Mourns the Loss of Steve Morrison

Steve Morrison was my teacher, mentor, law partner and friend.  Steve died yesterday morning at only 64 years of age.  It’s been less than 24 hours since we learned the news, but my law firm, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, already misses him terribly.  You see, Steve Morrison was never ordinary- no ordinary lawyer, no ordinary person, no ordinary partner, … Read More


In this five minute video, I share my wonder at the rapid advances in computer processing and memory capability and ponder on what it will mean for the practice of law in the next ten years as artificial intelligence and true legal expert systems become a reality. The concept of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and the potential impact on the human … Read More

Technology Blunders by Lawyers in Zimmerman Trial Limit Effectiveness of Prosecution

If you have followed the second degree murder trial of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, you may have seen the two major technological blunders made by the prosecution.  These two incidents involving Twitter and Skype, are prime examples of why the ABA was correct in revising the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to require that attorneys keep current on new … Read More

The Future of Education– it’s not your Daddy’s Classroom

We are living in a time of tremendous technological change. For the first time in history, most of the useful accumulated knowledge of the human species can be accessed by a child on a smart phone. Thousands of students can be taught by a master teacher in a virtual class room half-way across the world. Students can also be tutored … Read More

Litigation War Stories– Using the iPad and TrialPad in a High Stakes Class Certification Hearing

This past week I was in federal court opposing a motion for class certification on behalf of a major corporate client– high stakes.  After plaintiffs’ counsel presented their initial argument, I moved to the forward counsel podium with just my iPad.   Using the TrialPad App ($89.99 App Store),  I displayed key documents and testimony on the court’s own electronic presentation system as I presented my argument.  The presentation went without a hitch with one exception– a reminder popped up on my screen half-way through the argument to remind me I was 30 minutes overdue for my class certification hearing [Lesson learned– turn all notifications off prior to using the iPad for a hearing].

The Setup— as noted, this particular federal courtroom was prewired for video presentations.  Each counsel table was equipped with a monitor and a VGA cable for connecting that counsel’s computer to the system.  There were screens for the judge, his clerk, and even courtroom spectators.  There was a central podium for counsel with another connection station and an Elmo presentation device (think of it as a glorified overhead projector that can display documents).

In this case, I chose to use Apple TV to make the presentation.  Apple TV ($99.00) allows you to mirror your iPad screen to an external monitor.

photoTo make this work, the iPad and the Apple TV device need to be on the same WiFi network.  While the courtroom had WiFi access, I have found it to be more reliable to bring my own WiFi either using the hotspot on my phone or as in this case, a separate WiFi card.  Unfortunately, Apple TV’s only output is a digital HDMI cable.  This is great if you are using a HDMI projector or monitor, but not so good if your projector or monitor is of the older and still more common analog VGA variety like the set up in this courtroom.  In that case, you need a digital to analog converter to use the Apple TV.  Because the court’s system was several years old it was of the VGA variety and the use of a converter was required.   So here is the set up:

1.       WiFi hotspot connected to Apple TV by WiFi from Hotspot

2.       Apple TV HDMI output connected to converter by HDMI Cable

3.      Converter connected to Court VGA system by VGA Cable
























Once everything is up and running the next step is to connect the Apple TV via WiFi.  To do this you must double click your home key.  Then scroll to the mirror icon that should be located next to the volume and play controls.  Select Apple TV and then mirroring and you are on the air.















I had the documents organized in folders in outline form so that I could adjust to the issues raised in the argument of opposing counsel or  those that were of particular interest to the court.  It looked something like this:








The main folders actually served as my argument outline.  Each of folders contained documents labeled for easy identification that argument point.  This organizational method allows the presenter to custom tailor the presentation on the fly– which I had to do when plaintiffs counsel abandoned their entire briefed theory and presented a new one in response to my argument.

In our next installment we will examine the preparation of exhibits using TrialPad and the additional presentation features of the App, including a video demonstration of the software in operation.  Also See our prior review of TrialPad .

UPDATE:  We Won– Motion for Class Certification Denied.

Big Law- Hard Truths and Hard Times for the Old Model

A sobering but well reasoned analysis:  revolutionary change is required, but hard to implement due to lawyer resistance. See also: And-’t-Be-Dewey-Dozen-Use-This-Checklist-to-Make-Sure-Your-Firm-Isn’t-Dewey.html Tweet … Read More

Important Lawyer Skills – Remembering Names – Develop a System

In his classic– How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnage counsels:  “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.”   When you remember someone’s name you are telling them that you recognize that they are worth remembering– they are important.  Learn to remember names well, and you will do much to … Read More

Ethical Considerations for Lawyers Using Wireless Devices

This Article from examines a California ethics opinion on the efforts that lawyers should take to ensure the security of confidential information when using wireless devices.  Nothing particularly new in the article, but good for basic review.         Tweet … Read More