iPad Tips and Tricks Useful to Lawyers

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of teaching my fourth CLE class on using the iPad for legal work. At the end of each class, I share a few tips and tricks with the group. I find that many experienced users are unaware of these helpful hints. This is the first of a series detailing some of these “tips and tricks” that might be useful to lawyers.   We will start off basic and will get more advanced as the series progresses.

First, make sure you have the latest version of IOS. To do this, go to the “Settings” icon and select. Next, push the “General” icon .  Then select “About”.  Then look for the “Version” under “About.”  As of the date of this entry, the version should be 5.0.1.  Version 5.0 and 5.0.1 were major upgrades and you’re missing out on significant iPad functionality if you are not up to date.  In fact, once these upgrades are installed, future upgrades are wireless.  I have been amazed at how many lawyers I encounter are still running iPad software versions 3 or more upgrades old.

Second–have you updated all your apps? If your App Store indictor has a number on it then the answer is no.  Select the App Store icon and then select update all.  You will be asked for your Apple password, however, application upgrades are free. This is the beauty of the App Store.  You can always have the latest version of the application. It is also important to install these upgrades because this is how bugs are fixed by the developers.

Screenshots – – did you know that you can take a screenshot of whatever is on your screen?  Briefly push the home button and power button at the same time and a picture will be taken of your current screen. You can find the picture in your camera roll with your other photos.  You can then export the picture by email, insert it in other documents, Etc.  That is how I was able to insert the photo of my blog below.

Shortcuts – – do you find yourself typing out lengthy e-mail addresses, conference call instructions, addresses, or other repetitive information?  Did you know that one of the improvements of IOS 5.0 is a shortcut feature that allows you to type a few letters for a long phrase?  To activate, select the “Settings” icon.  Go to the right side toward the bottom and select “Keyboard.” At the bottom you will see “add a new shortcut.”  Select it, and then add the shortcut, (e.g., “em”  for your “longwindedemail address.com”). Now, when ever you type “em” the long email address will pop up as choice that you can select by simply pressing the space key.

Resetting Malfunctioning Applications—No need to reset your whole iPad when an App hangs up or malfunctions.  Simple double click the home button.  Locate the offending App among the icons presented at the bottom. Push and hold the icon of the App you want to close, until the icon starts jiggling- then push the – to the left of the icon.  This closes (but does not delete) the App.

Sending multiple pictures in an e-mail:  It is simple to send multiple pictures in an e-mail from your camera roll. First, press the “Photos” icon.  If you have your photographs in albums, select the album containing the pictures you want to send.  Select the “Send” icon in the top right corner—it will turn blue.  Then tap each photo you want to send.  A check mark will appear on each selected photo. Tap share and you will be presented a menu to Email, print or message.

Do you want your iPad to read to you on occasion (for example while driving)?  Select “Settings”.  In the left hand column select “General” and then in the right hand column toward the bottom select “Accessibility.”  Then select “Speak Selection” and turn it on.  You can select the pace of speech.  Now, when you select any text (for example word documents, emails or books) you can have it read to you by tapping “Speak.”   Note, that for those that are visually impaired, the iPad can be set to read everything displayed  (Settings–>General–> Accessibility –>VoiceOver).  Be sure to read the instructions on the screen because selecting this VoiceOver option changes the iPad commands (of course you can reset them).

That’s all for now–

If you would like to share your favorite iPad Tricks and Tips, we would welcome your reply.

Use Your iPad as PC or Mac Second (Dual) Monitor

In my office, I have a dual monitor set-up that I find to be very useful.  When on the road, I carry my laptop PC and an iPad2.  Air Display ($9.99 The App Store) allows me to use my iPad as a dual monitor over a common wifi network or via an ad hoc network.

Simply install the iPad app and the companion PC/Mac software and you are ready to go.  The App allows touch screen control on the Pad when paired in dual display mode.  I have found the App to work well and recommend it for those who need a mobile dual monitor solution.

The Hytech Lawyer’s Top 25 Productivity Apps Winter 2012


It’s time again for another update to the Hytech Lawyer’s favorite lawyer productivity applications:

1.    Goodreader  ($4.99 App Store)

One of the best selling non-Apple apps for iPad in 2011.  This App allows you read and in most cases mark-up PDF and many other varieties of documents.  Also has a well designed document management system which permits multi-level document files (i.e., organizing documents by case/matter).  Aggressive development team constantly refines and updates programs.  A must have for the serious iPad lawyer.

2.    Documents To Go Premium  ($ 16.99  App Store)

Another must have application for the serious iPad lawyer.  Allows you to open, edit, save, email and create documents in the most popular word processing and spreadsheet applications to include MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and WordPerfect.  Allows you to see redlines in documents with tracked changes although there is not capability to redline documents on the iPad (we are not aware of any Application that provides this functionality).

3.    Pages ($9.99 App Store)

Apple’s proprietary word processing program.  Most robust word processing program I am aware of on the iPad.  Converts Word documents for editing.  Documents created in Pages can be converted to Word and shared by various means. If you are going to draft documents on the iPad, you will want this App.

4.    SpiderOak  (Free upto 2 GB App Store)

SpiderOak does everything that Dropbox does and more  (allows cloud storage and the sharing of files between computers, smart phones, iPads, etc.), but is much more secure.  Your files are encrypted and SpiderOak does not have a key. SO DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSWORD.  To start out, you install the desktop app and select folders you want to backup. Once backed up, you can choose to sync them to other computers/devices or create “Share Rooms” to share files with other users.   I use SpiderOak in my practice for cloud storage (after 2 GB charges based on storage size), file transfers and collaboration with other. In my opinion a “must have” App.

5.    Dropbox (Free up to 2 GB  APP Store)—NON-CONFIDENTIAL FILE USE ONLY

In some respects, Dropbox is a wonderful App.   It allows cloud storage and the sharing of files between computers, smart phones, iPads, you name it.  With this App you can make a file available to all your devices by moving to the Dropbox on any of your other computers/devices.  Incredibly easy to use.   The problem—there are serious questions about the security of files stored in Dropbox and access to them   (see my prior posts).  Further, the terms of service are such that Dropbox can pretty much do what it wants to with your files.  Thus, in my opinion Dropbox is not suitable for storing or transferring confidential and/or privileged materials.  However, it is probably true that using Dropbox to simply transfer files, and then deleting the files from Dropbox post transfer presents minimal risk.  I use it frequently for transferring nonconfidential files because many applications are designed with Dropbox capability.

6.     UPAD (4.99 App Store)

UPAD allows you to use you iPad as a notepad for handwritten notes.  I use it everyday (with stylus) in place of my yellow legal pad (although UPAD does have yellow page templates).  I have tested almost every popular handwriting Application  (Penultimate (old #1 choice), Note Taker HD, Noteability, PaperDesk, PhatPad 7Notes HD Premium) and have found UPAD to be the easiest to use with the best file storage functionality and most natural writing feel.

7.    Penultimate  ($ .99  The App Store)

Penultimate is my old handwriting application favorite.  A very nice looking interface and simple to use.  Given the bargain basement price, I still highly recommend it.

8.    Notability  ($ .99  The App Store)

This all in one App allows you to handwrite, type and or record audio notes.  Because the handwriting feature is not as good as that in Upad, I use this application when I need audio backup for my notes, or plan to type and write notes.

9.     AudioMemos 2 ($ .99 The App Store)

Audio Memos is a professionally made audio recorder that provides great sound quality. It has an intuitive interface, which is easy to use and full of powerful features.  You can email recordings.  Caution—keep in mind the ethical issues related to recording others without their knowledge.

10.   Keynote  ($ 9.99.  The App Store)

Apple’s answer to PowerPoint for the iPad.  You can create presentations on the iPad, but I have found it more practical to prepare presentations in PowerPoint and then email them to my iPad.  Keynote will convert PowerPoint presentations to Keynote.  As you might expect from Apple, Keynote has some wonderful effects for transitions, etc.

11.    Trialpad  ($89.00 The App Store)

In my opinion, Trialpad is one of the two best trial presentation applications available for the iPad  (the others being ExhibitView). It is also the most expensive (although cheap compared to the cost of preparing even one foam board exhibit). Trialpad allows you to organize documents and display them via projector or monitor system. You can highlight, redact, mark, and enlarge documents on the fly.  It also has the capability to organize and share video and has a whiteboard feature.  Documents are transferred to the iPad via Dropbox, e-mail, or iTunes sync.  Trialpad is intuitively designed and easy to use.

12.   ExhibitView ($29.00 App Store)

ExhibitView (formal review coming in January) has been in the trial presentation business for several years offering a $499.00 PC based trial presentation program that is designed to be easier to use than some of the more complex programs such as Sanction and Trial Director.  They have finally released an iPad application that has carried over this ease of use philosophy to the iPad.  The application has all of the basic trial presentation tools highlighting, blow-ups, marking and redactions that are needed by the typical trial attorney.  You can also create slides using the mark up tools and save them as separate documents.  The loading of files is limited at this time to DropBox, as compared to TrialPad that allows inputs from multiple sources.  A plus for ExhibitView is that presentations  created in its rich PC version can be transferred to the iPad application.  While TrialPad has a few more features, ExhibitView’s much lower price and outstanding functionality will probably make it the best choice for most trial lawyers.

13.   Dragon  (Free. The App Store)

Wonderful free Application (I use the paid version on my PC at work).  Dragon is the leader in voice type dictation, i.e., it types what you say to it with amazing accuracy.  You can then cut and paste or email the text.  Caveat—your dictation is processed in the cloud—I would be hesitant to use it for confidential information.

14.  Explain Everything  ($ 2.99 The App Store)

Originally designed for educators, “Explain Everything” is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can also use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display.

Explain Everything records on-screen drawing, annotation, object movement and captures audio via the iPad microphone. Import Photos, PDF, PPT, and Keynote from Dropbox, Evernote, Email, iPad photo roll and iPad2 camera. Export MP4 movie files, PNG image files, and share the .XPL project file with others for collaboration.

The potential uses for this app are only limited by your imagination. For example, you can create an animation showing the direction of travel of automobile involved in an accident. You can import and crop photographs, add graphics such as arrows, shapes, etc. You can also introduce typewritten text or handwriting. In a nutshell, with the app, you can put most anything on the screen and manipulate it in real-time, while the same time recording it for later presentation in movie format. The animations can be displayed from the app, or uploaded into Keynote or PowerPoint

15. Fastcase HD  (Free.  The App Store)

Fastcase HD is a free legal research application, putting the American law library in the palm of your hand. 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.  You cannot print or copy in this free version, but great for on the fly research.

16. LawStack  (Free. The App Store)

LawStack is a portable rules library.  It comes preloaded with the following:

  • US Constitution
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Evidence
  • Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure

You can buy additional references for a fee, e.g., USC Code.

17. FedCtRecords (Free-temporarily)

Finally– an application that allows you to easily navigate the Federal Court Pacer system on your iPad.   The application allows you to select the court you are interested in from a menu.  All you need is your Pacer ID and either the case name or civil action number.  You can pull up all general Pacer information and filed documents.  Documents can be viewed and emailed from the Application.  This App is easy to use and well designed.

18. Nolo Plain English Law dictionary (Free. The App Store)

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary defines basic legal terms and Latin phrases.  Excellent resource.

19.  WestlawNext  (Free, but need a WestlawNext account. The App Store)

Access WestlawNext features including, WestSearch™, KeyCite™, Folders, History, document notes and highlighting, browse database content and more — all redesigned for the iPad multi-touch screen.

20.  Feeddler RSS Reader Pro ($4.99 The App Store)

Feeddler is the most popular RSS reader for the iPad.  Feeddler is Google Reader client that stays perfect sync with Google and presents RSS stories in a clean and organized interface.  Great for following your favorite blogs and web sites.

21. DocScanner 5.0  ($4.99.  The App. Store)

With DocScanner, you can turn any document into a PDF by simply snapping a photo. The App can also accurately convert typed documents to text. I have found this “portable copier/scanner” to be very useful.

22.   Skype for iPad (Free. The App Store)

The new iPad App for use with the popular video calling service Skype.  Call, video call, or instant message anyone on Skype for free. Plus, you can purchase Skype Credit enabling you to call landlines and mobiles at really low rates.

23.  Teleprompt+ ($14.99.  The App Store)

Teleprompt+ is a simple yet powerful professional teleprompter for the iPad.  Perfect for use in speeches and presentations where you have a fixed script.  You control the speed of the scrolling.  I love this App but have only had occasion to use it three times in the year I have owned it.

24.    Calvetica  ($  2.99      The App Store)

An alternative calendar program that allows you to easily flip through weeks and months of appointments much more quickly than the default calendar.  Syncs with the built in Calendar.  I use both.

25.  TripIt  (Free,   The App Store)

Allows you to manage and share your travel itineraries.  Upgrade available by subscription that will provide real time flight change, travel advisory and gate information.  However, the free version is very useful.


26.  AppShopper  (Free,  The App Store)

Allows you to track the hottest apps and receive alerts regarding price changes on Apps you want to purchase.


As always, I would like to hear about any lawyer productivity Apps that you find particularly useful.

Enjoy and Be Productive!

Bill Latham, a/k/a The Hytech Lawyer

OneNote Application for iPad Falls Short of Expectations

I have been using the PC version of Microsoft’s OneNote in my law practice for the past five years.  OneNote is a versatile virtual notebook that has allowed me to organize my case files and to minimize the amount of paper that I need to carry as a travel the country in my national litigation practice. See http://hytechlawyer.com/?p=95.   Since I began using the iPad, I have been using the Application MobileNoter to sync my PC OneNote notebooks to the iPad.  MobileNoter will accept embedded files (PDFs, Word documents,  Spreadsheets, video files, etc.) and allow some minimal editing on existing notes, but will not allow the creation of new notes or notebooks.  MobileNoter also allows you to take handwritten notes on existing notebook pages, but you cannot add new pages.

Given the limitations of MobileNoter, I have eagerly awaited the release of the Microsoft OneNote Application.   Now that it is out, I am sorry to say that the application is a disappointment.  I have tested the free version which is limited to 500 notes.  My first issue is that the embedded files do not sync over to the iPad—this drastically limits the usefulness of the App for me.  Also, you cannot create new notebooks but can only add pages to existing notebooks.  Finally, there is no ability to take handwritten notes.

On the positive side, the ability to add new pages is one advantage the OneNote App has over MobileNoter.  Also, the Windows Live sync function seems to work well, although the test was not very strenuous since my extensive embedded files did not sync.  You can also add pictures from your iPad camera roll to existing iPad notebook pages—and they sync over.  This demonstrates that Microsoft could add the embedded file functionality to this application.

When they update this version, Microsoft needs to add at a minimum (1) the ability to add new notebooks, (2) the ability to sync embedded files, and (3) the ability to take handwritten notes on the iPad and sync the notes back to the PC.  Come on Microsoft—you can do better.


Advice for Lawyers New to the iPad

Millions of new iPads were given as gifts this holiday season and no doubt a bunch of them went to lawyers who have never used an Apple product before.  This is the one year anniversary of “Hytechlawyer.com.”  Over the past 12 months, we have dispensed much advice and ventured many opinions related to the iPad, some of which may actually be useful to a newly armed iPad lawyer.  Here are a few to get you started:

As always, your questions and comments are welcomed.  Have fun!

Bill Latham a/k/a The Hytech Lawyer


New Pacer App Highly Recommended for Lawyers

Finally– an application that allows you to easily navigate the Federal Court Pacer system on your iPad.   The App is FedCtRecords and is available for free (Reg. 19.99) for a limited time at the App store.   The application allows you to select the court you are interested in from a menu.  All you need is your Pacer ID and either the case name or civil action number.  You can pull up all general Pacer information and filed documents.  Documents can be viewed and emailed from the Application.  This App is easy to use and well designed.

This Application is highly recommended and will be added to our Top Applications list.

Ethical Considerations for Lawyers Using Wireless Devices

This Article from Forbes.com 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.






A Lesson from the Life of Steve Jobs

Tonight I attended a wonderful presentation by Walter Isaacson, author of the best selling biography of Steve Jobs.  The talk was sponsored by University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, The Liberty Fellowship and Wells Fargo Bank.

Mr. Isaacson is famous in his own right.  Currently president of the non-profit Aspen Institute, Mr. Isaacson was formerly the managing editor of Time magazine and Chairman and CEO of CNN.  The Harvard educated, Rhodes Scholar, has also authored acclaimed biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger, among others.

My “take away” from talk was that Steve Jobs had an artistic vision and was very controlling in his desire to achieve it—and because his vision was an excellent one, Apple products have been a great success.  Thus, Jobs’ choice of the notoriously independent Isaacson as his official biographer, might be considered by some as an indication that Jobs had matured to the point that he was willing to cede control of the very book that would portray him to future generations– in essence the official record of his legacy.

On the other hand, a cynic might say that Jobs has methodically laid claim to a spot among the great American historical figures by having his story told by a biographer whose previous subjects have been among the most influential Americans of all time– i.e., Jobs is among the greatest of Americans by association.

In any case, I remain a Jobs fan. Isaacson had unparalleled access, and the stories he told in his talk have only whet my appetite for more. Given that fact, I am saving the book for my holiday reading, because I know there will be no putting it down.

Wireless Lawyer Presentations Using iPad 2 and Apple TV

One device we recommend for consideration for the hytech lawyer on your gift list is Apple TV ($99 Hytech Lawyer Store).  For the lawyer making a presentation, this device allows for wireless transmission of content from the iPad 2 to a HDMI monitor or Projector.    The Apple TV device is connected by HDMI cable  (not included) to an HDTV monitor or to an LCD Projector with a HDMI input.  The link between the iPad2 and the Apple TV device is WIFI  (so obviously the room will need to have good WIFI access).  This setup enables the presenter with an iPad2 to wonder the room while presenting anything on the iPad2 to the audience.  This will also work with those applications on the iPad1 that allow video output, e.g., Keynote, Trial Pad, Exhibit View, Exhbit A, Good Reader and Explain Everything.

The Apple TV device is small and elegant as is typical of Apple design. It is also inexpensive with a price of about $99. It is available from Apple, Amazon.com, Best Buy, etc.   The device has an output for an HDMI cable and an input for direct internet wired connection if desired.

While the presentation capabilities of Apple TV are one professional use lawyers might consider, the device’s true calling is to allow the streaming of TV shows and movies from iTunes, NetFlix, and media on your iPad, or other IOS device.  Set-up is easy and the interface is easy to use, as is the included remote control.  You can get more information at:  http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipod/family/apple_tv?

Which iPad Model is the Best Gift Choice for Lawyers?


For most lawyers we recommend the 32GB WIFI only model.  Typical price $599.00


One of the first decisions to face those shopping for an iPad for their favorite lawyer is which model to purchase.  There are two general varieties of iPad2, either WIFI only or WIFI/3G.  For each of these two varieties there are three memory choices 16G, 32 GB or 64 GB, There are also two color choices, white or black.


Without internet access the iPad is rendered only slightly more useful than a brick paper weight. If your lawyer will most frequently use the iPad where free internet access is readily available (e.g., home wireless network, office network, client offices, airports) then the WIFI only option is probably the best choice.  This is also a good option, if your lawyer’s smartphone has the capability of serving as a mobile WIFI hot spot.  Most recent iPhones, android phones and Blackberrys have this capability.  Mobile hotspot capability usually costs about $20 more per month for 2GB of data).  You also have the option of
purchasing a mobile WIFI card from any of the major carriers.  These devices are very versatile allowing internet access for up to 5 WIFI devices.  Recently, these have been advertised as free or near free with a 2 year contract. Monthly plans range in the $20-30 range.

The other option is to purchase a model with wireless 3G built in.  You pay a monthly fee for internet access which usually ranges in price from $20-40 per month).  In addition, the 3G models cost about $100 more than the WIFI only version.  This is definitely the most convenient option, but is also the least flexible and most expensive choice.  One consideration is that only the 3G versions have GPS capability, although the WIFI only version can pinpoint your location fairly accurately by fixing on your router location.

BOTTOM LINE:  Unless you know that your Lawyer wants the 3G version, we recommend a WI FI only Model.


The iPad2 memory options are 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.  This may not seem like much compared to laptop memories, but you need to keep in mind that the iPad is designed to
function in conjunction with internet access.  In my opinion, the 32 GB model is the best choice for most lawyers.  This allows for the storage of thousands of pages of documents and a reasonable video, photo, application and music collection.  The 64GB option should be considered for the lawyer that has thousands of songs, photos or who desires to carry copies of many videos and movies with them.

BOTTOMLINE:  For most users we recommend the 32 GB Model, WIFI Only


Generally, Apple pricing is pretty much the same everywhere, although you can find some minor discounts at discounters and warehouse clubs.  For those on a tight budget, refurbished iPad1 models may  be available in limited quantities for a substantial discount at Apple.com.

iPad2 16GB $499 $599
iPad2 32GB $599 $699
iPad2 64GB $699 $799
iPad1* 16GB $199 $299
iPad1* 32/64GB $299 $399


*Refurbished iPad1 models may be available in limited quantities at Apple.com.  See–



If you have questions iPad or technology gift questions, post them as a reply and we will do our best to answer promptly.