The Lawyer’s Toolbox— How to Create Stunning 3D Timelines on the iPad

Most successful trial lawyers have the knack for simplifying the incredibly complex so that the core issues are easily  grasped by whatever audience is at hand– be it client, judge, jury, arbitrator, mediator, or opposing counsel.   Part of the simplification process is putting the facts into proper temporal context  (in human speak– a timeline).  A good practice is to begin … Read More

Lawyer’s Toolbox— How to Give Your iPad 1Tb of Memory and to Transfer Files via USB Cable From iPad to Other Computers

From a lawyer’s perspective, two shortcomings of the iPad are the limited memory of the available versions of the devices (16 GB, 32 GB, 64GB, 128GB) and the inability to transfer data to or from the iPad by USB thumb drive, memory card, or CD/DVD.  Now there is a solution to both of these problems, albeit not an inexpensive one.  I … Read More

The Lawyer’s Tool Box: Video Demo of Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 (with Service Pack 12.5) made with Camtasia Studio 8

We have previously presented a video demonstration of  Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 (“DNS”) on this site. This video demo has received over 10,000 views, so there is apparently great interest in the real world capabilities of of the DNS dictation software.  A service pack has been issued for DNS 12 (12.5). After installing the service pack, DNS seemed to have a higher accuracy … Read More

Avoid Legal Malpractice— How to Select a Reasonably Secure Password

Recently, several highly publicized security breaches resulted in the theft of password databases containing from tens of thousands to millions of passwords. Some of these password collections have been publicly disclosed and they provide a wealth of insight into the typical passwords chosen by consumers.  It’s not a pretty picture. Based upon the analysis of these real world passwords, there … Read More

The Lawyer’s Toolbox: Review of WordRake an Impressive Automated Proofreader Designed by a Lawyer for Lawyers

Executive Summary:  WordRake is an impressive automated proofreader for lawyers. Many of us are guilty of the same offense – we write like lawyers. To be precise, we often make word choices that hinder our ability to convey the point at hand in a concise and intelligible fashion.  My prose is often wordy, and when I’m under the gun, it … 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

Lawyer Ethics- Is Your Head in the Cloud?– The Ethical Implications of Using Dropbox and Other Cloud Services

Executive Summary:  Before an attorney uses cloud based services to transfer, store or process confidential client information, the attorney must exercise reasonable care to ensure that the cloud service provider will handle the information so as to comply with the attorney’s ethical obligation to preserve client confidences.   This includes, among other things, a review of the provider’s terms of service and privacy policy, … Read More

The Hytech Lawyer’s Choice for Best iPad Hand Notetaking App Winter 2013

Even in this digital age, I frequently find the need to take old fashioned handwritten notes in meetings, interviews and fact finding situations.  While in theory, I could take notes on my laptop or type on the iPad, handwriting notes is less distracting than typing and creates less of a barrier between myself and the person(s) with whom I am interacting.  … 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

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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.

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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:

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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.

Presenting Witnesses via iPad, Skype and Facetime– Video

While it is almost always preferable to have a witness appear live at a trial or hearing, if that is simply not possible, then consider whether a video appearence is appropriate.  In the video below, we demonstrate the use of the iPad and the iPad coupled with a large screen for presenting witness testimony. Video Presentation of Witnesses Tweet … Read More