Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

Tom Mighell on iPad for Litigators

I recently had the privilege of hearing legal technology consultant Tom Mighell make his “iPad for Litigators” presentation to the Austin Bar Association’s Civil Litigation.  Texas lawyers may know Tom from his days as a litigator with Dallas firm Cowles & Thompson.  He has authored an excellent legal tech blog, Inter Alia, for several years.

I live-tweeted Tom’s talk (from @dtoddsmith) using #ipad4litigators as a hashtag, but have since received a request to re-post the tweets on this blog.  Here they are, in reverse chronological order (more or less):

  • Thanks to @TomMighell for a very informative presentation today @theaustinbar Litigation Section meeting!
  • Fed Court Records is an iPhone app that provides access to PACER. Fed Bank Records app provides bankruptcy court access.
  • Legal research: FastCase is free. WestlawNext and LexisAdvance provide paid users great access to their databases.
  • Reason to upgrade from 1st-gen iPad: It won’t render documents as quickly, won’t always show documents correctly on screen.
  • Trial presentation: TrialPad allows you to control what the jury sees on-screen, zoom in, highlight/point, redact.
  • For presentations, recommends Apple TV ($99). Sets up network between you and iPad. Present wirelessly with iPad.
  • Jury selection: JuryStar and iJury are more comprehensive, but more complicated. Tougher to use without help.
  • Jury selection: iJuror is solid, despite “Fisher-Price” design.
  • Document review: iDocument Review. Send to them for upload. Can create own codes. Likes the concept, but needs development.
  • TranscriptPad allows review and marking up depos as .txt files. Set up color codes for issues and highlight by code.
  • Deposition apps: Deponent has some preloaded Qs, allows you to customize and attach exhibits.
  • Apps to consider for calendar creation: Court Days Pro, DocketLaw. O’Connor’s has a basic deadline calculator.
  • Goodreader is a good way of managing files on iPad. Can email attachments from app. Connects to Dropbox, etc.
  • Easiest way to get documents on iPad is synchronized file service such as Dropbox, Box, Sugarsync. “It’s secure enough.”
  • @TomMighell: iPad is a magical device (per Steve Jobs), but it can’t change the facts.
  • I’m live tweeting @TomMighell‘s talk on iPad for litigators @theaustinbar. Using #ipad4litigators as a hashtag.
  • As discussed in an article I wrote for Texas Lawyer a while back, I’ve incorporated an iPad into my appellate practice for a couple of years now, and I can’t imagine life without it.  The only thing that comes close to the iPad’s utility is the MacBook Air I picked up a few months ago and have hardly put down since.

Among other resources, lawyers using or considering the iPad should check out Tom’s blog, Jeff Richardson’s iPhone JD, and Frank King’s recent Texas Bar Journal article.

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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