The stress of litigation means lawyers are constantly on the lookout for tech tools that can make life easier, information more accessible and communication more direct. Here are five tech tools have made a difference, battle tested in courtrooms and offices around the country.
Being tech-savvy is essential in today’s courtroom, as revealed by a recent surge in a focus on new digital tools such as a “legal hackathon,” described by Bianca Bosker of the Huffington Post. Electronic devices and apps make it possible for attorneys to stay on top of the mounds of documentation that are part of a modern trial and keep in communication with their staff.
Trial Touch is a comprehensive tool for iPad app that lets a lawyer collaborate with office staff on documentation as he goes through the process of prepping, organizing and trying a case. The app, which isn’t cheap, comes with three subscription plans based on storage levels.
The app gives a lawyer the ability to redact, magnify, highlight and stamp documents, as well as assign them as exhibits to witnesses. After buying a membership, users receive training and can get personalized consultation for specific cases. Lawyers who use the app like the fact that it is useful from opening statement through to the closing.
For those seeking a less expensive method of collaboration, GoodReader aligned with Dropbox makes a good team. Dropbox lets a lawyer and his staff upload documents to the cloud, making them accessible anywhere there is an internet connection. Used in conjunction with GoodReader, a user can sync folders from a desktop computer direct to an iPad.
Pleadings, exhibits and briefs can be organized on a desktop computer and stored in folders on Dropbox. With one-button ease using GoodReader, they are then made available on a mobile device. The app allows a person to view, create and edit PDF annotations and sign documents.
Fastcase is a legal research tool that works in the office, in the courtroom, or on the go. A lawyer has access anywhere a national law library. The subscription-based app makes it easy to find answers by sorting the best results at the top of the list, based on 12 different filters like relevance, number of citations or date decided.
Rates are based on either national appellate or national premium, which includes federal district courts and bankruptcy courts.
A free research app that provides a wide range of research sources is dLaw, available on both Apple and Android devices. It provides legal reference that includes federal rules for civil procedure, evidence, appellate procedures and more.
A number of affordable add-ons include state codes and laws, the U.S. code, Supreme Court case opinions and other resources.
FOR THE PAPERLESS OFFICE
Many offices prefer Adobe Acrobat to other PDF writer apps. Though the paperless office can seem like a mythical goal, Adobe Acrobat has helped document-heavy law offices made progress.
Firms like Gilbert & Bourke point out that the app is regularly updated with new security features, a must for any litigation practice. It is easy to use for editing, filling in and signing documents.
Technology is advancing daily and smart lawyers are keeping informed about what is new on the market. According to an article on Inside Counsel, everything is becoming connected, and tools that experts predict will soon be in common use have yet to be designed and created.