Legal Technology

How this personal injury firm is using Google Glass to get a leg up


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A man wearing Google Glass. Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Two personal injury lawyers at the Phoenix office of Fennemore Craig are sharing Google Glass with their clients because they believe it can help them win cases by offering a different view of the evidence.

Lawyers James Goodnow and Marc Lamber have equipped several business and personal-injury clients with Google Glass devices, which are currently available only to a small group of “Explorers,” according to a press release. The lawyers are also trying out the technology with expert witnesses and in mock trials.

Goodnow spoke with the ABA Journal about the pilot program, which began in January.

One of the clients using Google Glass is Gary Verrazono, who lost his right arm and leg in a 2012 forklift accident. Verrazono can use Google Glass to email and text his lawyers using voice-to-text technology, to exchange legal documents, and to videoconference with the lawyers using Google Hangouts software.

Verrazono also used Google Glass to record a video showing how he experiences challenges in daily living.

Such videos are usually recorded by a third party. But Verrazono’s Google Glass video shows from his own perspective the difficulties of grocery shopping while using a wheelchair. “A simple task—you may not know the challenges associates with it—suddenly comes to life when you see it through [Verrazono’s] eyes,” Goodnow says.

A business client wearing Google Glass used the camera to show Goodnow a potential location for a business.

The law firm is also testing Google Glass with jury focus groups listening to mock trials. Typically, lawyers ask their jurors for feedback on how they viewed the evidence and what they saw as important. But lawyers can see for themselves whether a juror watching mock testimony is looking at the witness, the lawyer or even the ceiling. If the jurors are “locked on a witness, that’s a pretty good indication they are locked on what the witness is saying,” Goodnow says.

He also gives an example of how an expert witness might use the technology to reconstruct an accident scene. The expert could put on Google Glass to record a reconstruction of where the cars were, showing what the driver could and could not see.

Goodnow and Lamber were also on the cutting edge in 2011 when they provided iPads to 20 clients in their biggest cases.

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