ABA Techshow

Trial lawyers share their favorite tech tools in their litigation toolboxes


San Francisco lawyer Christopher B. Dolan’s favorite litigation tool is Trial Touch, an iPad app for trial presentation that he says allows him to prep, organize and try a case while collaborating with his office staff on all documentation.

Roanoke, Va., lawyer Robert Dean’s favorite trial tool is TrialPad, a document presentation app for theiPad that allows him to enhance, zoom and annotate exhibits in court with only a projector, a screen and his iPad.

Montrose, Colo., lawyer David L. Masters doesn’t have a favorite tool, but says PDF writer Adobe Acrobat is the application that has allowed his office to go paperless for more than 10 years and can also be used to present evidence in court.

Those were some of the results of a survey of technology gurus in the legal field on the technology tools they use most in their law practice.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with an ABA Techshow presentation Thursday called “All the Tools in the Toolbox: Technology in the Courtroom.” The session explored some of the pros’ “must have” technology as well as some cutting-edge tools that are or will soon become available for trial presentation purposes.

Norfolk, Va., personal injury lawyer Richard J. Serpe and Columbia, S.C., trial lawyer David Maxfield, the co-presenters, urged attendees to think of various programs and apps as potential tools they can incorporate into their litigation toolboxes as needed.

Serpe said some of his favorite trial tools are MindJet, a work management software program for brainstorming ideas, and Trial Touch. But he said his go-to software for trial presentation is Sanction, because it allows you to collect documents, photos and exhibits on digital dashboard and then build them into your presentation.

“It’s also a terrific platform for animation,” he said.

Maxfield said some of his favorite trial tools are the mind-mapping app iThoughts for iPad because it allows you to scan everything in your office; the trial presentation software Exhibitview because you can build a PowerPoint slide presentation into it; the note-taking software Evernote because it allows you to create a database of trial materials and put everything in chronological order, and BEEDOCS Timeline 3D, because it allows you to create multimedia timelines in a “really cool” way.

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