Ted’s Top Ten from 2011

Here are a few of my most popular and favorite articles fromthe past year. Thanks for reading and sharing this blog!

JANUARY 12, 2011 – This article offered the firsthead-to-head comparison of the first two trial presentation apps for iPad, andquickly found itself at the top position for all-time most popular articles,where it remains today. There are now others, including ExhibitA and ExhibitView for iPad, which I will be reviewing very soon.

JANUARY 24, 2011 – What is it about those iPad app reviews?Readership on this blog increased exponentially in 2011, largely attributed to themany iPad app reviews I’ve written. This article explores several apps for juryselection and monitoring, and is comfortably in the second position forall-time most popular articles.

MAY 3, 2011 – Often, litigators make certain assumptionsabout the Judge and jury, which are not always on the mark. One such assumptionis that Judges don’t care for the use of technology in court. Here are a fewnoteworthy quotes for the doubters.

MAY 18, 2011 – I’ve never really used a device just becauseit’s the cool thing to do. I do love my iPad, but I don’t believe it is a truelaptop replacement – regardless of what others might say. Same goes for myphone. I did my homework, and found that the Google phone would be a bettertool than the iPhone, and on a better network (Sprint) that still features anunlimited data plan. This particular article was also very popular in thenon-legal tech channels.

JULY 5, 2011 – It’s hard to believe this happen this pastyear – it already seems so long ago. Our justice system was put to the test, aswas our perception of trial coverage by the media. Whether you agree or not,the verdict stands.  This article wasvery popular in both the legal and non-legal audience.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 – Written for CAOC Forum Magazine, thisarticle was mentioned as one of the most-read posts on LinkedIn. While thebasics of trial preparation are similar, you’d better have everything ready togo in an abbreviated trial.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 – This was perhaps the saddest article I’veever written. Regardless of your position on capital punishment, we must notallow our judicial system to be manipulated in the interest of convenience orto satisfy public rage.

NOVEMBER 7, 2011 – Due diligence should go beyond thestorefront. Make sure the person who will actually be working with you isqualified. Don’t just accept the sales pitch.

NOVEMBER 20, 2011 – Hmm, looks like I was on a roll here. Ifyou are considering bringing in an outside vendor to assist with your nexttrial, this article offers another check-list of qualifications you should belooking for.

DECEMBER 4, 2011 – You can’t accuse me of tooting my ownhorn with this one. In fact, I’ve listed several of my favorite sources oflegal and technology information. In less than a month, it has found a home onmy all-time most popular articles, at number 3. Readers have added several oftheir own suggestions. Feel free to add yours.

Mobile Living: Life on the Road

No, I’m not talking about hitting the road in an RV. I’mtalking about the out-of-town trial, and a few things you might not otherwisethink about until you need them – which would then be too late. I’ll offer afew thoughts here, and feel free to add yours at the end of the article.

Internet Connection– Honestly, I can’t imagine being without a decent connection these days, whenonly a few years ago, it was a pure luxury. In most courthouses in majorcities, you can get a decent cell-phone signal. If you can do that, and if youhave a smart phone that doubles as a Wi-Fi Hotspot, you’re set for providingaccess to several laptops, iPads, or other devices. There are also servicessuch as Courtroom Connect in many courtrooms, in addition to a free publicservice in some (usually intended for jurors). All due cautions apply to each.

Printing, Scanning,Copying – These common, simple daily functions must not be overlooked, andideally, you will be able to do a decent job of each in both the war room andthe court room. While the war room should have equipment available to handlethe expected volume, you should also be able to scan or print something in thecourtroom, if necessary. There are a number of portable scanners and printerson the market, and mine fit into my carry-on bag which I take to court with meeach day. I’d rather not print 10 copies of 12 different exhibits in a bighurry, but I can handle the occasional (or frequent) emergency.
With that, you might also consider using 3-hole pre-drilledpaper if you’re putting everything into binders, so you don’t have to worryabout punching the pages. One more tip is to bring along a high-capacitystapler, since many exhibits are too thick for a standard staple (over about 20pages). You should also check out local resources for vendors.

Redundancy – You shouldalways have a current backup of your trial database available. When you’re athome, this may be simple, but when you’re on the road, although dealing with the“blue screen of death” is no longer a routine issue, problems still occur. Irecommend have a second laptop of the same make, model and configuration, inaddition to a full copy on an external hard drive, which may be used totransfer from one to the other (leaving a third copy on the drive itself). I’mnot a big fan of data sync software either, and I have seen it fail. There’snothing quite like the feeling you get when you realize something has gonewrong. At least if you’re handling it manually, you will know what you did, andlikely have a quick recovery available. Also, over-writing database files doesn’talways go as expected, so I will first delete the old set, and then copy over theupdated set. Thumb drives and cloud services such as Dropboxcan also be helpful.

Other Devices –iPads, Tablets and other devices can also help to make your life a bit morecomfortable. If you have one, you know what I mean. If you don’t, you probablywon’t understand until you get one. Although there are even apps for trialpresentation which I’ve reviewed here, such as TrialPad,ExhibitA, Evidence,and now ExhibitView (currently onsale for $29.99, which I’ll be reviewing soon), most of the cases I handle arefar too complex for the capabilities of the iPad. On smaller matters, however,using the iPad in trial could be fun. I have successfully used mine in severalCLE presentations.

Use Caution With RoomServices – If you’re looking for an easy way of upsetting an otherwisehappy client, go ahead and turn in your expense report with a long list of topmovies, fine dining, cocktails, and sending out all of your suits you’ve beenmeaning to get dry-cleaned. Just because you’re living in a hotel doesn’t meanyou’re on vacation. Although your extravagant indulgences may be strategically distributedthroughout the duration of your stay, think of how it’s going to look on paper –one right after another.

Okay, off to court. Have a great day!

12 Top Legal Sites You Should Check Out

Many of us have our own short-list of web sites we checkfrequently to keep current on topics of interest. Whether you found your way tothis site through a web search, clicked on a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn link,I appreciate that you’re reading the Court Technology and TrialPresentation Blawg. Of course, I also greatly appreciate those who sharethis site with others. Web traffic and readership are pure motivation tobloggers, as are comments and compliments.

I am going to share a few of my favorite blogs which I enjoyreading regularly. I hope you’ll enjoy my list, which will focus on legaltechnology, jury selection, graphics and trial presentation. Feel free to addsome of your favorites in the comments area.

1.    Law Technology News-- The mother of all legal technology sites, this site is a Law.com publication,headed up by Monica Bay, a household name in legal technology. Articles areoriginal, fresh and timely, and they also have a print publication available. Authorsinclude a staff of excellent writers, and LTN features many familiar names inthe profession.

2.     The RedWell -- This site features a directory and preview links to currentarticles provided by a select group of bloggers. Topics include Jury Selection,Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, and Communication for Lawyers.

3.      The JuryExpert -- This site is not actually a blog, but rather a veryhighly-regarded monthly collection of articles, provided by members of theAmerican Society of Trial Consultants. Authors vary monthly.

4.     LinkedInTrial Technology -- With nearly 2000 members, this is the largest online groupfocusing on the intersection of law, technology, and visual communication.

5.      LawyerTech Review -- This site features a bi-lingual (English and Spanish) collectionof articles covering all the latest tech-toys a lawyer could want. A favoriteis the App Friday series, where legal luminaries are asked about the apps theyuse. Attorney Geri Dreiling is the Editor, with Enrique Serrano providing theSpanish version of the site.

6.      BowTie Law -- Attorney Josh Gilland explores legal technology and itsapplication in case law, and covers e-discovery frequently.

7.    Deliberations -- The “official”blog of the American Society of Trial Consultants features articles by JuryConsultant Matt McCusker.

8.    CogentLegal Blog -- Morgan Smith and company offer a great deal of insight on howto communicate visually, using graphics and animations. Smith, an attorney, isthe primary author, with contributions from others.

9.    TheLitigation Consulting Report -- Ken Lopez features helpful topics focusingon using graphics to speak to jurors. Some great ideas.

10.  igetlit.comInformation Graphics & Litigation -- Jason Barnes offers great insight on visualcommunication techniques based on his years of experience in the profession.

11. LitigationPostScript -- Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm provides perspectives of a Jury Consultant.Lots of great “how-to” info on jury selection and analysis.

12.  Litigation SupportTechnology & News -- Joseph Bartolo and Frank Canterino scour the netfor you to offer a collection of summaries of current articles found on manypopular blogs.

I’dgladly recommend any or all of these sites to those who are interested in themodern practice of law. Of course, there are many more, and feel free to addyour own in the comments section, and use the Twitter, Facebook, Google+ andother social media buttons to share this collection. As a disclaimer, I willmention that I have contributed to numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 12 listed above.

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