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Posts Tagged ‘ipad’

As the “The Collapse of the Microsoft-Intel Monopoly” continues to accelerate, the response from the both the broader legal technology profession as well as the eDiscovery chattering classes has been what I can only describe as a collective yawn.

But that’s not completely surprising – after all, the the legal profession is characterized by it’s insistence on staying mired in the same technology swamp. And as such, it’s only today these organizations are getting around to examining their ongoing investment to find a replacement for Windows-reliant applications like Summation or Concordance. These warhorses have not been working for quite a while and are requiring ever increasing expenditures to keep running.

But this analysis is not coming easily. What is an easy call – supporting multiple operating systems and mobile – is being met in many instances by a deep state of denial that extends deeply into the purchasing decisions of large organizations. While we are seeing our users are moving rapidly away from WinTel based laptops and toward a variety of mobile and tablet devices, including Apple products, most of these organizations express little enthusiasm for supporting them.

This, by the way, is the opposite of the trend we see occurring in the small to midsize organizations, who are more nimble and adapting to their users preferences more readily.

So as we talk to law firms looking for a replacement for Concordance or Summation, future-proofing the emerging platforms should be of paramount interest, right?

These should be first questions in a RFP for a replacement Summation or Concordance. “Does your software support users in non-Windows environments? Do you plan on supporting iPads, Android devices, mobile computing platforms and Apple products generally? Can you support any browser besides Internet Explorer, which now controls less than a third of the overall marketshare?”

Legal IT needs to recognize the dislocation, and match it’s buying strategy to the way its users work. It’s not too late to match the needs and motivations of internal litigation support and IT departments with the needs of their users.

It’s time to ditch, in Silicon Valley speak, concerns orthagonal to the needs of their users. Based on this graph, is there any rational response from a law firm IT department other than to immediately cease any further capital or operational investment in technology not designed to support emerging platforms?

It isn’t rational to justify a purchasing decision that ignores 50 percent of the computing devices in the marketplace? It is not possible to develop a business case for spending capital expenditures on software that only works on a WinTel laptop. Yet it continues to happen today – is this state of denial sustainable?

Of course not. It never is. But now is the time to make the change, before falling off this Window/Intel cliff.

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The iPad is now the primary computer for many people, and is rapidly growing up as a business tool. According to the new 2012 ABA Legal Technology Survey, over 28 percent of all litigators now use a tablet device in the courtroom, mostly for checking email, although roughly 10 percent use it for presentation and litigation support in court.

Trial with iPad and Mac

The flexibility, portability, and accessibility the iPad delivers is a great tool for litigators, but it’s really not that powerful if your applications aren’t built for the Mac environment. Unfortunately, Trial Director, Sanction and Summation are not supported on a Mac. Nextpoint, however is a native, cloud-based technology provider, meaning it works on your iPad, iPhone, Windows or Mac desktop, or whatever platform you use. Additionally, in 2011 Nextpoint optimized all of its trial, discovery, and preservation applications for the iPad, meaning it will always look and run great on the iPad or any Mac device.

Native Matters

Optimization for the Mac and iPad matters most in the courtroom, where litigators need to know that their presentations and files look exactly right and they can access files quickly and easily. Most litigators know that many court reporters deliver deposition transcripts in the PTX format, which is a proprietary, encrypted file, only readable with RealLegal software. RealLegal is, of course, not well-suited for the Mac. As you can see in this tutorial on viewing transcripts stored in the PTX format, the format is a real headache for lawyers, especially if they need to quickly review a transcript in court.

One of the great benefits of web-based applications is the ability to be (largely) hardware/operating system independent. That’s why Nextpoint’s Trial Cloud is the only platform that supports PTX files for Macs, iPads, or any other platform you can think of. The Mac and the iPad are quickly becoming powerful tools for litigators. Unfortunately, it will be a long time before the rest of the litigation support industry catches up.

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Nextpoint "Expert Witness" Post

Nextpoint’s Expert Witness is a new feature here on the Frank blog, offering insights from lawyers, technologists, law enforcement, entrepreneurs, and other interesting people influencing our industry and world. Check back regularly for thought-provoking and in-depth conversations.

Lawyer Tom Mighell is probably best known for his blog inter-alia, which he describes as a collection of his “favorite technology topics, as well as the latest in law practice management tips, tricks and resources – among other things.” More recently, the iPad has become the focus of his technology obsession, which has spawned the site iPad 4 Lawyers, and his books iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and  iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, published by the American Bar Association. Readers may also be familiar with the Mighell Marker Newsletter, which he helped publish for 10 years, or the The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a legal technology podcast from the Legal Talk Network. Tom’s current day job is Senior Consultant with Contoural, Inc., where he deals with records management, electronic discovery, and litigation readiness issues.

Nextpoint is clearly on board with the iPad, since all of our applications are optimized for the device. But we wanted to talk to Tom about why tech-savvy lawyers are falling in love with the iPad. He’s also picked up a few tips to help lawyers and others get the most out of their devices.

iPad in One Hour

Nextpoint: Why did you write your books iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers?

Tom Mighell: Two reasons. I wanted to provide lawyers with a way to get up to speed quick on using an iPad. iPad in One Hour for Lawyers provides the basics that lawyers need to know to be able to get their iPad set up and start using it, all in a little more than an hour. The second book I wrote as a response to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of apps available in Apple’s App Store. There are somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 apps made especially for the iPad, and busy lawyers don’t have time to sort through all of them and figure out which apps are best. iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers provides a curated collection of the best apps for lawyers in different categories – Productivity, Legal-Specific, News and Reading, Reference and Research, Travel, and Utilities.

The iPad is commonly thought of as device for casual users. Why are you excited about it is a tool to make lawyers more productive in practicing the law?

I’ll challenge the first sentence of your question, and modify it to, “the iPad was once thought of as a device for casual users.”  There are probably some out there who still look on the iPad only for playing Angry Birds, surfing the web, or reading a book, but many lawyers are now recognizing the value of the iPad as a productivity tool. In fact, I myself was skeptical at first that the iPad could help me in my work – but the apps that are currently available for iPad users can help lawyers do a lot of the things they already do with laptop or desktop computers: take notes, draft and revise documents, and review caselaw or other documents they deal with in cases or transactional matters. (more…)

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Josh Barrett recently noted on the Tablet Legal blog that lawyers don’t always seem to use many applications on their iPad. In talking to attorneys with a small, iPad-using firm, the attorneys noted that they only use one or two apps regularly. At first, this seemed shockingly low, but on further introspection, Josh realized he himself uses only four apps with any frequency. That’s not a sign something is amiss- the number of apps you use isn’t what makes someone a power user on the iPad. The key is whether the apps you use let you get things done.

It may be easy to say there’s no reason to work on an iPad because you’re comfortable with your apps on a desktop. But we know that if you’re going to be a true power user, a desktop application alone is not going to always carry the load for you. For example, Nextpoint was recently involved in a unique case where a team of lawyers had to review documents in a settlement dispute, assessing them as High, Medium, or Low value, before a judge would review them to make an ultimate determination.

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We’ve spent years watching paralegals and associates fetch and annotate large lists of documents for the witness to review. We created Theater, a function within Nextpoint’s Trial Cloud  to address the more time-consuming and tedious tasks that bedevil our creative services team and the lawyers they support.

Theater contains the basic functionality to create and annotate document call-outs and can be used in court – as long as the Internet connection is strong and stable. It even works on an iPad! (Click to view a video tutorial.)

But we find many users are only scratching the surface when it comes to Theater, which can provide a lot more than just presentation functions for those rare, tech-forward courtrooms.

For example, witnesses need to be extremely familiar with the documents they are likely to testify about, and annotations are necessary to call attention to important sections and phrases.

To automate this process, Theater allows attorneys to create and save document annotations for a particular witness. The system saves your notes and can then export one file that will contain the annotated pages assigned to a given witness tag. Print just that one file, hole punch, and dump it in a binder. Viola! No more standing by the printer, printing file after file and manually marking up pages.

Theater can also be used to make your briefs and outlines more reader friendly. Instead of including a site to a document and section, why not include a document call-out itself? Don’t make your reader go hunt for the content, but show them what you want them to read.

Downloading your call-out from Theater is literally a push of a button: the “d” button on your keyboard. Use the “insert” function in Word to pop your annotated call-out into your brief or outline.

Similarly, call-outs created in Theater can be added to PowerPoint slides to create polished document treatments for use in a presentation. For our creative services clients, we provide a template where one need only use the “change picture” tool to insert all the downloaded call-outs as needed. If you’re working without a preset template, use the “insert picture” function to add your call-outs and arrange them on the slide as you see fit. No need to battle with PowerPoint cropping or highlight transparencies!

This is just the beginning of Theater’s rich toolset. More than just in-court presentation, Theater is geared towards making it fast and easy to get all your evidence in one place, whether that be for your witness, your jury or the other members of your trial team. You can learn more by visiting the Trial Cloud Support site.

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A critical, strategic mistake I see law firms and corporate law departments make on a regular basis is to reinvest in technology that isn’t future proof. It’s not that firms aren’t spending on technology – it is just spent poorly. That’s a direct result of the propensity to continue to reinvest in legacy technology systems far after it’s clear they are no longer viable. Part of this has been the extraordinary capital investment involved in migrating platforms – a problem we can address via cloud computing. Part of it is just plain old organizational inertia.

It is a really good way to get nowhere fast. Lots of money will be spent, but still no really effective solution. It’s continuing down a path of patchwork contraptions with software ‘integrations’ costing millions of dollars, working briefly, and then breaking under the explosion in data volume.

The most telling trend is that there is still no support for Apple in the legal community. According to the most recent ABA Legal Technology survey, just 7.7 percent of firms use Apple systems. So what gives? After all, it’s official, the iPad is not just outselling every other tablet — it’s outselling every individual PC maker.

The iPad Is Outselling Every Single PC

So looking at this number, legal technologists have an important decision facing them.

Can I continue to spend on technology that does not support multiple platforms? How long will my users put up with not being able to do their work on the Apple (or Android) products they love?

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