An iPad Can Serve as a Useful Tool for a Trial Attorney

Posted by Joseph Marano on January 7, 2016

A few years back, I was sitting in my office with two other trial attorneys from my firm. The attorneys had recently used a Smart Board and Trial Director during a large environmental case. Unhappy with the clumsiness, ineffectiveness and high cost of the these trial tools we looked for something new. For their next trial, we discussed the possibility of using an iPad. As their trial had in excess of a million documents, it would be used for limited purposes.

The three of us sat down and went through the iPad’s capabilities. I was impressed by its ability to show videos as well as to manipulate and highlight documents and other materials such as radiology studies, all in the palm of your hand and with the touch of a finger. After some further testing and research, I realized this could be the perfect technology for the medical malpractice trial I had coming up, which had far fewer documents and fewer experts than their trial.

With some of the trepidation that comes along with doing anything new, particularly doing something new in front of a courtroom full of people hanging on your every word, I decided to go for it. The first step was to familiarize myself with the application I was going to use. Multiple different apps were tested by our office. We decided on one of the least expensive apps. iAnnotate. It was the best fit for how we planned to use the iPad during trial. Costing $9.99, you can easily organize files and manipulate documents in a variety of ways. Though it was not intended for use at trial, it gives you the freedom you need to manipulate a document or image. You can highlight, underline, enlarge and minimizing the document or image once it is in a PDF format.

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Joseph Marano

Attorney Comment:

I wrote this piece for the Legal Intelligencer last year. It discusses how we use an iPad for presenting in trial. Proper use of technology in the presentation of your case is crucial.