The iPad and the Law
Since the release of its first iPad in April 2010, Apple has sold over 40 million of the devices worldwide. These numbers continue to grow at a dramatic pace, fueled most recently with the introduction of the iPad 3. It is estimated that, by 2015, Apple will have shipped 150 million iPads, totally dominating the tablet market. Although the iPad has primarily been marketed as a consumer device, the business world has quickly recognized the advantages and efficiencies the iPad offers to the work place. In fact, within 90 days after its initial release, the iPad managed to penetrate 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies. Even sports teams are taking advantage of the iPad's benefits. Fans attending Super Bowl XLV, the first Super Bowl held after the iPad was released, could use an official NFL app to navigate Cowboys Stadium. Shortly thereafter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first NFL club to discontinue the use of paper copies of playbooks, and instead distributed all players their playbook and videos in electronic format via an iPad 2.
Law firms are also starting to embrace the iPad, despite what The New York Times describes as a general reluctance on the part of lawyers to adopt personal technology. The Times reports that Prosekaeur Rose, one of the nation’s largest law firms, is making the iPad available to its 700 lawyers, most of whom prefer the iPad to a laptop computer. A number of other national, regional and local firms are also distributing iPads to their attorneys. Lawyers, it seems, are shedding their heavy trial bags in favor of something lighter and certainly hipper. With Apple's introduction of enterprise apps and, earlier this year, Business to Business (B2B) apps, the iPad is becoming more and more a standard piece of equipment for lawyers.
The iPad was not the first tablet computer and it is certainly not the only tablet computer on the market today. However, the iPad is perceived as having defined a new class of consumer (and now business) device, with increased functionality, battery life, simplicity, mobility, lower cost, and overall quality compared with previous tablets. Although other computer manufacturers and even media companies have now introduced iPad-like tablet computers in an effort to catch up to Apple, the iPad continues to shape and dominate the consumer and corporate market for tablet computers. In fact, 80 percent of businesses planning to buy a tablet device this year reported that they intended to buy iPads.
For their part, lawyers are using the iPad more and more. The iPad now has apps for just about everything a lawyer needsCreviewing and annotating documents, reading briefs and pleadings, accessing court rules, taking notes in meetings and hearings, accessing calendars and contact lists, researching on Westlaw and Lexis and logging billable hours. USA Today reports that lawyers are even using the iPad successfully in mediation by providing the mediator with an iPad preloaded with video interviews, case documents and even case animations. This article will briefly highlight some of the more useful apps lawyers are using to enhance their practice, including GoodReader, Rulebook, iJuror/JuryTracker, TranscriptPad/TrialPad, Quickoffice Pro, Evernote, and Apple's own Newsstand app.
GoodReader. Court systems and law firms alike have long since recognized the advantages offered by paperless filing, storage and retrieval systems. Using Adobe Acrobat, a scanner, and email, lawyers can drastically reduce the amount of paper they use and simplify filing and service of pleadings and papers. Both the Utah and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorize service by electronic means, including email, when agreed to by the other party. Thus, after entering into a simple stipulation with opposing counsel, attorneys can save a considerable amount of administrative/secretarial time and headache by serving pleadings, papers and discovery on multiple parties with just the click of a button. In fact, in light of Utah law specifically authorizing electronic signatures, attorneys need not even print out pleadings or papers to sign them.
However, until the advent of the iPad and the GoodReader app shortly thereafter, there was no easy way to argue motions and otherwise present arguments at court without first printing the relevant papers beforehand. GoodReader presents the first viable alternative to taking large binders of pleadings and papers to court hearings. GoodReader allows lawyers to read all their electronic documents easily on their iPad while in court, including any annotations or highlights they may have made to the electronic document before transferring if from their desktop computer to their iPad. GoodReader also allows them to make further annotations and highlights to their document right on their iPad. Especially helpful to litigators is the ability to search through a large memorandum to find a key sentence or phrase to highlight during oral argument.
GoodReader's Achilles' heel is its difficulty in easily transferring multiple files back and forth between one’s iPad and one’s desktop computer. The app offers a couple of ways to do this, but both can be fairly time-consuming. Still, when trying to decide whether or not to drag a box of documents produced by opposing counsel to court in the off chance they might be needed during a hearing, it is very attractive to have the option of simply transferring these documents to one’s iPad instead.
Rulebook. Nothing seems to help lawyers shed heavy trial bags (and save money) more than a new app called Rulebook. With Rulebook, there is no need to haul bulky rule books to court because the rules are already on the iPad. Not only does this make taking court rules to court more convenientCbut with the ability to search through rules by key words and phrases, Rulebook makes it a whole lot easier to find a crucial rule instantaneously in the midst of oral argument.
Rulebook is the first app to offer a truly viable replacement to the almost immediately obsolescent paper rule books, with pocket parts, that lawyers are used to buying regularly. Rulebook does not require an Internet connection in order to read, search, highlight and annotate the various court rules, all of which are available in one app. One of Rulebook=s best features, however, is the way it automatically updates rules when they are amended. This allows attorneys to know that their rules are up to date without the need to check pocket parts or go online. Rulebook's updating process also preserves attorneys' highlights, bookmarks and annotations even when rules are amended, something no other app, let alone paper rule books, can do. All this, coupled with significantly lower prices than the paper equivalent attorneys are used to buying, makes Rulebook a great reference tool in the office as well as in court.
Rulebook is also one of the first legal apps to take advantage of Apple's enterprise and B2B purchase models referenced above. Enterprise and B2B apps are essentially two variations of the same thing: apps built for a specific business that allow that business to customize the app and then buy it in bulk on behalf of its employees. Rulebook, for example, allows law firms to use their firm's logo for the app icon and select which rule books they want included in the app (any jurisdiction) and which rule books they don't. The firm can even choose to have its internal policies, employment manuals and other internal documents included in the app. The firm can then buy the app exclusively on behalf of all its lawyers and paralegals in a single transaction.
iJuror/JuryTracker. As their names indicate, iJuror and JuryTracker both deal with juries, but they each serve a different function. iJuror helps with voir dire and is meant to be a replacement for the sticky notes lawyers often use to select jurors. It is actually very easy to use and provides an intuitive interface that will feel familiar to most attorneys. There app allows lawyers to quickly enter essential prospective juror information, such as gender, race and name and then add details, including their answers to your questions, later. Once the information is entered, lawyers can drag and drop the icons into peremptory or for-cause challenge categories, along with the reason for the challenge. iJuror also allows lawyers to take notes about the jurors eventually seated as the trial continues; however, this is not the app's strong suit.
To easily track individual juror's reactions to evidence and testimony presented at trial, JuryTracker is your better option. The app also allows lawyers to identify key jurors, standardize notes on juror reactions, and track time spent by each party and to share reports on these themes with one’s trial team. The app is very easy to use, employing intuitive graphics, including a range of emoticons, that can be used to quickly record juror responses. Having graphical input options is an especially helpful alternative for those who have difficulty using Apple's built-in keyboard. To take more detailed notes, one can either use the built-in keyboard or an external wireless keyboard, such as the one manufactured specifically for the iPad by Zagg.
TranscriptPad/TrialPad. Aside from rulebook, there is no app lawyers are likely to use more often in their practice than TranscriptPad. Lawyers who have already started studying deposition transcripts on their computer in order to search for and electronically highlight key testimony will absolutely love the additional features TranscriptPad offers them. For those lawyers who are still studying paper transcripts and using a highlighter and sticky notes to mark pages, TranscriptPad may be the thing to convert them to the digital age. TranscriptPad allows lawyers to import files easily using email, iTunes or DropBox (another useful app). Once on their iPad, lawyers can highlight text using custom categories they create such as breach, causation, damages, mitigation, etc. Or, they can simply flag important text. TranscriptPad's search function is also much more advanced than the simple search function available when searching a .pdf document on personal computers. With TranscriptPad, lawyers can search through a single transcript, all transcripts pertaining to a particular witness (including hearings), or across an entire case. Like rulebook, which allows lawyers to have all their court rules with them at all times, with TranscriptPad lawyers never have to wonder what transcripts they should take to an important hearing, because they will already be on their iPad.
TranscriptPad works seamlessly with TrialPad. TrialPad allows lawyers to easily and effectively use deposition and hearing transcripts and other exhibits, including videos, in the courtroom or at depositions and mediations. It has intuitive tools that allow lawyers to mark up exhibits, including calling out text, on the fly. These exhibits can be shown directly to a witness or mediator on an iPad or broadcast in realtime before the court on either a projection screen or a television. TrialPad is easy enough to use that it can be operated by a single lawyer; however, for more complicated hearings and trials, it is probably best to be assisted by another lawyer or paralegal.
TranscriptPad and TrialPad are the most expensive legal apps reviewed in this article, but they are well worth it, especially when compared to equivalent software for traditional computers, which often costs thousands of dollars. Like anything new, both apps require a little getting used to, but nothing lawyers and paralegals cannot quickly master. Both apps have free updates, free technical support, no monthly subscription fees and no maintenance fees.
Quickoffice Pro. Apple and Microsoft don't always get along. Without apps to bridge this gap, iPads are of little use for editing Word documents and other Microsoft Office files. Quickoffice Pro is perhaps the leading app that allows lawyers to create, edit and share Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Although the iPad is probably still not the ideal device for word processing (especially if one does not have an external keyboard), having the ability to edit documents anywhere and anytime cannot be overrated. Quickoffice is cloud-compatible, allowing it integrated access to remote services like MobileMe, Dropbox, Evernote and other document control systems. Quickoffice also allows lawyers to print the files they have created or edited wirelessly from their iPads with Apple's AirPrint technology, which is built into all iPad devices. (While it is embedded in every iPad, the use of the AirPrint feature depends on having a compatible printer.)
Evernote. As its name implies, Evernote is an app that allows attorneys to remember anything and everything that happens in their practice. Instead of scratching notes on a legal pad, lawyers can record them from anywhereCthe Internet, a desktop application, or their tablet or smart phone. All notes sync automatically to the lawyers Evernote account, which makes for easy access and organization from any device. If circumstances make it difficult to write a note, lawyers can simply speak it. In addition to keeping track of random notes, lawyers can use Evernote to archive important emails and evidence, store case law and articles for later reading and even create to-do lists.
Newsstand. Newsstand was released by Apple last October and it now comes preinstalled on all new iPads and other Apple iOS devices. Newsstand is for the publishing industry what iTunes was for the music industry: a game-changer. The week Newsstand was launched, electronic subscriptions to the New York Times increased seven times. Most other publishers also reported a significant rise in subscriptions in the wake of Newsstand's launch, including National Geographic, which saw its subscriptions grow fivefold.
It is not the app itself that should be of interest to lawyers, but what it delivers. State bar associations and other attorney associations throughout the country are beginning to publish their bar journals and other legal publications through the Newsstand app, which automatically delivers the publication to subscribers with each new edition. This is far, far different from having to connect to the internet and reading an article online. The digital publication is displayed in a brilliant print replica format that can be searched, bookmarked and archived indefinitely on your iPad. This allows attorneys to read bar journal articles wherever they go (at least everywhere they take their iPad).
At least one company is currently offering bar associations and other legal associations the opportunity to publish their particular legal publication at no charge or obligation in order to test this new delivery medium with their subscribers. The Utah Bar Association is one such association that is taking advantage of this opportunity. Utah and non-Utah attorneys alike can get an idea of what these print replica versions look like by downloading the Utah Bar Journal, which is being made available to anyone who would like to download it during this testing period.
An examination of the apps reviewed in this article quickly demonstrates how the iPad has been transformed from a novel consumer device into an essential business tool. Lawyers should understand this when purchasing the apps, which are priced higher than the typical app sold as a novelty to the general public. Nevertheless, the apps are still extremely affordable, especially when one considers the added utility they provide to the practice of law.
There are, of course, other apps not discussed in this article that also help make the practice of law more efficient and more effective, including apps to keep track of billable hours and your travel itinerary. The key is not to get overwhelmed with all the apps that are out there. Even lawyers with only a limited understanding of computers who start with these basics will be surprised how useful a tool the iPad can be for them.
Greg Hoole is a partner at Hoole & King, L.C.
Robert Bailey is a partner at Anglin, Flewelling, Rasmussen, Campbell & Trytten L.L.C.
. See Sam Costello, Apple's iPad Sales Strong, http://ipod.about.com/od/ipadmodelsandterms/f/ipad‑sales‑to‑date.htm (last visited Feb. 16, 2012); see also David Goldman, Apple=s $46 Billion Sales Set New Tech Record, http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/24/technology/apple_earnings/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1 (last visited Feb. 16, 2012).
. Charles Arthur, iPad to Dominate Tablet Sales until 2015 as Growth Explodes, Says Gartner, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/22/tablet‑forecast‑gartner‑ipad (last visited Feb. 16, 2012).
. Matt Hamblen, iPad creeping into business offices, http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/351462/iPad_Creeping_Into_Business_Offices (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. Nathan Clevenger, How the iPad Conquered the Enterprise, http://www.datamation.com/mobile‑wireless/the‑ipad‑and‑enterprise‑it.html (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. Erik Malinowski, Cowboys Stadium Techs Up for Super Bowl Close‑Up, http://www.wired.com/playbook/2011/02/super‑bowl‑nerve‑center/ (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Buccaneers buy each player an iPad to hold playbook, videos, http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/article1187879.ece (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. Karen Donovan, The Rise of the Legal iPad, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/the‑rise‑of‑the‑legal‑ipad/ (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. See Tablet Computer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computer, (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. See iPad Dominates Planned Corporate, Consumer Tablet Purchases, http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/ipad‑dominates‑planned‑corporate‑consumer‑tablet‑purchases‑19254/, (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. Jahna Berry, iPad Brings New Connection to Lawyers, Clients, http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2011‑07‑05‑ipads‑attorneys_n.htm (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. See Utah R. Civ. P. 5(b)(1)(A)(ii) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(b)(2)(E).
. See Utah R. Civ. P. 11(a)(2) (AA person may sign a paper using any form of signature recognized by law as binding.@); Utah Code Ann. ' 46-4-102(8) (A>Electronic signature= means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.@).
. See Jay Fleischman, 9 Productivity Tips for Lawyers Who Use Evernote, http://www.theinspiredsolo.com/evernote‑for‑lawyers‑productivity‑tips/ (last visited Feb. 17, 2012).
. Jeff Sonderman, Why Apple=s Newsstand Is Driving a Surge in Magazine, Newspaper iPad App Subscriptions, http://www.poynter.org/latest‑news/media‑lab/mobile‑media/150199/why‑apples‑virtual‑newsstand‑is‑driving‑a‑surge‑in‑magazine‑newspaper‑
ipad‑app‑subscriptions/ (last visited on Feb. 17, 2012).