4 Rules to Prevent Trial Tech from Ruining Your Case

This is Swampyank's copy of "The Jury&quo...Implementation of new technology is a risky proposition for lawyers, particularly trial tech. The jury trial is the true public face of the legal profession, even if the majority of lawyers will never participate in one. Your client’s perception of your competence may depend entirely on your skills in the courtroom.

You win or lose based on how you conduct yourself in front of the jury – after all, Robert Frost called a jury “12 people gathered to determine who has the better lawyer.” Successful use of technology can be a significant boost to your presentation. On the other hand, attempt to implement technology unsuccessfully, your bungling may overshadow your otherwise skillful performance, and your client could get punished as a result.

Here are 4 Tips to prevent Trial Tech from Ruining Your Case: (more…)

Best New Apps for Lawyers – October 2013

It can be tough to keep up with the newest offerings in the world of apps these days. So this will be my first installment of what I hope will be a monthly series to help keep you updated on the newest apps to assist you in your law practice, for both iOS and Android. This month has been packed to the gills with product announcements all over the tech industry, not least of which was Apple’s iPad event.

Without further delay, here are the Best New Apps for Lawyers from October 2013: (more…)

Lawyers on Groupon: The ABA Adds to the Confusion

grouponEverybody loves a deal. From outlet malls to Overstock.com, Americans enjoy the prospect of getting something at a “discount.” Recently, the model used by companies like Groupon has become popular: get companies to offer discounts to customers, but make the customers purchase the right to the discount. The marketer plays middle-man, organizing the discounts, and collecting the payments.

And just like every advertising medium known to man, everything went smoothly (joking) until a lawyer wanted in (not joking about that part).

The result: mass confusion… (more…)

Review: Jury Strike for iPad

jury strike for iPadWhile researching the apps that I included in my recent review of jury selection apps a few weeks back, I came upon an app that offered the most unique approach to voir dire I’d seen in an app. Although the app didn’t really fit into what I was hoping for in a jury selection app, the promise of the app brought me back, and after spending some time with it, I’m definitely more impressed.

Jury Strike for iPad, designed by Atlanta attorney Jennifer Jordan of the Jordan Firm, was designed to assist attorneys in her firm to pick juries. Based on her own trial experience, the app allows attorneys to create a list of general voir dire questions, follow up questions, enter personal information about jurors, and track juror challenges.

This is what you get when an attorney designs an app to meet their own needs rather than what they perceive others need: (more…)

4 Excuses Law Firms Use to Avoid Innovating (that are Total BS) pt. II


Part II of II. (Read Part I here.)

In part I, I described two excuses (the false cost/benefit analysis and the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it excuse) used for veiling ulterior motives when law firms refuse to adopt innovative tools or technology, how knee-jerk reactions with excuses that cover ulterior motives can hurt a firm, and how a partner that recognizes his or her firm beginning to use those excuses should respond. (more…)

4 Excuses Law Firms Use to Avoid Innovating (that are Total BS) pt. I


Part I of II (Read Part II here).

Being partner of a law firm is hard work. It took hard work to get here, and even MORE now that you’re here. You have tough decisions to make, including whether or not your firm will invest its limited resources in certain tools or technology to help you do your job. Doing your job probably involves rejecting a whole lot more proposed purchases than you accept – that’s the nature of the game. Not every improvement that comes along is right for every firm.

Declining to install new equipment can sometimes be justified by simple numbers (a solo practitioner who handles traffic tickets has no need for a $50,000 video conferencing center). Other times, a particular software may end up not being a good fit (cloud-based matter-management is declined after no one improved efficiency when tested). Rational thought and reasonable investigation led to decisions that a new tool or technology was just not in the firm’s best interest.

That happens. And it’s a decision you’re right to make. Assuming you’ve done a thorough investigation.

But what happens when you don’t seem to have the time or energy for a full investigation? Is it wrong to be satisfied with the systems you already have in place? You’re an attorney, after all, not a corporate CEO. So you put your head down, work on your cases, and the difficult questions disappear. Well, they seem to disappear.

When someone comes to you now with a new idea, you don’t usually give it much thought. If it was that important, you’d be doing it already. And you haven’t needed any of that new stuff to get where you are. So you wave it away, never really thinking too hard about the reasons you’re giving. Suddenly, you realize that the reasons you’ve been giving for shooting down suggestions may not be the real reason you’re not interested. Well, it’s your firm, right? How bad can it be?

Bad. Be careful, or you may find that you’re just making excuses…

… that are TOTAL B.S.! (more…)

Tweets of Wrath: Unethical or Just Hilarious?


Just hilarious.

Have you ever looked up the wrong company because their names were similar? Maybe made a mistake when you searched on Google and accidentally thought www.dollarsexchange.com was something OTHER than a currency exchange. (Thanks, Business Insider!) It can be embarrassing, no doubt. Usually, upon realizing the mistake, you try your best to look shamed enough without letting EVERYONE around you know you messed up, and you get the hell out of there.

Ok, now let’s get a little more specific. Let’s say you’re a lawyer (I know, fat chance getting an ACTUAL lawyer to read this blog, but play along anyway). You work for a big firm in, oh, Pittsburg. You practice… well… just for fun, we’ll say you practice various types of real estate law.

And you mistakenly send a Tweet to  @SCOTUSBlog, rather than the Twitter account for the actual United States Supreme Court. When informed you were in the wrong place, your response would be “Go f@ck yourself and die,” wouldn’t it? No? Well apparently Steven M. Regan, partner at Reed Smith in Pittsburg, doesn’t feel the same way. (more…)

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