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iPad Deposition Apps And How They Work

The legal industry is quickly becoming an automated and cloud based industry, relying more on apps, software and data management in order to improve production timelines, produce more organization within a case and deal with the massive volumes of information needed for depositions and trial cases. This article will look at iPad deposition apps and provide commentary on usage and effectiveness.

Deposition Apps

One of the most common activities for a lawyer is to participate in a deposition. It is far more prevalent than actually going to trial and takes up an inordinate amount of time to prepare for a deposition and to review and organize information after a deposition.

So why are many attorneys not taking full advantage of technology that can speed up the process and make it more efficient?

The American Bar Association believes that if you are not using a couple of deposition apps and transcript management software you are simply wasting hours of time. Unlike taking notes manually or trying to organize the voluminous documents, transcripts and exhibits manually, doing it digitally can be a lot faster. Besides instant search capabilities and instant organization, these apps also provide an amazing host of features that make the actual process of a deposition easier and more organized.

With today’s technology it is even possible to host virtual depositions from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection and webcam!

Common Apps & Their Advantages

Most lawyers who have accepted technology and its advantages usually do not stick with just one app. Part of the reason is most apps focus on a particular part of the deposition or document management process instead of providing an overall solution. Here are some of the commonly used apps:

Annotation Apps

Annotation apps allow documents to be scanned and converted into annotatable documents, directly from your iPad. iAnnotate PDF is a great example of an app that allows you to directly annotate a document with personal notes that can be categorized, labeled and organized according to labels that you can create and modify. This can be done for witness testimony or for exhibits, making note taking an easy exercise, as well as allowing retrieval, search, and organization.

DepoView

A specific deposition app, DepoView is a simple and easy to use deposition management tool. Being able to view entire depositions, create word indexing for easy searching and navigation as well as a highlight feature to keep tabs on relevant information, makes this free app indispensable to some. Even the ability to add in plain text transcripts or digital video transcripts helps keep you ultimately organized and the information you need at your fingertips.

Deponent App

Another useful deposition app the Deponent App, provides critical organization for the actual deposition. It provides over 300 deposition questions as well as an exhibit outline for the deposition, providing a well laid out plan of attack. It allows you to even customize your questions for specific witnesses for a more individual approach. Never fumble through your documents looking for an annotated question again as you develop a host of questions from start to finish ensuring pertinent questions are not left out.

TranscriptPad

Like TrialPad, TranscriptPad is a full featured app that allows you to go through your deposition documents with a fine-tooth comb after it is finished. With a number of high level features for organizing information you can highlight and color code text, flag blocks of text, and create labels for specific lines of inquiry. Take these files and print them, or convert them into PDF or Excel, whichever you are used to working in. A fully searchable program by word or phrase gives you instant access to all points of reference in the deposition to your keywords.

These Apps Save You Time

If you are still manually conducting depositions without the aid of at least some of these apps, you are wasting hours upon hours. Simplify your process by learning to use these apps one at a time. Start with PDF annotatable apps to enable better note-taking and move onto the others as you get comfortable.

Will The Internet & Wearable Devices Affect The Practice Of Law?

The next revolution in technology involves a major shift in how we use the Internet and its integration into everyday items we use. It is already taking place with wearables becoming more prevalent in society like the new Apple iWatch, Google Glasses, and the GoPro Camera.  The future of the Internet of Things (IoT) will radically change both how law firms use the Internet and privacy cases regarding these IoTs.

Wearables Are forcing Changes Now

The wearable revolution is the first of the two major shifts that are expected to shake up how businesses and people use the Internet. From using smartphones and mobile devices like tablets, wearables are the next step in incorporating the Internet into everything we do.

Just as businesses had to contend with employees using their mobile devices for texts and emails that may contain private information, wearables present similar issues for law firms on a much larger scale. The iWatch and other watch wearable Internet devices are bringing email, text and files onto your person like never before. These wearable devices are providing easy access to information like we’ve never seen. As a law firm, you will need to address the security and privacy concerns of these devices.

If you already have a policy for mobile devices and smartphones, it can be updated to include wearable devices that can transmit, create, and share client information. Yet, depending on the device better security functions may be needed in order to shut down the accessibility of that information should the wearable be lost. Understanding the specific security features of wearables will be necessary to make determinations on which will be included in ‘allowable and secure’ devices within your firm.

These same principles and security mandates can then be applied to other devices as they come on the market, such as Google Glasses or other devices that have abilities to record audio or video or create documents or metadata. Imagine apps on wearables that can record client sessions, upload those sessions to the cloud infrastructure and provide instant records for billing or other uses. The security and privacy implications are considerable. Combining these concerns with the next revolution of IoT and consumer cases means law firms need to start working on these policies immediately.

IoT Radical Changes

The Internet of Things is the development of Internet connectivity in everyday items. This could include your refrigerator reminding you that you need milk on your next grocery run, lights and doors that turn on or unlock at the push of your smartphone button or even technology in your car that schedules your next appointment for preventative maintenance. The bounds of this technology are just starting to be explored and could provide amazing amounts of metadata on our everyday lives. The privacy implications for consumers are quite large.

Imagine an appliance manufacturer that takes advantage of the information uploaded to the cloud regarding your use? Cases regarding data breaches and personal identity theft are on the rise with the use of cloud computing and the Internet for everyday tasks.

If you are a law firm, contending with these issues will need to be done sooner rather than later. Technology already moves at a pace that most businesses are hard pressed to keep up with. As attorneys for these businesses you will need to be industry leaders providing advice and consultation through the myriad of privacy and security issues that will arise.

An Overview of Predictive Coding Made Easier Using Everlaw

Large cases take tremendous amounts of time for discovery, especially when document proliferation has reached an all-time high. However Everlaw has been refining its discovery software into a predictive coding, translation and case outline tool that has redefined legal technology again.

Key Features of Everlaweverlogo

1. Translation Added

Everlaw has added an automatic translation feature into its software that not only translates, but does so by automatically detecting the language and performing automatic translations. Through the automatic language detection and translation procedure, Everlaw then annotates the document set of the same language into groups. It then determines whether the documents are primary to your investigation and relevant.

With this amazing new feature with up to 53 programmed languages you can filter documents per language, group them together, analyze their relevance and send them to an appropriate reviewer. The software however, is not meant to do machine translation of documents; you will still need separate translation services for those documents that are deemed relevant.

2. Predictive Coding Engine

The Everlaw software is based on a continuous active learning system that allows the software to actually learn based on previous searches that you have done. Essentially the more you use the software, the better and more accurate it becomes at finding relevant documents for your cases based on your criteria and its predictive coding engine.

By using the software’s smart interface you can generate prediction models based around any pair of classifications that is relevant to your actual case. The prediction models begin automatically as soon as you start conducting reviews and searches within the documents. This way, those documents that are not relevant as you have already established, provide a learning curve for the program to sort out and cull all the non-relevant documents based on your own search criteria.

Yet, what if you are short on time and have not had time to start reviewing documents or conducting searches? The predictive coding is still applicable and useful. Simply choose the variables that you believe are relevant to your deponent and conduct a search of documents not yet reviewed with a relevant score of 75% or greater. Afterwards, conduct a search of those predicted to be not relevant at 25% or below and spot check those documents. If the check supports the prediction model you can move on quickly.

3. StoryBuilder

While you prepare your case, often you make an outline and follow it to the cases conclusion. Within the software this can also be used to help organize your searches for discovery enabling clean and efficient lines of questioning, searching and analysis of the documents.

Through building your evidence as you would your case in court, it enables a much better cohesive argument to form at an earlier stage in the process. Story building helps you weave a compelling narrative using the evidence based in the documents that you have reviewed and searched during discovery with Everlaw. See the StoryBuilder overview here.

Information Overload Made Easier

Everlaw software is transforming how attorneys handle information overload. Instead of hiring a hundred interns, you can now have an easy to use software application to ensure nothing is missed in discovery.

5 Must Have Technologies For Law Firms In 2015

Technology continues to be one of the most important aspects of human life. In today’s high paced world almost every business is using technology. This is especially true in the legal world. While many people picture law offices and courtrooms as stuffy and free of technology, the most successful law firms today are integrating technology into their business. In 2015 the incorporation of technology will be even more important, and thus law firms must adapt several types of technology this year in order to remain competitive.

Law Firm Technologies on The Rise

  1. Tablets vs Laptops

Carrying legal documents with you everywhere can be a backbreaking experience. Paper is extremely heavy and it can build up extremely quickly. Many law firms are now integrating tablets into their work. The firms that have not already incorporated tablets should do so this year. In the past, many lawyers would simply carry a laptop, but tablets provide several advantages over laptops. Tablets are considerably lighter than laptops and they also tend to be cheaper. Tablets allow lawyers to have access to a wide range of databases while on the go and they allow lawyers to carry critical evidence and paperwork with them everywhere. Tablets can be a real equalizer for firms that do not have the manpower to carry tons of paper everywhere, which makes them an essential piece of technology for law firms.

  1. Digital Library

If your firm has not yet invested in a digital library, then 2015 is the year to do so. These libraries often come in app form. One major advantage of using a digital legal library is that it will be completely searchable, which will save you valuable time on researching. Your firm can purchase access to a library on a yearly basis and not have to worry about updating the library.

  1. Wearable TechnologyGoogle Glasses: Technologies For Law Firms

Wearable technology is starting to pick up momentum, and this may be the year that most law firms will need to make some investment into wearable technology. One wearable option for a law firm is Google Glass. Google Glass makes research and communication extremely easy because it is happening right in front of your eyes. Another wearable option is the smart watch. This option is a little bit more professional looking, but it still makes communication that much easier. With a smart watch the lawyers at your firm will be able to discretely check their messages and missed calls, no matter where they are. Visit Abovethelaw.com to read about a personal injury lawyer who utilizes Google Glass in his cases.

  1. Cloud Computing

Your firm probably has already considered investing in cloud computing. If your firm has not done this already, then they should embrace the cloud by the end of 2015. Cloud computing is more secure than ever before, which means your company should finally start considering using cloud storage for your documents. This is critical for the security of your documents as it allows your company to constantly have a backup of all the documents at any one time. Utilizing cloud storage will also make it easier for your lawyers and paralegals to access documents while on the go.

Keep Social Media Engagement Going

  1. Social Media

Social media continues to be one of the most popular ways to advertise on the internet. If your firm has not already made investments into social media, then now is the time to do so. Hire a social media specialist and start investing heavily in advertising via social media. It will also be important to keep an eye out for new social media sites this year. Every year, social media evolves and it is important for law firms to keep up with this, so that they can better market themselves.

2015 is a great year to adopt new technologies and become a more successful and efficient law firm.

E-discovery Technology Trends For Lawyers

E-discovery has been a boon to legal offices across the nation as the legal field embraced the realities of conducting litigation in a technologically driven world. Typical growing pains aside, e-discovery has opened the door for a more cost effective way to manage records, documents, and discovery in legal cases. Owing to the procedural nature of legal work, 2014 is witnessing trends that have continued from previous years as the industry adapts to government regulations, and looks to the challenges of conducting cross-border e-discovery in a global economy. Also trending, the first half of 2014 notes a scramble to contain costs associated with the e-discovery phase of litigation.

Top Ten Trends in E-Discovery for 2014Predictive Coding

1. Finding the needle in the haystack—even the most straightforward cases can lead to an avalanche of unexpected data, documents, and files. Parsing through them becomes a prohibitive expense for everyone involved in the process. Predictive coding has been the industry’s answer to solving the “finding the needle in the haystack” problem.

2. Dramatically increased data volumes—it turns out that this technology thing is not a trend. Indeed, if possible, the use of technology driven communication has only increased in the past twelve months, and managing that information flow has garnered the attention of industry experts.

3. Cloud-based hosting—new e-discovery software has moved the process to the Cloud. The move avoids having to make the capital investment in hardware, software, infrastructure, and support staff to maintain the system. Read our blog about cloud computing here.

4. Evolution of business communication—While email remains the most popular form of business communications, the explosion of text and instant messaging across a broad spectrum of mobile devices has occasioned a regulatory look at how new rules should govern the collection of data.

5. Riley v. California—Supreme Court watchers are waiting to see what impact The Nine’s decision in Riley v. California will have on the process of e-discovery in civil litigation. In that landmark case, the court ruled that law enforcement officers, under Fourth Amendment protections, would need to secure a warrant prior to reviewing information stored on a Smartphone.

6. Managing the Information—information governance, and defining the defensible deletion of unnecessary data, is one of the hottest trends of this year. The debate, begun last year, has picked up steam with a focus on the use of new technology to manage the data flow.

7. Federal Rule Adjustments—the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference is expected to weigh in this year on proposed amendments to Rule 37 (e) as it relates to e-discovery matters.

8. Using predictive tools prior to collection—as mentioned, the growth in data had spurred the growth of predictive technologies designed to help sort out the data, however, this tool has typically been applied after the collection processes has been completed. To help curb processing costs, firms are looking at ways of funneling the data before incurring any processing costs.

9. Litigating in the European Union—EU privacy concerns are causing consternation in United States legal offices that do business in Europe. The EU’s governing body is looking at strict new privacy rules that could greatly complicate the e-discovery process overseas.

An Ongoing Trend

10. The Attorney with an IT hat—an ongoing trend that is expected to continue throughout 2014 is the realization that the modern attorney needs to be equally prepared to doff his barrister hat, and don his IT hat in order to successfully manage the data flow that comes across his/her desk.