Friday, June 27, 2014

Ipads and apps in your legal practice

Jill Paperno, author of
Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense

As the Supreme Court recognized this week in Riley v. California, 2014 WL 2864483, technology is an inescapable component of our daily lives.  In Riley, the Court answered the question of whether warrants are required before police can search cell phones – and the answer was yes (with exceptions for exigent circumstances).  Justice Roberts, who wrote for the majority, stated, “These cases require us to decide how the search incident to arrest doctrine applies to modern cell phones, which are now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”

So given the ubiquitous (my grandfather always used that word and this is the first time I ever have!) nature of cell phones and mobile technology, we should use the technology not just to check on the misbehavior of our children or the reviews a restaurant received, but to enhance our practice.  I was asked about my use of cell phone technology by Niki Black, author and blogger.  Her interview with me in “Above the Law”, her blog, is found here:

Of course, as the article indicates, I have a love affair with my Ipad.  But different strokes for different folks – some prefer other types of mobile devices.  

As for my favorite work related uses and apps, I’ll list a few:

  • The CPL, a $6 app, is searchable, and always handy.
  • The PL, another $6 app, a constant resource.
  • The CPLR – for those pesky subpoena rules
  • Training materials relating to frequently arising issues and topics, such as subpoenas
  • The mobile access to Westlaw
  • Medical abbreviations app
  • Translator
  • Calculator apps
  • Pages – a word processing app that can be used to prepare or edit documents, store them and have them accessible whenever necessary
  • Timeline 3D – I’m looking forward to using it for a presentation or summation some day
  • Ibooks – Great for downloading books from the web, such as the OCA Search and Seizure manual, the Sex Offender Registration Act guidelines for classification, the Parole Manual and much more.  (Check out “Has a Child Been Molested” by Patrick Clancy and Lee Coleman in its free downloadable form, as well as other resources from their website)
  • Unit converter (so you never have to remember the grams/ounces thing)
  • Photography for quick screen grabs of facebook and other elusive internet things, like articles that don’t let you simply print and copy
  • Document organizing apps (I use Goodreader) – There are document organizing apps that enable you to collect and organize documents into files.  This is one of my most frequently used app.  I have downloaded and classified all of the OCA jury instructions, sentencing charts, phone number lists (probation, PD office, DA office, courts, etc.), the Rules of Professional Conduct, etc.

As our courts and most offices provide wifi, I went the cheap route and got the wifi version which works for me in most locations.  I also find myself frequently looking at maps and street level locations (but beware, sometimes the addresses are wrong) when new information comes up at a hearing.

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