DTCI: To 4G or not to 4G, that is the question

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By Kori L. McOmber

mcomber-kori-mug.jpg McOmber

Okay. I’ll admit it. I’ve had iPad envy ever since the first iPad launched in April 2010. My envy was not the result of needing one (truth be told, I was not really sure what I would do with it once I got it), but more in the spirit of always wanting the newest toy. The iPad just looked cool. It seemed to be a great way to kill time surfing the Internet and keeping up with the news while waiting for a hearing to start. The thought of using it to advance my legal practice never occurred to me. Soon after surfing the app store, it became clear that the iPad was not only great for personal uses but could also help lawyers manage their practices more efficiently even when they are away from their desks. Here are highlights of some apps that can make a lawyer more efficient:

Penultimate – This app is like having a legal pad on your iPad. You can write with your finger or a stylus and take notes just like you would use a pen and a legal pad. After you are done taking notes at a meeting or hearing, email yourself the notes and print them for your file. The app is very easy to use and understand. You can erase something or cut and paste text on a page or in a notebook. You can change the order of pages and move notes around to different pages in your notebook. Notes are easy to review if needed during a deposition or hearing and shuffling between pages is simple. There is a view that allows you to see all pages in a notebook at one time and click on the one you want. And at 99 cents, this app is quite a deal.

Good Reader – The Good Reader app is a little difficult to figure out at first. In essence, with Good Reader, you can review PDF documents, such as depositions, and highlight important text. You can also make annotations linked to certain text. For example, if a witness testifies to a fact that is contradicted by another witness, you can type an annotation that links the two contradictory statements complete with page and line references. You can email yourself copies of the highlighted and annotated depositions and print them for a trial notebook. The app took some getting used to but this is a great tool for those who travel and do not want to carry several transcripts with them everywhere they go. The cost of $4.99 makes this a worthy investment.

FastCase – This is a free legal research tool which seems to provide accurate search results. A recent search on FastCase turned up the same cases a more involved search on Westlaw revealed. While this may not be the fastest way to conduct legal research, it seems to get the job done if needed in a pinch. And, the price (FREE) is right.

In addition to apps, there are accessories that should be considered. A keyboard is a nice addition for those who intend on monitoring heavy email traffic and doing lots of typing. In addition, if you intend on using your iPad for presentations, you will need a connector or adapter to plug into a TV or projector. Finally, there is the difficult decision whether to purchase a 4G iPad or an iPad that runs on WiFi. The 4G iPad costs approximately $130 more depending on the amount of memory you select. Only Verizon and AT&T offer the new iPad data plan, but you do not have to have your cell phone plan through either of these carriers. Setting up the data plan is quite simple and can be accomplished in just a few minutes. The 4G allows instant access to email and the Internet without having to locate a WiFi signal everywhere you go. If you are a person who likes convenience and instant gratification, the 4G is the way to go.•

Ms. McOmber is a partner in Schultz & Pogue in Indianapolis and is a member of the board of directors of the DTCI. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.


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  1. I commend Joe for standing up to this tyrant attorney! You ask why? Well I’m one of David Steele victims. I was in desperate need of legal help to protect my child, David saw an opportunity, and he demanded I pay him $3000. Cash. As I received motions and orders from court he did nothing! After weeks of emails asking him to address the legal issues, he responded by saying he was “on vacation “and I should be so lucky to have “my attorney” reply. Finally after lie on top of lie I asked for a full refund, which he refused. He then sent me “bills” for things he never did, such as, his appearance in the case and later claimed he withdrew. He never filed one document / motion for my case! When I finally demanded he refund my money he then turn to threats which scared my family for our lives. It seem unreal we couldn’t believe this guy. I am now over $100,000 in debt digging out of the legal mess he caused my family. Later I was finally able to hire another law office. I met Joe and we worked diligently on my case. I soon learn Joe had a passion for helping people. As anyone who has been through a legal battle it is exhausting. Joe was always more than happy to help or address an issue. Joe was knowledgeable about all my concerns at the same time he was able to reduce the stress and anxieties of my case. He would stay late and come in early, he always went the extra mile to help in any way he could. I can only imagine what Joe and his family has been through, my prayers go out to him and all the victims.

  2. Steele did more than what is listed too. He purposely sought out to ruin me, calling potential employers and then lied about me alleging all kinds of things including kidnapping. None of his allegations were true. If you are in need of an ethical and very knowledgeable family law paralegal, perhaps someone could post their contact information. Ethics cannot be purchased, either your paralegal has them or they do not.

  3. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  4. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  5. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise