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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 just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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