LegalTech West Coast 2011 was a lot busier than the past couple of years, according to several people I spoke with – I did not attend last year. I did notice the Exhibit Hall seemed both busy and noisy. Although I had a full pass, I was able to only catch both Keynotes, and Tuesday’s Plenary Session.
Tuesday’s Keynote featured David Pashman, Legal Team Leader from Meetup, Inc. Meetup is sort of an extension to all of this social networking we do, allowing people with similar interests to meet (in person) at various events and places. He shared quite a bit about the legal issues and risks associated with social media. We had a real-life demonstration later that evening, at a fun event sponsored by Rocket Lawyer’s Social Lawyer Blog.
Wednesday’s Keynote was presented by Manny Medrano, an attorney, and popular legal analyst. This guy knows how to work a crowd. He shared some great stories on how the media handles legal stories, and how to give media interviews.
The Plenary Session on Wednesday was a great opportunity to hear what judges think about technology, sanctions for messing with e-Discovery, and other issues. U.S Magistrate Judges Suzanne H. Segal and Jay C. Gandhi shared their from-the-bench perspective on how things should be done.
A key takeaway for attorneys here was that you should bring in an expert when you’re dealing with things you aren’t familiar with. I suppose this applies to more than just eDiscovery.
A few of my favorite apps:
SignMyPad – The name pretty much says it. With a stylus or your finger, you can easily “sign” your name on a PDF document, add check boxes and radio buttons, and type in text. It is similar to having some of the functionality of Acrobat Pro. If you don’t need the added features of NoteTaker HD, this is a good choice. $3.99
NoteTaker HD – This app is the best thing since the legal pad. Seriously. You can use a stylus or your finger to take notes, and they appear as a thin (adjustable) pen line, rather than the width of your fingertip. You can also type blocks of text, and it features a full set of graphics tools, including a lot of basic shapes. You can do these markups on a notepad, or directly onto a PDF - it's great for filling out and signing forms. I would highly recommend this app, as there are a lot of uses for it. $4.99
Evernote – This free app is worth looking into. There is also a version for your computer, and anything you save in here is shared everywhere you have it installed. You can take notes, add documents, etc. Everything can also be accessed via their website.
Dropbox – Another free app, which also can be installed on your computer. Dropbox will sync your documents (up to 2 GB free) on any machine, and also includes web access. This is very convenient if you use several different devices, and want to have access to your documents. A version is available for most platforms, including iPad and Android.