COURT TECHNOLOGY AND TRIAL PRESENTATION

The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers McCourt divorce trial (with David Boies), People v. Robert Blake murder trial (with M. Gerald Schwartzbach), and a large number of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

All materials © 2014 Ted Brooks, unless otherwise indicated.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Print from iPad, iPhone, Android Phone & Tablets


There are several apps available produced by some of the major printer manufacturers, including HP, Epson, Canon and Brother, which will enable printing directly from your wireless device to one of their wireless printers. You can easily find these by entering “print” in the iTunes or Google Play app search. These proprietary apps are available at no cost, and there are other “universal” apps available – some free, and some for a price. There are limitations with these apps, however. For instance, while the HP ePrint for Android app does a nice job of printing documents and photos, printing an email is not an option. In any event, if you already have a wireless printer, you may want to check out these apps, since the printer-specific apps are free, and certainly worth a try – especially if you only need to print to a single printer.

HP, Epson, and Lexmark also offer a series of AirPrint-ready printers, which will directly connect and print wirelessly from your iOS (iPad, iPhone, Mac) devices. If you’re in the market for a new printer anyway, you might as well take a look.

There are several apps available which will connect to your wireless network, and then print through your networked printer. Printopia, Printer Pro, and Print & Share are a few popular choices in iTunes. Be careful if you’re looking into these, as some are Mac-only apps (e.g., Printopia), which won’t work in a Windows computer environment. The downside of this scenario is that you are actually printing through a computer, which is in turn connected to your printer. So, you’ll need to have your computer online any time you want to print. While it works well, it adds a level of dependency on a computer.

One of the coolest printing solutions I’ve seen recently is a hardware device which eliminates the need to feed your signal through another computer -- the xPrintServer by Lantronix, which I first read about on iPhoneJD, in the weekly “In the News” column. The link there takes you to a luke-warm review, found in the New York Times tech section.


After trying out the xPrintServer, I’d have to say this is one very slick, well-designed device. I opened the box, didn’t bother reading any of the literature (one should only refer to instructions when/if absolutely necessary – sort of like asking for directions when traveling), plugged in the device, connected to my network via the included cable, and then printed an email from my iPad – all in around 5 minutes. It works.


Some of the major benefits of the xPrintServer are computer-independence (you don’t need to have a networked computer running in order to print), platform independence (works on both iOs and Windows networks), thousands of printer choices (over 4000 printers currently supported, others available upon request), and it allows you to keep and use whatever printers you already have. Additionally, the Home version features a USB input, allowing you to connect your printer via a USB cable, meaning you can "network" your standalone printer. xPrintServer doesn’t support Android devices at this time, although Lantronix is a networking solutions company, and I’d hope/expect to see it at some point.

You’re able to print wirelessly from your Mac or Windows laptop to a networked or USB printer connected to the xPrintServer by using the Apple Bonjour Printing service – again without requiring running your print job through another computer, and without the necessity of a wireless printer. The Mac OS allows you to simply add a new printer. If you have a Windows system, you can get additional info and download the Bonjour Printing here. Printing from my Windows laptop through the xPrintServer was as quick as printing directly through my network. This makes setting up portable (war room) wireless printing for a trial team simple. Since it connects via a standard network cable (included) to your network, security exists via your network. In other words, if your iPad is on the same wireless network as your printer (wired or wireless), you can print, without the need to log in to anything else. If you're not logged in to the network, you will not have access to the printer, or data sent to it.

There are a couple of options available – the Network Edition, and the Home Edition, which I tested. For small and home Offices, the Home Edition should fit the bill. For larger installations with several users, the Network Edition will work. One main difference is the USB interface, currently included only in the Home Edition, although the Network Edition should include this in the future.


1)      Home Edition – Designed for consumers / home use
a.     Supports USB printers (turns any USB printer into a networked printer that can be shared by all users)
b.      Supports networked printers
c.       Wired or wireless printers.
d.      MSRP = $99.95


2)      Network Edition – Designed for small to medium sized businesses. 
a.      Supports a virtually unlimited number of network-connected printers (wired or wireless)
b.      MSRP = $149.95


Admittedly, the xPrintServer is a bit pricier than your average app. However, you are getting a piece of hardware, which in effect, can eliminate the need for using a computer to enable printing. Rather than comparing the cost with that of an app with only part of the functionality, the fairer comparison might be the cost of a computer or a new printer. This device can easily be used at home, in the office, and easily set up in remote locations. Rather than a single specific function, the xPrintServer can be adapted to a wide variety of current and future situations.

Feel free to post any questions in the Comments section below.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Best LinkedIn Groups for Attorneys and Legal Professionals (Part 2)


Last week, we featured 7 top entries in the first of a two part series, “Best LinkedIn Groups for Attorneys and Legal Professionals (Part 1).” This week, we’ll conclude in alphabetical order by adding 8 more, for a total of 15. As indicated by running a search with this link, you’ll find a total of 1,382,598 groups, as of 8/13/2012 (for an increase of 7200 over just last week). I’m not claiming these are the best of all 1.4 million, but they’re a few of my favorites in the law & technology categories.

Feel free to add your suggestions for other groups you enjoy in the Comments section at the end of this article. In case you missed the first half, you can get to it with this link.

Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
2767

Group Established: 

March 25, 2008

Group Description:

This is a group to provide assistance and access to professionals working at the intersection of law and medicine. Whether you are in the counsel's office, a risk manager, in compliance, an attorney, in insurance, or in human resources, this group is for you.

Comments:

This group features a nice collection of articles, and also serves a secondary role as an informal Medical Expert Witness referral/search system (via member posts). A great deal of current events with respect to Legislation and other breaking news are also covered.



Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
9613

Group Established: 

December 3, 2007

Group Description:

Innovation, Inventions, and patents. 

Focus on the technical, engineering, and scientific aspects of patents. Patent litigation, Invalidation, Prior Art, Claim Charts and Obviousness. 
Open discussion on Patent Infringement cases in high tech.

Comments:

If IP is your thing, this is your group. Content found here is representative of its members, who come from all sides of the table – including lawyers and inventors. Interestingly, the largest percentage of the demographic is from the San Francisco Bay Area (New York City tops most other Legal groups). Also, in the Job Function category, “Legal” is at the top, but then followed by “Research” and “Entrepreneurs.”


Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
4148

Group Established: 

May 22, 2008

Group Description:

This is a professional network for personal injury lawyers. Connect with and learn from top PI attorneys from across the country. 

Discussions include: 
- how to make referrals to other PI attorneys 
- latest trends in product liability cases 
- new drug cases 
- what top PI lawyers are doing to generate more and better referrals 
- proven strategies for marketing a personal injury law firm. 

Contact group moderator Stephen Fairley for admission: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/StephenFairley

Comments:

This group was started by Stephen Fairley, of the Rainmaker Institute. This is typically a well-moderated group, featuring a great deal of content from many related professionals, including lawyers, nurses, doctors, and researchers. There are also a number of questions posted by members, which often get numerous and helpful responses. A few posts here and there do lean a bit toward advertising, but certainly not to the point of becoming a real nuisance, like I’ve seen in some other groups.


Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
1809

Group Established: 

February 7, 2009

Group Description:

Welcome to the Product Liability Defense Alliance! This is a network of risk and safety professionals who work in claims-handling, risk management, legal defense and safety innovations in the realm of product liability. We welcome insurance claim people and TPA personnel who handle product liability claims, defense attorneys specializing in this litigation field, self-insured claim and risk management personnel, product safety specialists, consultants, etc. 

The aims of this group are to: 
• Exchange ideas on improving product liability claim-handling and defense 
• Discuss new and emerging areas of product liability trends and law 
• Exchange ideas on product liability risk management and safety 
• Provide a counterfoil to the well-organized plaintiffs’ bar 
• Offer networking opportunities for product liability professionals 

To join, go to Search Groups and type in that field, “Product Liability Defense.” This group’s name (“Product Liability Defense Alliance) should appear as an option. 

There should be a link, "Join this group… " 

Click there and I think it should be straightforward from there.

Comments:

Although the group’s demographic fits the mold of many other legal-centric groups, content includes current and recent cases, CLE opportunities and conference info, and also features in-depth technical info from products experts. Interestingly, several of the top (most popular) articles were posted over a month ago, showing a slower rate of digestion than many other groups. One possible reason for this might be that Products Liability Defense lawyers are one busy bunch of folks – certainly not a bad thing these days, but it can cut into the recreational reading time.


Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
2166

Group Established: 

September 20, 2008

Group Description:

EDRM – the Electronic Discovery Reference Model – was created in May 2005 to address the lack of standards and guidelines in the electronic discovery (e-discovery) market – a problem identified in the 2003 and 2004 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery surveys as a major concern for consumers and providers alike. 

The completed reference model provides a common, flexible and extensible framework for the development, selection, evaluation and use of electronic discovery products and services. The completed model was placed in the public domain in May 2006. 

In its on-going effort to provide standards and guidelines, EDRM is updating and expanding the original model to include six projects: EDRM Evergreen, EDRM XML, EDRM Metrics, EDRM Model Code of Conduct, EDRM Search and EDRM Data Set. 

Understanding how to deal with electronically stored information (ESI) has become everyone’s problem. Join EDRM and be a part of the solution. Everyone involved in e-discovery can benefit from joining EDRM. As an EDRM participant, you can share best practices for managing the e-discovery processes from the initial management of electronically stored information all the way to the ultimate presentation of that information. You can offer insights to others and help improve the e-discovery processes as well as the entire industry.

Comments:

If you know what EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) stands for, of if you’ve heard of, read, or participated in the Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Surveys, you are probably already a member of this group. If not, and you are interested in a “Google Earth” perspective on the litigation lifecycle, you will find it here, and on the EDRM site. The surveys have been instrumental in gathering information on issues associated with electronic discovery, and how to deal with them, including in-house and outsourced options. The majority of posts stick with the e-discovery topic.



Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
3743

Group Established: 

May 27, 2008

Group Description:

Networking group for trial lawyers and attorneys interested in civil and criminal practice before the court. Join and learn from top trial lawyers what they are doing that's working right now. 

Discussions include: 
- Trial strategies for both civil and criminal cases 
- Marketing strategies for a litigation law firm 
- Building a referral based law practice 
- How to manage and run a litigation boutique law firm 
- Strategies for differentiating your practice from competitors 

Contact moderator Stephen Fairley to request admission to the group: www.LinkedIn.com/in/StephenFairley 

Enter email: stephen@therainmakerinstitute.com to connect.

Comments:

This group’s demographic and content are similar to the Personal Injury Attorney Network (see above), with a notable exception that a greater percentage of members of this group are at the “Senior” level, with a slightly lesser amount at the “Owner” level in comparison, perhaps suggesting a difference in firm size.

Topics include a nice variety of “how-to” articles, recent case updates, member questions, and CLE opportunities. Currently, the most popular topic is “What was the best piece of advice you received before your first trial?,” with 64 responses posted. It is certainly encouraging to see this level of dialog and response to a member’s question, and there are many notable and quotable responses. In fact, since this is an open group (you can read and post without actually joining the group), I’d recommend spending some time reading this little gem.


Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
2773

Group Established: 

September 8, 2009

Group Description:

Trial Technology Group is a Professional Network of interested individuals, where they may share information and request the assistance, advice and/or other related information of its members. 

Attorneys, Paralegals, legal professionals, law students, vendors, legal recruiters and others interested in discussions, news and jobs related to the use of technology for purposes of trial prep and presentation are encouraged to join. 

Standard courtesies with respect to spamming this group are appreciated and will be enforced.

Comments:

I may be a bit biased in favor of this group, as I am the founder and moderator. The demographic features a blend of attorneys, paralegals, in-house litigation support, and consultants. Topics are loosely focused around technology used in trial, and cover a good variety of related subjects.

There’s also a monthly poll open to members, offering insight into various topics, and featuring a number of member comments. If you’re interested in trying cases with the tools of today, or are a provider of those tools and services, this group should be on your list.


Group Title:

Membership (as of 8/13/2012):
2681

Group Established: 

December 15, 2008

Group Description:

The White Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys Group is for attorneys who specialize in representing corporations and individuals in government criminal and civil/regulatory investigations and who advise companies and individuals about related corporate compliance and governance issues.

Comments:

One thing that makes this group different than many is its choice to include news items, which are automatically posted via an RSS feed. For the reader, that can mean finding out about current relevant news long before someone else has time to find it, read it, and then share it. It also means a larger number of posts, with some being more relevant than others. Overall, it can be a good feature when set up properly, and in this case, it seems to work.

As one might expect, there is a great deal of content related to current events from members and other sources including the SEC, USDOJ, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

***

If you missed the first half of this two-part series, you can get to it with this link. Feel free to add your comments or suggestions for other groups you enjoy in the Comments section below.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Best LinkedIn Groups for Attorneys and Legal Professionals (Part 1)


LinkedIn is like Facebook for grown-ups – or at least for those who are interested in following people, news, and discussions with like-minded professionals. While there are many sources of great information on the Internet, the place I find some of the best content online is through the LinkedIn Groups.

No matter which topic you’re interested in, chances are there are one or more groups you’d be interested in. Groups can be “Open,” meaning anyone can view and post, or “Closed,” requiring membership for access. 

I’ll share fourteen of my personal favorites in two installments, listed in alphabetical order, all focusing on various aspects of law and legal technology. I tried to go with ten, but just couldn’t cut four of these. There are 1375398 groups on LinkedIn as of 8/6/2012, which you can search for and locate by topic with this link. Feel free to add your suggestions for other groups you enjoy in the Comments section at the end of this article.

See Part 2: Best LinkedIn Groups for Attorneys and Legal Professionals

Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
6,359
Group Established:
January 14, 2008
Group Description:
The Association of Litigation Support Professionals is the only organization whose members comprise the full range of individuals involved with litigation support. ALSP is dedicated to advancing the profession and contributing to the career development of practitioners around the world.
Comments:
The ALSP is actively involved in setting standards for many facets of Litigation Support. The group features a good variety of topics, along with news on upcoming seminars and educational opportunities.

Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
673
Group Established:
June 5, 2009
Group Description:
This site will facilitate discussion, networking, and collaboration about applied research into jury / juror behavior and trial advocacy. Members who may find they have something to share or to learn here include: lawyers, trial consultants, judges, law students, litigation support professionals, and paralegals... but we are not exclusive... Anyone with a hankering to understand how people and justice interact are more than welcome.

Topics covered here can span from pre trial jury research to change of venue studies to witness preparation... to anything about advocacy technique and lore. Juror behavior and decision making is always of interest.

We will share info and opinion about nearly any subject that informs those of us who work within the system and those who are just plain interested about what happens when the doors to the jury room close and everythng that happens from filing to verdict.

You needn't be a professional to follow or participate... an interest in the behavioral side of the law and legal system will do!

ASTC's Professional Visibility Committee welcomes you!
Comments:
Although this group is relatively small, it is comprised of many (likely most) of the top Jury Consultants in the nation. Membership also includes Trial Presentation Consultants and Graphics Professionals. Some excellent topics may be found here.

Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
10,040
Group Established:
November 23, 2008
Group Description:
DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar is the world's largest organization of 22,500+ attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. DRI provides numerous educational and informational resources to DRI members and offers many opportunities for liaison among defense trial lawyers, Corporate America, and state and local defense organizations. DRI also has an international presence, seeking to enhance understanding of the law among members of the defense community who have reason to be concerned with the expanding globalization of litigation defense. The following are DRI's goals:

Education: To teach and educate and to improve the skills of the defense law practitioner

Justice: To strive for improvement in the civil justice system

Balance: To be a counterpoint to the plaintiff's bar and seek balance in the justice system in the minds of potential jurors and on all fields where disputes are resolved

Economics: To assist members in dealing with the economic realities of the defense law practice, including the competitive legal marketplace

Professionalism and Service: To urge members to practice ethically and responsibly, keeping in mind the lawyer's responsibilities that go beyond the interest of the client to the good of American society as a whole
Comments:
The online group of Defense Research Institute. This group features a great deal of consistently good content from a nice variety of sources, along with updates to the DRI calendar. The group’s most recent “Manager’s Choice” post shares the following:

DRI LinkedIn Group accepts 10,000th member!
I wanted to send a note to announce that the DRI LinkedIn group has surpassed 10,000 members. Over the last four years we have been one of the fastest growing groups on LinkedIn, and we now are the largest civil litigation group on LinkedIn.

I would like to think that the success of this group is attributable to the same factors that make DRI the largest organization for lawyers who defend the interests of businesses and individuals in civil litigation: great cutting-edge content, opportunities for education and advancement, and great networking. As you know, we protect the integrity of this group by closely monitoring the content to make sure that discussions are focused on issues of importance to civil litigators, and not just an opportunity to market services or products.

Group Title:
e-LEGAL
Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
61,143
Group Established:
November 21, 2008
Group Description:
#1 Group For Lawyers Attorneys Corporate In-House Counsel Paralegal Law Students School Firm Recruiters Lawyer Attorney Trial Case Legal Technology e-Discovery Forensics Compliance Governance Litigation IP Intellectual Property Trademarks Patent Finance Real Estate Contracts Jobs Careers
Comments:
This is the grand-daddy of them all, at least in the legal professions. The demographics are equally as broad, with global membership. Recently, I suggested this site to someone with a legal question specific to the U.K., since there are nearly 2000 members from the U.K. With such a large membership, there is also a massive amount of great information from all corners of the world. The potential downside is that you might be trying to sip a bit of water from a fire hose.

Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
5,164
Group Established:
June 12, 2009
Group Description:
KNOW, The Magazine for Paralegals is designed for paralegals in law firms, in-house legal departments and government agenices. The group is for paralegals of all specialties and levels of experience from the U.S. and abroad.

We discuss careers, trends, job opportunities, current issues, success stories, substantive issues and more.
Comments:
This group is operated by Chere Estrin of the Organization of Legal Professionals, another group involved in the education and establishment of standards in the legal support professions. This is another great resource with a good variety of content for paralegals and litigation support professionals, including educational opportunities and event updates.

Group Title:
Legal IT Network
Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
32,976
Group Established:
November 27, 2007
Group Description:
Legal IT Network is the global virtual community for people working in the legal technology industry like law firm IT staff, legal software vendors, legal IT consultants, but also paralegals, knowledge management specialists, and lawyers interested in the technology that facilitates their work.

Many topics are discussed in this group, all related to how technology supports the law firm practice. Various region- and topic specific subgroups facilitate networking with people sharing similar regions or interests.

The reason why this is a members-only group is because we want to keep the quality of discussions at the highest level. Feel free to join and become part of LinkedIn’s preferred Legal IT Network!
Comments:
In addition to a large amount of content (from such a large group), many of the most popular postings are questions by members posed to the group, resulting in some great dialogs. Although topics and content vary, topics can get pretty technical at times, as the title suggests.

Membership (as of 8/6/2012):
13,631
Group Established:
February 22, 2008
Group Description:
Litigation Support Professionals is a controlled circulated group for qualified litigation support professionals, legal assistants/paralegals, technology specialists, recruiters and other legal support staff.

This group was established for knowledge advancement in the area and to network with fellow peers. Please do not post advertisements on the discussion board, if there are any advertisements posted I will remove you from the group.
Comments:
This group’s description also states its spam policy – something that some other groups could learn from. The larger the group (and this is another big one), the more potential for posts about non-specific jobs or other promotional drivel, which gets annoying very quickly. This group features a nice variety of content, and is obviously moderated closely, keeping the information quality standard high.

***