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Since I first wrote about using DEVONthink Pro Office in my law practice, ... Read More

Clip from Safari (iOS) to DEVONthink (Mac)

WordPerfect 5.1 is legendary among tech geeks of a certain age, and still ... Read More

Writing Legal Briefs with Scrivener

There has to be a better way. That was my thought as I ... Read More

Better Video Presentations & Depositions

Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts in Apple Mail

I recently enjoyed using Gmail shortcuts in MailMate, and wanted to bring those same shortcuts to the default Mail app on macOS.1 GMailinator, the only Mail plugin I could find to do so, hasn’t been updated in four years, so I didn’t bother installing it. Instead, I started looking for another way, and I think I’ve found it.

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I Put Han Solo on Trial (video)

I’ve mentioned this already on Twitter, but realized I’ve never discussed it here – back in October, I put Han Solo on trial, and I have the video to prove it. I acted as the prosecutor and Edward Paskey, Esquire acted as defense counsel in a mock trial before the Honorable Joseph C. Adams, President Judge of the York County Court of Common Pleas. The name of the case was The Galactic Empire v. Han Solo, and it was presented before approximately 60 “jurors” who were on hand to get a CLE credit.

The point of the “trial” was to demonstrate the use of the iPad and other technology in the courtroom. After making our closing arguments, Attorney Paskey and I deconstructed how we used technology in our respective cases, including the use of timelines, medical exhibits and models, exhibit annotations, maps, transcript call outs, and more. The main tools we used were TrialPad and Keynote.

Judge Adams recorded the trial, and edited it into a final product that is quite slick:

I don’t practice criminal law, which is probably obvious from the video. In preparation, I also worked backwards – I started with the technology and videos I wanted to demonstrate, and tried to craft a somewhat coherent argument around them. While this isn’t how you would want to handle a real case, I think the “trial” went off well for its intended purpose.

I’ve uploaded a digital version of the information we gave to attendees at the trial/seminar.

I want to give a special thank you to Mark Metzger, from whom we stole the idea. He did something similar at the MacTrack Legal Conference (then called MILOfest) in Orlando in 2015.1 Mark was also kind enough to send me many of the Star Wars assets we used in the trial.


  1. If you use a Mac, this conference is a must-attend. 

ABA TECHSHOW 2017

If you’re a lawyer interested in technology, ABA TECHSHOW should be right up your alley. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting at the conference this year. The conference and expo takes place from March 15-18 at the Hilton Chicago. TECHSHOW regularly draws over 2000 attendees and 100 exhibitors. Whether it be the conference sessions, the massive EXPO hall, or just rubbing elbows with fellow geeks, this is a really fun and educational few days.

I’ll be co-presenting at two sessions on March 17:

  • Set Your Mac on Auto-Pilot, with Katie Floyd, at 9 a.m.
  • Your Office, Don’t Leave Home Without It, with Channa Loyd, at 3:45 p.m.

Registration is open now, with early bird pricing through January 30 UPDATE: Early bird pricing has been extended through February 13. You can find pricing and registration here:

http://www.techshow.com/pricing/

Airmail to TaskPaper

I’m currently trying out TaskPaper as my task manager of choice, after almost five years with OmniFocus. More on that in the future, but for now don’t read too much into this – OmniFocus is a great app, and if it works for you, I don’t recommend switching.

TaskPaper has many strengths (again, more on that in the future), but one weakness is its lack of integration with third party apps when it comes to capturing tasks. On iOS, for example, native TaskPaper integration isn’t built into any email apps. There is a thread in the TaskPaper forums that points to a workflow, using the iOS Workflow app, to get Airmail email links into TaskPaper. I couldn’t get that working, though.

Instead, I stumbled upon a thread with instructions on how to get items from the Reminders app into TaskPaper (scroll down in the thread for the script). I set the JavaScript in that thread up on my Mac, and have Keyboard Maestro run the script every 10 minutes. That script slurps anything that appears in a designated list in Reminders into TaskPaper. Of course, for this to work, you’ll need to make sure you have Reminders syncing between your Mac and your iOS device.

Suddenly, TaskPaper is WAY more functional for me. I can use any iOS or Mac app that supports Reminders to get tasks into TaskPaper. One of those is Airmail, and the task contains a link back to the mail message.

More to come on how I’m using this Reminders integration to open up all sorts of possibilities with TaskPaper.

Use Your Wemo with HomeKit

wemo-and-homekit

In my last post I discussed how I was able to get my Liftmaster garage door opener working with HomeKit, even though it wasn’t officially HomeKit compatible. I used a HomeKit bridge called Homebridge, running on my Mac, to accomplish this (Linux would work, too). Setting up Homebridge and the first plugin (Liftmaster) was the hard part. From there, getting the Wemo plugin set up and installed was easy.

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Use HomeKit With Your Chamberlain Liftmaster MyQ Garage Door

If you have a MyQ-enabled garage door opener, and you want to hook your door into HomeKit, take a look at Homebridge. Homebridge is a NodeJS server that runs on your Mac, or on a Linux machine such as a Raspberry Pi. Homebridge acts as a HomeKit bridge and allows you to use certain non-HomeKit devices with HomeKit. That might sound like a mouthful, and it certainly isn’t trivial to set up, but it isn’t as difficult as it might seem.

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Arq Backup and Amazon Cloud Drive – a Perfect Match

There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to my online backups, and that’s Arq Backup. For several years, I’ve been using Crashplan for all the Macs in my house. It was hard to beat the price of the Crashplan family plan, but my subscription expires in the next few months, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be renewing it. Instead, I’m switching to a combination of Arq Backup and Amazon Cloud Drive.

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Save iOS Email Messages in Other Apps as Emails, Not PDFs

Mail apps on iOS have come a long way over the past couple of years. I still don’t have a single mail app on iOS that serves my needs, though. One reason is the lack of support in most apps for saving email messages in eml format. If you save a message in eml format to an app like DEVONthink, the link back to the original message is preserved.

One such app in my arsenal is AltaMail, which I use solely for its ability to save messages in eml format. While falling short in the looks department, AltaMail is very powerful, offering filters, templates, email rules, and other features. I don’t really use any of that, though. I use AltaMail solely for its ability to save mail messages in eml format.

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MacTrack Legal Is Coming

The MacTrack Legal conference, formerly known as Milofest, takes place at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club in Orlando, Florida from October 6 to 8. If you’re a lawyer who uses a Mac or other Apple devices, this is the best conference of the year. I attended last year, and the sessions were fantastic. While the conference is tech-focused, there are other practical and substantive topics as well.

Beyond the sessions, though, the conference is worth attending just to mix with other Mac lawyers. I have yet to attend a conference with a friendlier group of people from all over the country. It’s a bonus that much of the banter among attendees covers Macs, other tech topics, and practice-related matters.

I’m going to attend and speak at the conference again this year (my bio isn’t on the site yet, but I’ll be there). My topic will be “Workflows and Tools for Mobile Lawyers.” I’ll also be part of “The Ultimate Gear Off” panel with Katie Floyd (Mac Power Users Podcast), Brett Burney, and Mark Metzger.

I hope to see some of you there. Come early or stay late, and take in Disney.

More info: MacTrack Legal

DEVONthink’s New Sync – Roll Your Own Evernote

DEVONthink’s developers released its next generation sync technology this week. The sync technology is baked into the latest DEVONthink 2.9 update, and will be included in the upcoming new version of DEVONthink to Go, the iOS app. After being a weakness for years, DEVONthink’s sync is now a strength.

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