Readers of this blog know how important DEVONthink is to my workflow. I use it as a central repository on my Mac for almost every piece of information in my professional and personal life, including as a place to store personal and business records, deposition data, jury verdict reports, legal research, trial notebooks, and more. I’ve been using DEVONthink 2 for over 7 years, during which time the program has seen frequent updates and improvements. Now, though, DEVONtechnologies has released an entirely new version of DEVONthink for the Mac.
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.
- If you use a Mac, this conference is a must-attend. ↩
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
(Note: This article talks about video depositions in a legal setting, but any Mac user who needs to be able to present and annotate photographs and other documentation, and record those presentations, might find it useful.)
There has to be a better way. That was my thought as I prepared for my last trial. If you are a lawyer who does trial work, you’ve probably taken many video depositions for use at trial. In doing so, your method of presenting exhibits might have been to have your videographer zoom in on exhibits that were referenced by the witness. That’s how I did it, until recently.
WordPerfect 5.1 is legendary among tech geeks of a certain age, and still has devoted users. I used various incarnations of WordPerfect as my main word processor and brief writing tool until just a few years ago, when I succumbed to the inevitable force of change, and switched to Microsoft Word. Now, though, I’m not even using a traditional word processor as my main brief writing application, because I’ve discovered that Scrivener is a fantastic tool for that purpose.