The Digital Lawyer in a Mobile Era

by Litigator Technology
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[author: Nancy Patterson]

“The dot com revolution of the 1990s pales in comparison to the app revolution currently underway,” asserts Boyd Patterson, creator of JuryStar which was nominated as a 2012 best trial prep iPad app by The National Law Journal. A former insurance defense attorney and former prosecutor, Patterson recognizes that “professional apps, designed by actual professionals in the field, are driving the next phase in the digital era. Medical apps designed  by doctors, accounting apps designed by accountants, and legal apps designed by lawyers.”

Push Legal creator Jonathan J. Paull exemplifies “legal apps designed by lawyers.” His innovative platform of annotated deskbooks is available as a mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry, and also comes as a desktop web application. A solo litigator in the Law Office of Jonathan J. Paull in Houston, he believes the mobile world has changed everything. We are pleased Mr. Paull took time to talk with us about his legal app:

What motivates a busy trial lawyer to create a mobile legal application?

After reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about the app revolution, I looked over at all of the legal deskbooks on the bookshelf in my office.  They all basically did the same thing: covered statutes, rules, and the case law annotations that interpret them.  Yet they all weighed about 10 pounds, and they all took up space in my briefcase.  I thought that this is something that would be perfect for a mobile application: A searchable deskbook on your smartphone.

Briefly explain how Push Legal works and how someone can gain access to it:

Push Legal has statutes/rules, plus annotated case law, for Texas, Florida, California, New York, Delaware, and Federal law.  The Push Legal app is icon-driven, and the navigation is clean and simple.  This type of quick and easy navigation is especially useful in court when a statute or case is needed on the spot.  The Push Legal mobile app, designed for iPhone/iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, is available for download at the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Blackberry App World, respectively.  Push Legal is also available as a desktop  web app. We offer a free seven-day trial, and both monthly and annual subscriptions are available.

What are other tech tools you use on a regular basis that are helpful to your practice?

Text messages to my assistant are very important.  Calendaring is now all “in the cloud,” so my calendar is always synced with my assistant’s phones and computers.  I also use Google Maps which I find to be very useful when analyzing search and seizure issues and crime scenes (such as verifying a witness’s timeline as the witness is being questioned on the stand).

As the demands and disruptions continue in the legal sector, what one piece of advice do you have for the solo litigator, and future solo litigators, who want to succeed in the digital age?

Clients who are 35 years of age and under expect their attorney to be tech-savvy.  If you are a solo practitioner and you still have a five-year-old BlackBerry, you are not going to be able to help your clients as quickly and efficiently as you would with an up-to-date smartphone.

What can law schools do to better prepare students for this digital, mobile revolution?

Encourage them to use their mobile devices and embrace the new wave of legal apps.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of mobility!” is proudly displayed on the Push Legal materials. We think that is a powerful mantra for the digital lawyer.


 

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Litigator Technology
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