Note: The following is an excerpt from a new eBook titled 15 Ideas for Getting a Jump-Start on 2015 which is freely available with registration.
Heads up, solo and smaller-firm litigators: it’s time to modernize your law practice with technology.
Unfortunately, two prevailing truths remain:
Frist, too many attorneys think the acknowledgement of technology is as good as actually using it in their practice; and second, too many others still do things manually, or using piecemeal “hacks” that are not nearly as good as available software that can do it faster, better and cheaper.
Tech Tips for Small Law to Cut through the Clutter
We could drag on for days about every tech tool at a litigator’s disposal, but it’s easiest to start with the bare minimums you need to become a viable counter to your opposing counsel—no matter how large their firm (or support staff), including:
1. Run a background search on everyone in your case. Spending a few dollars per person will reveal things in a 15-minute search that you wouldn’t find even in an hours-long deposition. The defendant was once the roommate of the judge’s brother-in-law? Didn’t see that one coming.
2. Know your judge. Speaking of judges, using a document and docket research tool is a must to give yourself the edge before a trial. By knowing his previous findings and opinions, you can strategize your case presentation in a manner you know he prefers.
3. Have the latest case information. Plugins are available to update your case authorities automatically, and cover any new cases that have overruled them. They’ll also auto update case references in all your documents as well.
4. Embrace e-discovery. Most information today is electronic, and you need an e-discovery tool to make sense of it all. If you’re going to go into the judge under Rule 11 and represent that you’ve done due diligence, it will allow you to be infinitely more prepared than sorting through thousands of virtual pages manually. And you’ll save tons of time with automatically created privilege logs.
By staying (or getting) current on tech tools, you’ll not only serve your clients better, but build your reputation amongst peers and opposing counsel by winning more cases.
5. Use a transcript management tool. You’ll have myriad more options vs. reading the one that came from the court reports. You can look at live transcript feeds, look at videos while reading the text, and much more.
7. Create motions in a few clicks. If you’re managing facts, evidence and people in your case with e-tools, you can automatically create motions and save yourself a lot of work.
8. Today’s juries expect a show. Give it to them. Trial presentation tools let you use interactive screens to highlight key words for emphasis, rebut witnesses with their own video testimony, and much more.
Bottom line: By staying (or getting) current on tech tools, you’ll not only serve your clients better, but build your reputation amongst peers and opposing counsel by winning more cases.
The complete eBook, with 14 other expert view points, is freely available for download with registration here.
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