In 2011, Lothstein Law Office moved to the next level in law office technology. The results have been a dramatic improvement in my ability to manage complex cases, work on cases seamlessly inside and outside the office, and give audio-visual presentations in the courtroom and classroom.
The most dramatic transformation has come from the smallest but most powerful of law practice tools, the Ipad 2. With my Ipad 2, I am able to immediately and securely access, view and annotate discovery and other case materials everywhere I go — in the courtroom, at administrative license suspension hearings, while traveling, and at home. PDF Expert lets me view and annotate lengthy, complex documents that I have extensively bookmarked and indexed using Adobe Acrobat. When discovery or other documents come into the office, my legal secretary Schelle simply scans it and drags it to a particular folder, and then I can instantly see it on my Ipad where I go.
Today, during an administrative license suspension hearing, I viewed the arresting officer's report on my Ipad 2 while making notes on a traditional yellowpad. In the class I teach at Plymouth State, I have used the Ipad 2 to display audio-visual presentations on the Smartboard to a room full of students. I have met in the office with DWI clients, put the Ipad 2 on the table in front of us running Google Earth, and then "virtually" traveled the roads that led to the scene of the motor vehicle stop or accident.
The first big investment I made in 2011 was to install a HP Proliant server with mirrored 500 gig hard drives, running PC Law as the platform to run my business, handle billing and manage my caseload and clients. I use Lexis Nexis Casemap 9, an advanced relational database, to build easily searchable databases and chronologies of the facts, documents, transcripts and cast of characters involved in complex litigation such as federal criminal cases and a post-conviction litigation I am handling arising out of a homicide conviction. For legal research, I began subscrion Westlaw Next, which runs on the PC but also has a fantastic Ipad app.
One of the best and most important technological tools in my law office is nearly free. My legal secretary Schelle and I heavily depend on Google Calendar, which allows us to view multiple calendars on our PCs, and on my Ipad 2 and android phone. On Google Calendar, if I put an appointment into the office calendar, she sees it immediately. If I put an appointment into my personal calender, she sees only a blocked out period marked "Busy," but the details appear on my PC or portable devices. If my wife or I put an event into our family calender, it does not appear on the office calendar at all. And Google Calendar automatically posts to MY calendar the entire Red Sox, Patriots and Duke Basketball schedules! (Yes, Google Calendar is non-denominational - you can select the Yankees and UNC Tarheels instead). Google calendar is free for personal use and only $50/year for business use.
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