Practical Technology 102
Published to: 000113, 000116, A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective, Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer, West Virginia Lawyer - Tips and Techniques
on July 15, 2011 8:49 pm
Leave your thoughts
It is easy to spout some of the tips and ideas I stumble over and another to find things that work. Here is what I learned today: If you get one of those miraculous Fujitsu Scansnap 1500 Scanners, with bundled Adobe Standard 9.0, check your default. You will want to make sure you are scanning to your client or personal folders “searchable PDF” files; otherwise, you may have difficulty searching within the body of the document.
Here is a great way to do legal, or any kind of, research. Go to your legal research software. I use Fastcase. Many Lawyers use WestNext and others Lexis/Nexis. Take the cases cited by your opponent, and the cases you find, and line them up in the queue for printing. Or, take any research materials that you can turn into PDF files.
Print all the cases, or material, to searchable PDF files. Take the other side’s brief, pleadings, and other relevant documents. Scan them to PDF. Use the “combine files” feature on Acrobat. Now you have a BIG file. You have to read the darn cases and documents anyway, so better to have them together.
Now, as you identify key issues, facts, and legal points, highlight them in yellow, and annotate with legal stickies. Hit “show all comments” and there they are. Print the “comments only” to a PDF. You will have all your notes, indexed to page and paragraph number, labeled for you, and you will have the key document you need to dictate your brief, your statement of facts, your statement of the law, and argument, or your term papers, memoir, or anything else you care to write!
Consider having a second screen set to portrait (vertical), but working at home today, on my Dell Latitude Laptop, I could easily adjust the screen for large print. I selected the little hand tool, so I could pull the screen up as I needed to.
And, to demonstrate that Internet marketing and technology wonderfully well together, I told my Findlaw rep that I had completed my 30 videos and he asked me to send it to him on disk. Instead, 10 minutes later, he had the files, which took me 12 hours to upload, on his desktop, using DropBox. Stay tuned, since people I trust say it is my best stuff so far. And I had FUN doing it.
And, a young woman, with serious injuries caused by a reckless driver, scrolled the Findlaw lawyer listings using Google, found me with my background in the USAF JAG (her husband is a pilot) and, after a one hour chat, hired me. That’s a client I would not otherwise have got.
In the meantime, today I answered my staff’s questions and gave them guidance, all the while working from home. I think my productivity today was enhanced 100% with my technology. Give me a call if you need our services, and I will try to do the same for you.
This post was written by Burton Hunter