Monday, November 16, 2015

New Feature: The Litigation Tech Tip

At the Fall Meeting Division 1 lunch in Austin, local Texas attorney Karl Seelbach of Doyle & Seelbach provided a great demonstration regarding what technology he uses to reducing the amount of paper that he drags with him when going to depositions or to trial. Our own Tom Dunn spoke as well and provided a written summary of the presentation here on the blog about a month ago.

Karl Seelbach, Doyle & Seelbach, Austin, TX
Karl also provides a monthly technology tip to his contacts, and he has agreed to allow us to republish his technology tips here on The Dispute Resolver. 

Before we get into the tip, here is a little background on Karl:  his firm handles commercial and personal injury litigation. Before starting his own firm with Trek Doyle, Karl was an associate and then a shareholder with Winstead PC, one of Texas's largest law firms. In each of the past three years, Karl was named a Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters, Texas Monthly, and the Texas Super Lawyers Magazine.

Karl is well known in the Texas legal community as being on the cutting edge of legal apps for use on tablets, smart phones, and computers to reduce paper in the office and to increase persuasiveness through the use of technology.

This month's tip is a brief list of a few applications that can help organize your practice and your depositions.
  • Consider using a task management app (e.g., Todoist) to organize your projects, assign tasks to your entire team and monitor their progress.
  • Stop printing reams of paper and carrying heavy boxes to depositions. Instead, use electronic exhibits (e.g.,AgileLaw) to go paperless. 
  • Stop writing your notes on paper. Instead, use a note taking app (e.g., Evernote) to make your notes searchable and shareable with team members. At the very least, scan your handwritten notes for safekeeping (bonus: some apps like Evernote convert your handwritten notes to searchable text).
As an aside, there are other options available if Todoist is not the platform for you. This website mentions a few. My firm uses a platform that we have customized for our own purposes. If you are willing to spend more money on a task management software, consider contacting one of these companies to determine whether they can customize a solution for you.  

I have not tried AgileLaw. As construction lawyers, I think many of us are hesitant to go away from paper simply because of how document-intensive our cases are, so I would be interested to hear from anyone here who has tried it or any other similar app.

As for Evernote, there are other options available here as well. This website has a list of ten. I have tried other available software -- Microsoft's OneNote in particular -- and I have found that Evernote is more intuitive to use. An option that attorneys may consider is using Evernote or OneNote as a way to organize electronic legal research obtained from Google searches, blogs, or other online resources. I have done this in the past and have found it to be a major time saver.

Please let us know if you have any thoughts on Karl's tips or my comments.

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