Litigators, Technology, Trials

Why iPads Are The Most Mediocre Litigation Tool Ever

“Hey litigators, I’ve got a great tool for you. It runs none of the programs from your desktop computer, has no usb port, does not have a lot of memory, has no expandable memory, but grandparents find them very easy to use. Trust me, it will be so great that people will not stop talking about its great greatness and suitability for the practice of law.”

— All the lawyers with technology blogs.

When people find out that I spend a lot of time incorporating technology into my practice, they almost always ask me, “Oh, what kind of iPad do you have?” I don’t have an iPad. I don’t use them for the same reason that I don’t take a pogo stick to work – because I prefer things that are not severely limited….

I’m not saying that the things that people want to do with iPads are not good, I’m just saying that iPads are not the best tools to do them. I bought my first tablet computer in 2003. I had used tablets in trial several times before iPads ever came out. I still use tablets in trial, I just don’t use iPads.

I have two tablets right now that I use for work. One is a Samsung Series 7 Slate running Windows 7. The other is a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 running Windows 8. Both have 64 gb micro sd cards in them on top of their 64gb or 128gb solid state drives, and both have USB ports and micro HDMI ports. They both have 5-point touch screens. My Samsung uses Intel wireless display technology to connect wirelessly to my projector. Both have an active stylus, which is easier to take notes with than those dumb foam tip styluses. Both have a 7-hour battery life. The Lenovo is my ultra portable tablet that I take everywhere. It trickle charges with a micro usb cable, so I don’t have to carry a bulky charger with me. The stylus also docks in the device.

One of the things I always see in blog posts about iPads is a review of which apps are helpful, so I’ll do that here too:

  • Which apps do I use for word processing? Microsoft Word 2013, full version.
  • Which app do I use for viewing PDFs? Adobe Acrobat Professional XI, full version.
  • Which app do I use for trial presentation? TrialDirector 6.5, full version.
  • Which app do I use for mail? Microsoft Outlook 2013, full version.

I use tablets in day-to-day things too, like to take notes at meetings. I use Microsoft OneNote instead of 8.5 x 14 yellow pads, and my notes sync to all of my other devices. My notes that I mark as “tasks” sync with Outlook.

I can even do doc review on them.

So when people ask me what makes the iPad the greatest litigation tool in the world, I don’t know what the F they’re talking about. Yosemite?

Ed. note: This column has been brought to you by our friends at MyCase, web-based practice management software for lawyers. Please note, however, that the views expressed in the column are those of the writer alone.

Jeff Bennion is a solo practitioner from San Diego. When not handling his own cases, he’s consulting lawyers on how to use technology to not be boring in trial or managing e-discovery projects in mass torts/complex litigation cases. If you want to be disappointed in a lack of posts, you can follow him on twitter or on Facebook. If you have any ideas of things you want him to cover, email Jeff at

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