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ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Round-up and Review

Certainly, I’m a big fan of attending ABA TECHSHOW, especially since I get to present on Android for attorneys. I also love being able to geek out with many readers and new Android users. I also love seeing your eyes light up as you get insight into many of the newest apps and ways to use your Android devices in your law practice. Sidenote: feel free to “geek out” with me and stroke my ego that you’re a fan of the blog. I’ll gladly skip sessions to talk Android. This year’s TECHSHOW experience was no different. 

ABA TECHSHOW 2014

First, if you missed TECHSHOW, and you’re slightly forgiven, then you can definitely keep track of the event (at least the Android stuff) by reading the live blog recap. You can also see my live blog of Rick Klau’s keynote address. Lawyerist has a good live blog, too.

The recap

Dan Siegal (whose book I didn’t particularly enjoy) gave one of the best and most surprising sessions called, The Litigators Guide to Android. Here’s the summary:

The universe of Android apps continues to grow, and many of the apps on the market can be used by litigators to enhance trial, mediation, and arbitration presentations.  This session explores the newest and best applications for Android litigators. Learn how to get the most from you Android device.

I didn’t envy Dan for having to do this session, but he really surprised me and showcased how awesome Android can be, even without TrialPad. I’m snipping my comments from the live blog:

  Dan Siegel: The Litigators Guide to Android by Jeffrey Taylor

Blogging will start soon. We have an “initimate” group. Certainly a telling aspect of Android and lawyers.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Here’s the Mac room.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Here’s our Android room.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s reviewing the market share of Android. Emphasizes the “more iPad apps for lawyers” than Android. Agree.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

But, there’s no need to have “lawyer apps” since Android devices are [more] capable than iPad.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

A “one solution” app isn’t necessarily that important.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Depose and iJuror get the first shout. Not a huge fan of iJuror, but I love Depose.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Room is beginning to fill in…that’s nice. There’s a room issue, so I think maybe some are coming to the paperless program.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

What can you do on an Android device: Prepare briefs, memos & other documents

 by Jeffrey Taylor

What can you do on an Android device: review and annotate transcripts.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

What can you do on an Android device: review, edit and work with video transcripts, including making video clips.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

What can you do on an Android device: call up exhibits

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan uses a file manager to load his exhibits.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

What can you do on an Android device: deliver opening and closing statement — teleprompter software

 by Jeffrey Taylor

I’ve tested some teleprompter software. It’s good, but I can’t get a great idea on how to make it really work.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Remember: don’t forget your “other stuff”

Dongles, extension cords, internet connections, file lists, screens, batteries, wireless printer

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Anticipate the unfortunate events.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

There are portable screens (Epson for example) for less than $100.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Wireless printers are cheap. Plus, Android 4.4 allows you to print directly from your device. Don’t forget thecloud printing app if you don’t have Android 4.4.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Time to review what litigators can do with Android.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Question: problem with Android tablet is projecting onto screen. Questioner has Nexus 7, but can’t output to HDMI.

Answer: check manufacturer’s specifications. In this case, I’d suggest a Miracast device.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s using HDMI to VGA out via a dongle. Purchase one on Amazon for about $10.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Great suggestion: customize your tablet screen to run the apps you need at trial.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

You lose credibility with the jury if you don’t know your tech. Totally agree. I think juries like tech, not so much the glitz and glam of apps like TrialPad.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Showcasing Depose

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Here’s my review of Depose.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Ironic how I gave a mediocre review of Dan’s book.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Use tools to help you gain some speed. Dan mentions swipe keyboards and ASTRO File Manager.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s doing a great job of showcasing how great Depose works for prepping depositions.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next app up: iJuror

 by Jeffrey Taylor

iJuror works well if you can pre-load your jurors. If not, it’s very difficult to speedily enter information in a high speed voir dire.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

I didn’t know that iJuror pulls in .csv files.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

I might want to look back at iJuror again.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

iJuror also exports to .csv, in case you didn’t get that.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next up: Other apps for preparing your case

 by Jeffrey Taylor

First: documents

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Up on the screen is Quickoffice Pro. No objection from me. The app works well.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s having a “technology malfunction”; he forgot to turn on his Bluetooth keyboard. He demonstrates using Quickoffice ot enter information. Dan also uses Kingsoft Office.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

“Office” apps on Android are far less expensive than buying MS Office, and work equally well.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Here’s the link to download Quickoffice.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Comment from audience: the ability to create documents on Android is very basic. Quickoffice and Docs to go don’t compare to the real thing.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

My favorite, powerful “Office” app is OfficeSuite 7.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

I haven’t had too many problems with document generation on Android.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next up: review and annotate depositions

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s showing of iAnnotate. He notes comments and highlight as the two most used deposition works.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Demonstrating how to highlight and make some comments in iAnnotate.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Two other great PDF editing apps are ezPDF and RepliGo Reader. I “revisited” a “battle,” here.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

And iAnnotate just crashed. Typical iProduct.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

RepliGo Reader isn’t as resource intensive for your Android device. iAnnotate and ezPDF Reader require too much at times.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next up: video editing

 by Jeffrey Taylor

I’m not a huge fan of video editing, since I don’t think there are a lot of great apps. Check out this great poston video editing apps for Android.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Video app recommendation: AndroVid.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

FYI, AndroVid is the “number 1″ recommendation in that ComputerWorld post.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s demoing the “trim” feature in AndroVid. Looks sweet and only $1.99.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s suggestion: how about using this at trial to quickly clip the video and show to the witness.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan’s favorite new “money app” is AndroVid. Perhaps this goes back to “The Marks'” Moneyball presentation.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next up: ASTRO File Manager

 by Jeffrey Taylor

No disagreement. Hands down the best (and easiest) file manager app on Android.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Tech gadget tip: get a tablet with a pen, or pick up a stylus. Yup.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

A stylus makes it easy to draw. Trial/depo tip: take the stylus, have a witness draw on the tablet, send a copy to your OC and court reporter, then make a statement for the record.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan does a great job showing how to make a witness take a note and design.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Here is Dan making an awesome presentation.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan: You don’t need expensive programs to make your trials look really good on an Android tablet.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Tech tip: don’t download crappy graphics. Make sure you’re downloading high quality graphics.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan quickly demonstrates taking a screenshot. Most Android devices (Android 4.0+) will take screenshots using Vol-Down + Power.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Use the screenshot to draw, edit, cut.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next up: DV Prompter.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Use the app to prepare closing or opening statements. Change fonts, backgrounds, scroll speeds.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

I can’t disagree with the dv Prompter suggestion.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Next up: Closing Arguments

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Remember: keep things simple for the jury.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

That means using simple presentations to get things running good.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

You can get your point across without fancy presentations. How about using a PDF?

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Dan shows a presentation with a damages chart for the jury. He could have made the charts more elegant, but simplicity was the point. Get it to the judge/jury in the quickest way!

 by Jeffrey Taylor

With just a bit of creativity, you can present your case in a really great way!

And that’s the end of the presentation. Good job, Dan.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Whoops.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Audience question: do you share things via WiFi?

Dan: yes. He recommends a Segate doflex(?) to showcase

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Remember: test the connections/tech before you do any trial work.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

Question: are there apps to pull information from websites?

Yes. Not sure what the names are.

Me either.

 by Jeffrey Taylor

And that’s the end! Time for my presentation.

Dan really gave me some great ideas for how to improve Android use in my law practice.

I also enjoyed the presentation on presentations given by TECHSHOW Board Member, Randy Juip (pronounced “yipe”). Randy’s a Mac guy, but his presentation focused on aesthetics more than technology. Randy really showed the audience how to improve the use of PowerPoint for presenters. Randy’s overall point: if you’re not going to bother creating a good presentation, why bother having a presentation? So true, and I think we can all relate. Randy suggests looking at materials by Garr Reynolds and Paul Unger to make your presentations better.

Rick Klau’s keynote was fantastic, thought I think the whole thing was easily recapped in this video:

However, I think the biggest takeaway from the Keynote was the idea that data matters, so use it. And then he gave us Optimizely.

I gave my presentation on Android Settings & Customization, which I think was good, not great. Technology didn’t work, my tablet didn’t perform, needless to say, one big mess. Here’s a glimpse:

I think the white space says a lot about what wasn’t said during the presentation. But, you can’t have 100% success every time. Incidentally, I think MyCase will digitize all of the drawings and place them on their website.

Lincoln Mead and Nerino Petro had a lot of good gadget suggestions, so check out my summary on the live blog. Lincoln did suggest this Google search to set up Chromecast in your hotel while travelling.

There was also a lot to see in the Expo Hall, and especially a significant amount of schwag.

The review

Overall, I think ABA TECHSHOW is very beneficial for attorneys and staff. Attendance at TECHSHOW gives you two things:

  1. Insight into the future of legal technology
  2. An opportunity to interact with like-minded legal technology fans

A quick look around the Expo Hall shows the future of legal tech, and the presentations emphasize that techo-savvy lawyers are on the cutting edge. The techno lawyers will lead the race to efficiency.

TECHSHOW also gives you the ability to meet, greet, and even dine with bloggers and names you recognize. I guarantee, in some sort of stardom fashion, you’ll ogle and awe when you’re speaking with guys like Ernie the Attorney, iPhone J.D., and The Mac Lawyer. These guys/gals and others are names that appear at the front of legal tech Google stardom, and they’re actually shaking your hand. It’s a guilty pleasure. Geek out even more when you’re sitting across the table at a dinner, luncheon, or just chatting in the hall. I remember the awesome geeky feeling I had in St. Louis when I had dinner with Paul Unger and Ben Schorr. I have each of their books on my shelf, but here I was, eating dinner and having drinks. Simply amazing. Simply geeky.

This year, TECHSHOW added a “help desk” of sorts, where you could get assistance with your device. I wish I would have known — perhaps I did, but I just forgot — because I definitely would volunteer. That’s another great opportunity to have some one-on-one time with a legal tech “genius.”

We definitely saw a large number of lawyers using Android; iPhone and iPad ruled, of course. But in each of my Android sessions we saw a large number of attorneys eager to learn more.

One thing I saw was a large number of new Android users, either converts or just new to the mobile game. I think TECHSHOW missed a great opportunity to cater to these new users’  needs with an Android for Dummies” kind of session. There’s a common issue of wanting to create “advanced” sessions for attendees, but frankly, most people I meet would be best served with a couple of Android 101 and 102 sessions, tips and tricks type sessions. I hope the ABA TECHSHOW Board will add a specific Android how-to track.

Overall ABA TECHSHOW 2014 was very much worth the time and expense, and I’m encouraging you to start planning now to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2015 in Chicago.

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