iPad helps lawyer win trial

A lawyer who likes to refer to himself as the MacLitigator says he won a trial with the iPad as the primary means of getting information in front of the jury.

These days, the words "Apple" and "law" seem to trip off the Mac like the words "Apple" and "Adobe."

So, given that I know so many view the prospect of an Apple-Gizmodo showdown in the courts with rather more anticipation that they viewed Mayweather-Moseley fight, might I offer a new dimension to the prospective proceedings?

It seems that one enterprising, Apple-addicted lawyer has already used an iPad to devastating effect in a court of law. No, he didn't balance it on his lap and send e-mails to his personal assistant while the judge was boring him with instructions. And, no, he didn't read his New York Times restaurant reviews while opposing counsel was sprinkling his dubious arguments with oily rhetoric.

Peter Summerill, partner in the Utah law firm of Hasenyager & Summerill, says Apple's magic revolution actually helped him win an important trial.

Summerill writes a blog called MacLitigator that arose out of his firm's switch from Windows to Mac. (History does not record whether Justin Long rushed the firm headlong into this decision.) And, my regular reading at Law.com tells me, he recently proved to himself and to the litigants of Utah just how effective the iPad can be in presenting information to a jury.

The iPad. Perfect for those of a leisurely conviction. CCSMays/Flickr

The case, one that seems to have involved injury allegedly caused by dangerous and thoughtlessly designed cart paths on a city golf course, does seem to have been rather exciting. Ogden City, Utah, offered to settle for $6,600. But the jury, once it had been mesmerized by the iPad's subtle characteristics (and I am sure by MacLitigator's effortless charm), declared that the payment should be $361,661.

You see, Summerill wrote on his blog that "Apple has created a product which facilitates presentation of evidence without getting in the way and does so in a completely unassuming fashion."

To the unincarcerated eye, MacLitigator seems to have used the unassuming genius of the iPad to maximum effect. "Using Keynote, all documents to be admitted at trial were loaded in. BlankiPad_Trialslides provided a 'tabbed' divider set up, separating photos of the scene, X-rays, medical records, tables, and summaries into their respective categories," he wrote on his blog.

This all seems so beautifully seamless. But wait, there's the iPad's wonderful speed, too. "Because the iPad can switch so quickly between presentations, flipping from the trial slides to the deposition transcript slides during a cross-examination is an effortless process," explained MacLitigator.

Actually, it wasn't all quite so beautifully seamless. Summerill said that Keynote quit once, and he suddenly had a blank screen on his hands.

Still, given the jury's verdict, it's clear that the iPad offered a peek into a delightful future. Well, delightful for everyone but MacLitigator's green MacBook.

"The MacBook came along at trial, but sat somewhat despondent at counsel's table. Never once was it taken to the podium. It did come in handy for a quick search, during opposing counsel's direct exam, for cross exam references in the witness's deposition," wrote MacLitigator.

I know many of you will have redoubled your excitement now at the thought of Apple's lawyers wielding their latest gizmos at Gizmodo as they accuse journalists of theft, subterfuge, and grand treason. For myself, I am merely looking forward to the iPad gracing "Law and Order." It would add a little glamour, don't you think?

 

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