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40 Essential Apps for Trial Lawyers, Part One

In courtrooms and depositions across the country, the iPad is replacing the legal pad as an essential accoutrement of trial lawyers. Way back in 2011, this blog first reported on the increasing popularity of the iPad among litigators, and we surveyed some of the essential and most popular apps for trial. In 2013, we updated that list. 

Since then, the number and variety of litigation-related apps have continued to grow. There are even whole new categories, such as apps for e-discovery. Our 2011 article listed eight apps. By 2013, our list had grown to 22 apps. This time, as we again surveyed the available apps, our list grew to 40. 

There are so many, in fact, that we're publishing the list in two parts. So, without further ado, here is Part One of our list of 40 essential apps for trial lawyers. 

Transcript Review Apps

AgileLaw (free). AgileLaw enables paperless depositions by allowing lawyers, witnesses, and other participants to view and annotate documents. Although the app is free, using it requires a paid account with AgileLaw.com.

DepoPlus (free). This app makes your deposition interactive. Use it to instantly stream deposition videos and to make video clips by simply highlighting transcript text. 

DepoView (free). This app from inData Corporation allows attorneys to import and manage deposition transcripts along with corresponding video. It provides simple processes to organize depositions into individual cases, create focused clips from those depositions, and export the clips to be used in TrialDirector for presentation.

Mobile Transcript (free). This app is optimized for reviewing and annotating transcripts on an iPhone, although it also works on an iPad and has versions for BlackBerry and Android phones. A paid version of the app, at $29 a month, lets you upload your own transcripts in either Amicus or Summation format.

TranscriptPad ($89.99). This full-featured app allows you to store, organize, review, and annotate all your transcripts on your iPad. It lets you search across an entire case, a single witness, or a single deposition. Flag and highlight important sections, and assign issue codes. It works only with ASCII files in .TXT format, which is the standard format for transcripts. 

Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript (free). This app lets you review, search, and annotate transcripts in the E-Transcript .PTX format on iPads and iPhones. 

Legal Research Apps

Black's Law Dictionary ($54.99). Black's has long been recognized as the quintessential law dictionary. With this app for iPhone and iPad, you get mobile access to the ninth edition.

Bloomberg Law (free). For subscribers to Bloomberg Law, this app lets them view news and analysis targeted to their interests, receive the latest Bloomberg Law alerts for legal and news searches, access legal documents and news articles saved in their Queue, and track dockets, opinions, or bills. 

BriefCase (free). Designed for the iPad, BriefCase creates automatic briefs of your legal research as you highlight. Each highlight creates a bullet point under its corresponding label, and each bullet point links back to the case.

Court Directory ($9.99). From Bloomberg BNA, this app for iPhone and iPad provides addresses and contact information for all federal, state, and territorial courts.

Fastcase (free). When you need to do some quick legal research on the road, there is no more convenient app than this one. Research federal and state case law and statutes directly on your iPad (or iPhone) -- all for free.

Fed Courts ($2.99). This app provides the full text of the federal rules of procedure and the local rules for every federal court in the country, including district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. It also provides access to PACER and lists the address of every federal court.

Lexis Advance (free). This is the companion app to the Lexis Advance legal research service. To use it, a Lexis Advance subscription is required.

RuleBook (free). This app gives you mobile access to federal and state court rules and to The Bluebook for legal citation. Although the app is free, the various rule sets must be purchased separately from within the app. Most are just $2 or $3, but The Bluebook costs $39.99.

TrialEvidence ($1.99).  This app serves as a mobile reference guide for courtroom evidentiary foundations. Use it to review predicates commonly used to get evidence admitted by laying the proper foundation. 

WestlawNext (free). This is the companion app to WestlawNext. It includes access to standard features including WestSearch, KeyCite, folders, history, document notes, and highlighting.

Wolfram Lawyer's Professional Assistant ($4.99). From the folks who run the Wolfram|Alpha search engine comes this Swiss Army knife of an app containing a range of reference information and data for lawyers. It includes a dictionary of legal terms, statutes of limitations for every U.S. state, calendar computations, financial computations, crime rates, population and economic demographics, investigative information, and more.

Settlement Apps

Picture It Settled (free). Most cases never make it to trial of course. If you are trying to reach a settlement but are unable to come to terms, this app might help. The app helps litigants analyze their positions and develop a successful negotiation strategy. Using data harvested from thousands of cases, it predicts when you will be able to settle and for what amount. 

Docket Apps

DkT (free). This app provides access to PACER through an iPhone or iPad. The app is free, but normal PACER charges apply. Features of the app include bookmarking, batch downloading, and quick emailing of documents.

FedCtRecords ($9.99). This is another app that provides mobile access to PACER. Among its features are the ability to save attorney contact information straight from PACER to your address book and to view and e-mail docket entries, including briefs and orders, right from your phone.

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