Wondering what apps to try and what ones to skip? Check out this roundup of the latest legal apps worth considering.
Jury selection is a popular subject matter for apps and based on feedback from litigators, JuryStar has released the second iteration of its app.
The app features rows of boxes to be filled with information for potential jurors. Up to eight rows of eight seats can be visible at one time. By clicking on a box, the user can fill in demographic information such as name, gender, race, marital status, age and education, as well as customize other fields for relevant data. The app color-codes according to gender, with blue boxes for men and red boxes for women.
JuryStar comes with suggested topics and questions for voir dire but also allows attorneys to update a library with case-specific queries. Questions can be saved for future use.
To rate jurors on a sliding scale from -5 to +5, users can click on one of the questions and then highlight a juror. For example, if a juror answered that she had filed several lawsuits in the past as a plaintiff, a defense attorney might award her a -5.
Lawyers may also designate jurors for challenges.
The app offers a video tutorial to help new users or provide a refresher after a break between trials.
JuryStar is available for $39.99 in the iTunes store for the iPad.
For busy trial attorneys on the go, the PACER app allows access to federal trial court dockets at all times.
The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and allows those with a PACER account to search federal databases for attorney and party information, deadlines, hearings and case summaries.
To make things even quicker, the app allows specific cases to be saved to a “MyCases” feature to eliminate searching by case number. Contact information for attorneys can also be saved to an address book.
Deadlines and hearing dates are available and attorneys can e-mail a docket entry – like a brief or a court order – from a mobile device.
The app is not full-service, however. It does not include the federal appellate courts or the bankruptcy courts and does not offer the ability to upload documents.
The PACER app is available for $9.99 at the iTunes store but requires a pre-existing PACER account, and all charges remain in effect (the app includes a receipt at the bottom of every applicable page to review charges).
The style guide for attorneys was first compiled in 1926. Now it appears on mobile devices to help lawyers reference federal and state court rules, codes and style materials.
Functions include highlighting, bookmarking and note-taking. The app remains current with regular updates.
Bluebook is available at iTunes for $39.99.
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel recently launched Wealth Advisor, an app for wealth management professionals.
Designed for the iPad, the Wealth Advisor app offers state-by-state summaries of estate planning statutes. Examples include a state death tax table, which summarizes the estate and inheritance rules for each state, a summary of the laws of the states that have enacted self-settled domestic asset protection litigation, and summaries of no-contest clauses and the rule against perpetuities on a nationwide basis.
Information like the applicable federal interest rate and currency conversion rates are available and continuously updated.
Lawyers can also use a tool to calculate Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts.
Wealth Advisor is free at the iTunes store, but the ACTEC noted that future versions may include premium content that requires a subscription.
Lawyers looking to complete their CLE requirements on the go can now use CLE Mobile, which works with the iPad and iPhone.
West LegalEdcenter offers more than 4,500 courses for download that can be completed for continuing legal education credit. West incorporated the relevant state requirements so that lawyers can earn credits after creating a profile which includes their state of licensure and license numbers.
After searching the listings, lawyers can choose a course to download, listen to the audio content, browse the program materials, post to discussion forums for the class and then submit a request for CLE credit.
The CLE Mobile app is free; the cost of various CLE courses varies. But West offers one free course with the download of the app.
DocScanner turns any document into a PDF by taking a picture.
Lawyers can use their mobile device to take a photo of an invoice, receipt or notes from a meeting and instantly create a PDF.
Scanned documents can be saved, categorized, emailed or printed. Once scanned, documents can also be searched by keyword and can be rotated or enlarged for easier reading.
The app was recently updated so that users can review the scan in real-time, to ensure a successful picture.
DocScanner costs $4.99 and is available for the iPhone and iPad at iTunes.
For political junkies, the Library of Congress has created an essential app that allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to read the daily edition of the Congressional Record. That edition contains information about the activities of Congress in four parts: the House of Representatives, the Senate, Extension of Remarks and Daily Digest, which provides a summary of the day’s activities.
Archived editions date back to 1995 and users can search within individual documents.
Documents can also be saved and shared for future reference.
The Congressional Record, available at iTunes, is free.