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The iPad set to solve 'mega-litigation' problem

The MacBook sat despondent while the latest zeit geist technology, the iPad, became one litigator's primary resource in a recent four-day court case._x000D_

user iconThe New Lawyer 03 May 2010 The Bar
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THE MacBook sat despondent while the latest zeit geist technology, the iPad, became one litigator’s primary resource in a recent four-day court case.

A litigation lawyer and blogger, who aptly calls himself Maclitigator, has completed what may be the first jury trial using the iPad as the primary means of getting information to the jury.

The lawyer said: “Apple has created a product which facilitates presentation of evidence without getting in the way and does so in a completely unassuming fashion.”


The iPad, which sits low and befits a place next to a legal pad or other notes at the podium, allows the trial material to appear to the jury as not “overly flashy”. Nor is it “a complete headache and a distraction to the attorney”, he said.

The lawyer used Keynote to upload all documents to be admitted. Blankslides provided a tabbed divider set up, separating photos of the scene, x-rays, medical records, tables and summaries into their respective categories.

As lawyers can use such technology in court, the question may be asked whether this will be the end of the “mega-litigation” described in cases such as the C7 judgement in Australia.

While the number of pages left to be read by judges and litigators, may not change, the format in which they are presented could be overhauled and condensed.

Justice Ronald Sackville described the C7 case, for example, as requiring a “Herculean effort” to go through the pages.

"The pleadings occupied 1,028 pages. The trial occupied 120 sitting days. The transcript of the trial is 9,530 pages in length. The statements of the witnesses’ evidence in chief totalled 3,654 pages, of which 2,041 pages were those of the expert witnesses. 12,849 documents totalling 115,586 pages were tendered by way of evidence. The applicants’ written closing submissions in chief totalled 1,556 pages. The respondents between them generated 2,594 pages of written closing submissions. The applicants’ submissions in reply totalled 812 pages," it was said of the case.

The iPad solved this problem of multiple pages to a small extent. Photos were grouped as a single exhibit in the case, and all content to be admitted was contained in a single Keynote presentation.

In terms of the hardware setup, Maclitigator said it required a good high lumen projector, a long, high quality VGA cable, a VGA video adapter cable for the iPad, and a silicon case for the iPad just because it gets a bit slipper in nervous litigators’ “sweaty palms’ in trial.

Maclitigator saw victory in the case, as well as in using his iPad.

Will we be seeing the iPad in Australian trials? Are we already? Comment below. 

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