Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an iPad app for voir dire (see article below), a smartphone stand, an iPad note-taking app, and speech recognition software. Don't miss the next issue.
VOIR DIRE FOR THE MODERN LITIGATOR
Lawyers win or lose trials because of many factors, but jury selection might be the most important, especially if both parties are evenly matched financially. Given the importance of voir dire, it's ironic that most litigators still use stickie notes and other archaic means of keeping track of potential jurors. Up until now, software has failed to make much of a dent in this process because laptops have poor battery life and are not conducive to being used while standing and walking. The iPad solves this problem — provided you have an app that's more reliable than the old paper-based methods.
JuryStar 2.0 … in One Sentence
Launched earlier this week, Litigator Technology's JuryStar 2.0 is an iPad app for managing the jury selection process (voir dire).
The Killer Feature
Because Litigator Technology is not just an app developer but also a provider of an online jury consultancy program, it tested the first version of JuryStar with hundreds of juries. The company also received feedback from dozens of lawyers and paralegals who used version 1. Litigator Technology applied this real-world feedback to the new version.
For example, Litigator Technology learned that jury panels can differ dramatically in layout and size depending on the type of case and venue. Thus, you can configure the new version of JuryStar for any seating scenario, and change it dynamically if the environment changes during voir dire.
The full screen view displays up to eight rows of eight seats per row (64 prospective jurors). If more seats exist than you can display, you can scroll up, down, left, and right. Numbers along the sides and top (think stadium seating) help you find your place when confronted with large jury panels.
"We learned a great deal from our early clients since launching JuryStar 1.0 in the fall of 2011," Litigator Technology CEO Nancy Patterson told us. "It was the feedback from attorneys, paralegals, and trial consultants that helped shape this major version 2.0 update."
Other Notable Features
The new version of JuryStar makes it easier to get up and running thanks to a video tutorial within the app, as well as a redesigned user interface that minimizes the number of taps so that you can enter data quickly as you poll jurors.
JuryStar features a new "Choose Topic" library in which you can store questions by topic for reuse in similar cases. The app includes a "Default Trial" with three sample topics and associated questions that pertain to most trials (remember, JuryStar was created with the help of jury consultants).
You can track jurors by number or both name and number. You can also apply one of three colors to each juror — blue for male, red for female, and green for a custom label of your choosing (e.g., Challenge for Cause). In addition to entering this basic juror information, you can apply other details using customizable fields.
For both individual and group voir dire, you can quickly rate each juror using a scale of -5 to +5, as well as strike one or more jurors simultaneously. JuryStar tracks both your peremptory challenges as well as those of the other party. Once a juror is struck, you can re-assign that juror's number and seat if another prospect takes their place on the panel.
What Else Should You Know?
JuryStar 2.0 costs $39.99. It works on all iPads, but performs best on the iPad 2 and later models. Learn more about JuryStar 2.0.
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