Slates in Court?

Discussion in 'HP Slate' started by Bronsky, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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  2. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    That's what I see as a potential problem, too. I don't know UK lawyers, but continental European lawyers are by experience to about 2/3 technologically clueless and about 1/4 is on an average consumer level.

    If they equip them with tablets, the remaining 80% of the work will be education in usage. If they manage to do this properly it could be a success story.
     
  3. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Criminal court is the right place to start. It is not a document intensive practice but requires a lot of administration. The fact that HP is supplying the tablets to the prosecutors only, at first, tells me that the primary function of the tablets is administrative (as opposed to evidence presentation at trial). The expansion to use at trial will not come quickly, I suspect.

    In the US we have been slowly adapting to electronic documents. All of the courts I practice in require electronic filing. Most practitioners I know are, at minimum, conversant with W7 (some xp holdouts) and office. IPads have begun to appear (with keyboard folios used more like netbooks than tablets). Almost everyone who sees my slate had no idea that you can run Windows on a tablet and are very curious about the digitizer when they watch me taking notes in longhand.

    But, generally, the older lawyers cling to their laptops like their predecessor clung to their IBM Selectrics. Presentation is rarely electronic, most trial lawyers preferring paper and foamboard enlargements as trial exhibits. This slate is my first PC tablet and I'm hooked. I assume that my bretheren will follow suit.

    Medicine seems to have warmed up to tablets far sooner than law. I think it has to do with greater exposure to computers as science majors in college. The lawyers I know who were science majors are generally more innovative when it comes to adopting paperless devices in their practice.

    I routinely handle fairly complex environmental cases completely electronically and present them on a smart board at trial. Once I got over the steep learning curve, I couldn't imagine dooing it any other way. I would eventually like a slate sized tablet powerful enough to use as my trial device. The slate with touch is a far more natural device for reading and presentation than a notebook.
     
  4. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm not a lawyer myself but had some as clients, mainly ones focused on criminal law, and am interested in the branch quite a bit. The stories they told me about file handling in big cases sometimes seem like parodies. Not long ago it was nothing special in many regions to receive files as several thousand physical pages of paper. It's a big step forward that it now is getting common to get such things on a DVD or two. We are seemingly light years behind when it comes to electronically manage anything law related here in Germany.
    Electronic files here are either absent or plain horrible from what I've seen, with the patent law related stuff standing out positively for some bits.

    When it comes to the ability of the lawyers to use electronic devices and PCs the picture is equally frightening. The older lawyers still rely on paper mostly and have secretaries handle the computer work. When I had a personal reason to visit a notary some weeks ago he actually printed out his Word template, wrote names, dates and such on it with a pen and gave it to his secretary to fill it in in Word and give him the print out. No joke!
    In better cases I had discussions with clients about infrastructural questions because they weren't aware of how computers tick and that you do need concepts like backups and isolation, as their requirements for archiving and security cannot be met by just buying a laptop and a thumb drive.

    In general most lawyers seem to be barely capable of managing to use laptops as a better typewriter, to access law information databases and just some are capable of really using the electronic solutions for their offices. For the latter it's mainly the secretaries that are able to use them in a constructive way.

    If I imagine that the portion of the lawyers I have met on a personal and professional basis should use a Tablet PC to manage even just administrative work, it sounds a bit like a nightmare ;)

    Most of them are just technologically behind for a decade or half of it and would need to be trained and schooled in how to use the tools. And that's where I see the crucial point in such advances. The tools are there and good enough to support even more than just the administrative parts of law cases in an effective manner, but just throwing in some tools is like handing a child a can and a swiss army knife. There's a high chance of blood and tears.

    And that's my point, for this case as much as for computer usage in general. It's not enough to provide hardware and it's not enough to provide software. People have to understand it well enough to use it efficiently.
    And I'm not sure if this aspect was given enough focus. By experience I, sadly, have to doubt it.
     
  5. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    Wow! This news is surprising in 2 significant ways. 1) Brit lawyers (who seem conservative enough to stick to their silly wigs) are about to take a step into the 21st century. 2) HP is the company that convinced them to adopt the Tablet PC platform -- as opposed to the popular iPad. Not only that, but HP convinced the British courts to use HP's own tablets! I'm shocked! Looks like something that the big and influential IBM of the 80s would have pulled off.

    Bronsky, I didn't know your kind was particularly more propense to equate gadgetry to black arts. :D So you're might be the only geek lawyer of Jersey. You probably look like an Astronaut for the rest of them. Sorry for the jokes. :D Given the odds, how come you embraced the Tablet PC platform, rather than the iPad?! I read somewhere that Windows tablets have only about 5% of the tablet market, whereas the iPad has about 60%!

    We are the 5%!
     
  6. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well....

    Bitlocker
    Bitlocker to go
    TPM chip for security
    A strict group policy

    Sounds fantastic for security so that will probably mean the 2760p or a whole load of old 2740p machines... ...Or will then go with something else?

    I really, really, REALLY hope that they get someone special in to do the build instead of dropping in a more or less vanilla image that's still set to the U.S language :( Turn off those darn services and enable some type of trace service for when they get lost.
     
  7. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    My slate earned its keep today. While at a court moderated mediation today in a conference room of a very large east coast law firm, there was a significant dispute about what claims were viable in the litigation being discussed. My adversaries claimed that our most potent and valuable claim was no longer viable because it had been dismissed. The judge would not permit any further discussion until this dispute was resolved. While the partner sent his associate to the file room on another floor to fetch the file and dig out the order, I was able to retrieve the order immediately from my office via email and show it to the judge on my slate in portrait mode in less than 60 seconds. The judge was amazed. The big firm lawyer admitted he was wrong and apologized and I just smiled.

    [​IMG]

    Love my slate.
     
  8. ships10

    ships10 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That is cool B! How did u access the email? ie what type of internet connection?
    Did have your office email it to you or were u able to access your office files
    stored digitally somewhere?
     
  9. revmike

    revmike Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great job bronsky, perfect story to promote the slates usefulness.
     
  10. Rick

    Rick Sr. Manager, Innovation and Experience

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    Great story Bronsky..thanks for posting.

    Rick
     
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