Electronic Signatures Made Easy

Probably one of the most important things we do as lawyers is make sure that documents, pleadings, declarations, affidavits, contracts, and other documents are signed by the relevant parties or ourselves.

While security and authenticity of signatures is always an issue, there are ways to deal with those issues as a matter of available technology, even from your iPhone or iPad.

One of the apps I just came across recently is Autograph by the makers of the Pogo stylus.  This app is extremely easy to use and is able to integrate itself with pdf documents and other documents which can be electronically signed.  Autograph also allows you to e-mail or save any signatures that you generate from your end or where the client has provided an e-signature to you.

I really like the simplicity of Autograph and would like to see some security features added soon.  I highly recommend that you check out this app for yourself.  An example of my own signature is just above the YouTube video above.  Once you get a feel for the stylus, it is very easy to get your signature into electronic form.

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Not Sure? Check out the Prizefight Series by CNet.com

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

If you have been left wondering about what tablet to buy this Christmas or for your next year of legal practice, CNet.com provides an excellent source of comparative information on the various features of products now on the market.  Video comparisons of products include the Samsung Galaxy & iPad.  This Prizefight can be found along with information about the MacBook, Acer Timeline, iPod, XBox, Wii, and other various competing products which may be of interest to you or yours.  CNet is an extremely helpful website which provides consumer information that can be easily understood.  They cover a wide range of tech devices, software, phones, and other products used by lawyers and the general public alike.  If you are interested in technology, this is a great place to start looking for information.  Armed with this information should be able to much better gauge which products best suit you and your practice.

Kno Tablet Could Prove to be Good for Lawyers Too …

Kno Tablet

While specifically designed for the educational community, this certainly looks like it could be a very good prospect for lawyers too.  The split screen could allow for the simultaneous viewing of an exhibit and notes, cases and outlines of arguments, codes, charts, timelines, mind mapping diagrams, and other documents which would otherwise have to be put side by side.

I certainly know that the single screen on the Ipad is limiting, especially while in trial or under the gun by some irritable judge who doesn’t have the patience for clicking or the old alt-tab function (even though flipping through pages would take longer and be louder anyway).  For right now I have been bringing both my laptop and my Ipad with me to evidentiary hearings.  As I have stated in prior posts, the convenience of a slate cannot be overstated.  The only improvement that I can think of is exactly what is proposed by the Kno tablet.  After looking at the specs, capabilities, and basic function, I think that this will prove to be a good addition to the tablet market — if those at Kno are able to grasp the foreseeably positive effect that this could have on the practice of law, which, for better or worse, is sometimes quite the academic venture.  I like what I see so far and hope that the folks at Kno will take a serious look at our industry and think of ways that it could improve efficiency in the courts and at our law schools.

Tablet for $139.99: For Real or Knock-Off?

This is probably like going to the local swap meet to buy yourself a look-alike version of that Gucci handbag.  Whatever the case, this tablet is based on the Android platform, comes with a 667 megahertz processor,  TFT screen (1024×600), and features similar to an Android smartphone.  You will not be able to use this device on any 3G network because this device is designed only for wi-fi.
According to one E-Zine review by Jane Dawson: ” While there is no doubt that the iPad is the real thing and whatever the Chinese clone Apad does, it will still draw comparisons to performance and longevity. But the abysmally low price at which they are providing all those stunning features is what is making everyone sit up and take notice of the product.
While the price and the features available in the Apad are definitely good news, there are some major drawbacks too when compared to the iPad. One of the  areas of concern is the speed. The video replay is reported as mediocre. The 126MB RAM is too low and you cannot run too many applications ssimultaneously. If you try hard enough the applications are forced to close down on their own. That definitely is a major hitch. There is some problem with the quality of the case and the frame. The AC adapter is of poor quality. Many times you are forced to leave the tablet in idle condition while it gets charged.”  Even if this was a great product, the reality is that just about any competitor is behind by about, yes, 45,000,000 IPads sold or to be sold by Apple since the product was released. And, Apple does have its detractors.   As for me, my IPad has proved to be a valuable courtroom tool, source of entertainment, and just great all the way around.  My next post will explore some of the software that I have used, trashed, or am reviewing now.

Windows 7 Phones Appear on Smartphone Scene

http://www.cnet.com/windows-phone-7/?tag=txt;luke_topic

Microsoft has just unveiled the details on its Windows-based phones.  This should add another dimension to the smart phone industry and will likely stiffen competition.  One would expect good integration between the phone and one’s PC with the addition of this tool.  Another addition to the Microsoft lineup is Office 2011 for Mac, expected on October 26, 2010. (See Microsoft Press Kit).

With all of the excitement, the one thing that Microsoft has not been clear on is whether there will be anywhere near a comparable amount of apps for their new smartphones.  For any smartphone to be functional beyond phone calls, a variety of useful apps is necessary.  In this MSNBC article, this issue is discussed at some length.  My guess is that Apple will continue to lead the way in terms of functionality for a couple more years and then the market will be a little more wide open and innovation by competition will drive functionality.  Unfortunately, at this time, it looks like most of the MS apps (first look) are focused on gaming, communication, and entertainment.  This is fine if the court is in recess, but doesn’t do much good for file management, exhibit review, and note taking.