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PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY

 

 

July/August 2006 Issue | Volume 32 Number 5 | Page 36
Features

Personal Technology Profiles

Brian Lewis
Baizer & Kolar P.C.
Partner
Highland Park, Illinois

 

PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Practice focus: Personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death.

 

EVERYDAY TECHNOLOGY

Laptop or desktop: Laptop, but I have a monitor at my desk so I can have two screens going at once. This facilitates trial preparation when I am using several different programs.

Wired or wireless: Wired at my desk, wireless when I work in our conference rooms or library.

Browser: Internet Explorer.

E-mail: Outlook Express.

Search engine: FindLaw, WestLaw, Google.

Antivirus: Sophos.

Backups: Tape.

Security on the road: Firewalls and VPN.

Remote access: VPN.

Cell phone or PDA: Palm Pilot.

Substantive tools: Calendaring, case tracking and CRM: Time Matters; Document assembly: WordPerfect ; Group tools: Summation, Sanction by Verdict Systems, Time Matters, CaseMap and TimeMap; Presentation software: Summation, Sanction, Time Matters, CaseMap and TimeMap, and PowerPoint.

Who do you call when you need help or repairs? Computer Bits, Inc., a small, high-end computer support boutique that helps me with everything. They're terrific.

Greatest technology challenge: Because we're always the smaller firm up against larger firms, I need to be aware of every new tool that can give my clients an advantage. Buying technology is easy, but using it effectively is hard—and you can't have your systems crashing during trial. It's a balance.

Pet technology peeve: When big-firm defense attorneys with enormous insurance company war chests call my courtroom technology "bells and whistles." I can't count how many times multi-billiondollar corporations come to trial with dirty cardboard boxes stuffed with paper and tell the jury that they're going to do it "the old-fashioned way," as though doing so is commendable or heroic. The software I use at trial isn't gratuitously flashy. It is inexpensive and relatively easy to use. I can enlarge or highlight documents with the click of a button and move efficiently through medical charts or company records. Jurors appreciate that and we've gotten fantastic results because of it. Today's jurors get quickly bored by presentations that look like they were prepared on a typewriter with white-out. And a bored jury isn't paying attention to your case.

Embarrassing technology secret: I can't scan a document to save my life.

Working philosophy when it comes to technology: Use it, and use it better than your opponent. Our clients are victims of someone else's negligence. They've been hit by a truck, or been in a plane crash, or seriously injured by a defective product or a hospital's malpractice. The defendants are invariably backed by insurance companies with unlimited spending power, so we always face an uphill battle. To help us win, I look for every advantage, and the most significant advantage can be technology. I try to use it more strategically and effectively than the other side, to allow me to cross-examine experts succinctly, explain difficult concepts simply and visually, and manage countless details seamlessly. My goal is to see justice served for "the little guy."

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