November 17, 2020 Articles

Using an iPad or Other Tablet During Examinations

Tablets can be highly effective for examining witnesses at trial if you plan, prepare, and practice.

By William Jackson

The world has seen an explosion of technology over the past quarter century, from smartphones to smart watches, tablet computers, videoconferencing, and the immediate access to a wealth of information. The legal world—or at least lawyers’ examination of witnesses in the courtroom—has not kept pace. There are a number of reasons for that failure, ranging from the costs of equipping courtrooms with the newest technology, to judges’ concerns about proceedings being recorded, to lawyers’ fears of technology inhibiting an effective direct or cross-examination. This short article attempts to address the last of those concerns by identifying useful tips for using an iPad or any other tablet during direct or cross-examination to effectively present testimony to the court or a jury. As with any presentation in court, the keys to using an iPad or any other tablet in court are plan, prepare, and practice.

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