Photo: Mark Wemple
“In my opinion, programs like Exhibit A and iPads are going to revolutionize trial work in small to medium-size cases. They are going to permit a high-quality trial presentation at a fraction of the cost that we were paying just a year or two ago. This will level the playing field for our clients and will ultimately make the administration of justice more efficient and accessible.” — Edward P. de la Parte, de la Parte and Gilbert, Tampa
The Legal Profession in Florida
Tech and the Law
Lawyers haven’t always been the most tech savvy professionals, but tech experts say that’s changing, seeing three main areas they expect will explode as attorneys take advantage of new technologies and connectivity.
» The cloud. More large and midsize firms are eliminating servers and other overhead IT costs associated with maintaining their own document systems. Putting their data in the cloud can cut costs and reduce headaches.
» SharePoint. “Many law firms are trading in existing document management systems and going to SharePoint,” says Doug Geller, a longtime document management expert in Florida who is now product manager for Total Office, a practice management software product for law firms. This grows in combination with the growth of cloud computing.
» Mobile. Lawyers continue to increase their use of smart phones, tablets and other devices. “Remote access has been a boon,” says Garcia-Linares, managing shareholder at Richman Greer. Edward P. de la Parte, managing partner at de la Parte and Gilbert in Tampa, says he uses his iPad in court. But tech does come with a price tag, and attorneys have traditionally been slow adopters, says Geller.
“Being slow is not necessarily a negative,” he says. “New technology can be money out of their pocket.”